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I no this has most likely been asked before, but i have had a look and could not find a answer.
I need a small distro that will be on 24/7, used as a gateway to the internet (so must be easy to set up to a dial\ADSL line) and to store files. It will be set up in a mirrored array and i would like it to be less that one gig in size. I have used RedHat 9, but as its not supported anymore and im not sure where to go? There has been so much news about large companies buying small Linux distros im not sure what one to pick that will still be around in the future AND still ran by the community.
I would like a distro with a GUI and is easy to use like RedHat 9, as i am new to Linux.
Well ii'm rather new too and installed both Fedora Core 1 and Mandrake 10. Between the two, they're equally easy to install. But i've found Mandrake had alot more things actually working straight out of the box. Fedora required me to install alot of extras to make even basic stuff like MP3s work.
If space is really a problem try something like Knoppix, which is a live-on-cd distro [no installation, runs totally from cd]. I think it's based on Debian, so probably a good way to test how good that works without changing your system. And if you need to go even smaller, i found a little distro called Feather Linux which is only 64MB and runs from my USB flashdisk [boots from it and all that]. Fun :P
Supposedly Fedora will be a community release forever, but who knows. Debian is the only distro set up that way. It should never die. Mandrake has always been free as well, so even if the company goes bankrupt, the source will live on. There are others, butof the ones I have tried so far, they have the most complete sets of software and they are both well-supported. I have had good luck with them as well. I have tried Slackware and tis marvelous (if you install swaret the minute you get on the net), but the learning curve is high. If you have the time to compile, Gentoo has a decent install as well. Of the 20 or so distros and Windows versions, and FreeBSD and NetBSD variants, that I have installed and used, when my hard drive crapped out and left me with the little 4 giger on the shelf, I installed Mandrake 10 as my main working OS.
I suggest trying morphix - http://www.morphix.org/. I downloaded it recently, took it for a spin, and am actually impressed. It is a Debian-based Live-CD, which can also be installed to a HD. It's auto-detection is brilliant. My sometimes tricky cable modem was detected instantly. I was impressed with the amount of software they crammed into it.
The current version is not yet on a 2.6 kernel, but they are working on it.
you could run either of those most likely on that processor without much problem. where you might run into problems is the amount of ram. to run smoothly on such an old system, it is often the case that you have to really trim the kernel, as it resides in memory at all times, and a bloated kernel doesn't leave much room for apps in your ram, causing you to use lots of swap which runs off of disk and is MUCH slower. also, you might look into running a smaller desktop environment/window manager, as kde 3.2 will likely CRAWL on that system if you get it running.