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Old 11-24-2004, 05:05 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 64

Rep: Reputation: 15
Looking for a small Linux distro...

I'm about to inherit a very old Pentium 166, 32MB ram that my girlfriend does not want to put to waste. I told her it would make a great Linux box because there are several Linux distros that it can handle.

Alas, I only know DamnSmallLinux, FeatherLinux, and Morphix. I'd like to have a mostly complete Linux distro with a GUI (I'm a GUI whore, don't give me console only distros, please) and so far Morphix looks like a winner. I'd like opinions from the experts though. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I'll mostly be doing browsing, FTPing, some image viewing possibly and playing music (XMMS can handle that just fine, methinks). Currently I'm a fan of FluxBox but XFCE looks like it would suit my tastes better (I've yet to check it out though...)

I have no knowledge of installing desktop environments but if I can have a good distro and someone teach me a very simple and easy way to install FluxBox/XFCE (or any other simple and quick desktop environment) on it, I'd be eternally grateful. Otherwise just recommend me already packaged small distros with FluxBox, etc. and I'll check em out.

Ready and easy-install distros are much preferred, however I'm not too shy to experiment if it would really make it worthwhile.

Help? Thanks in advance!

Last edited by p3ngu!n; 11-24-2004 at 05:42 PM.
Old 11-24-2004, 07:55 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: old village
Distribution: android, BSD, CentOS, Ubuntu
Posts: 221

Rep: Reputation: 30
man... learn console...
floppyfw.. or zipslack, but you -have- to get on some console... that's really the way to go with slower boxen... i have a pentium 120 that runs floppyfw for my router.. and a ppro 180 for my mp3 server... do it some.. and you'll thank me for it..
console. seriously.
check out O'Reilly UNIX in a nutshell.. for some command help.. it's like a bible.
Old 11-24-2004, 08:08 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Distribution: Slackware and Ubuntu
Posts: 47

Rep: Reputation: 15
slax is good, it is based on slackware 10, and it comes with KDE 3.3.0, and fluxbox.
To install, use fdisk to partition your hard drive, then run slax-install to install it. The 180mb image can fit on an 8cm CD.
Old 11-24-2004, 09:06 PM   #4
Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 64

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Wow, slax seems very good! I'll be checking it out, thanks!
Old 11-25-2004, 01:26 AM   #5
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Windsor, ON, CA
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 740

Rep: Reputation: 32
Slax is great, it's the only live cd I use because the minicdrw's fit so nicely in my wallet And it uses VESA as it's vid. driver, which works on virtually any PC.
Old 11-26-2004, 09:26 AM   #6
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 118

Rep: Reputation: 15
I'll agree slax is a good choice.

You need a light weight window manager rather than a full blown DE. Slax uses fluxbox so this fits the bill nicely.

Hang on wait a minute the requirements of slax are :


30 MB to boot slax.
64 MB to run Xwindow with fluxbox (guifast)
128 MB to run Xwindow with KDE (gui or guisafe)

therfore you would be stuck with the console only as you only have 32MB of RAM

You should be Ok with Damn Small Linux though.


Old 11-26-2004, 09:43 AM   #7
Post Modern
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: Fedora Core, RH, Mandrake, Xandros, Knoppix
Posts: 110

Rep: Reputation: 15
Try this one---

You might want to check out this link:

Old 11-29-2004, 12:36 PM   #8
Senior Member
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: slack what ever
Posts: 1,007

Rep: Reputation: 168Reputation: 168
I have a IBM 350c 486-25MHZ 16MB ram 200MB HDD and it runs slack 4.0
with X and mwm as the window manager ( no GUI ) it can also run netscape 3.0 (from mu-linux)
works fine for reading documentation and learning programming C I also have slack 9.0 running on a machine like you discribe and it runs kde faster than it runs win95 what matters most is the hard drive space so what distro you can run depends on how much space you have

Last edited by rob.rice; 11-29-2004 at 01:17 PM.
Old 11-29-2004, 04:21 PM   #9
Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Mepis, Ubuntu, Slackity slack
Posts: 159

Rep: Reputation: 30
have you ever tried damn small?
Old 12-01-2004, 03:08 AM   #10
Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 113

Rep: Reputation: 15
I was somewhat impressed with Byzantineos, not sure if that'll fit the bill for you as I'm a noob but none the less it was an impressive little OS for the size. Plus as a live CD you can pull the cd-rom out, nice feature if you're just looking for a computer to browse with. I would assume you could boot it up, pull the cd and run it until you were forced to shut down again. Also, more ram on eBay should cost more then $5-$10, would be a good investment.



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