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Old 04-06-2014, 10:46 PM   #1
benali72
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Rolling Release Distro for Older Computers?


Hi,

I have a bunch of old computers ... mainly early dual core machines from 2006 and 2007 (like AMD 64x2 4200+, 3800+, Intel 5200 Dual Core, etc).

My question is: am I taking a chance if I install a rolling release distro like PCLinuxOS on them?

My concern is that I'd be continually updating the OS on older computers for which the developers may not have tested their new stuff on. Versus, if I go with standard-release distros, I can always roll back a release upgrade if it goes bad.

What do you think? Is a rolling release distro riskier for older equipment.

Thanks for your feedback.
 
Old 04-06-2014, 11:10 PM   #2
JWJones
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I would put Arch and a nice light WM on that kind of hardware, perhaps cwm, herbstluft, echinus, or euclid. Or Slackware -current, or LinuxBBQ (based on Debian sid).
 
Old 04-07-2014, 04:12 AM   #3
Drakeo
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Quote:
Rolling Release Distro for Older Computers?
Rolling Release Distro for any computer can lead to update breakage. Why not a stable Long term system there is a lot less admin work. As for older equipment running generic drivers I really do not see a problem. problem I have is why roll out a release when it just a cycle. And we all know what it is like when a bad cycle happens.
Roll the dice.

Last edited by Drakeo; 04-07-2014 at 09:01 AM.
 
Old 04-07-2014, 04:15 AM   #4
Germany_chris
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I don't have an issue maintaining a rolling release on my '08 laptop. While it's not as old as yours it's still C2D and classic graphics.
 
Old 04-07-2014, 08:58 AM   #5
snowpine
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Rolling release is always taking a risk, but the risk is lower if you are using hardware with good Linux-kernel support.
 
Old 04-07-2014, 01:11 PM   #6
John VV
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for older hardware i would use a long life distro
something like CentOS 6.5
( i use rpm based distros so...)

but cent ONLY supports the curent minor version

or ScientificLinux they DO have security backports to older versions , just like RHEL has

or
install Debian stable on them
 
Old 04-07-2014, 06:35 PM   #7
jefro
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Those don't sound too bad. The ram amount would be my concern. I'd think any current distro with a lightweight window manager should work.
 
Old 04-08-2014, 12:44 PM   #8
DavidMcCann
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I use older computers: this desktop I built in 2005 and my laptop dates from 2002, and I seldom get problems with hardware when testing new distros: e.g. in the last couple of years I've only had video problems with Manjaro, Peppermint, OpenSUSE, ROSA, and Ubuntu.

The crucial thing is memory. If you want a rolling release, with 256MB you could run Arch – best installed with ArchBang or Bridge — and with 512, Semplice (based on Debian Unstable).
 
Old 04-08-2014, 06:50 PM   #9
teckk
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My 2 cents on Arch.

Arch will run fine on older machines than you have. I would not call those machines meager. I have Arch running with fluxbox on a P4 2.0Ghz machine with 512MB RAM. It doesn't swap, not with firefox and libre running. It needs to be at least a i686 for Arch, that would be a PII.

Read the Arch news before you blindly update. That will keep most problems from happening. Arch has a very good wiki, a forum with a knowledgeable userbase, one of the best package managers IMHO, a user build system (ABS), and a Arch User Repository (AUR). You will have to administer an Arch machine yourself.

Quote:
My concern is that I'd be continually updating the OS on older computers for which the developers may not have tested their new stuff on
There are two types of packages, 64 bit and 32 bit.

Some of the problems you are most likely to see on a rolling release is, kernel-nvidia-mesa type problems. Browse through the Arch forums. You will have to keep an Arch machine fairly up to date.
 
Old 04-08-2014, 06:54 PM   #10
rokytnji
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And my 2 cents. I have AntiX 11 still running strong on a Emachine 3507 Desktop Tower using Sid repos.

To each their own.
 
Old 04-09-2014, 11:27 AM   #11
DavidMcCann
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Ah yes, I'd forgotten AntiX. It set's itself up to use Debian Stable, but you can easily switch to Testing or Unstable by just altering the repository.

Personally, if you have 1GB, then I'd say your original idea of PCLinuxOS is best. The Mate version will run in 512 and is a good implementation. Arch and Debian Tsting/Unstable are, to my mind, hobbyist distros, but PCLinuxOS is intended for the average home user and so tries to be rolling-release without being bleeding-edge.
 
Old 04-11-2014, 01:33 PM   #12
benali72
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Thanks, everyone for your responses and advice. I probably should have mentioned that even though my machines are older, all have plenty of memory (either 1 or 2 G each), so memory is not an issue. I'm mainly concerned about stability and not getting messed up by a release upgrade. It sounds like with these goals avoiding a rolling release is probably appropriate. Thanks.
 
Old 04-13-2014, 04:36 PM   #13
RockDoctor
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I run Fedora Rawhide as the primary distro on my AMD 64x2 5400+. Not really a rolling release, but it doesn't break too often. I have to admit, I do keep an older, known-to-work distro on that machine just in case...
 
Old 04-13-2014, 04:48 PM   #14
John VV
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a warning to those using "rawhide" that DO NOT already know this

"Rawhide" is the NEXT version of fedora
right now that is fedora 21 ALPHA
21 beta is not yet out

THEN and this is a big "and then"
and then once fedora 21 hits Release Candidate status
rawhide will MOVE to Fedora 22 PRE ALPHA

so

right before 21 is released
"rawhide install" will be a "Frankenstein" mix of 3 THREE versions
fedora 20,21,and early 22

if you want to support that -- go right ahead it is YOUR computer
but be forewarned !!!
 
  


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