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-   -   need a lightweight distro for my laptop (https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-laptop-and-netbook-25/need-a-lightweight-distro-for-my-laptop-582757/)

r00tb33r 09-06-2007 03:34 PM

need a lightweight distro for my laptop
 
This may sound like a n00bie question but in fact it isn't.
So I got myself this new machine, a Dell Inspiron 6400/E1505 and would like to use Linux as the only operating system, just like on the rest of my computers, yet not sacrificing the portability.
I am currently typing this post on Ubuntu Feitsy 7.04 which sounded like a good choice of a compatibility test since Dell offers it as one of the OS options. Indeed most things work. The volume buttons work, suspend and hibernate works, ACPI lid functions work, etc. BUT wireless (Broadcom 42xx or something like that) does not. Why? Ubuntu source tree happened to include an ancient broken driver... Thats fine by me because Ubuntu is not my choice.
So these are the criteria for a distro that I need:
Slackware based
ACPI, such as lid button that would turn the screen back on when I open it
hibernate and suspend
wireless configuration tools
light, unbloated environment
Fluxbox is the preferred desktop/window manager
does not use KDE or Gnome as default, does not install them by default
2.6 kernel
KVM (2.6.20 and up) is desired
SMP or anything that takes advantage of the Core Duo cpu
preferibly somewhat up to date
...
I use Vector Linux on my desktop and I like its raw power but unfortinately its poorly suited for a laptop out of the box.
Backtrack 2 comes with plenty of powerful toys but is not very well suited for everyday use and misses all the laptop essential features.
Can anyone tell me much about features of Zenwalk?
So thats the story. Here is my lspci output:
Code:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 01)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 01)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 01)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 01)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 01)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 01)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 01)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 01)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e1)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 01)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller IDE (rev 01)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 01)
03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX (rev 02)
03:01.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd Unknown device 0832
03:01.1 Generic system peripheral [0805]: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (rev 19)
03:01.2 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd Unknown device 0843 (rev 01)
03:01.3 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C592 Memory Stick Bus Host Adapter (rev 0a)
03:01.4 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd xD-Picture Card Controller (rev 05)
0b:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-PCI Card (rev 01)

I will be getting an Atheros based wireless card later on for packet injection support and adding an nVidia video card (geForce 7300 256mb) to make things run a bit quicker.

witz 09-06-2007 04:49 PM

As far as I know, zenwalk is pretty nice little distro.
I've used it, and it's slim and lightweight and doesn't need
alot of manual work to get it working with your hardware.
They have a live cd version, so I would try it for fun and see if
you like it.

timsclips 09-08-2007 05:52 PM

Currently using Tinyme from myPCLinuxOS, very small and lightweight on an old dell pentium 3 laptop, works out of the box with one of my wireless pc cards and very easy to use ndiswrapper to get my problem child 3Com card using Marvell driver.

r00tb33r 09-16-2007 01:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timsclips (Post 2885944)
Currently using Tinyme from myPCLinuxOS, very small and lightweight on an old dell pentium 3 laptop, works out of the box with one of my wireless pc cards and very easy to use ndiswrapper to get my problem child 3Com card using Marvell driver.

isnt that mandrake based...? nope doesnt meet the criteria.
*EDIT*
im still in search for that perfect distro... (meanwhile i have already bought the video card and waiting on the new motherboard for this laptop)

seimour 09-16-2007 09:16 PM

Have you tried Puppylinux? It really is very light, I've been able to boot it onto an old celeron laptop with just 128MB of RAM and even to view a youtube video!

owenjh 09-16-2007 09:37 PM

If your looking for something Slackware based, why not use Slackware? I guess Zenwalk will work fine too. It will take a bit of time to set them up, but once they are running it should be as solid as a rock.

Hibernate and suspend can be tricky to get working. On my Toshiba Portege 4010 they simply don't work. But thats allright since I used powertop to optimize the battery.

r00tb33r 09-17-2007 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by owenjh (Post 2894142)
If your looking for something Slackware based, why not use Slackware? I guess Zenwalk will work fine too. It will take a bit of time to set them up, but once they are running it should be as solid as a rock.

Hibernate and suspend can be tricky to get working. On my Toshiba Portege 4010 they simply don't work. But thats allright since I used powertop to optimize the battery.

im trying to figure out the magic behind ubuntu acpi settings... which all magically work on this laptop, as well as volume buttons, etc.
the biggest problem for me right now is having the video card wake up on other distros when open the lid. any ideas?

owenjh 09-18-2007 10:33 AM

I don't know off of the top of my head. I guess I'm lucky since my back light is hardware controlled. I would SSH into the box and poke around in /proc/acpi and watch for changes between the lid being open & closed.


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