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Megaman X: your problem with linux on older machines is that your using bigger main stream distros, try vector linux as the above post says, or even core linux (i like it best personally, but its all what best suits you)
and about what best suits you, it also has to suit your hardware, so try to find a nice lighter desktop that looks good, and see how good it will run,. it might not be good for multitasking, but it can do what average users need it to do, just might not do it as fast)
I've also managed to get a light RH9 setup. its laggy, but works
on those older systems its better to not use DE (at least not big ones like KDE or GNOME), and just set up the desktop yourself, it takes longer but gives you good performance, i say it beats windows any day
One word for you all - debian. The latest release worked like a charm on my 233 Mhz laptop with KDE. Runs excellent - three times faster than 98SE, which is the other operating system installed (dual boot). Not to mention 98SE crashes a million times over while debian is so stable you could make it stand on a flagpole. I have made it crash, but only for stupid reasons, and nothing is ever nonrecoverable anyways.
Try it - you won't be dissappointed. And you really only need the first CD to install the whole thing too. Sure the setup might be old-fashioned, but buttonmash through it and you have a working linux system.
Peanut Linux is also an excellent choice. It uses the latest linux technology in a compact way - perfect for older computers. I'm out of luck with it myself - the ramdisk for the install is exactly 64MB and my RAM is just a hair under that. You know, like 63.5MB, you know how it goes. I'm planning on shoving 128MB or more into it to run peanut, it looks excellent.
i agree with the debian suggestion. vector seems a little flaky to me. but put debian on there with an older 2.2 or 2.4 kernel, gentoo file manager, and IceWM, pek, flux, or even xfce and that will run most things great. much better than win98 imho (much more fun, too).
Originally posted by bulliver Well, you're not really being fair are you? Windows 98 was released in June 1998, and SuSE 9.0, Red Hat 9.0, and Gentoo 1.4 were released last year....try putting XP on this box, I don't think you would be very satisfied either.
apples and oranges my friend.
I see your point, but I think he's right on this one. I also have a 25Mhz 486 subnotebook with 4MB of RAM that I still use cause it's incredibly small and easy to get around. I run Windows 95 on it cause there is no way I'd get X to even boot on it. Windows has the advantage of running fine on significantly older machines.
Originally posted by cyberFISH linux is great for old computers!!!!
my laptop is a p1-classic 133 / 80meg ram, its running vector linux3.2, xfree3.3.6 and blackbox, quite happily runs fast enough for most task's id what to do on it.
also my server is another p1 133, this time only 32meg, its running a stage1 compile (8 days!!!) gentoo 1.4, using the wolk (working overloaded linux kernel) kernel, its running boa httpd, proftpd and samba and still staying inside the 32meg ram even with a few samba streams running.
old computers need tender care when setting up and a LOT of tweaking, dont install libs and progs you're not gonna use and if you want to use linux, why you need a pretty gui?!??! use an xterm!!!
Very true! Older machines are a lot more powerful than you think, they just need TLC, a working mind, and moving fingers. I got that 486 lapper I was talking about to browse the web and check my email, play 3D games in DOS, play TetriNET over the internet, run an external CD-ROM ... it's great! And RAM is your best friend to making older machines run newer software.
Thanks for the suggestions guys, but I did, tried Debian Potato 2.2 in that machine, still not good. Since the memories in that 166 laptop are low (32 m) and the graphics card is poor (2 mega, not that bad though), all the rendering of the X-server has to be done on the processor, which is also slow.
You can try to convince me that Linux would be better in that machine but I've already tried all of the above suggestions (not Core Linux) and it's not half as good as Win98 performance is. For the record, I have Quake 1 running in that machine under Software rendering and smoothly enough. That won't work under Linux.
For a router or an apache server, that box is great but for desktop, I'd stick with win 98, Office 2000, Diablo 1 and Quake 1 for fun, plus listen to all my mp3's on it... And regardless of what many may think, win98 is pretty stable in that machine since it's old hardware running an old Operating System....
to all the people who said to try to install XP on that machine --
at least M$ TELLS me that XP won't run on a machine like that...according to Redhat, SuSE, slackware, and the other distros is should run on my machine...okay i'll give slackware credit cuz it did run just not as good as 98
to ppl who said try distros from that era --
I tried turbolinux 6.0 (the distro that out sold win98 for a while) and it just was crab I have no clue how it out sold win98
to ppl who said win2_K is stable and gentoo takes 8 days-
I don't mind waiting 8 days to save a few hundered bucks on win2000...but yes windows 2000 is a decent OS.
to ppl who say linux is better on old computers --
if you say so...but win98 for a simple workstation is quick and painless. But it does cost money (if your lawful) and I'd rather have free...I think i'll try the old slacks or debian potato.
AND JUST TO RESOLVE THE COMMENTS...I believe windows WAS better for the desktop because linux was very server oriented before. Now that linux has locked and loaded on the home user it is far superior and even easier. The only thing standing in its way is rumors and WINMODEMS prepackaged on computers.
thanks for all the input. also IceWM ran fine for me...just no icons or background or good file manager. and when i tried XFCE....errors to all get out. I think i'll try the old slacks w/ kde 1 or s/t
Did you try to install XFCE3.x from Slackware packages? Because I've tried and it seems to be broken. I then tried to download XFCE4 from their site, and it's such a big mess with plugins and order to install everything that I just did not bother. I do, use XFCE3 which came with Mandy 9.2 though...
I've gotten smooth DivX playback on a PIICeleron 333mhz, which seems to be near the lower limit. However, this is with an AGP card with hardware overlay (Ati Rage128 or Ati Radeon 7000 64meg). With a PCI card or crappy onboard video, even a PIII800 really can't do it.
For that 400mhz Dell to play DivX smoothly in Windows but not Linux, must be entirely due to driver support. Probably the onboard video supports hardware overlay, but the linux driver being used doesn't know how to take advantage of it.
The big thing keeping me from using Linux on my really old computers is lack of RAM. 128megs is really nice if possible--I recently put together a PIICeleron 300 out of leftover parts and it's quite usable even with full KDE with all the fancy fixin's (the works--from large animated icons to transparent menus to anti-aliased fonts). However, my old Pentium systems are limited to 32megs of RAM, since I only have 8meg SIMMs lying around. That pretty much means that I need to use them as X Terminals to get any sort of decent GUI performance.
If you want to run linux it will most likely need to be a relatively light wm like the ones you listed you seem not to like much.
Ultimately, what I used to use on laptops at that point was 95. I tried using 98 but even it isn't snappy on them. 95 C though, that was a pretty stable version of windows and I've used it on several older laptops. It really comes down to what people prefer but I think if I was using an older laptop, I'd still use windows on it. And it's not because I hate linux at all. I am using slackware 9.1 as my main OS. But I don't think I'd like one of the light windowmanagers over 95 explorer with IE 5.0.
And you don't really have to worry about security or spyware with such a unit cause you aren't going to use it for a whole lot anyway.