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Old 01-02-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
RpgActioN
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Good distro for old hardware but new user?


I got a few old PCs that my neighbors threw out that I wanted to fix up so I could have a badass circle of computers. I don't have the specs to give on hand (I suppose I could scrounge them up if "old" isn't descriptive enough), but the one I'm working with right now is having trouble with Ubuntu 7.10 (goes generally slow and freezes when I try to connect to my wireless network).

I've got some experience with a few linux distros, but not much. I'm no expert. Any suggestions?
 
Old 01-02-2008, 01:18 PM   #2
jailbait
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I use Debian on moderately old equipment. My equipment is old enough that some distros fail to install on it. The ultimate old equipment distribution is Damn Small Linux. Try DSL on the really old stuff.

---------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 01-02-2008, 01:20 PM   #3
stefan_nicolau
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Have you tried using xfce or some other lightweight desktop environment/window manager?

In terms of ram:
64mb: icewm/flubox/etc. (slow)... ... better not use ubuntu/fedora/suse..., stick to the command line (yeah, it sucks, you can try slackware or dsl)
128mb: icewm (fast) or xfce (slow)
256mb: xfce (fast) or gnome (slow)
512mb: gnome, kde
 
Old 01-02-2008, 01:34 PM   #4
ddik
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For non bleeding-edge hardware, I recommend vectorlinux. It's slackware derived, and it's installer is text-based, but it's fairly easy to newbies, and it runs pretty well with 128Mb RAM with xfce. fluxbox and jwm are there if you want more speed.

Ah, and hi everyone. That's my first post in lq !!
 
Old 01-02-2008, 02:14 PM   #5
arochester
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The biggest determinant is probably the amount of RAM. If 7.10 NEARLY runs then try Xubuntu. Ubuntu and Kubuntu need a MINIMUM of 256Mb. Xubuntu is xfce and needs 128Mb. Install from the Alternate CD which only needs 64Mb, whereas an install from the LiveCD needs 192Mb.

As stated by stefan_nicolau you can try xfce or some other lightweight. Other xfces include Zenwalk, Sam and Dreamlinux.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 03:47 PM   #6
MoonMind
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Well, to complete the usual chorus, if you need something almost as mean as DSL but a little friendlier in appearance and design, then try Puppy Linux.

Of the proposals above, I like the "Debian+light GUI" one best, but frankly, that's not really "easy" (it's fun to configure if you know your way around, but in most cases, it takes time). If Xubuntu works, this'll be about the easiest to handle, closely followed by Fluxbuntu and Shift Linux - be sure to choose the Fluxbox flavour. DamnSmallLinux (DSL) is great in its way, but I wouldn't recommend it if you felt new to GNU/Linux. Of the others mentionned above, Zenwalk has performed better on really old hardware than Vector Linux did, and I like the look and feel, but I've read some enthusicastic reports about Vector 5.9 (choose Standard, not Deluxe!), so it may have become even better (it never was bad, mind). Zenwalk and Vector look quite similar, but they've got a different set of tools, so make sure to test them out thoroughly before deciding.

Okay, and before all the others look daggers at me for repeating a lot of things: I actually provided some links

M.

Last edited by MoonMind; 01-02-2008 at 04:03 PM.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 03:47 PM   #7
mrrangerman
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If you already have a distro installed keep what you have and just install a lite weight WM fluxbox or something like it. I'm running Slackware 11 on a PI laptop using fluxbox and it's usable. Linux is Linux so just stick with what you have.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 03:49 PM   #8
gacott
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Zenwalk would get my vote.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 03:58 PM   #9
MoonMind
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RpgActioN:

mrrangerman is right! Since you've got Ubuntu already installed, getting the Xubuntu packages is very easy; sorry, didn't even think about that! But if you can't get online, it's not all that simple - you might like a reinstall better...

M.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 08:17 PM   #10
arijit_2404
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Vector Linux, Zenwalk are two good xfce-based fast Linux distribution. I found Vector faster than Zen.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 08:47 PM   #11
ddik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrangerman View Post
If you already have a distro installed keep what you have and just install a lite weight WM fluxbox or something like it. I'm running Slackware 11 on a PI laptop using fluxbox and it's usable. Linux is Linux so just stick with what you have.
Well, that's not completely true...

If you keep your ubuntu, make sure you trim down your services started on boot. For example, HAL is a resource hog in low-end systems (polling daemons--).

Vectorlinux offers you to install HAL or VL-Hot (lighter). I suppose Zenwalk has other specific apps to make it nice for low end boxes too, but don't know.

If you have a REALLY old box. DSL might be your only option.

HTH
 
Old 01-02-2008, 09:07 PM   #12
oskar
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I would keep the installation you have now, and try E17 or Fluxbox instead of Gnome. Look at the software list of DSL. All those programs are available for ubuntu. Dillo as webbrowser, and so on.
If you are lucky xfce might even run. Just do "apt-get install xubuntu".
I don't think it's a particularly good idea to install dsl, puppy... or something like that as productive system. These make good showcases, but not so good productive systems.
 
Old 01-02-2008, 09:12 PM   #13
DragonSlayer48DX
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While you have Ubuntu installed, replace Gnome with xfce. If that's still too slow, then try Damn Small Linux. One nice thing about Linux is that you have so many options.

Cheers
 
Old 01-02-2008, 11:39 PM   #14
skrishnan_v
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Slackware + ICEWM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RpgActioN View Post
I got a few old PCs that my neighbors threw out that I wanted to fix up so I could have a badass circle of computers. I don't have the specs to give on hand (I suppose I could scrounge them up if "old" isn't descriptive enough), but the one I'm working with right now is having trouble with Ubuntu 7.10 (goes generally slow and freezes when I try to connect to my wireless network).

I've got some experience with a few linux distros, but not much. I'm no expert. Any suggestions?
there are so many suggestions! well, i would suggest slackware with icewm desktop. xfce is also good but icewm seems to be as fast if not faster with same utility. if slackware seems difficult to install, then you could go for some slackware based distributions.
if you have decided on slackware, there is one post install configuration you have to do. otherwise your mouse scroll does not work. the configuration is as:
1. open your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.
2. go to the section called Mouse. change the Protocol there to "IMPS/2".
3. add Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5" in the next line.
unfortunately, icewm is not included but xfce is. there are even ligher WMs like blackbox and fluxbox.
 
Old 01-03-2008, 12:09 AM   #15
AwesomeMachine
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There is no such thing as easy Linux for old hardware, except old Linux distros. If you're building a farm, you only need one machine to run an X server. You can run the others on terminal 1 (text based), and control them all using the one with the gui.
 
  


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