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Old 05-13-2009, 08:02 PM   #1
waccomartist
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Need help in choosing minimalist system for old computer, easy to install, LAN-print


Hello!

Total Linux newb here, wanting to find a very minimalist, easy-to-use, Linux version that will run smoothly on an old computer system.

The computer I want to revitalize is a HP designed for Windows 98. Here is it's fairly embarrassing stats:

*450 MHz processor
*64 MB SDRAM
*6.4 GB Hard drive

Basically, I want to make it so that it will run a simple Linux version that meets the following criteria:

Simple typing/word processing
Check email/light web browsing
Easy to use for other people used to Windows systems
Able to connect and print with a printer on the LAN network (Brother MFC-290C)
Quick bootup times (right now, puppy bootups pretty fast)

I tried to get into Linux several years ago, and came across the "Puppy" version. It was not the easiest to install, but I got it up and running on the computer in question. However, it is not the easiest to use for people not familiar with it (especially for saving files). Also, my biggest complaint is that it does not seem to be able use printers on a network:!:.

I have considered trying out a few different ones, but I'm not sure if they will run with my older machine. I've looked into:
1. gOS. This looks really, really nice, and shouldn't scare away the people who will use this computer. It looks simple enough to accomplish the tasks I need and low on resource needs so it should run well, right?
2. Damn small Linux...I don't know much about this, except that it is damn small, apparently.
3. Stick with Puppy, just find a way to get it a little easier to use, and to print with a network printer on LAN (how can I do this?)
4. Slax...another one I have seen online but do not know much about...
5. Suggest one not listed here..

So, my question is, what Linux version would you all suggest that would meet the above criteria?
 
Old 05-13-2009, 08:50 PM   #2
jstephens84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waccomartist View Post
Hello!

Total Linux newb here, wanting to find a very minimalist, easy-to-use, Linux version that will run smoothly on an old computer system.

The computer I want to revitalize is a HP designed for Windows 98. Here is it's fairly embarrassing stats:

*450 MHz processor
*64 MB SDRAM
*6.4 GB Hard drive

Basically, I want to make it so that it will run a simple Linux version that meets the following criteria:

Simple typing/word processing
Check email/light web browsing
Easy to use for other people used to Windows systems
Able to connect and print with a printer on the LAN network (Brother MFC-290C)
Quick bootup times (right now, puppy bootups pretty fast)

I tried to get into Linux several years ago, and came across the "Puppy" version. It was not the easiest to install, but I got it up and running on the computer in question. However, it is not the easiest to use for people not familiar with it (especially for saving files). Also, my biggest complaint is that it does not seem to be able use printers on a network:!:.

I have considered trying out a few different ones, but I'm not sure if they will run with my older machine. I've looked into:
1. gOS. This looks really, really nice, and shouldn't scare away the people who will use this computer. It looks simple enough to accomplish the tasks I need and low on resource needs so it should run well, right?
2. Damn small Linux...I don't know much about this, except that it is damn small, apparently.
3. Stick with Puppy, just find a way to get it a little easier to use, and to print with a network printer on LAN (how can I do this?)
4. Slax...another one I have seen online but do not know much about...
5. Suggest one not listed here..

So, my question is, what Linux version would you all suggest that would meet the above criteria?
I would go with vector linux. I just installed this on a machine with a 233 pII and it ran great but it did have 128mb or ram. very easy to use and install was pretty straight forward.
 
Old 05-13-2009, 09:38 PM   #3
colorpurple21859
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Registered: Jan 2008
Location: florida
Distribution: slackware64-current, puppy, ubuntu
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easy and 64mb in linux don't mix. when i only had 64mb of memory puppy was the easiest to install and run. In my opinion DSL was harder to setup, but some have found it easier than puppy to install. any distro that uses gnome, kde or xfce won't work. I think there is a light vector linux version that might work, but the standard vector linux is to heavy. stiltz is another one that might work, just about anything else i tried was either to heavy or not easy to setup
a light install of debian with a window manager and only the applications you need will work, there's more involved as far installing. There are several howto's on the web for a light install of debian, slackware will work if you do not select kde or xfce as your window manager, but not considered easy by most. Installing more ram will help.
not all printers will work in linux. there is a web sight that list compatible printer. don,t know the name of the website though.
 
Old 05-15-2009, 06:19 PM   #4
murankar
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Location: Cleveland Ohio
Distribution: Current CentOS 5.6
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Damn Small Linux, puppy, knoppix or Slax.

you could even try Xubuntu it runs with XFCE, resource light file manager.

knoppix has been known for good legacy support. Not sure as of late with the newer versions, if you deceide on Knoppix try the 5.1.
 
Old 05-15-2009, 06:39 PM   #5
onebuck
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Location: Midwest USA, Central Illinois
Distribution: SlackwareŽ
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Hi,

You should look at the earlier versions of distributions. The '64MB' is going to be a limiting factor along with the choice of 'X' environment. I suggest you use a small desktop like xfce or the like. Stay away from 'KDE' as this will be as slow as molasses.

Your 'swap' will be important so set it at the old rule of 2X the RAM.

Try some of the older 'LiveCD' from 'The LiveCD List' to see how they feel.

These links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
Old 05-15-2009, 07:41 PM   #6
linus72
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Note, there are many distro's that freak out with 64MB RAM, some will even quit as they run out of memory for the ramdisk.
Limiting factors such as RAM, HD size and Processor speed will affect your choice alot.
I would say Slackware with XFCE4, or especially Debian, if they don't run out of memory....

However, I would say too that Wolvix-1.1/GoblinX-2.7-Mini/Micro might work.

DSL would be a good choice as long as you buy the DSL book; there's a great deal of info there.
 
Old 05-16-2009, 05:25 AM   #7
murankar
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Location: Cleveland Ohio
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One last post I hope. it just occured to me that every distro will run on 64mb of ram. All I have to say is you better become an expert at the cli (Command Line Interface). Also with only 64mb of ram and you want to GUI with the install I would strongly advise Damn Small Linux. It's disk image is 50mb with Fluxbox for the GUI.
 
  


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