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Old 04-29-2004, 05:34 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Debian Sid (Kanotix)
Posts: 237

Rep: Reputation: 30
Advice on best distro for beginner with speed/USB issues

I would like to install Linux on my computer in order to ditch Windows and ideally get back a bit of speed. You've heard that before, so, more specifically...

* Machine is a Compaq laptop, PII 300mhz 128mbRAM 6gbHD currently running Win XP and used only for simple tasks like web-browsing and digicam storage
* I am a complete Linux novice, though with some dabbling experience of DOS and UNIX

Q1. Which ISO-booted distro out of (presumably) Mandrake, Red Hat and SUSE would be most appropriate for me, given that -

* Computer and my background knowledge are both a bit underpowered
* I have no printer so won't be able to fall back on written instructions when installation goes wrong
* I will need to quickly install support for a RSA cable modem in order to get back to the safety of

Q2. Am I right in concluding that I will have to buy a PCMCIA ethernet card for the modem, as USB modem support on Linux is tricky at best? And that I won't have trouble getting Linux to communicate with a USB Zip drive and a generic USB card-reader?

Advice would be really appreciated.

Old 04-29-2004, 06:07 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Suwon, Korea
Distribution: Slackware 14
Posts: 288

Rep: Reputation: 32
Mandrake has got to be one of the most impressive distros for hardware detection and stability on virtually any hardware that i have ever seen. from the three you mentioned, go with mandrake. To get even more speed, learn to recompile your kernel (several howtos on this very forum), and you will be impressed.
Old 04-29-2004, 06:23 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Wales, UK
Distribution: Mandrake 10
Posts: 89

Rep: Reputation: 15
I have a friend who tried to install mandrake 9.2 on a 555 Mhz pc and it told him he had a lack of resources and it may not work properly. When we tried it, it didn't work... I don't know about other distro's though.
Old 05-01-2004, 09:14 AM   #4
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Debian Sid (Kanotix)
Posts: 237

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
I find it interesting that my machine can handle Windows XP fine, but apparently might not be able to manage Mandrake 9.2. I thought Linux was supposed to be leaner and faster..? In any case, if I don't start with the latest Mandrake, and ideas which previous version would be a good bet?

Cheers in advance.
Old 05-01-2004, 09:21 AM   #5
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Florida
Distribution: RedHat 9.0/Afterstep
Posts: 103

Rep: Reputation: 15
when you said it didnt work, it probably wasnt
because he had a lack of resources(unless he only
had 16mb RAM)...most distros will work on underpowered
machines, but i agree that once you get it installed and running,
you should look into recompiling the kernel, removing anything
that isnt needed. I would advise you to use Linux for awhile before
you try to rebuild the kernel, though, it isnt the easiest thing to do.


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