-   Linux - General (
-   -   What is a good distro for a low end small harddrive? (

vdogvictor 04-05-2004 11:04 PM

What is a good distro for a low end small harddrive?
My dad wants to use openoffice on a computer. That is all that he needs it for. He has a pentium 133MHZ w/ a 500 or so MB Hard Drive. What is a good distro that will support open office and still fit and run decently on such a computer?

win32sux 04-06-2004 12:01 AM

i'd say slackware with a light window manager...

J.W. 04-06-2004 04:00 AM

How much memory does he have? Slack is always a good choice but you might want to spring for some extra RAM if his PC is skinny. -- J.W.

TyphoonMentat 04-06-2004 11:39 AM

I'd say either Feather Linux or Damn Small Linux - both Knoppix-based distros designed to run on such old hardware. They're both surprisingly fast.

Mega Man X 04-06-2004 12:52 PM

Open Office is relatively big. Regardless to the amount of RAM you might have, it will take ages to open in that machine. I've OpenOffice running in a 2GHZ and it still slow.

Does your father use all Office packages or only Word? Because if that's the case, Abiword does a very good job. 500 megas will be pretty tough though, specially if you want to run Open Office and printing tools as cups, they are also big :S.

Good luck!

TyphoonMentat 04-06-2004 01:04 PM

Actually, I've got an install of Feather Linux with, CUPS, aMSN, the Gimp, Abiword, Gnumeric, et al running in under 500Mb right now.

Abiword and Gnumeric should suit your (and your father's) needs if they consist of a word processor and spreadsheet that can open Microsoft Word and Excel files.

Mega Man X 04-06-2004 01:32 PM

Pretty impressive TyphoonMentat! :) No matter what I do to make the installation small, or I end up with a big install or a broken system :)

vdogvictor 04-06-2004 08:11 PM

Alright let me try to address all those lol

First off He will have 48 MB RAM.

Slackware w/ small window manager-- it needs to be simple enough for him to use. Also i have no experience with slack, but i do have access to slack disks so maybe? I just need to know how long it will take to install and if it will be easy enough for him to use.

Feather linux/DSL - I have used Damn Small Linux before and first off a HD install of DSL is not a real install it still acts as if it is booting from the CD and asks all the questions. Feather linux i've never used but he needs a word processor that can save in .doc and .sxw (or w/e open office uses).

Feather Linux sounds like it may be what I need. But does it ask questions about things like the mouse and which Xserver and stuff?

Can abiword open openoffice documents?

PS I just orderd turbolinux workstation meets the requirements but idk about open office or harddrive space...does anyone else know?

vdogvictor 04-06-2004 08:20 PM

I was just at the feather linux site and it still seems a lot like damn small. In the HD install does it still ask a lot of questions? or doe sit realize it is installed on the HD?

win32sux 04-06-2004 08:42 PM

well, you could install microsoft windows 98 and word 2000...

then you could make a rescue disk with mondo to bring the system back to life everytime something happens to it:

okay, the above was a joke... well, sorta... lol...


but seriously, about slackware being simple enough for your dad to use:

how simple a distro is for the "user" depends more on the system's "administrator" than on the distro...

you, as root, are what can make your dad's system a wonderful experience, or a terrible nightmare...

what i mean is: you could install slackware, mandrake, fedora, or whatever distro and even though the experience for you as the "administrator" would change, the experience for the "user" would many times remain the same... the "user" doesn't need to be dealing with any configuration/administration issues that would vary between distros... the "user" just wants to "use" the computer's applications...

slackware 9.1's installer is text-based, but it's VERY EASY and VERY GOOD (at auto-configuring your hardware, for example)...

you could also use something like deli-linux, which would let you have a complete system in under 300 megabytes... it's slackware-based and made specially for old computers like your dad's:

"DeLi Linux stands for "Desktop Light" Linux. It is a Linux Distribution for old computers, from 486 to Pentium MMX 166 or so. It's focused on desktop usage. It includes email clients, graphical web browser, an office package with word processor and spreadsheet, and so on. A full install, including XFree and development tools, needs not more than 300 MB of harddisk space."

vdogvictor 04-06-2004 10:28 PM

Alright...DeliLinux looks like it should suit his needs. Does that Siag word processor support .doc and .sxw extensions? Also will Delilinux support openoffice it needs

Linux Kernel 2.2.13 or higher
X Server with 800x600 or higher resolution and a minimum of 256 colors or grayscale
Installed glibc2 version number 2.1.3 or higher

i couldn't find out about the x server and glibc2. I will try to download delilinux tomorrow and i think i may also burn slackware 9.1.

thanks for all the help

win32sux 04-06-2004 11:00 PM

"siag" is the name of the office suite, and the spreadsheet... the word processor is called "pathetic writer"...

i'm not sure if pathetic supports .doc and/or .sxw, though... check out the website to see:

according to openoffice's system requirements page, your install would suck:

MS3FGX 04-06-2004 11:34 PM

If you are considering LiveCDs copied to the HDD, I would look into SLAX. I'm not sure if installing to the HDD is supported, but I'm sure it is possible.

Also, as I recall, it doesn't ask questions like DSL. It actually starts up like a normal installed system.

vdogvictor 04-08-2004 05:05 PM

yes i know it says the open office install would suck...but i've ran the same version of open office on a 486DX2 66MHz w/ 16MB ram and it ran i figure it would do the same. I have delilinux on a disk now....i installed it and it tells me to reboot but then it only boots to a command prompt??? what is the next step (yes i took the CD out btw)

alright...i found out what to do...I need to install gui packages from the CD but how do i get to the CD? ther is a /cdrom and a /mnt/cdrom and neither contains the cd files...

vdogvictor 04-09-2004 01:44 AM

lalala just waiting lol

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:55 AM.