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Old 12-04-2006, 06:54 AM   #1
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Pentium II 128mb RAM 299Mhz, 6.2gb hdd - Best distro?

, which is currently running windows 98 very slowly, I don't want to run 98 for many reasons, and instead want to run linux.
The laptops specs: Pentium II 128mb RAM 299Mhz, 6.2gb hdd
Speed is an issue with me, and I'd like the laptop to run as fast as it possibly can, without me having to wait, basically like a nice desktop pc or laptop. And I want to know which distro would run best. Arch linux?
I also plan on installing some nice GUI programs, namely open office. I've been told running open office on this machine will mean open office runs quite slowly, are there any better office suites for the job that can open and save in open document and microsoft file formats?
I dont have many worries regarding the size of the HDD, as linux takes up considerably less room than windows. How much space should I set as swap to optimize the laptops performance but not lose a single unnecersary mb of space? Im not entirely sure how much programs like open office take up on disk, frankly I havent really had to worry about it, so id like to be a strict as possible with my diskspace as I don't want to run out.
The laptops primary uses will probably be word processing and not to complex spreadsheets and maths.
Some music too and possibly some videos but not really anything too intensive, a standard pc.
Thanks for any help you can give me as I realise ive asked allot :P
Old 12-04-2006, 02:07 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2006
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First, look at some live disks, to see what it can run. I would try knoppix ( and DSL ( With your specs, DSL would be most likely to run. It has XMMS, firefox, network stuff, and a word processor. But because it is so small, you won't get open office, games, or anything like that. You would need to install those later.
Old 12-04-2006, 03:02 PM   #3
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I'd recommend the Arch linux, Zenwalk, Vector linux or Gentoo (if you're a patient) on that.

I've also heard about BSD's being fast on laptops but they don't have good support for ACPI and all.

All in all it's your call as you should use what feels right for you.
Old 12-04-2006, 08:42 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2006
Distribution: Slackware 11
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Hi. I have a computer with almost those exact same specs. I'm by no means a linux expert at all,but I will just throw out the suggestion of slackware. The computer that I have that has almost hose same specs runs very well with slackware. I use fluxbox on it mainly for speed purposes,but kde did not load too terribly even with the options cranked a bit. As for your swap space,I have read that it should be double the size of the ram. I can't speak for open office since I haven't used it. I know that many people will say slackware is not a good distro for starters,but I started with it and actually found it easier to understand than the more common distros. They have an awesome online book which walks you through the basics,it can be found here. Like I said,I'm no linux expert by any means at all,but I found that slackware runs very well on older machines.
Old 12-04-2006, 09:20 PM   #5
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Distros for Older Hardware

I would vote Debian (we are all voting for our favorite distro right ? heh

or xubuntu..

and you can always consult Distrowatch and search for Old Computers

Minimal Distros good for older hardware

good luck in your search
Old 12-04-2006, 09:28 PM   #6
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: singapore
Distribution: puppy and Ubuntu and ... erh ... redhat(sort of) :( ... + the venerable bsd and solaris ^_^
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i dont have problems with your cpu but got a little problem with your ram ...

anyway , burn a few live cd like dsl and puppy and probably slax too ... with slax , its a little bit "higher-end" , probably you will end up running slack "permanently" in the end ...

after that , try ubuntu as a testing and warehousing platform for everything ...



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