I use older boxes to run Slackware 10.2 and KDE 3.4.3.
Box 1 uses a 400 MHz K6-III+ CPU (originally a 233 MHz Pentium MMX) with a FSB of 66 MHz. Box 2 uses a 350 MHz Pentium II Deschutes with a FSB of 100 MHz. Both boxes contain 256 MB of RAM and Seagate Barracuda IV 40 GB hard drives with fluid dynamic bearings (silent). The video card in Box 1 is an old Diamond Stealth 3000 3D with 4 MB of RAM. Box 2 uses a Creative Labs 3Dfx Blaster Banshee AGP video card with 16 MB SGRAM.
As you can see I use some real power house hardware!
Despite all the myths and propaganda you might have read around the web,
KDE responds very well on both boxes, and just a wee bit faster on box 2 because of the AGP card. Neither box is a fast as my NT4 Workstation OS, but the difference is slight and not worth raising a stink.
When Slackware 11. 0 is official I will find the time to update, including KDE to 3.5.4, which by all reports I have read is slightly faster than the previous 3.4.x versions.
Coincidentally, a few days ago, out of sheer curiosity, I wondered how little RAM I could use to run my current installation of Slackware. I temporarily added a kernel parameter to my boot loader menu (I use grub), and modified the existing memory to simulate 16 MB (kernel parameter: mem=16m
). Slackware booted fine and just as fast as always. I then tempted fate and started X/KDE. Took much longer to load, and opening apps took a long time, but by golly, everything still ran.
Based upon my experience, your hardware will run Slackware 10.2/11.0 just fine. Probably will run KDE just fine too, although I recommend bumping the RAM to 256 MB if your client intends to keep X/KDE running all the time. You did not specify the video card you use, but as you see from my boxes, even an early generation 3D video card with only 4 MB of RAM will serve well. You are in better shape if you have AGP in that PII box as I do with my PII box.
run on your hardware with the current version of Slackware. Don't worry about running older versions of Slackware, although sometimes that is a good strategy for some people.
As your clients want some basic GUI tools to configure and maintain the box, KDE provides many of those tools. kuser
is easier on the inexperienced computer person to maintain user accounts than the command line. On the other hand, if the client wants a server that does not need to dedicate resources to X, learning a handful of useful command line commands will serve them well. If all your client needs to do is configure users, the Slackware version of adduser
is a script that tries to walk people through the necessary elements.
Slackware is amazingly fast on both of my boxes when I am not using X/KDE. Yet, if your customer is totally command line resistant, then install KDE and provide them a simple instruction card that explains how to log in at a command line, type startx
, to run X/KDE and so they can use apps like kuser
. Then on the back of the card provide instructions to exit X/KDE, so the box need not waste resources. The GUI person will appreciate you adding the logout
button to the Kicker task bar so they need not remember "horrific" operations like pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del
to pop-up the KDE exit dialog box.
Of course, you can install other GUI desktops, but I cannot speak with any certainty of the various apps and tools that will be supplied. KDE does provide a lot of those tools.
BTW, regardless of the GUI you install for your client, do download a copy of the FreeType
package that has the ByteCode Interpreter
enabled. IIRC, Alien Bob provides such an updated package at his wiki. The stock Slackware does not do this
, but adding this modified package dramatically improves font displays. You can find the core MS True Type fonts on the web and for a server those fonts will be sufficient for those needs.
Also be sure to manually enable DMA on your hard drives, if the drive does not auto-configure itself to provide that (use hdparm
I hope this helps!