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-   -   Best Distro for Pent. Classic, 64MB, 6GB HD (

funaroma 11-28-2004 09:30 PM

Best Distro for Pent. Classic, 64MB, 6GB HD
We have a Pentium Classic 233Mhz PC with 64MB RAM and a 6gb hard drive.

I would like to install a distro of Linux on this machine so that the kids can do the following:

1. Browse the web (firefox, if possible). Would like to be able to specify which websites they are allowed to visit.

2. Use an email app

3. Possibly use AOL instant messenger (i'd like to log the conversations... any tips there as well?)

4. Word processing, possibly using openoffice? Would like to be able to print to a printer connected to the network via Linksys wireless print server unit, if possible.

5. The machine has a Linksys wireless PCI card, so I'd like to keep that if possible.

6. Support separate logins for each of the three girls, so they have their own space/file repository

I tried RedHat 9 with GNOME, but it's painfully slow. This does not have to be a blazing fast machine, but should not crawl, either.

We were running Windows98 on this machine very well, except that the kids always find a way to gum it up... and I'd like to expose them to a new way of computing at a young age, if possible, too. I'm guessing I can lock down a multi-user linux distro for them easier and more reliably than the Win98 solution we had.... where they are able to do just about anything to the box, including screw it up.

I know... best to get a newer machine for them and run a full-blown version of Linux, but one of the selling points of Linux was that it can potentially breathe new life into old hardware... I'd really like to see SOME distro do exactly that for us!

Please offer suggestions with links, if possible, so that I know where I can go to get the distro you're recommending. I've seen muLinux, etc... but again, I wanted to be clear on what we want to use the machine for --- #1 thru #6 above.

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to yet another "what distro should I use" question. (None of the other posts I saw matched my requirements... I *did* look.... I promise! :)

Xolo 11-29-2004 03:27 AM

Perhaps for a Pentium Classic, Vector Linux might be good since it's got a small footprint? not familiar with the distro itself though, no hands on experience with it.. yet ;) But I heard good things about it.

halo14 11-29-2004 11:39 AM

Yes, Vector Linux sounds like the perfect fit...

VectorLinux 4.3 is based off of slackware 10.. They focus on stripping it down and adding a few useful features... such as package managment...

I am running Vector on my old notebook, Toshiba Sattelite 315CDT (200 MHz Pentium, 32 MB RAM, 2.1 GB HD, Linksys WPC11 Wi-Fi card) and it runs respectively well... With the 64 MB of RAM, it would even better...

By default.. Vector 4.3 does not include Firefox, but rather the full Mozilla... which includes email.. you can use "vecpkg" to download and install Firefox though.. it defaults to version 0.8 but you can download 1.0 from the firefox website and install it easily... i quickly did that and removed big 'ole Mozilla... I think you would be very please with the distro... Here are how it fits your needs:

1. Firefox is available for download and simple install..

2. Includes Mozilla mail with the suite.. as well as Sylpheed which i have grown to like quite a bit... very small and fast...

3. Includes GAIM for instant messaging which I'm sure you know supports a wide variety of protocols, including AIM

4. OpenOffice is not included, because it is bloated. AbiWord is, however, included and works very well for general word processing and text formatting.

5. Nearly all *NIX based Operating systems should be able to use the Linksys card... because they use the Tulip driver.

6. Obviously you know linux supports multiple logons.

Now, since you use Fedora, it may seem different at first after install.. it doesn't boot directly to GUI... but setting it to do so is simple. You will boot up to the login prompt, at which point you will login as root. and the issue "passwd" to set a root password. Then run "vasm" and use the appropriate menu selection to set it to boot into X by default...

Vector does not come with GNOME or KDE, rather it comes with FluxBox, IceWM, and XFCE... I really like FluxBox on Vector, as it uses the ROX file manager to display icons on the desktop. Fluxbox is very fast and lightweight. IceWM is cool too, and resembles Windows9x with the toolbar across the bottom.

I highly recommend you check it out... If you don't like it, you can always install something else. (BTW, if you'd like to see FluxBox w/ icons at work, download and test DamnSmallLinux... As it's default desktop is also Fluxbox with icons...

Oh yeah, be sure to use non-SOHO vector.. the SOHO edition does include KDE 3.3 and thus is much more bloated... I would not recommend trying to run KDE on that box...

phillfri 11-30-2004 11:01 PM

Try Beatrix Linux. This should run on your box. You will have to add the wireless yourself, unless you want to wait till after the first of the year. They're planning on adding it - just no set date yet. This is a Debian based live CD with Gnome windows manager and a hard drive installation script that you can run from the menu. Nice little package: OO, Evolution 2.0.2, Gaim, Firefox, networking, Samba, etc.

SonoranFun 12-01-2004 03:59 AM

I'm going to second BeatrIX, it's a scaled down version of Ubuntu, that's what I'm running. I tried most of the small distros today, from Vector, Slax, DSL, Feather, Byzantineos and a few others. If I were going to to run any of them I would pick Ubuntu as I'm running it but if size matters I would surely pick BeatrIX. After that the only one of those that really impressed me was Slax and I intend to use it in the future.

Good luck,

halo14 12-01-2004 09:19 AM

I would discourage against using anything running GNOME, on that 233 with 64 MB of RAM, I assure you, you will NOT be impressed. It will run, or walk rather, but trying to pull any kind of speed out of GNOME with that hardware would be like trying to bang Paris Hilton and not get a venereal disease... I am going to again push for Vector 4.3. I didn't really care for 4.0 either, but I do really like 4.3.

Just try it.

reddazz 12-01-2004 09:29 AM

GNOME and KDE would be really sluggish on a system with just 64mb memory. I would suggest using fluxbox or xfce.

phillfri 12-01-2004 10:48 AM

reddazz - Beatrix forums show a couple comments from people with machines comparable to that of the original questioner. They claim that it runs quite well on the smaller boxes.

reddazz 12-01-2004 01:12 PM

I've just noticed they have released a new version, I may download it and try it.

jagibbs 12-02-2004 09:44 PM

I run Debian Sarge on my Pentium Pro (200MHz) with 64MB of ram. Not too shabby. The nice thing is that since it only installs the kernel you get to pick and choose the X server, windows manager, and apps. The only forseeable problem is if you want to run Openoffice or gimp...they'll run sloooow...but that's not because of the distro, but because they eat up over 100MB of ram each when running. I'd suggest at least 128MB of RAM for Openoffice.

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