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p3ngu!n 11-24-2004 07:03 PM

Looking for a small Linux distro...
I'm about to inherit a very old Pentium 166, 32MB ram that my girlfriend does not want to put to waste. I told her it would make a great Linux box because there are several Linux distros that it can handle.

Alas, I only know DamnSmallLinux, FeatherLinux, and Morphix. I'd like to have a mostly complete Linux distro with a GUI (I'm a GUI whore, don't give me console only distros, please) and so far Morphix looks like a winner. I'd like opinions from the experts though. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I'll mostly be doing browsing, FTPing, some image viewing possibly and playing music (XMMS can handle that just fine, methinks). Currently I'm a fan of FluxBox but XFCE looks like it would suit my tastes better (I've yet to check it out though...)

I have no knowledge of installing desktop environments but if I can have a good distro and someone teach me a very simple and easy way to install FluxBox/XFCE (or any other simple and quick desktop environment) on it, I'd be eternally grateful. Otherwise just recommend me already packaged small distros with FluxBox, etc. and I'll check em out.

Ready and easy-install distros are much preferred, however I'm not too shy to experiment if it would really make it worthwhile.

Help? Thanks in advance!

marghorp 11-24-2004 07:40 PM

I only used DSL, but I loved it. So small, yet so efficient :)

iago 11-24-2004 08:08 PM

I use Slackware with WindowMaker (although BlackBox is good too) on my 266mhz.

p3ngu!n 11-24-2004 08:29 PM


Originally posted by iago
I use Slackware with WindowMaker (although BlackBox is good too) on my 266mhz.
Is WindowMaker IceWM? Does it come with the Slackware CDs?

vectordrake 11-24-2004 08:34 PM

Slack and Debian are both good on older machines, as they require much less RAM to get installed. WHen using that machine, you'll likely be swapping a bit (see if there are any free RAM slots - most computer shops either chuck or give away the old 72 pin RAM these days). Vector is another good choice for an older machine like that.

/blastphemy on

...or you could check ebay for a cheap copy of Win 95 and raid the bargain bin of your local computer or pawn shop for all those fun DOS-based games (I know, Dosemu is a choice for this task too, but why work hard at it) we can't install on newer OS's

/blastphemy off


vectordrake 11-24-2004 08:35 PM


Originally posted by p3ngu!n
Is WindowMaker IceWM? Does it come with the Slackware CDs?
No, and yes. But IceWM is a good choice as well. Also Fluxbox,Openbox,Blackbox,XFCE,ion,FVWM,UDE, or AmiWM are all decent choices as well.

soylentgreen 11-24-2004 09:07 PM

zipslack with Enlightenment would be very small.. and very pretty..
make sure you get some GCC tools to configure new apps with, tho..

p3ngu!n 11-24-2004 09:27 PM

I have both Slackware 10.0 and Debian 3.0r2 Install CDs.

Which one of these would be easiest to install? I've only tried to install Slackware before.
Which one includes which window managers? I'm looking for WindowMaker, IceWM, FluxBox, and/or XFCE already included and basically a one-click process in the install (or wherever) just to add it and set it as default...

iago 11-24-2004 09:29 PM

Slackware comes with them if you do a default install.

p3ngu!n 11-24-2004 09:29 PM

I hear Debian is better because of aptget... I don't know which one to choose. :confused:

vectordrake 11-24-2004 09:33 PM

Apt-get is definitely a strong draw card for Debian. If you want easy administration, it would work well, although you could download and use swaret in the same manner for Slack. Your Slack version is definitely a lot newer, though, which has its attributes as well - like better hardware detection and a less time-consuming install. Of course, you could update Debian to the level of your Slack disks pretty easily as well.

p3ngu!n 11-24-2004 09:35 PM

I really want ease of use, I won't really be installing much applications, but if I do I would like to try to do it myself. I want to learn Linux. And this swaret you mention might also be good. So I'm better off with Slackware then, overall?

vectordrake 11-24-2004 09:55 PM

You'll start off with a more modern system with your Slack disks, but if you have a good internet connection, then Debian is easier to upgrade. I almost never download more than the first cd of any distro any more. But that's me. I like to start with the base system, upgrade to newest, and then add what I want from the mirrors. That leaves less upgrading in the end. The choice is yours. I'd probably go with Slack, since its newer (hey, the disks have a 2.6 kernel somewhere on them,. which Woody does not).

p3ngu!n 11-24-2004 10:09 PM

I found this distro based off Slackware called slax thanks to one of the members in another thread.

I really like the look of it, I'll be checking this one out before Slackware. Thanks for your help. You cleared a quite a few doubts!

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