Latest LQ Deal: Complete CCNA, CCNP & Red Hat Certification Training Bundle
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Desktop
User Name
Linux - Desktop This forum is for the discussion of all Linux Software used in a desktop context.


  Search this Thread
Old 08-02-2013, 12:52 PM   #16
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: North Carolina
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 199

Rep: Reputation: 59

Slitaz would work well on that system. One word of warning though the newest version has a couple fairly minor config issues but if you have even basic knowledge of Linux you wont have any problem sorting them out.
Old 08-03-2013, 08:34 AM   #17
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Gentoo, Slackware, LFS
Posts: 2,248
Blog Entries: 8

Rep: Reputation: 235Reputation: 235Reputation: 235
My first 256mb system ran well with my first Gentoo and Slackware install actually.
Old 08-03-2013, 09:11 AM   #18
Registered: Jul 2007
Distribution: Slackware 14
Posts: 237
Blog Entries: 8

Rep: Reputation: 59
Try playing with DSL some more, it is perfect what you described. Installing it can be tricky sometimes but its manageable.
Old 08-06-2013, 06:13 PM   #19
Registered: Aug 2008
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD, others periodically
Posts: 512

Rep: Reputation: 139Reputation: 139
I have Slackware on a Thinkpad with a 550MHz Celeron and 512MB RAM using XFCE. Runs fine. Ran fine with 256 though admitedly the GUI was a bit sluggish.
Old 08-22-2013, 06:58 PM   #20
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2013
Location: The Netherlands
Distribution: Linux Mint Cinnamon
Posts: 15

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
DEBIAN or Crunch Bang! linux.
Old 08-25-2013, 01:31 AM   #21
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2008
Posts: 8

Rep: Reputation: 0
For an old computer

For an old computer try Puppy 3
The later versions tend to use a little more ram.
If you can upgrade memory to 512Mb then try Linux Mint 9
The later versions tend to use more ram

For a good list of many Linux Distros and details about them take a look at
Old 08-25-2013, 01:59 AM   #22
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Australia
Distribution: Debian Wheezy, Jessie, Sid/Experimental, playing with LFS.
Posts: 2,900

Rep: Reputation: 636Reputation: 636Reputation: 636Reputation: 636Reputation: 636Reputation: 636
Originally Posted by andhrooy View Post
For an old computer try Puppy 3
The later versions tend to use a little more ram.
If you can upgrade memory to 512Mb then try Linux Mint 9
The later versions tend to use more ram

For a good list of many Linux Distros and details about them take a look at
Do not try LinuxMint 9 unless this machine will never, ever, be connected to the internet or have a USB device from someone else conencted to it. LinuxMint 9 is old and is not supported.
Old 08-28-2013, 04:35 PM   #23
Senior Member
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Minnesota, US
Distribution: Fedora, Linux Mint, Ubuntu
Posts: 1,571

Rep: Reputation: 349Reputation: 349Reputation: 349Reputation: 349
An older version of Puppy Linux should work fine.
Old 08-29-2013, 05:47 AM   #24
Registered: Nov 2011
Location: Australia
Distribution: Arch, LFS
Posts: 166

Rep: Reputation: 37
Get a copy of the debian net install disc and install a minimal system, nothing but the base system. Then install xorg and openbox. On my test system, it's running < 100mb of ram.
Old 08-29-2013, 09:42 AM   #25
Gullible Jones
Registered: Apr 2011
Posts: 142

Rep: Reputation: 10
Debian or Slackware, or something derived from one of them. Ubuntu Server would also work for a minimal system. Xfce should be slow but usable, Openbox or such should be a bit faster; WMII or such would be even better. OTOH Fluxbox versions prior to 1.3.5 should be avoided due to performance bugs. I've run Salix (13.37, with Xfce) on a Pentium II Thinkpad with 192 MB of RAM; it's sluggish, but but works fine for text editing and light browsing (using Opera).

If possible I'd recommend using CLI programs as much as you can, since they're lighter on memory and CPU. Midnight Commander in particular is a great console file manager. Decline GTK2 and Qt4 applications when possible, and avoid GTK3 ones. Qt4 applications should be usable, if you set the theme to something sensible in QtConfig (e.g. Plastique or Win9x, as opposed to the default Oxygen gunk.)

If package management processes, etc. hog CPU and I/O, try using nice and/or ionice to make them more friendly. This is useful even on newer computers. Unlike Windows, Linux attempts to give all processes of a given nice level a more or less equal share of CPUs, which results in worse desktop performance under some loads, especially on single core machines. So, if some background process is not time-critical and can be relegated to lower priority, it's a good idea to explicitly tell the OS that by nicing it. If a program is frequently invoked at high niceness, you could create a wrapper script for it in /usr/local/bin or /usr/local/sbin, so that it gets invoked at that level automatically.

(Don't go overboard with nice levels though. Niceness on Linux is purely relative, and too much niceness can cause priority inversion; it's better to nice things only one or two levels up, AFAIK.)

On recentish distros you could look into using zram, to create a compressed swap device in RAM. This may or may not be helpful; the faster swap space allows your RAM to be used more effectively, but the CPU overhead may be significant on very slow machines. I found it to be quite useful on the Pentium II though.

Also, if the video card is weak, I'd strongly recommend disabling opaque window resizing. Continuous widget redraws are tough on old CPUs; disabling opaque resize was the single biggest performance improvement on the Pentium II.

Hope that helps!


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
Linux for older computer Salty9 Linux - Software 5 08-06-2009 07:11 PM
which linux version to use with and older computer kf6zqq Linux - Newbie 5 05-26-2008 12:46 AM
Best linux boot from CD for older computer? cranston Linux - Newbie 5 02-29-2004 04:32 PM
Linux on an Older Computer Chijtska Linux - Distributions 5 02-23-2002 12:05 PM
Linux on Older Computer orty Linux - Newbie 3 01-18-2001 02:53 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Desktop

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:36 PM.

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