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Old 09-20-2007, 02:02 PM   #1
cf13
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old linux distro with up-to-date software, possible?


Hi guys,

Well I had really bad luck with normal, hard drive installed (not frugal) linux distros, even puppy or austrumi installed this way are slower than my win98.

What I don't try is to install a old linux distro, from the time my computer was bought, btw I don't mind security problems.

I've tried dsl hard drive install, but only leave you install software from woody repositories which are very outdated.

So I guess that it has to be very dificult, or maybe a nonsense.

With win98 I can install current applications, actually what I want is not every software out there, just firefox, abiword/openoffice, mplayer and a few more.

I've thought in nix package manager http://nix.cs.uu.nl/index.html to deal easier with library hassle, but it is suppose to be a modern system into another, so I don't know it would be a slow system again; and also in freebsd but, is possible to install current ports in old freebsd?

If you think that is possible, guess that I add new hardware to my computer, a new cd-rom driver or whatever, I should update the whole kernel?

Well as I said before maybe is a nonsense, I don't have any IT skills, but I'm tired of reading that with just a lighter window manager my pc should "fly"

thanks

Last edited by cf13; 09-23-2007 at 03:12 PM.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 02:06 PM   #2
Gethyn
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I agree that claims about PCs "flying" on lightweight distros tend to be a bit over exaggerated, but on an old P2 system I have Slackware 11 installed with XFCE. While it's not superfast, it's certainly no slower than Win 98 on the same machine, and unlike Win 98 I can access the network and external USB devices without any trouble in Slackware.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 02:09 PM   #3
farslayer
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How old of a PC are we talking about here ? Posts specs if you don't mind.. I would have suggested Debian Etch with xfce. A current distro with a lightweight desktop, but you are saying even the lightweight desktop environments don't help.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 05:15 PM   #4
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cf13 View Post
Hi guys,

Well I had really bad luck with normal, hard drive installed (not frugal) linux distros, even puppy or austrumi installed this way are slower than my win98.
Puppy would certainly be a 'frugal' distro, probably austrumi too. The way puppy works (at least as a live cd) is very dependant on having enough ram, so if the amount of ram that you have is the major problem, puppy would not be my first choice.

Quote:
I've tried dsl hard drive install, but only leave you install software from woody repositories which are very outdated.
I'm no dsl expert, but it looks as if the current version (3.3) ought to be more in line with sarge rather than woody. As you correctly say, woody is a bit old by now. In any case, the latest firefox version supplied with a dsl iso is 1.0.6, which is some way off.

Quote:
With win98 I can install current applications, actually what I want is not every software out there, just firefox, abiword/openoffice, mplayer and a few more.
I won't get into the extent to which current applications are being made available for win98, but that is very limited now. If you are limited in your ability to run modern apps quickly enough, you probably won't like Open Office. try to stick to abiword/gnumeric and see if they do the job.


Quote:
If you think that is possible, guess that I add new hardware to my computer, a new cd-rom driver or whatever, I should update the whole kernel?
Difficult to tell whether I really understand the question, but I think the answer is that you don't have to update the kernel to add new hardware, except in rare cases.


Quote:
Well as I said before maybe is a nonsense, I don't have any IT skills, but I'm tired of reading that with just a lighter window manager my pc should "fly"
Not sure about fly, but it should be possible to get to a point at which it is adequate. It would be useful to have any (or all) of the following info:
Memory size
Processor type and speed
Hard Disk size (and mode, if known)
How much swap space you have allocated
Selected partition sizes and formats (i.e. if you did anything other than accept 'defaults' for disk partitions please say what you did)
And for any particular distro, did you install or were you running from an optical disk or USB stick? And did any distro get particularly close to adequate, or were they all 'bad'.

Last edited by salasi; 09-20-2007 at 05:16 PM. Reason: got rid of spurious 'font' tag
 
Old 09-20-2007, 05:36 PM   #5
cf13
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My pc is a pentium 3, 1 Ghz, 128 ram, ati rage pro fury/xpert2000.

I have debian etch in one partition, I did a minimal install, minimal services running , 1/2 virtual terminals.....without x, free -m gives me something around 20-22 mb, with even the most lightest wm, once I tried twm, it goes to 70-80 or even more in some distros.

Quote:
I agree that claims about PCs "flying" on lightweight distros tend to be a bit over exaggerated
Somewhere I read that with 64 mb ram, kde was flying, and not an old version, I think he/she was talking etch version, how?

I'm thinking about downloading an old version of vector and see what happens, but I'm still on dialup, and if I don't know how to add current applications it would be worthless.

So do you guys think an old version would be faster? Think a 5-6 years old distro.

Is it possible to add current applications? Yes, no? Should them slow the performance and be a current distro comprable?

Do you guys understand what I'm trying to say/do???
 
Old 09-20-2007, 05:55 PM   #6
syg00
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I'm surprised Puppy doesn't do it for you on that - but 128Meg is pretty much the minimum these days. I'd be hard pressed to believe a (current) X system would be usable in 64 Meg.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 06:05 PM   #7
cf13
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Quote:
I won't get into the extent to which current applications are being made available for win98, but that is very limited now
Yes it's true and I notice that ad-aware an other anti-virus software being very very slow, also I almost run opensource and/or lighter alternatives like bsplayer, media player classic...

The point is that they are very easy to install, sometimes maybe I have to download one library, but still easy, yes I know linux is totally different, that's because I thought in nix package manager.

Quote:
Difficult to tell whether I really understand the question, but I think the answer is that you don't have to update the kernel to add new hardware, except in rare cases.
Excuse my poor english, also kernel is like a black hole to me, but as I understand, I would need just a patch or the module for the new component, in other words, I could add a new driver to an old kernel?

Quote:
Hard Disk size
40 gb.

Quote:
How much swap space you have allocated
380 mb. I use to have 320, ubuntu's did it automatically.

Quote:
Selected partition sizes and formats (i.e. if you did anything other than accept 'defaults' for disk partitions please say what you did)
This is my second attemp with linux, I one have two partitions, first windows, and sizes were just dividing more/less by 2 the hard drive. Now after reinstalling win98 I add another one.

Normally I select reiserfs, but also try ext3.

Quote:
And for any particular distro, did you install or were you running from an optical disk or USB stick?
No, alway from hard disk.


Quote:
And did any distro get particularly close to adequate, or were they all 'bad'.
Vector linux standard maybe 2/3 previous version, but I was very very newbie and once I added a few more appls, it got slower. But maybe it has lots of services running! no idea at that time

Also I felt that freebsd was a bit faster.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 06:13 PM   #8
cf13
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Quote:
I'm surprised Puppy doesn't do it for you on that - but 128Meg is pretty much the minimum these days. I'd be hard pressed to believe a (current) X system would be usable in 64 Meg
Puppy runs very good, but as frugal install, I don't want peaple get the wrong idea, I love puppy!

Well, it maybe usable, but I can't stand the swapping noise, sometimes it seems that the computer is going to explode.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 08:52 PM   #9
chrism01
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I must admit I'm surprised a 3.1Ghz box comes with only 128 MB RAM, I'd have expected more.
To put it bluntly, given RAM is cheap these days, add as much RAM as possible and you'll be good to go.
The chip is easily fast enough and you've got enough disk space, although you should make a bigger swap with the new RAM.
Also, if you can hear the disk grinding that much, sound's like it mght be (slowly) dying. I'd recommend you backup any important data pronto.
I resurrected my current box simply by stuffing it with RAM, so I can now run any current distro.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 10:43 PM   #10
farslayer
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Debian Sarge with Gnome on a PIII 1Ghz with 256 MB or RAM runs decent, I wouldn't say it would win races but it was definately usable without frustration. I never did get around to upgrading to Etch on that box, but I can't imagine it would perform any worse.

I do think the 128 MB is one of your limiting factors. Get that to 256 MB at least, 384 or 512 wouldn't hurt.
 
  


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