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Old 09-03-2007, 09:26 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2006
Distribution: FC
Posts: 86

Rep: Reputation: 15
Yet another "which distro should I choose" thread, 500 MHz web server

I've got a 500 MHz with 192MB RAM. I use it as a fileserver and a webserver. It's got FC4 which is dog slow on it. I'm looking for a new distro that's much lighter.

Ideally it will have:
  • LAMP (w/ php5)
  • Samba
  • Some sort of package manager

I've taken the online quizzes and have read up on several distros (puppy, vector, zenwalk, xubuntu), but was looking for actual user experience.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Old 09-03-2007, 09:46 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Romania
Distribution: Suse 12.0, Slackware 12.1, Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo
Posts: 301

Rep: Reputation: 30
You could try Slackware, if you are an experienced user, and use it from the CLI, no window managers and stuff. It also comes with quite a few window managers you can choose from. You can install slackpkg if you want an easy-to-use package manager.
Old 09-03-2007, 12:19 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2007
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Distribution: Xubuntu
Posts: 83

Rep: Reputation: 15
You didn't mention in what aspects is your system dog slow. Is it slow at file serving? Being a web server? Or some other task(s)?

A system of those specs shouldn't be terribly slow as a personal file server and web server. If you're technically savvy, whatever Linux you install could be installed without a graphical environment. Nowadays, I've found that the various desktop environments are the main cause for bloat and sluggishness on older machines. If you go with something lighter weight, you get back a lot of speed.

So far, I've only personally tried Xubuntu, which isn't too bad. However, this isn't a fair comparison because my machine was 1.2 GHz with 512 MB of memory; that's quite a bit different from yours. I was also using it as a desktop, and not any sort of server. But nonetheless, it's worth a shot and the general direction of going with a lighter weight graphical environment is a good bet.
Old 09-03-2007, 12:27 PM   #4
Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: Slackware, Arch, FreeBSD
Posts: 202

Rep: Reputation: 34
I would go with slackware, as this is what I have been using and have found it very flexible as a desktop and server. I have a 350MHz, 128MB, ~600MB install web/mail/imap/ftp/ssh server (granted low traffic) running slackware, and have not had any problems with the performance.

You may want to rethink the package manager option, whichever distro you use though, and try compiling some of the apps yourself, that way you have more control over what gets included with the application and can optimize more for you system. Compiling a new kernel would be a good idea too.

Since the processor and memory are both on the lower side, how fast is your hard drive? If this is a file server, and the hard drive on the server is slow, it may appear to have bad performance no matter what.
Old 09-03-2007, 01:17 PM   #5
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Registered: May 2006
Location: USA
Distribution: Debian
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Debian will run well on that.


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