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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 04-10-2006, 01:41 AM   #1
matthew135
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Question linux on 7 year old laptop??


I have an IBM Thinkpad 390E. I was wondering which distro of linux would be the best to put on this laptop. I am planning to install Fedora Core 5 and if you know of any difficulties that I may encounter I would appreciate that if anyone would let me know.
 
Old 04-10-2006, 04:31 AM   #2
fouldsy
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FC5 might be a bit too heavyweight for an older machine. Let us know the specs of it and we could offer some suggestions

You're probably going to be looking at something a bit more basic though and without all the bells + whistles and eye-candy unless you can put some more memory in it. Most distros are quite similar, but it would be what windowmanager you used that would detemine how usuable it's likely to be - KDE and Gnome are almost certain to grind an old machine to a halt!
 
Old 04-10-2006, 08:18 AM   #3
onebuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthew135
I have an IBM Thinkpad 390E. I was wondering which distro of linux would be the best to put on this laptop. I am planning to install Fedora Core 5 and if you know of any difficulties that I may encounter I would appreciate that if anyone would let me know.
Hi,

Look here;

http://www.linux-laptop.net/

As for FC5, I really don't use the distro. I use Slackware as you can see in my sig! I'm currently typing on a Gateway Solo 2500 PII;

Slackware 10.2
kernel 2.6.13
XFCE 4

Response is good for an old girl. Yes, memory is important (solo has 192MB). The HD was upgrade to a 40GB.
 
Old 04-10-2006, 09:06 AM   #4
rbochan
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clicky clicky

cheers
 
Old 04-10-2006, 10:35 AM   #5
Tobitas
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I have ubuntu with the xfce DE running on an old Toshiba SP 4270 (celeron 500, 192 RAM). It works nicely. I believe most important is not the distro but the desktop environment used.
 
Old 04-10-2006, 08:13 PM   #6
colinstu
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I googled your laptop model + brand and got this: http://loke.as.arizona.edu/~ckulesa/tp390e/ .
 
Old 04-11-2006, 03:20 AM   #7
LinuxGeek
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I got DSL running on my old Toshiba (166 MHz, 32 MB). I was surprised it even runs. It's not very fast but it's not incredibly slow either
 
Old 04-11-2006, 03:48 PM   #8
matthew135
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My IBM thinkpad 390E has 96 MB RAM and it's a pentium II 300 MHz. My video card is a 2.5 MB NeoMagic 256AV. A friend of mine was wondering whether XFCE gui of fedora core 5 may work smoothly on my laptop or if a stripped down version of GNOME would work smoothly. Otherwise I was thinking of getting an older version of Redhat. Maybe Redhat 7? Would anyone have any ideas of where to get older versions of linux?
 
Old 04-11-2006, 03:55 PM   #9
pljvaldez
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The one thing about older distros that's a bit of a worry is that they don't get security updates anymore. I always recommend Debian for an older machine. Do a base install and then just install what you need to keep the speed up. Also, try recompiling the kernel once you're comfortable because you'll get some benefit on an old machine.

As for where to find old distros, try http://www.linuxiso.org/
 
Old 04-11-2006, 04:09 PM   #10
matthew135
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If I do a base install of Debian what packages will I need to install for the computer to work for word processor/multimedia/wireless internet purposes(no games).

After the base install, the only way I can connect to the internet is via wireless. Can this be done using the NDIS wrapper.
 
Old 04-11-2006, 04:20 PM   #11
matthew135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pljvaldez
I always recommend Debian for an older machine.[/url]
What makes you say that?
 
Old 04-11-2006, 04:36 PM   #12
matthew135
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my wireless card is an AirLink don't have the exact model on me right now
 
Old 04-11-2006, 04:41 PM   #13
pljvaldez
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I guess I recommend Debian because it's so stable on old hardware and easy to install a bare system. With most of the bleeding edge distros, they want to install everything and the kitchen sink. It's been a long time since I installed anything else, but I felt like it was hard to pick things that you didn't need and unselect them at install time. So on an old machine you get a bunch of bloat that bogs your system down. Not saying it's impossible to fit Fedora or Suse onto an old machine, but I just think it's more difficult.

You should be able to get ndiswrapper from the CD (Sounds like you might need to get the first couple of CD's instead of the netinstall CD). Basically you install with linux26 at the boot prompt, then finish the base install. After you've installed that, then install the ndiswrapper modules for the 2.6.8-2 kernel and follow this tutorial.

As for what you need to get your system up and running as a desktop, try following this (translate a bit for Sarge). Then you'll have to install the other things you want in the way of multimedia and word processing. For word processing, I'd stick with AbiWord as it's more lightweight than OpenOffice or Koffice. For a desktop/windowmanager, just stay away from gnome or KDE. Fluxbox (used by Damn Small Linux), windowmaker, xfce4 (a desktop), icewm, etc will all run quicker than KDE/Gnome.

As an alternative, you can always try installing damn small linux...
 
Old 04-11-2006, 05:34 PM   #14
matthew135
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Just wondering,

Has anyone got wireless running with the NDIS wrapper on DSL?
 
Old 07-16-2008, 12:34 PM   #15
kcoriginal
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My two cents...

Matt,

I have two pennies to offer you that I believe have already been suggested but here is one more vote for each.

DSL - Damn Small Linux - it's GUI is blazing fast but takes a lot of getting used to and looking for apps if you are used to Gnome or KDE or Windows XP and looking for the same response. It's also extraordinarily small and generally VERY stable.

Xubuntu - 8.04.1 - This will run a LOT slower... I would install it first and see if you can work with it... but it has the best creature comforts for the horsepower of your machine.

HTH

kc



PS: I love to run Knoppix on the old machines... makes a good test run!
Might need to experiment with different versions of Knoppix. For example: I have an IBM 600e Thinkpad that runs 4.1 but not 3.3 (don't quote me on the versions, please!) It's slow, but it works just fine... even wireless card in the pcmcia slot...
 
  


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