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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 12-28-2003, 05:58 PM   #1
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What distro for old, slow laptop?

I have an IBM Thinkpad 600 with Pentium 233 MMX and 64Mb of ram.
Currently I have Mandrake 8.2 installed on it as it seemed to be pretty newbie friendly and since then I've learned quite a bit about Linux.

The question is what distro will be the least resource hungry for this computer, the things I must have are:

Java 1.4 (so that means kernel 2.4 or greater)
Some form of graphical desktop
Support for IBM Cardbus network card (2.4 kernels offer this)
Ability to recompile kernel to add module support for some HAM radio drivers.
Telnet and FTP server on the laptop.

Anything else is a bonus. I don't need sound although APM for extended battery would be nice.

I'm happy with working in C and compiling software so would Gentoo be good for me? Can I strip off all the useless software I don't need during the install or will I still end up with pages and pages of services running that I didn't want?

Finally should I just stop hunting for performance from a laptop that is clearly past its best and be happy with my working Mandrake install?

All thoughts greatly received.

Old 12-28-2003, 06:08 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2002
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Slackware or Debian would be good. You can strip out unnecessary stuff at installation. Equally, Gentoo or Vector Linux would work.

You could check out LQ's distro forum and/or Distrowatch for an idea of what they need and how they run.
Old 12-28-2003, 07:33 PM   #3
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Debian sid runs fine on my Pentium 150 with 48 mb of ram and a 2 gig harddrive. 2.4.22 kernel with blackbox doing the wm everything works except teh IR port mainly cause I never set it up.
Old 12-29-2003, 06:45 AM   #4
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You could look at Arch Linux which is optimized for i686 and a distro that comes with no bloat at all (I just do a base install and add stuff after with pacman). I have an IBM Thinkpad 600E and thats the main reason I came across arch because I was looking for something faster and not bloated. You could always get Arch and Gentoo and give them both a try as Gentoo has support for binary packages but I dont know if you would want to compile all the time with a p2 but maybe you do (your choice and time). Anyway get both distro's and give them a try. My personal opinion would be to check out arch's website and if you liked it give it a go.
Have fun
Old 12-29-2003, 07:32 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies, I'll give Arch a look, not heard of that one before.

<edit> oops, no I won't. Forgot that i686 is Pentium 2, while I only have a humble Pentium MMX so arch won't run on this laptop..... and it looked so good too </edit>

I guess my broadband is going to be tied up for a while getting all these files

Last edited by Stuff; 12-29-2003 at 07:36 AM.
Old 12-29-2003, 11:27 AM   #6
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I use Debian on all my laptops. Gentoo is out of the question (hey, you know how long it takes to compile XFree86 on a P166 w/ 48MB RAM?! ), but as said Slack/Vector (basically the same thing - Vector is based on Slack) would work fine too.

Old 12-29-2003, 09:19 PM   #7
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Sorry about that Stuff I didnt think about that, I'd go with vector as said above .
Forums seem like it has a good community to.


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