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Old 07-13-2007, 04:42 PM   #1
eazhar
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Running on 16 mb memory (or less...) Which distro?


So i found this junker compaq presario 1610 at my work, specs are at the bottom.

What i want is a GUI system that can run beaver text editor (or similar) and a lightweight browser and I want it primarily to run perl scripts. Originally it had windows 95 on it and it seemed to run just fine. I'm wondering which distro to try out on this machine. So far damn small linux newest release runs very slowly and becomes unresponsive pretty quickly from just moving my mouse. And furthermore the colors just come out all wrong by which i mean everything on the screen is some shade of green. Any ideas?

====================Laptop Specs==========================

Microprocessor Upgradeable 150 MHz Intel Pentium processor with MMX technology

Processor upgrade expected to be available when Intel makes processor available.
Memory 16 MB of SyncDRAM
Memory Max Expandable to 80 MB
Video Graphics

* 128-bit accelerated graphics
* 3D graphics Flat-panel resolution of up to 800 x 600 x 16M, with external monitor - 1024 x 768 x 256 non-interlaced
* Full screen MPEG video playback
* 24-bit color provides up to 16M brilliant colors, making multimedia applications come to life
* Zoom video support

Video Memory Integrated 2 MB video memory
Hard Drive 1.6 GB hard drive
Diskette Drive 3.5 inch 1.44 MB diskette drive
Multimedia Drive 14 Max CD-ROM drive

14X Max CD-ROM drive data transfer rates may vary from 1200 to 1800 Kbps.

taken from:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/d...t_page=product
 
Old 07-13-2007, 04:48 PM   #2
jay73
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GeexBox, Deli Linux, ...
 
Old 07-13-2007, 05:59 PM   #3
Tinkster
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GeeXboX require at least 64MB ...
http://geexbox.org/en/requirements.html

Deli may be an option, though (not that I think I'd want
to use X11 7.2 with that little RAM).

Reaslistically I'd turn a box of that class into a router
or small office firewall :}



Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 07-13-2007, 07:28 PM   #4
stress_junkie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkster
GeeXboX require at least 64MB ...
http://geexbox.org/en/requirements.html

Deli may be an option, though (not that I think I'd want
to use X11 7.2 with that little RAM).

Reaslistically I'd turn a box of that class into a router
or small office firewall :}



Cheers,
Tink
That still doesn't answer the question of which distro.

The only distro that I know of that claims to be able to run with 16 MB RAM is Slackware.

http://slackware.com/install/sysreq.php

Of course this probably does not support X.

And it would probably be insufferably slow.

And you would proabably have to use the v2.4 kernel.

If I had that computer I would see if it's BIOS would support more RAM. If it does then I would buy as much RAM as its BIOS supports and install it. If I couldn't increase the RAM than I would send the machine to the recycling center.

Last edited by stress_junkie; 07-13-2007 at 07:34 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2007, 07:39 PM   #5
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stress_junkie
That still doesn't answer the question of which distro.
In a way it does; anything that's small and DOESN'T
require graphics. Even with the slimmest possible
DE or WM it will still spend most its time swapping.

And my beloved Slack would be no exception. I didn't
enjoy GUI with a browser much on a P90 with 96MB and
slack 8 in 2001 ... I doubt things will have improved
since ;}


Cheers,
Tink

Last edited by Tinkster; 07-13-2007 at 07:40 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2007, 08:28 PM   #6
PatrickNew
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My suggestion would be to abandon X. If you want a decent lightweight browser, check out the links2 graphical mode. It runs on either the framebuffer or svgalib, I forget which, but it can do without X. For a simple editor, I recommend nano or emacs. If you are content with using a small subset of its features, emacs can actually be quite easy.
 
Old 07-13-2007, 08:56 PM   #7
Junior Hacker
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Quote:
So far damn small linux newest release runs very slowly and becomes unresponsive pretty quickly from just moving my mouse. And furthermore the colors just come out all wrong by which i mean everything on the screen is some shade of green. Any ideas?
This is how Windows 95 can be on allot of my computers of this caliber.
EDIT: What do you expect?

Last edited by Junior Hacker; 07-13-2007 at 08:57 PM.
 
Old 07-13-2007, 09:00 PM   #8
Junior Hacker
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I'm sure you can visit the local recycle depot and pick up 4 sticks at 16MB each and crank it up to 64mb.
 
Old 07-13-2007, 09:10 PM   #9
AceofSpades19
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I once read that DeLi Linux can run a gui on 16 mb of ram, but I would suggest upgrade to at least 32 mb if not more
 
Old 07-13-2007, 10:25 PM   #10
sundialsvcs
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I agree: "obsolete" RAM for older hardware is usually available almost-free. Find out how much RAM it'll hold and fill 'er up.

Next, when installing your chosen distribution, choose only the options that you absolutely must have to run. Many commercial distros take a "kitchen sink" approach by default but that does not mean that they have to. You can easily squeeze a Linux system into a far smaller space than this, with room to spare.
 
  


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