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Old 04-20-2004, 09:37 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Australia
Distribution: SuSE 9.0 'Technology Evaluation'
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Question Best distro/version for old machine?

I'm running Win95 on a PII with 32 Meg of RAM and a 10GB harddrive. It does everything I want it to (save Internet Connection Sharing and any games that came out in the past... four years or so) and apart from the occasional IE 5.5 problem, I'm quite content.

However, since I use this box for the Internet, I want to make the move to Linux to avoid MS-specific viruses and intrusions.

Since I can't seem to find the information I want all one place (ie, I would have to hunt for hours on end across hundreds of webpages to piece together the answer to a simple question), I thought I'd tried here.

Can anybody suggest, or even just point me to a webpage or two so I can find out for myself, what Linux distributions and versions would be best suited for running on this outdated box?

Thanks in advance.
Old 04-20-2004, 10:05 PM   #2
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 686

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Well, you can try vector linux.
Old 04-20-2004, 11:26 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 129

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freebsd is a good os for weak computers like that.
Old 04-20-2004, 11:30 PM   #4
Senior Member
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Egypt
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 1,528

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u could try out damn small linux
Old 04-21-2004, 02:16 AM   #5
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Registered: Jan 2002
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I installed Mandrake 9.0 on a PII without any problems or slowdowns. I suggest Mandrake if you want to try out LINUX for the first time.
Old 04-21-2004, 04:41 AM   #6
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2
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I installed Mandrake 9.2 on a P2 notebook and have also had no problems (although I have 128MB RAM).

I would also recommend Mandrake if you are new to Linux, I found it easier to configure than some other distributions
Old 04-21-2004, 10:04 AM   #7
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Slackware v9.1
Posts: 33

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My ex installed Slackware (don't know the version) on a 486 or P1 (I can't remember which now) for us... so I don't see why there'd be a problem, but I guess it depends on what you want to do? (my dad only wanted it as a game/music server)
Just don't rm / * ...heh. (I deleted the kernel... and that was the end of linux in our home for the next two years)
Old 04-21-2004, 10:37 AM   #8
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 28

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can you really type rm/ * and delete everything?....wouldn't it give you some directory errors?!
Old 04-21-2004, 11:00 AM   #9
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Slackware v9.1
Posts: 33

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It didn't delete everything... but enough. I honestly hadn't known what I'd done... he told me to re-install the kernel before the next time I booted and it wrote over that spot on the disk. I rebooted and.... hang.
Old 04-21-2004, 01:50 PM   #10
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Springfield, MO
Distribution: Ubuntu, IPCop
Posts: 33

Rep: Reputation: 15
Go to for a fairly comprehensive list of distros. Not a terribly in-depth listing tho but it lets you know basically everything Linux that's out there.

I'd reccomend Slack or Vector as well, Mandy if you're new to all of this but careful with what GUI (KDE is pretty darn slow, Gnome's a little better). If you install Slack, go out on the 'net and get Dropline-Gnome, it's very fast, very nice, and very user friendly for all that it does.

For those of you who use Vector, anyone else think that Vector and IceWM Control Panel should hook up?
Old 04-22-2004, 12:51 AM   #11
Registered: Sep 2002
Location: Haarlem , the Netherlands
Distribution: VectorLinux SOHO 5.1
Posts: 470

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anyone else think that Vector and IceWM Control Panel should hook up?
Some of the devs are working on that one.
It's yet far from mature , though.
I guess we'll have to see what Tigger has in store for the clientęle in VL4.0SOHO-final and if we can make it in a handy package for the older versions.
Old 05-01-2004, 11:34 AM   #12
hyper guy
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: A State of Bliss (Ontario, Canada)
Distribution: Vector-Slackware + Dropline
Posts: 43

Rep: Reputation: 15
With your specs, you can't go wrong with Feather Linux. SUPER easy install (almost as easy as Knoppix -- upon which it is based), and it uses a very lightweight version of X. Granted, the default isn't the prettiest thing you ever saw (fluxbox), but with your level of ram, beggars can't be choosers ('sides, they've now added a utility to enable you to easily dress up your desktop as far as you are able).

Good luck!
Old 05-01-2004, 01:50 PM   #13
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Italy
Distribution: Debian 3.0 Woody
Posts: 13

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IMO, the best thing you can do is installing Debian (any recent version will do) and install one of these window managers:

Don't put KDE or Gnome, don't even think about it.

By the way, I'm trying to install Debian Woody in a P120Mhz with 24Megs RAM, I'm thinking of buying other two weak computers virtually free and making a cluster with OpenMosix (it's just for testing purposes, though)


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