Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions
User Name
Linux - Distributions This forum is for Distribution specific questions.
Red Hat, Slackware, Debian, Novell, LFS, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora - the list goes on and on... Note: An (*) indicates there is no official participation from that distribution here at LQ.


  Search this Thread
Old 06-29-2006, 12:35 PM   #1
Registered: May 2006
Location: Atlanta
Distribution: WinXP, Ubuntu
Posts: 64

Rep: Reputation: 15
Good Distro for old hardware

Currently I am using the latest version of DSL (3.01 i think) and I want to try something new.

I have an older machine, a Pentium II 266MHz with 128MB of RAM. My primary drive is a 1GB and I have a 650MB slave.

I dont like running Live CDs, they are too slow and you cant do that much with them. So I am looking for something that has a hard drive installation option. Also, it would be good if it was a Debain based distro. Im still kinda new to Linux, and all I have used so far is Debain based distros (DSL, Ubuntu, Debain, dyne:bolic, knoppix)

What I mainly use this computer for is graphics (GIMP), web browsing, and chat.

Any help or sujestions would be great

thanks a lot
Old 06-29-2006, 12:45 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Somewhere on the String
Distribution: Debian Wheezy (x86)
Posts: 6,094

Rep: Reputation: 281Reputation: 281Reputation: 281
If you want to stick with a Debian based distro, why not just use Debian? Do a base install (i.e. no gui or any extras -- I think it takes up 200MB or so) and then build a lightweight desktop on top of it. I actually have a full KDE-base running on a Celeron 400MHz (which is comparable to your P266) and it only uses 50MB of RAM. I trim that in about half when I switch to icewm...
Old 06-29-2006, 01:43 PM   #3
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Malta
Distribution: Debian Sid
Posts: 858

Rep: Reputation: 45
It might be just me but I was unable to run Knoppix or installl Debian on a P1, 233MHz,128MB, 8GB HDD.

They both just stop while booting.
Old 06-29-2006, 07:50 PM   #4
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2006
Location: Austria
Distribution: Ubuntu 12.10
Posts: 1,142

Rep: Reputation: 49
.I liked xubuntu quite a bit. I installed it on my old 400mhz pc for a friend who fried his pc.
The last linux I ran with that pc was suse 9.3... no big suprise, but Xubuntu ran signifficantly faster.

Last edited by oskar; 06-29-2006 at 08:00 PM.
Old 06-29-2006, 08:40 PM   #5
Registered: May 2006
Location: Atlanta
Distribution: WinXP, Ubuntu
Posts: 64

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
The Ubuntu stuff uses Gnome, and I dont have enough hard drive space for Gnome. And I need something already all done. Like I said, Im a noob to Linux. I have tried that with Debian, and I have no idea wtf im doing. I can get the WM installed, but then it will boot into the WM and I wont be able to do anything (no icons or menus).

And how much does KDE slow an older computer down?
Old 06-29-2006, 11:28 PM   #6
Registered: May 2004
Location: USA
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 415

Rep: Reputation: 85
Take a look at Zenwalk - it's based on Slackware but comes with Xfce4:
Old 06-30-2006, 12:07 AM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 12

Rep: Reputation: 0
Feather Linux

Flash Linux





Old 06-30-2006, 11:13 AM   #8
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2006
Location: Austria
Distribution: Ubuntu 12.10
Posts: 1,142

Rep: Reputation: 49
Originally Posted by broknindarkagain
The Ubuntu stuff uses Gnome
No, Ubuntu uses Gnome. Kubuntu uses KDE and Xubuntu uses Xfce which is very lightweight.
Why I would choose Xubuntu is because you get a very well maintained distro - all ubuntu packages work with xubuntu, and most debian packages work too. It's ubuntu, simply with another desktop enviroment that was optimized for old hardware. And most of the things that go for ubuntu, are the same for Xubuntu, so you will have a very nice support group. Vector or Feather linux might be great, but if you run into distro-specific problems, you're more likely to have to solve it on your own.

of course, any distro would do. Just install it with minimal graphical enviroment, or none, and then install a light desktop like WindowMaker, Fluxbox, Xfce...
Though, if you don't have much experience with the linux command line, you won't have much fun that way, and I would still recommend a complete solution.

Last edited by oskar; 06-30-2006 at 11:33 AM.
Old 06-30-2006, 02:00 PM   #9
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Arch, Debian and FreeBSD
Posts: 243

Rep: Reputation: 30
I'd use debian testing, install from netboot cd. And use deborphan, remove unused locales, etc.

Or Arch linux, it boots very fast, and it's easier to get flash,mplayer, etc to work in firefox then in debian. Apart from that it uses a bit more megabytes then debian testing (which might be critical in your case), and is maybe a bit more difficult to control the system settings because there are no gui tools (but for me that makes it easier, because the config files are usually very clear and simple). If you decide to try it, definetaly look at the wiki on their website which helps you to configure:

As desktop I'd use icewm.

Maybe this is an interesting article for you:


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
Is FreeBSD a server distro or a desktop distro with good server capatabilities? matthew5 *BSD 16 06-06-2006 03:11 PM
A good distro for a beginner running old hardware? obelxi Linux - Distributions 10 03-22-2005 02:53 AM
Does tour distro has good enough hardware recognition?, Tell me! carrie Linux - Distributions 0 10-11-2004 01:54 AM
Good distro for older hardware? Luke727 Linux - Hardware 1 04-29-2004 05:40 PM
Is there any one good hardware setup? .300WSM Linux - Newbie 4 10-08-2003 01:00 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:15 AM.

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
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration