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Old 08-12-2003, 04:44 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Hull, England
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
Thumbs up Help!! Linux Virgin!

Hi Guys n Girls,

I have just aquired a free machine off one of my friends its a
P150 (150 MHz)
64MB Ram
3 x 2 Gb Hard Drives
Intel Network Card
Currently Running Win98 (lol)

I want to run a Linux machine and I will eventually network it and get a modem so I can use it on the net,

Now my questions are...

Which Linux?

Where from (for free, cos im a skint graduate)(any website links would be appreciated)?

How big will the installation be as each drive is a Max of 2 Gb?

How do I install it?

I am planning on formatting all three drives, but whats the deal with FAT32, do I need to format it in some kind of Linux FS or what?

Cheers Chaps and Chapesses
Old 08-12-2003, 04:54 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: May 2003
Location: Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Distribution: slackware
Posts: 4,185

Rep: Reputation: 60 and download the distro of your choice....
you can go through this site and read peoples reviews on some distros, and you can be the judge as there is no right and wrong answer on which distro to of the filesystem, when you put the linux cd in, you boot your machine up and it will boot from the cdrom and the installer is more basic then any windows installer so that won't be the issue, but in the installation, you will have a partitioning/formatting screen and you will just select to remove all partitions and let it make its own for you....
as of your hardisk size, i have seen distros that can read the amount of a 5gig installation, so you will have to do a custom install and pick whatever you want to install, obviously making it as minimal as possible...
also if the machine is not capable of booting from cdrom you can use the rawrite.exe utility on the cdrom and insert the installation cd into your drive from within win98 and make a linux bootdisk, and then bootup your machine using that bootdisk..
Old 08-12-2003, 04:59 PM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,149

Rep: Reputation: 269Reputation: 269Reputation: 269
Moved: Seems more suitable in the Newbie forum.

1. Which Linux?

Well, this is a question asked all the time. You might want to consider searching as you'll probably find many threads dicussing which is best for newcomers to Linux.

My recommendation would be to install Mandrake or Redhat, the more popular distro's and more user friendly from some of the others.

2. Where?

This is another question that is asked quite often.

One of the biggest sites to download Linux from is at

3. How big?

Well depends on what your going to install and what distro. I can install Slackware only to take up about 800 megs at times but sometimes the full install can go well beyond 2 GB's. Suse comes with over 4 GB's of packages you can install from.

4. How to install?

Search the forums, this is asked all the time and is a very vague question actually. You should just plunge right in and start installing, maybe picking up a book that might explain the installation process or your question. There are many tutorials out there and searching this site even will get you started.

5. Formatting?

Yes, during the install, you will format the drives and partition them using a Linux compatible Filesystem.

PS. Also in the future, try to make better and more helpful thread titles, yours does not explain your question(s) in any way.

Last edited by trickykid; 08-12-2003 at 05:33 PM.
Old 08-12-2003, 05:04 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: france
Distribution: mdk9.1
Posts: 2

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I ve once installed mdk9.1 on a p166mhz with 64meg ram and it's so slowwwwww.
You'd better add ram up to 128meg, hard disk space is enough, p150mhz is too slow.

have a look to older distribs

Old 08-12-2003, 05:42 PM   #5
Ken Ju-On
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Unstable
Distribution: Slackware 9.1, Mandrake 9.1, SuSE 8.2, Mandrake 9.2
Posts: 108

Rep: Reputation: 15
If you're new to Linux, I think you'd start well with SuSE 8.2 or Mandrake 9.1, as Red Hat tends to try and combine the two most popular desktops, and certain programs such as MP3 players have been left out of the box due to certain issues. I've read that people are dropping out of Red Hat ever since the 9.0 version came out cos it was problematic.

I've tried both SuSE 8.2 and Mandrake 9.1 - both are good for newbies, but I prefer Mandrake 9.1 because, as a newbie-newbie I find it a bit easier to work with and less cluttered. So if it were me, I'd suggest you go for Mandrake 9.1.

Erm.... it is possible to install Linux in a 2GB hard drive but I'm sure you'll want to experiment and discover, so... I'd say it's best if you get a bigger hard drive.

Installing isn't half as hard as a newbie would think. With Mandrake 9.1 - my first distro - it was installed before I knew it. Of course, you have to know basic stuff like what hardware components you're using because you will sometimes want, or have to tell Linux what hardware you've got during the installation. Just make sure you backup important data in case you mess up your partitions (unlikely if you're conscious that you are supposed to install Linux in its own partition). For your first install, decrease the size of your existing Windows partitions, leaving some unpartitioned space. Modern distros will ask you if you want to use this free space for your install. Just be conscious of not overwriting your existing partitions and you'll be fine. My first Linux install, with Mandrake 9.1, was a breeze.

Gee, this is the first time I've given advice to anyone. All the time I was asking newbie questions here and there. If you're stuck at any point, there're always friendly and knowledgeable people around here who'll answer your questions.

Would you mind if I suggest a hardware upgrade? A slightly faster system would work wonders for you and Linux.
Old 08-12-2003, 06:31 PM   #6
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Distribution: gentoo
Posts: 52

Rep: Reputation: 15
I wouldn't go with redhat, mandrake or suse on a p150 and more than I'd install windowsXP. Waiting for that computer is going to crush the life out of you. You could probably do some kind of minimal install but you're going to lose half of the stuff that's supposed to make it easy.

I would go pick deb, slack or gentoo for a computer that old. I can vouch that the docs for gentoo are very easy to follow, and you'll learn a ton more by mucking around in the guts of the system. Then, it's all about a lightweight window manager. Blackbox works for me and Rox for when you need to drag and drop.

I also seem to recall a distro called lunix? Especially designed for lightweight hardware, but I've never tried it.

Yes you should format your hd. There are many different linux filesystems each with their own strengths and weaknesses. You get to pick which one you want. Get used to picking between apples, oranges, pears, kiwis and bananas because that's what it's all about.


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