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Old 11-20-2009, 01:05 AM   #1
joseph2020
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best linux for underpowered laptop


I have a Compaq Evo N400c...this thing is ancient, and I am wondering which Linux distro would run best on a limited machine. It is a 700 mhz CPU, 384 meg ram and 20 gig hard drive.

The only thing I absolutely must have is the latest firefox and thunderbird. Also, I would prefer to have a KDE desktop (although I can live with Gnome if necessary). I would also need to have some sort of community resource (like this one), and don't really like messing around with tarballs. I guess I am kinda picky.

I have already tried Mepis and K/Ubuntu, and don't like those. I am thinking Fedora 12, but would like to hear some opinions from you folks.

Please let me know your ideas and sugestions. Thanks in advance.
 
Old 11-20-2009, 01:07 AM   #2
trist007
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BSD baby.

If that's too hardcore, go slackware.
 
Old 11-20-2009, 01:12 AM   #3
mudangel
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I second Slackware...with those specs, you'll probably not be using KDE or Gnome, though.
 
Old 11-20-2009, 01:13 AM   #4
trist007
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Yeah, more like WindowMaker, w00t!
 
Old 11-20-2009, 01:31 AM   #5
smbell100
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I have a 300MHz Toshiba Satellite 4060xcdt with 64M ram. Slackware 10.2 with kde 3.4 runs fine, although larger programs are slow to load. I mainly use it for reading books, and find that even large PDF files are handled reasonably well.

At one stage it had 192M, but the 128M module stopped working. With that amount of memory it ran Slackware 12 and kde 3.5 ok.
 
Old 11-20-2009, 02:33 AM   #6
linuxlover.chaitanya
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Why are you after KDE and GNOME? Those both are resource hogs. You could try Debian with XFCE or Xubuntu. XFCE though light weight, will not give you a terrible feeling.
Dream Linux is one small Linux based on debian using XFCE. Small but looks good and works good as well.
 
Old 11-20-2009, 02:49 AM   #7
bluepenguine
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Try Puppy Linux
 
Old 11-20-2009, 02:50 AM   #8
firewiz87
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Well this is strange but i have noticed in one particular occasion that the RAM requirement is a problem only during installation.

It happened that OpenSUSE installation failed wen using 128MB ram so i borrowed a another 256MB ram module and completed the installation. The system booted without any problem even after i removed the 256MB module...

I think it was OpenSUSE 11.1 on P4 system... KDE is not "that" resource hungry.

I understand that this may not work on all low end systems... the point is this method worked...
 
Old 11-20-2009, 08:53 AM   #9
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by firewiz87 View Post
Well this is strange but i have noticed in one particular occasion that the RAM requirement is a problem only during installation.

It happened that OpenSUSE installation failed wen using 128MB ram so i borrowed a another 256MB ram module and completed the installation. The system booted without any problem even after i removed the 256MB module...

I think it was OpenSUSE 11.1 on P4 system... KDE is not "that" resource hungry.

I understand that this may not work on all low end systems... the point is this method worked...
You are probably very patient. 'KDE' on the OP's equipment would be slow as molasses even if the memory is maxed out. Your 'P4' is probably clocked faster than the 700mhz laptop. Plus yours probably has other resources such as faster hdd which would have a better swap time.

I would suggest that the OP does look at Slackware and use a 'xfce'.



The above link and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
Old 11-20-2009, 11:49 AM   #10
trist007
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WindowMaker!!
 
Old 11-20-2009, 02:43 PM   #11
mudangel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trist007 View Post
WindowMaker!!
Fluxbox! ;^)
 
Old 11-20-2009, 06:57 PM   #12
mrrangerman
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My first first choice would be slackware also, really any linux distro would be fine just use a light Window Manager, ie. xfce, fluxbox.
 
Old 11-20-2009, 07:55 PM   #13
jefro
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Try a few live cd's if they support that small amount of ram. The processor isn't bad.

I'd start with DSL.

Might consider Vector.
 
Old 11-20-2009, 08:22 PM   #14
linus72
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I would think you would want the "most up to date" distros, some made for older computers

Like

Absolute with Icewm slack 13 based
http://www.absolutelinux.org/

Masonux-9.04 LXDE
http://sites.google.com/site/masonux/home

Crunchbang-9.04
http://crunchbanglinux.org/

SalixOS slack 13 based (nice)
http://www.salixos.org/wiki/index.php/Home

I made the two below; they both have many apps too

503box-Live or Phalanx-9.04
http://linux.softpedia.com/get/Syste...DE-52442.shtml

http://multidistro.com/downloads/current/read.txt

http://multidistro.com/downloads/current/current.html


Puppy Linux (any)

you could also do minimal installs of slack/debian/ubuntu and install a lite WM, and only needed apps

NOTE all of the above boot and run on my Toshiba 7000CT 160MB RAM ancient lappy!!
 
Old 11-20-2009, 08:32 PM   #15
dunix
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Since no one has mentioned it... SimplyMEPHIS works great on an older laptop I have, and ships with KDE 3.5.x.
 
  


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