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Old 10-31-2006, 11:34 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Colorado, USA
Distribution: CentOS 5
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Which distro for ancient laptop?

Hey all,

I was curious what you guys thought would be a good distrobution for my laptop (300mhz pentuim, 96mb ram). Bear in mind that it only has a floppy and network connection (no CD drive) and I would like to run gnome or kde. Thanks for the suggestions!
Old 10-31-2006, 11:46 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: CentOS, OS X
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96MB RAM is quite a small amount if you're planning to run KDE/Gnome..I know it works, yes, but it won't probably be a pleasant experience if you're doing anything "big". If you like Gnome, consider XFCE, it's lighter and quite nice too.

The distribution itself doesn't matter that much, except that it ought to be small in size for the HD, if you don't happen to have a huge harddrive. Therefore I'd consider the one-cd distributions that claim to sit on a few hundred megabytes (hey btw, read the Windows Vista requirements ! ). The thing that's going to eat up most of the resources is the desktop environment, so it doesn't matter that much -- you can choose, try and switch as much as you want.

Ubuntu could do, but it's not too small (though a lot smaller than Fedora), Zenwalk's base install or Arch Linux might be good tries too. DamnSmallLinux is small, but I'm not sure if it's too good for daily use..same goes for Puppy, except that it's probably a bit better.

I'd go to Distrowatch and start going through the distributions that claim to be "small". Beware of too "lightweight" ones, unless you want a bare backbone
Old 10-31-2006, 11:50 AM   #3
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Colorado, USA
Distribution: CentOS 5
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Thanks b0uncer, I have flirted with a couple of different desktops in the past but was never too impressed...I'll be sure to check out XFCE!

Any other suggestions on distros/desktops? It has a 6 gig hd and it is running w2k fine at the moment....
Old 10-31-2006, 11:51 AM   #4
Registered: Oct 2006
Location: London
Distribution: Arch
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If your feeling ambitious, you could try:

It is a tutorial which explains how to install a very minimal linux distro on an older laptop.
Old 10-31-2006, 12:24 PM   #5
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Colorado, USA
Distribution: CentOS 5
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I've decided to experiment with fedora...anyone know of a good fedora guide on installing it over a network?
Old 10-31-2006, 01:27 PM   #6
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Gentoo, xubuntu, Slackware and Debian come to mind. Gentoo if you're patient

I got 400Mhz laptop just and plan to install some of the above or some 'BSD on it.
I'd too avoid KDE and Gnome as they won't be quite snappy on that kind of hardware. XFCE is nice as I'm currently even using it on my Dual-core laptop

Last edited by Zmyrgel; 10-31-2006 at 01:29 PM.
Old 10-31-2006, 05:13 PM   #7
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Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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Probably a little late here, but I recently read interesting things about a mini-distro called BeaFanatIX.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-06-2011, 08:47 AM   #8
Reeb xoxo
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Thumbs down

Originally Posted by rickh View Post
Probably a little late here, but I recently read interesting things about a mini-distro called BeaFanatIX.
link is dead
Old 07-06-2011, 09:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Reeb xoxo View Post
link is dead
A quick search would have shown you this-

# Status: Discontinued

Not that a ubuntu based distro would have been a good iea with a 96MB laptop.

BTW, you are aware that this thread is over 5 years old?
Old 07-06-2011, 05:30 PM   #10
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Slitaz may be a good choice. Xpud and austrumi are small fast disto's.
Old 07-07-2011, 03:26 AM   #11
Registered: Dec 2009
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 103

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try DSL
quirky puppy might work

if your brave then try and install connochaetOS (even set it up similar to here like i am trying to do (i have a 64 mb ram 4gb HDD and 233mhz p2 laptop next to me ) although you should be able to get joes window manager or ice WM set up fine on that machine.

i would recommend connochaetOS because its based on arch linux (meaning you can use arches pkgbuilds by editing the text i686 to i586) and its rolling release, supporting modern software

good luck


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