Which distro should I choose for my 400mhz celeron?
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I have a laptop with very simular configuration, and I am also very new to linux. I have found that laptops can be tricky to find a distro that works right off the disk after about tw months I'm sticky with Debian. Although I havn't worked the kinks out of it yet, it runs the best by far. It installs very little by defalt and did a fine job recognizing my hardware.
Distribution: Laptops: Linux Mint 18 XFCE, Debian Jessie XFCE, NAS: OpenMediaVault
Another vote for Xubuntu 6.10. The XFCE graphical interface is generally "lighter" than KDE/Gnome, and should work better on older/slower hardware. Xubuntu installs very few programs by default, and adding programs is super easy by using the repositories.
Here's a good wiki to get you rolling with Xubuntu. Its written around Ubuntu 6.10, but everything will work in Xubuntu 6.10.
i have ysed FC6 on a simaliar build machene, the 256MB Ram is per GUEST os if you are virtulising...
FC6 runs fine on a low end machine,
when installing, conect to teh internet with a wire (temporarly) and select fedora extras, this wiill alow you to select XFCE4 as a window manager... this is a very easy to use but lightweight WM based on the GTK widget set (gnome style)