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Old 01-08-2009, 11:13 AM   #1
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Sharing Files Over Wifi on Old Dell P3

OK I am a newbie...I have dabbled a bit with Kubuntu. I have an old Dell P3 that I want to use as a file sharing device for music and files (with a Windows environment). First question what version of linux will be best on this old machine. Second question is what PCI wifi card will work best with linux. Third question, is this a task that a Linux newbie can achieve. I guess my thinking is Green. I am trying to make use of an older machine so it doesn't end up in a dump. I see all this ewaste and it sickens me. So I took this machine from a relative. I know Windows and Mac pretty well and looking to expand my knowledge. Any thoughts on Damn Small Linux? Please help!

Added Info: I don't have the actual specs in front of me. I will add direct info later. There is a possibility that this will not be the actual machine...I have a more powerful machine in the works.

Edit #2: OK OK here is the stats...Dell Optiplex GX1 P3 500mhz, 128 mb RAM, 10gb HDD....

Edit #3: I downloaded debian latest stable. Installed flawless on p3. I did, however find out the sound card and ethernet are toast! I think that I have a great start. Seems fairly quick. Linux could change the world. All these "old" computers could be awesome internet appliances and file servers. Green Green Green. I have half a mind to go to the local electronics recyclers and take a few off their hands. A guy could make a few bucks installing this onto any pc/mac and sell them as internet appliances.

Last edited by zip100473; 01-09-2009 at 07:46 PM.
Old 01-08-2009, 01:02 PM   #2
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What are the actual specs of the machine?

If you're just serving files and don't need any graphics, the best method is to do a command line only install. I usually use Debian because you can install a base install of like 400 MB and then build whatever you want on top of it. I even do this on my desktop machines that I add X Windows to. Kubuntu is based on Debian. Here's a good Debian tutorial on how to setup a box via the command line.

I haven't messed with wireless enough to know #2.

From your post, I would guess it will be easy enough for you to get the hang of this because 1) you don't seem afraid of learning something new, and 2) you have a clear objective that you'd like to achieve. The latter will make recognizing your problems easier because you know what you're trying to accomplish.

Good luck and I hope you give linux a try!

EDIT: Damn Small is probably more limited than what you want to do. As a newbie, it'll be easier for you to work with pre-compiled packages. DSL has a limited number of packages available for it. I would go with Debian Lenny (will be stable soon) or a Ubuntu "Alternative" install which will let you get a stripped down Ubuntu. Debian has like 20,000 packages in the official repositories, plus unofficial repositories like debian Multimedia...

Last edited by pljvaldez; 01-08-2009 at 01:06 PM.
Old 01-08-2009, 02:10 PM   #3
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re: is this a task that a Linux newbie can achieve.
My comment is really just to encourage your project. I have a PIII 600MHZ machine that serves 550Gig+ of media to my home network. But it does more such as maintain a Fedora mirror, Slackware-current and it is the machine I use for burning CDs/DVDs &tc.

Regarding which distro would be best ... Personally, I am partial to Slackware which Damn Small Linux is based upon. However, I am inclined to agree with pljvaldez - a Debian related distro would be an easy transition from Kubuntu.


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