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Old 06-27-2014, 02:20 AM   #1
sammer47
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Hi, I would like to find out which distro would be best for an old dell


Hello, I have an old dell dimminsion 2400 that was running win xp and would like to know which (if any) distros would work best. I have increased ram by 2GB still have old celeron processer. It doe not have an optic burnner and it will not boot from USB,,,,,plz tell me there is hope....I do have access to a burnner Thanx for any help
 
Old 06-27-2014, 03:30 AM   #2
Cyberman
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Debian with network install, which should still be able to work with floppy disks.. You may want to backup your data over a network. I'm assuming you have a network connection. Otherwise, you would want to install something like Damn Small Linux and try to upgrade to Debian stable from there, which is something I'm not going to cover (maybe someone else would).

https://www.debian.org/releases/stab...apas02.html.en
Quote:
A.2.2. Floppy

If you can't boot from CD, you can download floppy images to install Debian. You need the floppy/boot.img, the floppy/root.img and one or more of the driver disks.

The boot floppy is the one with boot.img on it. This floppy, when booted, will prompt you to insert a second floppy — use the one with root.img on it.

If you're planning to install over the network, you will usually need the floppy/net-drivers-1.img. For PCMCIA or USB networking, and some less common network cards, you will also need a second driver floppy, floppy/net-drivers-2.img.

If you have a CD, but cannot boot from it, then boot from floppies and use floppy/cd-drivers.img on a driver disk to complete the install using the CD.

Floppy disks are one of the least reliable media around, so be prepared for lots of bad disks (see Section 5.4.2, “Floppy Disk Reliability”). Each .img file you downloaded goes on a single floppy; you can use the dd command to write it to /dev/fd0 or some other means (see Section 4.3, “Creating Floppies from Disk Images” for details). Since you'll have more than one floppy, it's a good idea to label them.

http://archive.debian.org/debian/dis...images/floppy/
Quote:
[DIR] Parent Directory -
[ ] boot.img 01-Mar-2010 09:46 1.4M
[ ] cd-drivers.img 01-Mar-2010 09:46 1.4M
[ ] net-drivers-1.img 01-Mar-2010 09:46 1.4M
[ ] net-drivers-2.img 01-Mar-2010 09:46 1.4M
[ ] root.img 01-Mar-2010 09:46 1.4M
https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/d...todate.en.html

After you install etch, you should be able to access the terminal by hold ctrl and alt AND pressing the one key on the top row of numbers. From there, you'll want to mess with aptitude. You'll more than likely want to go to the stable distribution (Debian Wheezy), because a fair amount of security fixes have occurred since Debian Etch was released.

Quote:
Chapter 9 - Keeping your Debian system up-to-date

9.1.1 aptitude

APT is an advanced interface to the Debian packaging system. It features complete installation ordering, multiple source capability and several other unique features, see the User's Guide in /usr/share/doc/apt-doc/guide.html/index.html (you will have to install the apt-doc package).

aptitude is the recommended package manager for Debian GNU/Linux systems. It is a text-based interface to APT using the curses library, and can be used to perform management tasks in a fast and easy way.

Before you can use aptitude, you'll have to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file to set it up. If you wish to upgrade to the latest stable version of Debian, you'll probably want to use a source like this one:

http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stable main contrib non-free

You can replace ftp.us.debian.org with the name of a faster Debian mirror near you. See the mirror list at http://www.debian.org/mirror/list for more information.

More details on this can be found in the sources.list(8) manual page.

To update your system, run

aptitude update

followed by

aptitude dist-upgrade

Answer any questions that might come up, and your system will be upgraded. See also aptitude, Section 8.1.3.

If you come across video (graphics) problems with the computer, then make another thread on the forum. For what I've read, they appear to be resolved; but I don't have a Dell 2400 like you. Graphics issues ought to be resolved after you upgrade to Debian Wheezy from Debian Etch.

Last edited by Cyberman; 06-27-2014 at 04:17 AM.
 
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:01 AM   #3
EDDY1
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While you may think that your machine doesn't boot from usb (like I thought a few years back) your usb stick may be recognized as a hdd (like mine was). If that is the case you will see a + next to hdd in bios.
 
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:22 AM   #4
Cyberman
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For future reference, you're going to want the i386 kernel. If the BIOS notices the USB drive, then it more than likely can boot from the USB. Sometimes there are obscure issues that take time to resolve, such as if you have a U3 Sandisk USB pendrive. The floppy disk method will be a straight fast way to get the issue resolved if you've had USB problems. Also, I don't know why you would want to move away from Windows XP. I would think a person would want to have a dual boot system unless you have a different computer with a working Windows operating system.

A distro that works best would be tailored to all of your computer hardware, and I don't know what distro would do that so well. But I suggest going with Debian. Also, with 2 GB ram, you could probably install Puppy Linux to RAM from a network install (but that's something I don't know how to do).

spider terms: dell dimension 2400, debian, etch, wheezy, 2014

Last edited by Cyberman; 06-27-2014 at 04:42 AM.
 
Old 06-27-2014, 05:46 AM   #5
jdkaye
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Here's what Distrowatch returns for a search for distros suitable for old computers.
jdk

Last edited by jdkaye; 06-27-2014 at 05:49 AM.
 
Old 06-27-2014, 06:30 AM   #6
NGIB
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This is probably a good choice:

http://www.mepiscommunity.org/mx

I have it running on my wife's old Lenovo and it is smooth and reliable...
 
Old 06-27-2014, 10:00 AM   #7
jpmcbooks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammer47 View Post
Hello, I have an old dell dimminsion 2400 that was running win xp and would like to know which (if any) distros would work best. I have increased ram by 2GB still have old celeron processer. It doe not have an optic burnner and it will not boot from USB,,,,,plz tell me there is hope....I do have access to a burnner Thanx for any help
My wife uses a dell dimension 3000 which had XP. I tried Ubuntu 12.o4 and 13.xx but it would not run videos in you tube.
I installed puppy Linux and all works fine. she is happy with it.
 
Old 06-27-2014, 07:20 PM   #8
frankbell
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According to a couple of links I looked at, that machine came stock with either 256k or 512k RAM, but, according to Wikipedia, that machine can have its RAM expanded to 2 GB. If you don't have that much RAM, you should seriously considering maxing it out. With 2 GB RAM, it should be capable of running most distros, though you might want to avoid heavier desktop environments such as Gnome an KDE.

If it has only 256k or 512k, it will have trouble dealing with almost every contemporary Linux distro.
 
Old 06-27-2014, 08:49 PM   #9
jefro
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You could get a gpxe disk and boot to a network location. Also similar to a pxe install. www.netboot.me would do also. slitaz is similar with a floppy.


Can take disk out and use usb to ide adapter on newer system. Be careful you remove the newer systems hard drive.

You might be able to borrow a usb cd drive. They might work on that system.

A 32 bit os would be the choice. Despite that fact you have 2G ram you will need to consider lightweight window manager and may have to fool with pae.

---------- Post added 06-27-14 at 08:49 PM ----------

You could get a gpxe disk and boot to a network location. Also similar to a pxe install. www.netboot.me would do also. slitaz is similar with a floppy.


Can take disk out and use usb to ide adapter on newer system. Be careful you remove the newer systems hard drive.

You might be able to borrow a usb cd drive. They might work on that system.

A 32 bit os would be the choice. Despite that fact you have 2G ram you will need to consider lightweight window manager and may have to fool with pae.
 
Old 06-28-2014, 07:32 PM   #10
JeremyBoden
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I've just loaded the Debian stable version of LXDE on a 512MB laptop.
It's much faster than the XP it replaces.

As a challenge, I got Debian to install it on its 80GB disk using a LVM partition.
 
Old 06-28-2014, 08:41 PM   #11
frankbell
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Cool!
 
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:20 PM   #12
Sumguy
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I have Slackware on an old IBM Thinkpad....and it works so well, you can't tell it from a modern computer. Much faster than Debian! (And I used to use Debian!)
 
Old 06-29-2014, 01:13 AM   #13
Archy1
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See if you can boot to a USB by first booting to Plop Boot Manager on a floppy (you do have a floppy drive, right) and then try chainloading to the USB. If that works, then you could install Debain from a USB just fine (At the first prompt of the Debain install boot, I recommend you go to "Advanced options" and then "Alternative desktop environments" and then LXDE or XFCE (depending on your preference) to get the most out of your hardware without sacrificing user-friendliness).

Plop would also allow you to install operating systems other than Debain (or even Linux) from USB.

Last edited by Archy1; 06-29-2014 at 01:15 AM.
 
Old 06-29-2014, 03:07 AM   #14
Cyberman
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I just remembered something. If installing etch, you have to install each new consecutive Debian version. Etch -> Lenny -> Squeeze -> Wheezy.

etch to lenny
http://www.howtoforge.com/how-to-upg...o-debian-lenny

lenny to squeeze
http://www.howtoforge.com/upgrade-de...w-simple-steps

squeeze to wheezy:
http://www.howtoforge.com/how-to-upg...eeze-to-wheezy

Last edited by Cyberman; 06-29-2014 at 03:10 AM.
 
  


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