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Old 03-04-2005, 12:53 AM   #1
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: delilinux
Posts: 34

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Can I get some recommendations for distros that are good for old machines?

I dont mean P2 old, I mean P133 - 32mb ram old (heck I dont even consider P2s to be old lol).

The only one I've found so far is Deli Linux and I'd like to have other options if they exist.
Every other distro Ive tried simply doesnt support old hardware worth a crap and having only 1 distro to use makes it hit and miss much of the time.

Im collecting old machines to put linux on for a non profit venture (for poor kids and their schools in Nigeria) and need distros with X and sound support.

Oh, and please no suggestions involving linux gymnastics or distros I have to "shoehorn" into a machine only to run slow (there's always winslow95 for that).

Last edited by solarcontrol; 03-04-2005 at 01:14 AM.
Old 03-04-2005, 01:19 AM   #2
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Location: Calif, USA
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Perhaps a hard drive install of Damn Small Linux?
Good Luck.
Old 03-04-2005, 02:37 AM   #3
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: delilinux
Posts: 34

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Thanks but Ive used DSL already and it doesnt recognize old hardware any better than knoppix or feather (namely ISA cards and old monitors).
Old 03-04-2005, 03:22 AM   #4
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Location: Australia
Distribution: Mandriva/Slack - KDE
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32 meg ram is a killer... I have mandrake 9.2 on a p150 (originally) here but it was better when I went to 64 meg ram. It's running KDE in a desktop system and not real quick, but okay once you trim the gui a little. It does mail and mozilla and simple stuff but OOo is too much...
Old 03-04-2005, 10:53 AM   #5
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...doesnt recognize old hardware...(namely ISA cards and old monitors).
You are right. I have seen DSL fail with monitors with low resolution.
I wonder if a post to the DSL forum could possibly bring an easy resolution to those problems.
Just about any solution is going to involve at least minor "Linux gymnastics". For instance building on a minimal Debian or Slackware install.
I am guessing you have tried Vector Linux also?
Old 03-04-2005, 11:10 AM   #6
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Zip slack is possibly a good way to start.

Slackware is a good distro that wont immediately boot you into a graphical environment so that makes it friendly on older systems. I have slackware on a file server at my house thats a 133mhz 32mb ram and it works well. Mostly any linux will run good on what your wanting major distros is going to be a no no because they all use kde or gnome witch frankly are large and clunky. kde because its a resource hog and gnome because its library hell. I personally hate gnome it requires so many useless libraries but then again its a full featured desktop.

Use slackware with flux or blackbox and you should be smoken.

I have a 150mhz laptop with only 48mb of ram and even tho i can use kde and it runs I use fluxbox because its faster.

This really depends on how much you really know about linux. If you only know redhat then your gonna have issues with slackware.

As far as dsl my thoughts are good small cd distro BAD hd distro. Its ways when installed on a drive are confusing on how to modify things.

Last edited by exvor; 03-04-2005 at 11:11 AM.
Old 03-04-2005, 11:21 AM   #7
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: Slackware
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I've used Slackware with Fluxbox and Vector Linux with IceWM on machines with less. I'd suggest one of those distros.
Old 03-04-2005, 04:22 PM   #8
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: delilinux
Posts: 34

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Thanks for the tips guys.
I'm finding the new Slackware is picky about booting on such things though (even from floppy) and Deli is essentially a light Slack 7.1 anyway.

I will try the Debian route though - perhaps a past version.

Parting note: I have yet to find a box Deli doesnt work on. It's pretty sweet for dinosaurs.
I highly recommend it.
I was just hoping there was something else out there like it that I hadnt heard of.

The last 2 boxes I put it on were P133s - 1 with 32mb ram, and one with 72mb.
Both run fast and sweet.
Heck, its dev's test machine was a 486 laptop with 16mb ram!

Vector seems to be kinda finicky though lol (at least the recent versions).
I have 4 boxes of my own ranging from a 433mhz P2 to a 2.4ghz P4 and it wouldnt recognize one thing or another on ANY of them.

Libranet and Mepis did great on em anyway.

Last edited by solarcontrol; 03-04-2005 at 08:27 PM.


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