What's the best distro for newbie on an old computer 256MB ram 433 celeron
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Yes I forgot to mention I tried Xubuntu. It also takes 2 and a half minutes to startup. But it just feels slower than the others. I think it's based on XFCE. I also tried MoonOs 2 XFCE it was pretty slow. But the MoonOs 2 LXDE one is fast.
DSL just doesn't feel like a complete distro to me.
I have a 15GB hard drive for maybe dual booting 98SE and one linux distro.
Every distribution has a point of no return where the most clever newbie will have to go to Google.
I always recommend distributions with the most effective documentations and a good wiki is also a great thing.
Gentoo, ArchLinux is the 2 distributions I would say is easiest to install, simply because of the great documentation and wiki. You would honestly be surprised on how much you are guided into and how many options you have to take that further, but ArchLinux has the best packagesystem by far ..
You can keep trying out one LiveCD or GNOME/KDE-based distribution after the other, but you will always end up in a corner where there's no point-and-click solution, therefore I hope that as many as possible would like to try a distribution which is not as hard as Debian to install for a newcommer because of a far better documentation than the old-school Debian manuals, most people say that they've learned far more by just installing Gentoo, ArchLinux, Debian, FreeBSD or another clean distribution on one day than using these GNOME/KDE-based distros in daily use.
It was close between Puppy, MoonOs 2 LXDE and Xubuntu with LXDE.
I decided to go with Xubuntu and installed LXDE.
It is much faster than all the others listed above except puppy. It boots in 1 minute 15 seconds with LXDE which is fast on this old computer. Firefox starts in 15 seconds and Abiword in 10 seconds. I went with this distro becuase it had all the things I was looking for.
I tried many different ones for fun. Knoppix, gOS, Linux Mint Fluxbox CE, Fluxbuntu, PcLinuxOs, Zenwalk, Antix, U-Lite, Dream Linux, Vector Light, DSL, Crunchbang (my favorite out of this list).
Linux Mint LXDE CE might be a good choice when it comes out.
May I ask how long it takes for the LXDE/Xubuntu desktop to appear after logging in?
I tried Xubuntu (straight Xubuntu with XFCE) on an older machine, the "alternate" installation image installed fine, it rebooted after installation and the first login was fine. At the second login, the user shouldn't have to wait 1/2 hour for the desktop to appear.
I had this same problem on a second machine, which is considerably faster than the older machine. Repeated the above process, waited 10 minutes after the second login, no desktop.
I put Mandriva back on them, they now have a dual-architecture install image for low-memory systems which uses LXDE as the default desktop. Works perfectly on both systems and I get a desktop within seconds after login.
On the two systems that this occurred on, one has an AMD K6-2 (500 MHz) with 768Mb of memory, which is more than sufficient. The other system is a bit slower, an Intel Pentium/MMX (166 Mhz) with 256Mb of memory.
I could understand having -some- issues on the Pentium because of the slow CPU and to a lesser extent the memory, but not on the K-6.
It is because of this, that I am hesitant to try any of the Ubuntu distros again.