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Old 11-17-2008, 08:12 PM   #1
Tom Nichol
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Question Distribution Recommendation Requested for Dell Dimension XPS D300

Hiya, folks! I'm in the middle of upgrading an old Dell Dimension XPS D300 for my younger sister. It has a Pentium 2 at 300 MHz., and I'll be upgrading it to the maximum RAM of 384 MB, with at least an 80 GB hard drive. My question is: Which current distributions of Linux would be best suited to a "legacy" system such as this? As of right now the clock speed of the CPU seems to be the limiting factor; are there any other major potential "gotchas" I need to know about? Thanks in advance for any help or advice any of you can provide!

Tom Nichol
Old 11-17-2008, 08:22 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2008
Distribution: Ubuntu
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I'm running Debian Lenny on a Compaq 450Mhz with 386 ram, and it's fine. It's not fast, but it works.

If you want something to run quickly, try DamnSmallLinux or Puppy Linux, they're optimal for slower hardware.

Other than that, most distros would probably work on your box, your biggest concern is which desktop environment to use, you might want to consider XFCE or a lightweight window manager in place of GNOME or KDE, though KDE and GNOME work fine on mine...

hope that helps...
Old 11-17-2008, 08:49 PM   #3
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RedHat or Mandrake for legacy systems

I used to run RedHat on a system similar to that. Worked great with WindowMaker as a window manager. Just had to make sure not to overload with too many programs running. Since there is no personal RedHat now, I guess use Mandrake, just be careful on the install (It likes to install a lot of stuff you don't necessarily need on an old PC.)

I would definitely avoid running GNOME or KDE. They will run, but you will lose a lot of processing power on a 300 MHz PC. Also, you can always tweak the kernel to work better for that processor, but if you've never done it, you might just wait until you have some free time and a spare PC to work with.

Good Luck,
Mark Schiltz
Old 11-17-2008, 09:10 PM   #4
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My mistake. RedHat personal was replaced with Fedora Core, NOT Mandrake.


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