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Old 12-27-2004, 10:50 AM   #1
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Registered: May 2004
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distribution for old, slow computer

I installed RH8 on my system last year, with appreciated help from this forum. OpenOffice turned out to be a disaster in terms of speed, there is some kind of bug with AbiWord 1.0 (!), and Mozilla won't do Java correctly. I think that I need more updated versions, that aren't compatible with the Gnome that came with RH8.
Anyway, I'm looking for a distribution that will run satisfactorily on a Pentium I MMX, 166. I can upgrade memory (now 128) and hard drive space, but am not interested right now in changing CPU. I'm also still a newbie -- I can pare down an installation, and was starting to look into recompiling the kernel, but am not really interested in continuous tweaking.
What I'm looking for is medium-slow speed, spreadsheet, word processor and browser. Any suggestions?
Old 12-27-2004, 11:02 AM   #2
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Take something which can be run from the command line as start. That leaves out any of the really newbie graphical distros like Mandrake. Examples of things that'll do are debian, slackware, gentoo. Then only install command line programs or use a lightweight window manager like fluxbox with light programs like abiword. It won't go fast but it's better than running KDE and Gnome which need a lot of resources.
Old 12-27-2004, 11:10 AM   #3
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Whoa! Pentium I
You definitely need some lightweight stuff!
Try Slackware minimal with expert install. Choose your own packages without Gnome, KDE amd other heavy DE. while installing choose "cholesterol free desktop environment"
Old 12-27-2004, 05:01 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Anything that'll install...
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Are you serious??

Try a hard disk install of Damn Small Linux. I've run it on a P1 with 64MB RAM before. Not too sure if it has a speadsheet though...
Old 12-27-2004, 06:22 PM   #5
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Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Mersyside, UK.
Distribution: Fedora Core 3 (2.6.9-1.681 Kernel)
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You might like to try MEPIS.
This is a tiny O/S which carries several advantages over many distros, for a start it is based on Debian (so package access is wide and varied). It is tiny and can be run as a Live cd with you saving home and config to either disk or removable media such as USB Memory sticks. But where it really stands out is you have the option to install it to Harddisk at anytime you like. The Kernel option gives you a choice of 2.4.26 0r 2.4.7 both stable and tried kernels. Good Luck in your search
try the review in "Linux Format" Jan 2005 issue
Old 12-27-2004, 06:43 PM   #6
Registered: Aug 2004
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I'd say your best bet is Damn Small Linux or a VERY minimal gentoo (base utils).
Old 12-27-2004, 07:23 PM   #7
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Since both of the above MEPIS and DAMN SMALL LINUX are Debian and Knoppix based it's really down to desktop design for most.
Fancy icons= less speed,
Another that many Linux users have favoured is Ubuntu this runs Gnome 2.8 as a GUI and is apparently very stable
Old 12-27-2004, 08:05 PM   #8
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Distribution: knoppix,mandrake,
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lightweight distros

I'd give peanut a try Lots of eye candy, though some hardware my cause grief, if that does not work I'd look into vector not as pretty but, very capable, you want the SOHO version, for all the office apps. Mepis as mentioned before is also an option,
Old 01-03-2005, 07:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll start looking into them. Slow but stable -- could be a lot worse.
Old 01-12-2005, 04:34 PM   #10
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Arch, Debian and FreeBSD
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old computer

I have exactly the same cpu, but with 64mb ram. I run debian with
window manager fluxbox
browsers:dillo, links2 -g
email program: sylpheed claws
spread sheet: abs, siag (or gnumeric which is slower)
word processing: ted, flwriter, abiword(quite slow) , ...

Without a problem and it's nice to use. Good speed, usability, etc.

I just look for fast programs in the list of programs of DSL most of the time.

I'd give DSL a try if I was you

Last edited by gunnix; 01-12-2005 at 04:37 PM.
Old 04-18-2005, 11:43 AM   #11
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thanks for the feedback.
I took the above suggestion for Ubuntu low-ram, with icewm.
It is working except Mozilla and gnumeric are slow. I'll look into your suggestions.
Old 04-18-2005, 12:15 PM   #12
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Neverland
Distribution: Slackware / Ubuntu
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no no..get gentoo linux with ice wm its kewl too
Old 04-18-2005, 12:26 PM   #13
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: Slackware 11 + Dropline Gnome 2.16
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slackware with "fvwm + rox" will give u everything
Old 04-18-2005, 12:34 PM   #14
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Santiago, Chile
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Wound't recommend Gentoo. It's true that once installed is great, but this is after compiling everything in a Pentium machine ...

I think that any binary package distribution (like Debian) with the right applications will be fine...
Old 04-18-2005, 01:43 PM   #15
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: USA
Distribution: Vector Linux 5.1 Std., Vector Linux 5.8 Std., Win2k, XP, OS X (10.4 & 10.5)
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I would NOT recommend Memphis for your machine.

I would reccommend DSL and Vector Linux.

Good Luck


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