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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 05-31-2011, 09:00 PM   #1
kenc3
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Need Advice 250MB RAM


I have an Acer laptop that had about 35GB HD and only 250MB RAM available. Is there a distro that will work on this one without adding more RAM?
 
Old 05-31-2011, 09:08 PM   #2
Timothy Miller
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Yes. Any of the lightweight/base only distros. AntiX, Arch, Crunchbang, Archbang, Puppy, etc. Most of the "big distros" can be made to work on it, but you'd need to remove a lot to get it to run smooth.

Any of the *box WM's would work fine on that, assuming the processor was recent enough to support the distro (a few of those listed require 686, 586 and under won't work). It's possible you might even be able to get something like LXDE to run on it...although I've never spent enough time with LXDE to hazard a good guess as to performance.

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 05-31-2011 at 09:09 PM.
 
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:12 PM   #3
kenc3
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Thanks Timothy, I will look these up and try one of them. I will have the laptop with me later this afternoon.
 
Old 05-31-2011, 09:16 PM   #4
Timothy Miller
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What kinda processor does it have?
 
Old 06-01-2011, 05:47 AM   #5
Desmond Armstrong
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I have an old Dell, probably of similar age and it came with 256M and a spare slot.
Unfortunately it only accepts 512M.

I have been working with Linux for many years now (since 2002) and for what it is worth, I offer this advice.

While it is possible to run some very small distros (Puppy Linux, being my favourite) I do strongly recommend that the RAM be upgraded to it's maximum if you are to have good experience.

From experience 256M + 128M (386M) will cope with most things.

Puppy will run quite happily with only 128M

But in view of the fact that RAM is quite low cost these days, there really is little need to suffer the lack of speed that comes with limited RAM. Personally when I work with a new machine I like to maximise the RAM so do currently have 2G and with this the machine flies.
 
Old 06-01-2011, 05:54 AM   #6
H_TeXMeX_H
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I recommend:
http://www.salixos.org/wiki/index.php/Download
with fluxbox, LXDE or XFCE.
 
Old 06-01-2011, 08:07 AM   #7
Otto-1062
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Need Advice 250MB RAM

Try any of the following:

DSL
Puppy
Tiny Core
Lubuntu
Arch w/lxde
Bohdi
Crunchbang
Debris
Galpon
Peppermint
 
Old 06-01-2011, 09:09 AM   #8
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
Yes. Any of the lightweight/base only distros. AntiX, Arch, Crunchbang, Archbang, Puppy, etc. Most of the "big distros" can be made to work on it, but you'd need to remove a lot to get it to run smooth.
As well as the listed distros, debian and slackware should have no problems with 250MB of RAM. I dont know if they were what you meant by 'big distros' though.

Debian 6.0.1a Xfce version is installed on one of my computers round here, it uses about 69-70MB of RAM on boot. Aptosid Xfce used a similar amount of RAM as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
Any of the *box WM's would work fine on that, assuming the processor was recent enough to support the distro (a few of those listed require 686, 586 and under won't work). It's possible you might even be able to get something like LXDE to run on it...although I've never spent enough time with LXDE to hazard a good guess as to performance.
Lxde and Xfce run just fine on 250MB. You will 'lose' a little RAM compared to the *box WMs, how much 'lost' will depend on the distro.

I normally dont bother with Lxde, as it doesnt 'save' much RAM compraed to Xfce and I much prefer to use Xfce.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmond Armstrong View Post
I have an old Dell, probably of similar age and it came with 256M and a spare slot.
Unfortunately it only accepts 512M.
That would be due to the intel 810/815 chipset, they are limited to 512MB.
 
Old 06-01-2011, 10:47 AM   #9
archtoad6
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in Linux - Laptop and Netbook and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
 
Old 06-01-2011, 04:08 PM   #10
KernelDev0815
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Lightbulb "Multiply your 256MB (tm)"

Hi,

just wanted to add that on low-memory super-CPU machines, enabling zram / compcache can be a very attractive option. I've got a P3/1.1GHz HP ePC with a laughable 256MB, and with zram enabled (I configured compressed swap size up to 128MB IIRC) a rather heavy browsing session with bloaty Firefox was a lot more snappy than without (due to sizeable reduction of HDD swap activity). This was with a ~2.6.38 kernel build IIRC, but there has been sufficient support in rather older kernel versions, too (IIRC down to .27 or so even).
OTOH, on my WL-500gPv2 USB router w/ 32MB and 200MHz MIPS CPU, attempting to activate zram was a disappointing experience. Performance even somewhat degraded due to very scarce RAM reserves and a comparatively very slow CPU.


Something else that might help if one is desperate is to add multiple USB sticks and configure swap partitions on each of those, to have maximally parallel distribution of swap activity to several devices.
 
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:00 PM   #11
jefro
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Try slitaz.
 
Old 06-01-2011, 08:17 PM   #12
padeen
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You could try one of the BSDs. I like OpenBSD for its easy install and that it doesn't run unnecessary daemons by default. As well, OpenBSD's documentation is superb. OpenBSD will run easily in 250MB. The install CD is only a 280MB download.

I have a 500MB iMac that I use as a photo/webcam image displayer. It is running X and is using only 50MB right now while it is displaying an image, running an xterm, tmux, a couple of ssh sessions, and several shells. I use it as a development machine and it will compile large apps without problems, albeit a little slowly compared to modern processors.
 
Old 06-05-2011, 04:26 AM   #13
CollieJim
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Has anyone successfully installed Lubuntu with only 256MB RAM? I can't. Very bad thrashing and failure. Yes, it runs great with only 256MB, but I had to double the memory for installation.

Regarding adding RAM, it's rather scarce for older machines these days...

Regards,
Jim
 
Old 06-05-2011, 08:03 AM   #14
rizzy
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Debian squeeze with awesomewm uses 60mb of ram. use links2 -g as web browser and never go over 100mb
 
Old 06-05-2011, 07:20 PM   #15
aaron.psamuel
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I've run Arch Linux with no issues on systems with these type of resources. Fluxbox for a WM.
 
  


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