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sunpascal 04-02-2006 12:38 AM

Linux for Low-End PC?
 
Hi,

I want to install linux on an old laptop (200mhz, 32mb ram, 2gig hd) and run a small amount of applications on it (web browsing, word processing).

I know about DSL and FeatherLinux, both excellent for this kind of thing. Their install-to-hard-disk features are somewhat limited, so I was thinking about installing debian and and costumizing it.

I need a desktop environment that

1. Is Extremly fast
2. Has a Nice & Easy to use file Manager
3. Desktop Icons

Do you know of a desktop environment that comes with these things?

Fluxbox seems like a good choice, as it is very fast and uses little RAM.
It does not come with a file manager and desktop icons by default, though.
I belief this functionality can be added with rox as file manager and idesk for icons. Do you others?

I was also looking at the OpenBox project and Rox Window Manager. Is it possible to install them via apt? I'm not sure, do they have a file manager and desktop icons by default?

Other than that I plan on connecting to the internet using pppoe, run Firefox and Abiword. Are they ok for slow systems?

Alright, all kind of suggestions welcome, but please don't tell me to "just get a new pc" or "to add more RAM".
This is not my primary computer, and it's more to see what it is possible to do with such an old machine.

Thanks,
Pascal

win32sux 04-02-2006 12:46 AM

i don't think any of the popular light window managers come with a file manager... if any of them do, let me know cuz i'd like to take a look myself... personally, i use xfce as a window mananger and quasi-desktop environment... it does come with a file manager, but it sucks... i tried rox but i didn't like it either... not sure about the desktop icons, since i haven't ever needed them, but i'm sure there's a way...

http://www.xfce.org/

Ygrex 04-02-2006 01:27 AM

I think Firefox is not very well browser on a slow PCs. Even Opera will be
faster. You can use 'dillo'. Though it's hardly to make it as browser for every
day. It does not display pages properly. But most are displayed good enough. So
you could install both firefox (or opera) and dillo (alas, dillo, as it seems,
is not maintained since its last release of 2003).
Abiword is a good choice, but I'd suggest koffice (or kword), for it has more
capabilities.

mcmillan 04-02-2006 03:13 PM

For light managers I've used xfce and fluxbox, I like the feel of fluxbox, but xfce has a bit more built into. I haven't actually looked at the numbers, but I imagine this also makes it a bit larger. Another major light window that hasn't been mentioned yet is IceWM. As already mentioned pretty much all of these light managers don't use icons without some other program like idesk.

For a file manager I like emelfm2. I've also tried rox and xfe.

For other light programs you might like to check out this thread over at the arch forums.

sunpascal 04-03-2006 07:15 PM

Thanks for your replies.
Firefox is certainly slow, even on fast computers.
Thanks for the link, they have a nice selection of apps.

Apparently the system hangs and firefox never loads.
Is there something a window manager even more basic (faster) than fluxbox?

sunpascal 04-04-2006 12:39 AM

I checked out idesk. It's ok, although it has no easy drag & drop + click configuration, but never mind this is linux not windows.
It seems The DSL chancelog says they used something else for the icons. Anyone know how the icons work in DSL?

mcmillan 04-04-2006 01:48 AM

I don't know about DSL, but I think another option that can get icons is to use rox. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but I remember reading something about it being an option. To be honest I don't really miss icons that much, even with windows and when I used gnome I tended to have very few things on the desktop.

As for other window managers I haven't really used any of them, so I can't really say how any comapre to fluxbox but there's a few options. You can look at the Member's Choice thread for window managers to get some ideas. I think most of the choices are available as stand alone managers.

Ygrex 04-04-2006 03:35 AM

AFAIK drag&drop is never implemented on the WM level, it's left on the application itself. The WM more fast, than fluxbox or even ANYTHING (I am sure it's the fastest WM) is Ion3, but it's VERY different and requires about a week of using before you decide it's a great WM.

If you experience problems with Firefox you could try something else, like Opera or some Gecko-based browser. Opera's best performance but has many other problems. You can look at Galeon. It's like Firefox.

Ygrex 04-04-2006 03:35 AM

AFAIK drag&drop is never implemented on the WM level, it's left on the application itself. The WM more fast, than fluxbox or even ANYTHING (I am sure it's the fastest WM) is Ion3, but it's VERY different and requires about a week of using before you decide it's a great WM.

If you experience problems with Firefox you could try something else, like Opera or some Gecko-based browser. Opera's best performance but has many other problems. You can look at Galeon. It's like Firefox.

sunpascal 04-05-2006 02:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcmillan
To be honest I don't really miss icons that much

so, how else do you start your apps?
By right clicking each time and chosing them from a long list?
Or by typing the name into a shell?

win32sux 04-05-2006 03:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunpascal
so, how else do you start your apps?
By right clicking each time and chosing them from a long list?
Or by typing the name into a shell?

the list isn't long if you have personalized it... :)

as for me, sometimes i right-click and choose from the menu, and sometimes i start apps from an xterm when i want to see if there are any error messages being generated or someting like that...

but most of the time i use the xfce toolbar, which has launchers that you just click to, well, launch your apps... the launchers are kinda like buttons basically... i have launchers for all my main desktop apps in my panel, which basically means firefox, xterm, openoffice.org, gaim, audacious, and gxine... i also installed the keyboard layout switcher and of course there's the shutdown and lock screen buttons...

no need at all for any icons cluttering my desktop... i've also got the toolbar set to auto-hide so that it doesn't show it's face until it's presence is requested...

mikshaw 04-05-2006 10:08 AM

Quote:

Anyone know how the icons work in DSL?
Xtdesk

Quote:

The WM more fast, than fluxbox or even ANYTHING (I am sure it's the fastest WM) is Ion3
No. Just....no. There are several WMs that are much faster than Ion3.

Quote:

so, how else do you start your apps?
Hotkeys!

sunpascal 04-05-2006 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikshaw
No. Just....no. There are several WMs that are much faster than Ion3.

which ones ??

sunpascal 04-05-2006 10:37 AM

yeah, I guess if you have a toolbar you don't really need desktop icons.
Hotkeys sounds good, too. How do you set that up?

btw, does make sense to use kde apps (like kedit) in another wm (i.e. fluxbox) if you want speed?

win32sux 04-05-2006 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunpascal
btw, does make sense to use kde apps (like kedit) in another wm (i.e. fluxbox) if you want speed?

ummm, no... :)


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