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Old 12-01-2004, 02:36 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Delaware
Distribution: Slackware
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old laptop distro help

Looking for a suitable distro for an older laptop.

The laptop iis a IBM Thinkpad 760el.

I have a floppy drive(bootable)
also have cd drive (non bootable)

The hard drive is only 1gig.

I was thinking on using:

1: Damn Small.
2. Vector
3. Debian??

I am just looking to get rid of window95 which is currently on it.

I would like to be able to play music/surf net/games.

Question #2. how would I take a distro from cd ISO to floppy's?

last resort is a network install if I can't get floppies to work.

Any input is appreciated.
Old 12-01-2004, 03:22 PM   #2
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What are the specifications of the Thinkpad?
Old 12-01-2004, 09:35 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Delaware
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 351

Original Poster
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Specs for IBM Thinkpad 760EL:

Pentium I

32Mb ram

1Gig HD

Sound Card ESS1688
(Sound Blaster compatible)

PCMCIA controller Texas Instruments PCI1130

Graphics card Trident TGUI9320LCD

Pointing device generic
PS/2 device (/dev/psaux
Old 12-01-2004, 09:55 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Pocatello, Idaho, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
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I usually recommend Vector but it requires something like 800MB to install plus you need a Swap partition so theoretically you could install vector but You wouldn't have much if any hard disk space left.

DamnSmall might be your best bet, but I'm not sure how compressed it is. It may only be a 50MB ISO but the compression used on the knoppix based distros is huge. On knoppix you can fit something like 2-3 gigs on a 700MB CD. What you might have to do is see if you can do a lazy man's install of DamnSmall. I saw it for Mepis (another live distro). What it does is, instead of installing the OS, copy the contents of the disk to your hard drive just as they are on the CD then when you use your boot media you use a command to get it to read the Hard Drive instead of the disk.

You might also try slackware. Many people swear by it but I haven't used it personally. It will let you select what packages you want installed and the absolute minimum choices should fit just fine. I will warn you that Slackware can be intimidating to newbies because of it's absolute control of the insallation. I have tried installing it and usually run out of space on my vector laptop because i select to much.

some other choices you might look at for lite Linux distros (these are all live like DamnSmall) are, Puppy Linux, Feather Linux, PHLAK, and Berry Linux Lite. A word of caution for Berry Linux is that it is a Japanese distro and defaults to Japanese so on startup you'll have to put in the following command:

berry lang=en
My use berry is limited so I don't know if you can install it and make it default to english.

A few last notes for general:

Get a distro that has a boot floppy option
Get a light distro
After installation, Delete any unnecessary programs.
After Installation, Try to replace included software with lighter equivalents (e.g. dupe Mozilla Suite for Dillo web browser and slypheed email client).

EDIT: Try to get a distro with a 2.6.x Kernel or has ALSA included so you can configure your sound easier.

Last edited by Zuggy; 12-01-2004 at 09:56 PM.
Old 12-02-2004, 12:38 AM   #5
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Delaware
Distribution: Slackware
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Zuggy. Thank you for taking time out of your life to help me out. I appreciate it.

I would like to get a distro with the latest stable kernel, and on the minimal side. I am not a developer.
All I want is a box I can let my niece an nephew beat on when they are here.( ie. internet/games/music)

I have been thinking about Slackware also, but thought I wouldn't be able to get it down to < 1gig without only downloading the bare min router/firewall option. ( I am a new Slackware 10 groupie.)(MY NEW FAVORITE DISTRO)

I have used most of the distros you mentioned except for berry. I like the way PHLAK is setup. It is very efficient and light. I just don't need the network security/pen test stuff.

I wish I could get a new laptop hd in there, but the connector is like nothing I have ever seen.

I am a Firefox fan also, but thank you for the heads up on Dillo and slypheed.

Thanks again.




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