LinuxQuestions.org
Visit the LQ Articles and Editorials section
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Puppy
User Name
Password
Puppy This forum is for the discussion of Puppy Linux.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 02-13-2007, 04:27 AM   #1
Darkelve
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2004
Location: Belgium
Distribution: OpenSUSE 10.2
Posts: 14

Rep: Reputation: 0
Puppy Linux good candidate for old laptop?


I'm looking for a distribution that runs okay on an old laptop, Compaq Presario 128mb ram and -I think- 600 or 800Mzh or so PIII processor. Hard drive 20 GB or so. Runs Windows ME right now, but no one uses it anymore (probably partly *because* of the WinME... :-x ).

It has a PCMCIA card, Intel Pro/Wireless 2011(B). I am guessing there are not native drivers for it yet, which probably means the distro should have easy ndiswrapper setup.

Also, it should be relatively small, fast (especially boot time), and have an easy to use package manager with automatic dependency handling.

Should run preferrably KDE or XFCE or -less preferrably- Gnome. Other DE's okay too, but I don't like too spartan ones like Fluxbox.

Doesn't have to have the latest-and-greatest packages, but does have fairly recent and stable ones (e.g. Firefox 1.5). Should have easy updates.

Is Puppy a good distro for such purposes?
 
Old 02-13-2007, 05:08 AM   #2
alan_h404
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: watford UK
Distribution: Mepis 6.0
Posts: 28

Rep: Reputation: 15
Yes Puppy is nice. But it is very minimal indeed. Also consider Xubuntu.
 
Old 02-13-2007, 05:13 AM   #3
Darkelve
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2004
Location: Belgium
Distribution: OpenSUSE 10.2
Posts: 14

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_h404
Yes Puppy is nice. But it is very minimal indeed. Also consider Xubuntu.
Yes, Xubuntu is on my list too. And Slax.

One of the most important things, at least at the start, will probably be easy setup of network drivers through ndiswrapper.

After that, the most important is speed: speed in bootup and speed when starting and running applications. As for which applications, I'm pretty flexible about it as long as it has some form of GUI. I mean I don't mind running seamonkey, but I wouldn't want to run lynx.

Last edited by Darkelve; 02-13-2007 at 05:17 AM.
 
Old 02-13-2007, 05:32 AM   #4
alan_h404
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: watford UK
Distribution: Mepis 6.0
Posts: 28

Rep: Reputation: 15
Puppy is very very quick at booting up - it does look a bit "windows 3.1" you know... but it does have some excellent "wizards" for setting up graphics cards, networking etc etc, and I'm sure it has a wireless wizard too, even though I haven't tried it. More than that, all the config directories (such as /etc for example) have excellent "readmes" in them which tell you exactly what's in there and what you can edit. I also love the "disc mounter and viewer" program - very convenient. The "posher" distros should learn a lot from Puppy about the user friendliness. Also I think there's a fat or "pizza" version of Puppy which is larger and intended for installation on hard drives. This definitely has firefox included. Most of the main programs are available as additional .pups for easy installation. I've also manged to install things from source on there too (the wiki and forums are excellent, and there's a real sense of pioneering spirit amongst the developers). However you will get far more choice of software with Xubuntu. It has a much stronger "base" than puppy, there are more users, and obviously more help (someone is likely to have solved any problems you may have).

Maybe you can try a boot CD of each first, and see if you can get the wireless going.
 
Old 02-13-2007, 12:19 PM   #5
cherriepuppy
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2006
Location: cherry willingham UK
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 0
hi been using puppy on a Toshiba p2 300Mhz laptop for about 6 months now, had a bit of a problem getting the graphics to work correctly but that seems a common problem with toshiba, the standar puppy comes with Seamonkey web browser but it is easy to install firefox if you want, the installed window manager is jwm but again there are easy package installs for ICE WM & xfce.

hope this helps

cherriepuppy
 
Old 02-14-2007, 05:27 AM   #6
Darkelve
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2004
Location: Belgium
Distribution: OpenSUSE 10.2
Posts: 14

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Hi,

I tried it yesterday. It does boot up really fast. I was surprised since I first tried it on my main desktop (fairly powerful machine) and it took a while. But when I tried it on the laptop, it did load very fast for that kind of laptop.

The thing that really wow-ed me, is how it handled just about every file format I could throw at it, be it avi, wmv, doc, mp3, ... and that it manages to do an awesome job at providing functionality with very light-weight programs. On the laptop there were some drawbacks, which I'm guessing are due to the fact that the laptop only has 128MB Ram. When trying to fire up Seamonkey, it took ages and still nothing happened. Then I looked at the processes with "Top", and saw 4 or 5 different seamonkey-bin processes all consuming 14MB of Ram. So I killed (killall seamonkey-bin) it from the terminal. But even so, there was a lot of disc activity when doing certain things.

And I couldn't get a network connection, even though the Intel Pro/Wireless 2011B PCMCIA card was detected and the driver orinoco_cs was loaded. However, I think you need the Spectrum24 driver for this as explained on this page: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/schuster/wlan.htm .

I didn't have much time to test it, and it took a long time for certain things to load, so I had to "give up" early. However, I'm going to try again sometime.

I'm guessing that for my PCMCIA card, first I have to unload the orinoco_cs driver (wrong driver for this card type I suspect), load the spectrum24 one, and issue the command "iwconfig rate [auto|fixed]" , is that right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cherriepuppy
hi been using puppy on a Toshiba p2 300Mhz laptop for about 6 months now, had a bit of a problem getting the graphics to work correctly but that seems a common problem with toshiba, the standar puppy comes with Seamonkey web browser but it is easy to install firefox if you want, the installed window manager is jwm but again there are easy package installs for ICE WM & xfce.

hope this helps

cherriepuppy

Last edited by Darkelve; 02-14-2007 at 05:29 AM.
 
Old 02-14-2007, 01:47 PM   #7
Kallio
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Finland
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, SalixOS
Posts: 9

Rep: Reputation: 0
Just a few days ago I installed Puppy on the harddrive of a Compaq Armada laptop (PentiumII, 300MHz, 128MB of RAM, 4GB harddrive). I have not used it very much yet, but seems to run ok. The best thing is that I got the wireless network card to work (windows driver + ndiswrapper, which is included as "use a windows driver" option in the network setup wizard). Also the wired pcmcia card works fine.

What I don't understand is that Puppy appears to have eaten up 250MB on the hd - is it supposed to take that much? Anyway, I should probably start another thread with this.

Back to Darkelve's query, as your laptop is a PIII/600-800MhZ, Xubuntu might also run quite smoothly.

Cheers,
Petra
 
Old 04-11-2007, 09:45 AM   #8
w_r_cromwell
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2006
Location: Michigan
Distribution: RedHat9, Core6, Ubuntu5.1
Posts: 41

Rep: Reputation: 18
Hi,

I can't address your question about the wireless networking. But I installed Puppy on a very old, damaged laptop with a P75 and 32M memory. I use the laptop for entering notes about customers and jobs on the road. Even a minimal system like mine gives adequate performance for my needs - and yes it runs X. I use CLI based programs because they *are* much faster, of course. The performance is about the same as with Windows 3.11 on a similar machine. A laptop like yours should have no problems at all. Linux is a good solution to extending the life of very old hardware. I have Fedora Core 6 running on a Server that won't even allow Windows 2000. The Windows CD just laughed derisively and went on strike.

Bill
 
Old 04-22-2007, 11:47 AM   #9
nathan3
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 8

Rep: Reputation: 0
Yes, Puppy works very well on a moderately older laptop. Puppy 2.15 CE installed easily on my 366Mhz, 128M Ram Gateway. You also might try Austrumi, a Latvian / English Distro. Tha one does demand an external modem. Both are fast with a small (total 600Meg on the hard-drive) footprint.
 
Old 05-02-2007, 07:20 PM   #10
rufousfelix
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon USA
Distribution: Puppy 2.14, Ubuntu Dapper Drake
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
Puppy vs. Xubuntu

I've used ubuntu on my two ThinkPads for about 18 months and have tried both puppy 2.14 and xubuntu on a 366 MHz ThinkPad.

Installed xubuntu more than a year ago (don't recall version) and used it for a month or so. Yes, it's fast, but also some flaky behavior (the most notable was total disappearance of the menu--a fatal error I understand was fixed). Overall, I was forced to conclude xubuntu is less solid than plain vanilla ubuntu, possibly because the latter has far more people working on it. Xubuntu was far too much trouble for its apparent speed.

On the other hand, puppy 2.14, out-of-the-box, blew me away. Running off a CD with configuration saved out to a USB flashdrive, this puppy takes speed to a new level (rather like my old BeOS in its better days). Moreover, no annoyances, so far. This distro seems conceived to be simple, fast, and bulletproof--some old unix priorities that seem lost these days by those trying to keep up with the bloatware of some other unnamed OS'es. The help menus and wizards are especially well-done (I say that as an ex-technical writer).

So, puppy vs. xubuntu is no contest for me. This puppy runs with the big dogs!
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
puppy linux and puppy.bat livepie22 Puppy 5 11-09-2006 08:02 AM
LXer: Puppy Linux wags tail for $100 OLPC laptop LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 04-07-2006 06:54 PM
Good practices as programmer interview candidate? lowpro2k3 Programming 3 10-21-2005 02:15 PM
a good linux laptop alanalover89 Linux - Newbie 10 04-09-2005 12:20 AM
Good Laptop for Linux? Ephemeral Linux - Hardware 12 11-03-2004 12:02 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:07 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration