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Old 07-23-2004, 11:26 PM   #1
stranger777
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Canada
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Question Which distribution, please


Hi there.

So I can get this PC with the following specs for $50:

Intel Pentium 233 MMX
64mb RAM
3.2 GB Quantum Harddrive
15" ADI monitor (1280x1024)
24x CD-ROM
56K modem
windows 98 and office are already installed.

I think that that sounds nice. I hear more and more about Linux. I am intrigued. Up until now, I have been using Wxxxxxx because I like to play. There is a different PC in my household I can use for that. This one (see above) I will use to work, ie. write and browse. I want to connect to the router that connects everything else in my household (2 wxxxxxxx machines) to a broadband Sympatico (Canada) connection. I have an old ethernet card and a 40gig hard-drive I want to put in there.

My user profile and previous Linux experience:

I am a proficient Wxxxxxx user since 3.11 but not a power user. I like GUI, I do not fear a command prompt but can live without it. Of the PCs I bought in the past, one came with a pre-installed linux distribution (I forgot which one). It had KDE and I felt comfortable with it, but then I installed Wxxxxxx over it because I had to (after ony a few days). So no, I don't really have Linux experience. On my Wxxxxxx PC, I use lots of "alternative" software (Opera instead of IE, Openoffice instead of MSOffice).

Dearest Linux users, please answer my questions of which I have the following:

1) Is it feasible?
2) What distribution can/should I use? What will it cost me?
3) Is this an o.k. way to start? Or should I wait until I have a faster, newer system to start up as a new linux user? Should I just stay with w98 for and use that for my browsing and writing needs?
4) What problems am I likely to run into?

Thank-you so much for your help!
 
Old 07-24-2004, 01:25 AM   #2
WMD
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Location: Florida
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That's a rather old system...still, you could get Slackware Linux on there just fine. It works great on older machines.

KDE/Gnome will probably be too slow, but faster GUIs exist.

Thing is, Slackware isn't among the easier of distributions. It can detect sound cards fine, along with video, and regular modems (not "WinModems" that need special drivers). To connect to your router you'll need a network card, not sure if that machine has one, but it'll be supported, most likely. But, it requires some work to get everything working properly. It's a great learning experience if you want to learn about Linux (it's what I learned with), but I'm not sure if you'll want to.

Still, it'd be better than Windoze 98. That's among the worst of them.
 
Old 07-24-2004, 02:29 AM   #3
ehawk
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Registered: Jul 2003
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Morphix LightGUI

This is a light, knoppix-based live-evalutation CD which you could probably run on your specs. If you run it from the CD, it will not touch your hard drive. If you wish to install it to your hard drive, you can do that, and it will probably fit with your Windows stuff.
 
Old 07-24-2004, 02:59 AM   #4
rayburn
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I would suggest that you put Morphix or similar light distro on and use it as a standalone PC until you are more familiar with Linux. Your memory will be the biggest obstacle to installing one of the mainstream distros, perhaps you could fit more?

When you have ironed out any hardware problems, then by all means network it and have fun!
 
Old 07-24-2004, 07:36 AM   #5
MikeZila
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I've run a Slackware install (X, KDE, the whole shebang) on a system almost exactly like yours. (The system in my sig, before I added extra Ram and a video card.) Performance is good, it doesn't drag feet at all. If you're looking for a distro thats lean enough to fit with your current hardware, I think Slack is a good choice.
 
Old 07-24-2004, 01:31 PM   #6
Enslaved
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Yes, while they are similar, his only has 64MB of RAM, and I heard that KDE needs at least 128MB of RAM. I have a similar system (K6 333Mhz, 64MB RAM, GF2MX200, 6GBHD) that I am going to buy an extra cheap RAM stick for it to work good when I install KDE and Slackware (I'm using Damn Small Linux for now). I was looking into other window systems and XFce seems to be lighter than KDE and looks pretty nice too, I think Slackware comes with XFce too but I'm not sure, I don't have the disk yet.

Last edited by Enslaved; 07-24-2004 at 01:33 PM.
 
Old 07-24-2004, 01:53 PM   #7
MikeZila
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeZila
I've run a Slackware install (X, KDE, the whole shebang) on a system almost exactly like yours. (The system in my sig, before I added extra Ram and a video card.) Performance is good, it doesn't drag feet at all. If you're looking for a distro thats lean enough to fit with your current hardware, I think Slack is a good choice.
I used to run KDE on my system while it had 64MB or Ram. Just make sure to turn off all of the "effects" when you get the welcome wizard. You should be sound as a pound.
 
Old 07-24-2004, 01:58 PM   #8
Enslaved
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Thumbs up

oops! Well, at least its good news for him!
 
Old 07-24-2004, 07:24 PM   #9
ight8
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Try Knoppix, it runs from a cd and you dont have to do any really complicated stuff to get started. just make sure in your bios you can boot from a cd. 3.4 is the latest issue, and it's based off of the Debian system which is really stable, as far as linux goes. the hardware recognition is amazingly well supported. I've tried Redhat9 and the new fedora/Redhat and the install is very easy but I'm running a amd 400 and its just to big for my little box to handle and not yet as well supported.

Debian itself is a great system if you know all the *nix commands (cp, cd, ls, and the millions of others) but it doesnt support other software very well like gaim in my experience with it. the difference between Debian and Knoppix is that Knoppix is the very latest bleeding edge of Debian, in fact Debian's web site only has three distrobutions as far as I know, Woody (stable) Sid (almost stable) and Sarge (unstable). Knoppix is almost Sarge with lots of other stuff added to it. and because Knoppix is a Debian distrobution you can still use the Apt-Get system for upgrading, something that is "very" important with an OS.
And if you dont like Knoppix, guess what, open the cd tray pull out the cd and chunk it! No uninstall necessary. it runs directly from the cd, and if you really like it like I do, then your in for a great learning experience of trying to get the thing installed to the hard drive.

PS. if you're new to linux, you need to catch up on your reading. I suggest that you find a pdf file somewhere, maybe on a P2P like gnucleus (althought it might be copyright infringement.) about partitioning tables for the linux system, file hierarchy, basic unix commands, etc..
enjoy.
 
Old 07-24-2004, 09:05 PM   #10
alb1954
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Cobind uses xfce rather than kde or gnome which is better suited to older machines.


Cobind Desktop runs on Intel 386, 486, Pentium (1,2,3,4) or Celeron, AMD Athlon, or Duron, and VIA CPUs. Cobind Desktop may be compatible with other CPUs not listed here, but those have not been tested.

* Good: P2-300 Mhz, 64 MB RAM, 2 GB Disk
* Better: P3-1 Ghz, 256 MB RAM, 20 GB Disk
* Best: P4 - 3 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, 200 GB Disk
 
  


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