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Old 09-26-2003, 08:12 AM   #1
rvijay
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Question Alt Linux Questions.


Does anyone here use Alt Linux ? How does it run on older PC's that are about 4 years old ? What are its drawbacks ? Thanks.

Vijay
 
Old 09-26-2003, 11:09 AM   #2
ksgill
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It really depends on your machine, you can put any linux distro on it and it will work. For older machines, avoid using desktops like KDE or GNOME, instead try fluxbox or blackbox. For distro's you may wanna try slackware... post the specifications of your machine so people can answer your question.
 
Old 09-26-2003, 11:29 AM   #3
rvijay
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Sorry, I missed this. IBM Aptiva, 333Mhz, 4G HD, 156 RAM, 56K Modem.
Mandrake would not load. Red Hat KDE was very poor performance.

However, Knoppix with KDE works excellent. That is why I am confused.

Vijay
 
Old 09-26-2003, 11:36 AM   #4
tcaptain
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I would think in general, your performance would be pretty good (I'm running on a laptop with similar stats), of course you have to tweak a little first.
 
Old 09-26-2003, 11:39 AM   #5
rvijay
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Quote:
Originally posted by tcaptain
I would think in general, your performance would be pretty good (I'm running on a laptop with similar stats), of course you have to tweak a little first.
See that is why I am disappointed very much with Mandrake 9.1 I even tried XFDrake and configured to the exact specifications of my PC, I tried to install ICEWM alone without KDE or GNOME. I gave a swap partition of 200Megs. Still nothing helps, things are very inconsistent. Sometimes, the install works but programs don't load. But usually, the install freezes. Not sure what is the reason.

Vijay
 
Old 09-26-2003, 11:40 AM   #6
rvijay
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This leads to the fear that the same problem can repeat with other distros as well.

Vijay
 
Old 09-26-2003, 12:02 PM   #7
tcaptain
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Hmmm, well I didn't want to harp on your Mandrake problems since you are asking about Alt Linux (which I don't know) but I just want to comment that Mandrake 9.1 is what I'm running.

What I did to make it run VERY well (because out of the box, using the expert install to trim the services a lot it ran pretty good) is basically this:

1 - Cut the services...since I run on a laptop, most services I don't need, so I trimmed a lot.
2 - Don't use the Display Manager (don't boot in X) it looks neat and pretty but it takes longer to load and uses up a truckload of resources...use runlevel 3 and startx.
3 - Pick a date/time when you have plenty of time and patience and recompile your kernel. Remove the options that you do not need (like for me I removed Ham Radio support, AGP support, and a bunch of other things like SCSI tape drive and stuff since its my laptop). Mandrake and Lilo really make this reasonably painless (checkout Mandrakeuser.org for some docs on that)
4 - At this point, KDE runs pretty well and so does Gnome (and I use them sometimes just because ) but mostly I run in blackbox....

I use this machine everyday to do work, to play some older games (believe it or not, I have VMWare running on it to play some really old Win95 games), and most of all, to watch DVDs with Mplayer.

Watching DVDs was the issue that really pushed me to "trim the fat" so to speak so that I could watch movies wherever I went.

Note: Pretty much everything I said applies to any distro you choose to run...the only reason I mention mandrake is because its what I'm running and its running well for me.
 
Old 09-26-2003, 01:30 PM   #8
rvijay
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This is very good to know. I am glad you decided to share this info. with me. So it is not a bad CD then. I was very disappointed indeed. If there are basic issues then for sure this will comeup with other Distros as well. I will take a look at that site and see if I can get some help.

Vijay
 
Old 09-26-2003, 01:52 PM   #9
tcaptain
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I'm glad I could help. I don't know what problems you had with Mandrake but I can bet they weren't because Mandrake isn't efficient enough or too slow or too heavy for your hardware...

Red Hat worked for you, so my suggestion would be to keep working with what you have for now...ie: learn and tweak and make it purr..

The way I see it in my opinion (and this is just my opinion...I'm not saying YOU don't know the basics) is that there's really no point in distro shopping until you know AT LEAST the basics...when you get to a point where you "sort-of" know what you're doing, then you can find a distro that's better for your needs.

(One good indicator I could point out to you...if you find you can't tell if a problem you experience is a general linux problem or a distro-specific problem, you need to keep learning)
 
Old 09-26-2003, 01:58 PM   #10
rvijay
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Quote:
Originally posted by tcaptain
I'm glad I could help. I don't know what problems you had with Mandrake but I can bet they weren't because Mandrake isn't efficient enough or too slow or too heavy for your hardware...

Red Hat worked for you, so my suggestion would be to keep working with what you have for now...ie: learn and tweak and make it purr..

(One good indicator I could point out to you...if you find you can't tell if a problem you experience is a general linux problem or a distro-specific problem, you need to keep learning)
Vector Linux works excellent, but Mandrake doesn't even install well. So it says there is a problem with Mandrake.

I have learned how to configure XFREE86 well. What other configurations do I need to learn (I am quite lost in this regard, assistance appreciated). Wasn't Mandrake install supposed to be easy and straightforward ? There is no mention of needed tweaking in their manuals. Everything looks so neat and easy.

By the way, the Red Hat Version that loaded was Version 7.3

Vijay
 
Old 09-26-2003, 02:31 PM   #11
rvijay
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Quote:
Originally posted by tcaptain
What I did to make it run VERY well (because out of the box, using the expert install to trim the services a lot it ran pretty good) is basically this:

1 - Cut the services...since I run on a laptop, most services I don't need, so I trimmed a lot.
2 - Don't use the Display Manager (don't boot in X) it looks neat and pretty but it takes longer to load and uses up a truckload of resources...use runlevel 3 and startx.
3 - Pick a date/time when you have plenty of time and patience and recompile your kernel. Remove the options that you do not need (like for me I removed Ham Radio support, AGP support, and a bunch of other things like SCSI tape drive and stuff since its my laptop). Mandrake and Lilo really make this reasonably painless (checkout Mandrakeuser.org for some docs on that)
Recompiling a kernel is a Professional advanced topic. The average user shouldn't be needed to do that.

Using expert install might solve some problems. However, again Expert install is for experts. All this makes it clear that Mandrake is hard to use for the average person.

By the way, I also posted on the Mandrake forum here and didn't get much assistance.

Vijay
 
Old 09-26-2003, 05:20 PM   #12
ksgill
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try GNOME instead of KDE, that alone may lead to better performance. And use vector linux if that works great
 
Old 09-26-2003, 05:24 PM   #13
rvijay
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Even Gnome doesn't load on my PC for Mandrake. It did just once and even then frooze inbetween. For now I am going to use Vector Linux 3.2

Other distros are not as straightforward as they are portrayed out to be though.

Vijay
 
Old 09-27-2003, 10:09 AM   #14
rvijay
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Smile

Quote:
Originally posted by tcaptain
What I did to make it run VERY well (because out of the box, using the expert install to trim the services a lot it ran pretty good) is basically this:

1 - Cut the services...since I run on a laptop, most services I don't need, so I trimmed a lot.
2 - Don't use the Display Manager (don't boot in X) it looks neat and pretty but it takes longer to load and uses up a truckload of resources...use runlevel 3 and startx.
3 - Pick a date/time when you have plenty of time and patience and recompile your kernel.
Thank you for your suggestions. I found a link and have decided to readup on recompiling the Kernel out of general interest. It is not hard but there is some learning to do.

By the way, I also joined the mandrakeusers site and posted my challenges there. Finally, I also decided to join the E-Support offered by Mandrake online and also submitted my challenges there. Hopefully, I will get an answer and this will help me understand everything better.

Making all this extra learning fun and doing it only when there is spare time greatly helps. Any further comments/suggestions in this regard are welcome,

Regards,

Vijay
 
Old 09-28-2003, 11:14 AM   #15
tcaptain
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I've found the Email lists for mandrake (mandrakenewbie and mandrakeexpert) to be very friendly and generally very responsive.

Keep in mind tho that they are quite active (usually over 100 emails each daily)
 
  


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