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Old 07-28-2005, 09:53 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Linux installation old computer

I have an old computer lying in a corner, AMD K6-2 400 MHZ, 192 RAM, 8GB Harddisk and windows 98SE currently installed and has been lying unsed for some time.

I am completely new to Linux and would like to format windows and install Linux in the computer. I would also like to keep using my old Word/excel/powerpoint documents and watch TV (with installed WINTV card). which distribution will be most appropropiate for the computer?

Thanks in advance for replies


Last edited by sanepa; 07-28-2005 at 11:35 AM.
Old 07-28-2005, 10:23 AM   #2
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Welcome to LQ!

Personally, I like Fedora Core, but unfortunately, it runs a bit heavy and your system will probably not like it. If you want my advice, go with Slackware. It's a straightforward distro, but you can do everything you need to from XWindows. Normally, I would recommend ArchLinux at this point, but it's optimized for an i686. You might still want to give it a try though.

WinTV shouldn't be a problem, has a really good explanation of WinTV uner Linux. OpenOffice should suffice all of your office needs (I like it better than office actually). If you go with slackware, you have the added benefit of already knowing where the OFFICIAL Slackware support forum is (here). Let us know if you have any other questions, or need some help getting started.

Old 07-28-2005, 10:40 AM   #3
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I'd recommend Mepis. With 196megs of RAM, you'll be able to run the "full" version rather than the obscure "lite" version.

Mepis is a liveCD, which means that you can try it out straight off of the CD without actually installing anything on the hard drive. The liveCD is also the install CD, for when you want to install the OS onto the hard drive.

How much free disk space do you have? If you can trim it down to, say, 4-5gigs, then you have enough space left over to dual boot without sacrificing your current Win98 setup.

The way to set this up is to first boot up in Windows 98 and then defrag the hard drive. This "packs" the files so the partition can be shrunk.

Then, boot up the Mepis CD, and run QTParted (it's a Partition Magic clone). Using it, you shrink the existing Win98 partition, and then create an extended partition in the remaining space (3-4gigs).

Within this extended partition, you'll want to make two partitions--one ext3 partition (2.5-3.5gigs) and one swap partition (.5gigs).

Then, run the Mepis installer. It will ask you some questions, and you'll want to install Mepis on the ext3 partition.

After Mepis is installed, you'll have a dual boot system! When you turn on the computer, it gives you the option of either booting into Windows or booting into Linux.
Old 07-28-2005, 11:09 AM   #4
Registered: Jun 2005
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Smile Slack...

Slackware is a good choice if you are willing to learn... live and learn in Slack, but perhaps you would like to start with a variant of slack that has some nicer features like a cd automounter and a usb automounter, and I think a happy installer and auto setup of your mouse wheel! Actually, i say give Vector linux a try, it is slackware with some nice happy added features and would run nice on your system. For your computer though, you may have to consider another window manager besides KDE or Gnome, because they are hogs. It is a possibility that you will need to use XFCE or others

happy hunting (try all the distros ever!),

Old 07-28-2005, 12:04 PM   #5
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I'd install Mandriva 2005LE, cause it's really easy to work with and I think it will work just fine in your computer. I had Mandrake10 with KDE installed in PII ThinkPad 300Mhz, 192MB and it worked just fine.
Now I have Gentoo with KDE 3.4 in that same ThinkPad, but can't prefer that to first distro.

The installer finds out that you have W-dows installed and gives you the option to shrink that partition. Maybe you should defragment that Assdows before installing, but I think you don't have to make it in present days.

Of course you can install lighter windowmanager (icewm,fluxbox...) and everything works even better, but then you lose some nice utilities and tools.
Old 07-28-2005, 01:45 PM   #6
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I recently installed FC4 to a pII 333mhz with 384 Mb ram. It runs KDE a bit slowly, but not as slow as windoze XP.
Old 07-28-2005, 07:17 PM   #7
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Arrow Be Careful!

Watch out for the bloatware distros on older hardware (Mandrake, Fedora, Suse, KDE in general) Don't admonish me, I've tried 'em all : D

Old 07-28-2005, 08:31 PM   #8
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DSL is ok, you can use most anything if you have only th processes you need running and a light window manager.
Old 08-26-2005, 08:05 AM   #9
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Re: Linux installation old computer

Hi there,

thanks everybody who replied to earlier my post. I tried the Vectorlinux, but got problem with the internet connection, sound and watching dvds. I tried many things but due to my limited knowledge could not get them working properly. Now I would like to try another distribution, somebody suggested me SimplyMepis. For that do I have to completely uninstall the vectorlinux and the Windows/linux startup-Lilo?

Thanks in advance


Last edited by sanepa; 08-26-2005 at 09:19 AM.
Old 08-26-2005, 08:39 AM   #10
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
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I've got a K2-450 with 192 Meg and 2 10 gig hard drives. Runs Slackware great. Mepis is a really friendly distro for a newbie. I had some problems with that on this computer, though. Everything ran, but it was very slow. So that one may not work out for you.

What I'd suggest is go to one of the on-line CD warehouses and buy their "package deal" It will contain several different distros you can try at will. Try a couple and you will discover what you are really looking for.



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