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Old 03-03-2010, 06:31 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2010
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04 - Lucid Lynx, Fedora 13, OpenSUSE 11.2
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Recommendation for a low spec machine

Hello all,
I am a relatively new linux user, and am happily running Ubuntu and OpenSUSE on my machines. However, I have given my parents an old laptop which currently has Windoze XP on it, and it struggles to deal with it. The machine is an Intel Celeron 1.73 GHz, with 256 MB RAM and a 30GB HD.

I tried Ubuntu on it, but it struggles with that even, so I am considering Xubuntu because of the Xfce DE, but I was wondering whether there were any other lightweight alternatives, which would keep the machine running smoothly, while still keeping up to date software-wise.

Any recommendations and/or advice would be gratefully appreciated!
Thank you.
Old 03-03-2010, 06:39 PM   #2
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hmm 256 megs of ram is rather small but i might recomend something like puppylinux or some other small distro
the other option would be to simply upgrade the ram to 512 megs or 1 gig
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:48 PM   #3
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Astrumi, puppy, dsl, vector, xpud, tinycore, qnx6, haiku-os, some bsds.

See this too.
Old 03-04-2010, 12:43 AM   #4
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Since you use Ubuntu

Try Mint XFCE, this way you'll be familiar with the Ubuntu repositories and the handling of plugins:

The minimum requirements state 256MB ram although recommends 512, but you can try it as a live CD before installing it:
Old 03-04-2010, 01:24 AM   #5
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Have a look at slitaz

There was a distrowatch review recently:


Old 03-04-2010, 01:28 AM   #6
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XFCE is not much difference over Gnome. JWM is nice and light weight gui interface you see in Puppylinux, good for the non tech users, and Xmonad is nice for the powerusers. If you'd like to use Ubuntu, I'd suggest getting the Ubuntu Server iso with no gui, and then installing/compiling the desktop environment you want, and start to remove unneeded support for things not used, such as things designed for laptops, bluetooth, etc. and if you want to take it to more extremes to really optimize for performance, and building a kernel with only modules specific to your hardware as opposed to using a distro kernel which is designed to support a wide range of hardware.
Old 03-04-2010, 06:17 PM   #7
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I've just been trying out some live-CD versions of small distros, and I found Puppy quite nice; your computer has far higher specs than Puppy's minimum, so it would run well.

I can't recommend SliTaz: some of the help files have not yet been translated from French.


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