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Old 04-09-2005, 09:01 AM   #1
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Can you help me set up a simple minimalist linux system

My brother-in-law gave me a cheap old laptop (info. following) that i'd like to set up with a very simple, basic and small linux system. the cd-drive isn't great, and stops spinning after a few minutes. I have got a 128mb usb key, so something that can install off that would be very nice.

i'm not very technically minded, and i wouldn't want to have to set up lots of drivers. i'd love a distro that's quick, simple and easy... and not a lumbering, memory-consuming Arcturan mega-elephant.

900mhz celeron processor
9GB hard disk, one 5gb partition, one 4gb (one has windows on it)
256mb ram
video card/monitor only supports up to 1024x768

all I need it for is;
whatever the linux version of emule is (i heard l-mule, but there are a few different variants)
basic text editor (like Wordpad is on windows, or even Notepad)
firewall (do i even need this on linux?)
bittorrent (i use ABC on windows, not sure what kind for linux)
xchat, or any other generic IRC client
if possible, locking, like windows does when you WIN+L

I'd appreciate any help. I have tried kde and gnome, and liked those just fine. i didn't like wmaker, or whatever Amigo uses. i need my little taskbar.
Old 04-09-2005, 09:11 AM   #2
Mega Man X
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Slackware with Fluxbox would be great in that machine: Fast, easy on resources and comes with all the packages you want, except for Firefox, AFAIK, but it's just to download it from anyways
Old 04-09-2005, 10:53 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
Distribution: Slackware 11.0; Kubuntu 6.06; OpenBSD 4.0; OS X 10.4.10
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firefox 1.0.2 was just put into -current this week or last. So was thunderbird.

I am running slack and flux on a Sony 266MHz Pentium, and it works pretty well. You might also look at Xfce, if you want a task bar. (I'm a "right mouse button menu" kind of guy myself.)
Old 04-10-2005, 12:01 PM   #4
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I'd also recommend Slack/Fluxbox or perhaps Damn Small Linux may worth your looking in to.
Old 04-10-2005, 02:27 PM   #5
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Welcome to LQ, Audrey. Your system specs are sufficient to run just about any distro, as you've got a fast enough CPU, sufficient RAM, and more than adequate disk space. You can find many of the most popular distros at either LinuxISO or right here at LQ ISO. You might want to try a few distros before settling on one. Doing a few installations can take some time, but not that much, plus it's a one time expense. Good luck with it in any event -- J.W.
Old 04-11-2005, 02:21 AM   #6
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: India
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I agree with our moderator. You can run any distro of your choice with that specs but if you are an avid gamer then it may not be enough.

I have a machine with the specs as follows:

Intel Celron 333MHz Mendocino processor,
98 MB RAM SDRAM 100MHz bus speed (First I had just 64 MB which is also alright for the basic tasks like web browsing, chatting and checking email).
14" Colour monitor supporting 480x600 and 800x600 resolutions
HSF Conexant chipset internal win modem
Aztech 2320 chipset ISA sound card (I had to tweek a little to get this working)

This machine is set to dual boot between Win 98 and Fedora Core 2.

Linux works without any hitch with this specs including Gnome 2.6 and kde.

The drawbacks are I am not able to view movies ( the processor speed is not enough - only 333 MHz) though I can view low resolution movie clips quite well.
OpenOffice takes 1.5 minutes to start.

So compared to my system, you have got a Ferarri - so to speak.

Wish you good luck in installing and using linux on your machine.
Old 04-11-2005, 05:05 AM   #7
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I have a 200MHz with 192MB SDRAM (PC66). It runs Slackware and uses normal KDE. As a noob myself I'm not sure how to change Windows manager to Fluxbox but as it's coping with KDE pretty well as it is, there's no need to. I don't think you will have any problems running all that stuff on your machine which is much faster than mine, because I've run most of that stuff without problems on my much slower machine!
Old 04-22-2005, 06:49 AM   #8
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A question for Ravee


In one of your posts you said you managed to get the Aztech sound card working

"Aztech 2320 chipset ISA sound card (I had to tweek a little to get this working)"

Could you instruct me on how to do this as I have an Aztech sound card and am unable to get it to work.


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