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Old 04-04-2018, 05:55 PM   #1
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Best distro to use with AMD Athlon XP 3000+ processor

I am a complete newcomewr to Linux and would appreciate anyt and all help in choosing which distro to use to update my old
windows XP machine. My Pc is a home made machine my brothewr built using a Biostar M7NCD Pro mainboard with an AMD Athlon XP 3000+ processor. I have 3 gigabytes of PC 3200 memory and an ATI Radeon 9800 XT video card. My main concern with this machine is that a growing number of programs will not install or run under Windows including most web browsers, AVG anti-virus, and Adobe reader. The problem seems to be my AMD processor which lacks support for the SSE 2 instrucion set. While there a number of lightweight distros thast should work, I am having a hard time finding any information about their need for SSE 2. I am willing to set up a custom installation if needed but will need detailed instructions as I have not used Liunux before.
Old 04-05-2018, 08:56 AM   #2
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Location: Saint Paul, MN, USA
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Unless I mis-read the specs, you have a 32-bit CPU. That limits your choices. The link below is a bit old (2016) but it talks about 32-bit alternatives. I checked one, Fedora, and they still supply 32-bit versions.

You may need to try a few of those suggestions, following the installation instructions, to find something satisfactory for you.

Even though I have installed Linux for a number of years, I still expect to need time to install more than once to account for errors I make.

If you live in an area with an active Linux user group, they sometimes have install fests where in-person help is provided to get you started.

Good luck ... cheers, makyo
Old 04-05-2018, 09:34 AM   #3
Mill J
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I have run a similar pc that's even older/less powerful(512mb RAM), Some distros I'd try:

Puppy: runs good and you can install alongside XP without even repartitioning

AntiX: a great slim distro similar to puppy but Debian based and a little more full featured.

Slitaz: extremely small and functional.

Salix(Openbox version): A little more advanced but still runs great on old hardware.

Debian(lxde): actually runs super good on old machines and I'd recommend you start here.

There is of course no harm in trying Ubuntu, Mint, Manjaro, etc but these will likely run slower.

Let us know what work for you
Old 04-05-2018, 12:58 PM   #4
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Firefox works without SSE2, but only up to version 52. Some Linux distros will have recompiled it with the SSE2 requirement removed, though. I'm not sure of any other browser that still works.

You certainly don't need a distro with a bare window manager like AntiX or Slitaz, as suggested in the last post. My even older Thinkpad has a 1.6GHz Pentium M and runs Xubuntu, if rather sedately. Any distro listed at Distrowatch as suitable for i386 or i486 architecture should do, with the Xfce desktop: Xubuntu, Salix, Vector, MX, Lite, Mint.
Old 04-09-2018, 08:47 AM   #5
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Or you just don't limit yourself to Linux.


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