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Another quick newbie question that is somewhat related to my last one...
One of our IT guys here at work says that installing very new versions of most distros onto old computers is usually not a good idea. He didn't have time to explain this theory so he just left me hanging. Is he maybe refering to lack of HD space or RAM? Is this line of thought sound? Thoughts?
A little background: Someone else offered me a new copy of Suse 9.1 he is not using. That is what prompted the comment in the first place.
It depends what you want to do. Like most new systems the programs tend to be fatter and require more resources as they are capable of much more.
Installing a light distro such as slackware shouldn't cause a problem especially if you don't need a graphical environment. If you want to run a full desktop with Mozilla and OpenOffice then I'm afraid you won't have much luck.
I felt lazy so I didn't read everyone's replies, sorry if this is repeated. Most new distros won't run on older hardware because they have bloated software. The desktop enviroments KDE and GNOME require at least 128MB RAM to run smoothly and OpenOffice needs at least 192MB.
However not all is lost. Try VectorLinux. I run it on the laptop below with no problems and It's up to date. In fact it has a 2.6 series kernel. It's based on Slackware 9.1. It's not impossible to run a new linux distro, you just have to find one where the developers took the time to make it light and fast.
PS the current version of VL is 4.3. 5.0 is just starting testing and probably shouldn't be tried by the faint of heart. You can also try Damn Small Linux.
I have equivalent hardware (see "What can you do in Linux that you can't do in Windows" thread). And I always use the most recent distribution I can, because the most bugs will be fixed in the old features. And new features... if I don't want them, I don't use them!
Just choose the window manager, the file manager, the web browser, the mail client... according to the PC's power.
Distribution: K/Ubuntu 10.04/12.04, Scientific Linux 6.3, Android-x86, Maemo
A live distro might be a good choice, but many of them are geared to run on newer models. If you can find one that doesn't use Gnome or KDE as its GUI, then you might be in luck. There are several light window managers out there that are very accomodating to dated systems.
Ok. I actually got Debian 3.1 (Sarge) running on the K6/2 machine with Fluxbox. It actually works pretty good and is relatively fast for such an old machine. I just need to sort out the sound issues and find a decent MP3 player and that one will be set! Thanks for all the support!
I have an old PII with 64 RAM and I could not get any of the newest distros (even with fluxbox) to work efficiently - SuSE no way, Slack 10 was intolerably sluggish, yoper 2.1 was coughing like me granpa and Knoppix 3.6 would just take ages to start, if at all. But I didn't try Debian...
Note that contrary to popular belief (probably because fluxbox *is* popular), fluxbox is not one of the lightest window managers. IceWM, fvwm, and Matchbox are lighter and very good, not even speaking of Ion, Ratpoison, and others that are lighter but you probably don't want to try.
Originally posted by theYinYeti Note that contrary to popular belief (probably because fluxbox *is* popular), fluxbox is not one of the lightest window managers. IceWM, fvwm, and Matchbox are lighter and very good, not even speaking of Ion, Ratpoison, and others that are lighter but you probably don't want to try.
Being a complete Newbie, I have no preferences yet. I will probably try several before I settle on one. I got fluxbox because, as you said, it has a Reputation for being a Lite window manager. I will probably give the others a try as soon as I get the sound issues straightened out.