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Old 09-01-2005, 05:27 AM   #1
twitch89
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Registered: Jul 2005
Distribution: suse 9.3
Posts: 6

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distro advice for p3 500 w/ 512mb ram


im currently looking for a distro that would run fast and reliably on a relatively old computer (p3 550, 512mb ram) hdd space is not an issue. I need a distro that is fairly easy to use.. don't mind editing the occasional config file as long as i don't spend all my time doing it.

It would be mainly used for the web and IM as well as music (decent program 4 mp3s?)

As well as a distro, im looking for a good, fast, cool looking window manager. Iv heard alot of good things about fluxbox - does anyone out there have any comments (good and bad) about it?

Specs of the computer:
P3 550mhz
512mb pc133 ram
2 x 20gig hdd, 1 x 40gig - i have about 50 gig free
geforce tnt2 32mb + an older pci card for use with a second monitor (not essential)


Any help/ advice is much apreciated
 
Old 09-01-2005, 06:00 AM   #2
Bruce Hill
HCL Maintainer
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: McCalla, AL, USA
Distribution: Gentoo (all servers at work are openSUSE)
Posts: 6,934

Rep: Reputation: 128Reputation: 128
My 4-year old daughter runs Slackware-10.1 on a AMD k-6 233Mhz box
with 96MB or ram, with part of that shared for video. I didn't install all
that comes with Slack - only about 150MB of apps, because she doesn't
need a lot, and her drive is only 4GB. She runs Fluxbox, and it is about
the fastest of all window managers. It is very customizable, and only
needs about 3MB of ram.

Since drive space is not an issue, just install everything and remove later.
If all you want to do is browse the web, you have several browsers to
choose from. Slackware-current now has Firefox, and Thunderbird, and
Slackware-10.2 will be out any day now. But if you install 10.1 you can
get those apps from http://slackware.it/en/pb/ and install them. For your
IM needs, Slackware comes with GAIM. I am happy using XMMS for my
.mp3 files, though there are other choices.

Hope you become a Slacker. Slackware is about the fastest, most
reliable Linux distribution. It is the oldest, and definitely most stable.
 
Old 09-01-2005, 07:35 AM   #3
twitch89
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Registered: Jul 2005
Distribution: suse 9.3
Posts: 6

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Smile

Ok, Thanks for your advice - it sounds like a great idea.

how is Slackware as far as finding and installing apps?

Many thanks 4 the help
 
Old 09-01-2005, 07:52 AM   #4
Bruce Hill
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: McCalla, AL, USA
Distribution: Gentoo (all servers at work are openSUSE)
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Slackware's pkgtool is very easy to use, and you'll find it easier to install packages with Slackware than any other distro. Slackpacks have a .tgz file extension. The official ones are found at the Slackware Package Browser. There are other, third-party unofficial Slackpacks, but I wouldn't recommend them. If you want some software that's not available from the official Slackware mirrors, I'd suggest you compile from source and either use Checkinstall or learn to write Slackbuild scripts so you can make your own Slackpacks.

Checkinstall is really easy for someone even new to Slackware. You just need a little coaching through setting up the /etc/checkinstallrc file.
 
Old 09-02-2005, 12:51 AM   #5
ferrix
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Ultima, Blag, KateOS, PCLinuxOS, Frugalware
Posts: 216

Rep: Reputation: 31
Slack is good, Vectorlinux is even better It is based on Slackware, but developers have done most of the work involved in turning Slackware installation into useable desktop, so you just have to go through (much simplified) installation and you're good to go. I admit there is nothing Vector does that Slackware couldn't do, it's just this convenience factor.
It comes with several nice light WM's: Fluxbox, IceWM and my personal favourite, XFce4. It will play mp3s out of the box, Firefox is present as well. Slapt-get makes installing programs easy...

I've used a great number of distros, including source-based ones, but recently I've been heading towards simple, reliable systems that Just Work and Vector is right up there.
 
Old 09-02-2005, 01:04 AM   #6
twitch89
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Registered: Jul 2005
Distribution: suse 9.3
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limited?

Might vector be a bit limited compared to slackware? its alot smaller... will it actually run any faster? because thats about all i care about with this choice. And is software instalation as easy as slackware appears to be?

Thanks
 
Old 09-02-2005, 02:55 AM   #7
ferrix
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Ultima, Blag, KateOS, PCLinuxOS, Frugalware
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Rep: Reputation: 31
Vector is limited in the sense their selection of included software is geared towards the goal of providing a lightweight desktop. Slackware is a general-purpose distro; on their installation disks you'll find all kinds of software - desktop, server and who knows what. Vector made the selection for you, so yes, it is smaller. But it is not limited otherwise. Speed? I don't think there is much difference between Vector and Slack, though some people swear Vector feels a bit faster.
As for software installation, I feel Chinaman is a bit of an optimist. Adding simple packages *is* easy in Slack, but once you get to more complicated things you discover pkgtool does not solve dependencies for you - you have to make sure you get all other bits and libraries yourself. Some people call it Slackware's strength - I call it asking me to do the job that the system should do!
Vector is a bit easier in this respect because it comes set up with slapt-get, a tool that does solve dependencies,as long as you stick to the Vector repository, anyhow.
If you need something else, you're back to using pkgtool but then you're not worse off than you were with Slack - remember, Vector *is* Slack, basically.
Have a look at this review for more info: http://madpenguin.org/cms/?m=show&id=4966
(though he talks about the deluxe version - download version doesn't include Gnome or Enlightenment, though you can install them later with slapt-get)

Last edited by ferrix; 09-02-2005 at 02:58 AM.
 
  


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