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Old 12-16-2004, 07:15 PM   #1
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BEST newbie lightweight distro?

Any opinions and advice on what the BEST Newbie lightweight distrobution would be?

I have a junker machine, Pentium II 233mhz, w/ 108 mb of old style RAM (some 6 odd sticks 8-18mb, and a 2 gig hard drive.

I'm considering k12ltsp version 4 without KDE and some of the really fluffy GUI, but would certainly like to retain some GUI for descent quality OR k-office, or whatever can read basic Windows *.doc files & *.xls files (word & excel).

Running a descent browser to surf the internet would be nice too.

Anyone else have any ideas?

I kind of wonder if maybe DAMN small linux is too small.

I've actuallly managed to run KNOPPIX 3.4 on it once, though it loaded VERY SLOW.

Maybe GNOPPIX might not be such a bad idea if the latest version of GNOME is really an improvement?

What do you people suggest?
Old 12-16-2004, 07:18 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
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Hi, and welcome to LQ!

No distro recommendation, but if you don't think the box
can handle KDE it can't handle Gnome either ;)

Old 12-16-2004, 07:50 PM   #3
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I'm seeing how well PHLAK will load on it right now.
Old 12-16-2004, 08:01 PM   #4
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Slackware runs great on old machines, but it isn't very newbie friendly. Debian preforms pretty well on old hardware as well. I find Debian to be a very friendly distro (apt-get, nuff said), but the install can be scary for some--just grab the sage net install for the base system, then apt-get the rest (you'll need a good connection).

There are live CDs based on these (like Slax, e.g.,) so you can get a rough idea of how well they preform on that box.
Old 12-16-2004, 08:34 PM   #5
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I got internet feed on it running at a a good speed with the Dillo browser.

Now all I need is to figure out how to install feather on the machine.
Old 12-16-2004, 08:45 PM   #6
Registered: Sep 2003
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Vector Linux runs great on aging hardware.
Old 12-16-2004, 09:06 PM   #7
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I'll try Vector.
Old 12-16-2004, 11:14 PM   #8
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I love Vector. 2 notes:

1. on start up it won't load to a gui by default. When it first loads you need to type startx.

2. OpenOffice is to bloated to run on your old Hardware, but Vector includes Abiword which can read and write to windows .doc format.
Old 02-14-2005, 10:06 PM   #9
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Yeah, I tried vector 4.3 and I, too didn't like to type startx everytime. I just like to turn on my machine and start using it when the desktop appears. I use PCLinuxOS on one of my laptops and use the timeout option to automatically start my default user logon.
Old 02-14-2005, 11:56 PM   #10
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Vector, yes, but anything will run on this. I installed mandrake 10 on a P150 with 64meg ram and it runs fine with KDE (with 4 desktops and not jpg backgrounds and such). Mozilla or firefox work fine. Kmail, whatever. I did upgrade the box to 188mhz and it is a working desktop for my sister... the rest of the family have p3's or better Well, I don't like my sister THAT much...
Old 02-15-2005, 06:22 AM   #11
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BeatrIX ?

BeatrIX 2005.1 Linux is a free, compact (Less than 200 megabytes), operating system aimed at both office and home users who want something simpler, safer and superior to Microsoft Windows, and that will run on just about any IBM-compatible PC made in the past 10 years. It runs as a live CD or it can be installed to hard drive. As a live CD, it does not touch your hard drive or touch any other operating system you have. SImply insert the CD, re-boot, and about two minutes later, you're surfing the Internet, writing letters, sending e-mail and instant-chatting. All this from a CD the size of a beer coaster.

"It's beautiful. It's easy. It's useful. You are amazing."

BeatrIX is designed differently than any other system. Yes, it's Linux, but it doesn't look like Linux. Or Windows. Or Macintosh. It simply looks like a computer desktop. That desktop has only four icons -- all easily recoginsable by anyone who's used a Windows, Mac or Linux computer in the last decade. So, anyone can use it with little or no help. It took us a year to release our first version because so much time was devoted to usability and stability.

"I wonder how many people are sitting down
and just USING it without instructions?"

The new BeatrIX 2005.1 contains a Linux 2.6 stable kernel (operating system) a Windows-like desktop (Gnome), Web browser (Firefox), e-mail program (Evolution), office suite including an outstanding word processor compatible with Microsoft Word (Open Office), instant-chat program (GAIM) and everything else necessary to get things done with no problems. You can also add almost any program to BeatrIX from Ubuntu Linux and Debian Linux -- the world's largest Linux library -- everything from Web servers to Web editors. Free.

"You helped me take three boxes destined for the junkyard and turn them into usable, stable, modern tools for my students' education."

It is optimised for any Pentium-class computer of any speed with at least 64 megs of RAM. At the other end of the spectrum, it runs flawlessly on an Opteron 64. It was originally designed for a special computer system called the mini-ITX but it runs on nearly anything.

"The simplicity with the attention to the most used applications in a very minimal but elegant manner has so bowled me over."

That means it will run on about 75% of the personal computers in the world. You download it, burn it to CD, read less than a page of instructions and you no longer need Microsoft Windows for the majority of things that a majority of people do in the real world with a computer.

"The question is, Does it work? And the answer is a resounding YES!"
- Aditya Nag, Linux Times

BeatrIX is now in use in more 120 countries on every continent on Earth. It has been downloaded in excess of 200,000 times (More than 70,000 copies were downloaded in January alone.) and is one of the fastest-growing software packages in the world, in use from Afghanistan to Zaire.

"But what's the one live CD to carry around with you, not only to wow your friends, but to do actual work quickly and efficiently: BeatrIX."

Sounbds like what your after (I only skimmed).
Old 02-15-2005, 07:04 AM   #12
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Vector Linux
Old 02-15-2005, 12:18 PM   #13
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I agree with the Vector installation. It has made my old 600 MHz come back to life.
You can use the VASM configuration to set whether or not it hould start X when you boot.
Old 02-15-2005, 03:47 PM   #14
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600mhz? My wife's main box is still a 600 celeron running mandrake 10.1 and KDE and 8 desktops full of stuff like mail, openoffice, mozilla, a 40.000 dog windows database running in crossover, etc... Haven't seen much need for a lightweight distro on a 600mhz box yet

My last P3 700 was also just fine and often ran 12 desktops worth of apps at a time, including the above and gimp and win4lin win win98se and heaps of others... I only upgraded to the A64 to run HL2

Last edited by amosf; 02-15-2005 at 03:49 PM.
Old 02-15-2005, 03:59 PM   #15
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All the mhz in the world won't help if the machine doesn't have enough RAM. For example, don't even THINK about running Mepis with only 96megs of RAM (not without a swap partition already set up, at least).

I have a 333mhz Pentium 2 Celeron which is quite usable with Mepis running KDE at 2048x1536. All it took to go from completely unusable to zippy was a 64meg RAM stick (going from 96megs to 160megs).


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