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Old 09-17-2005, 11:57 AM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2005
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Which linux for an old pc

Im trying to install linux on an old pc, the specs are
32mb ram
3gb hard drive
currently uses windows 95

Ive tried damnsmall, which works, but runs too slowly to be usefull and has very few applications. Does anyone know of a good distro that will run smoothly on the pc? I dont need a graphical desktop but a few good programs included would be nice.

any suggestions?
Old 09-17-2005, 12:10 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Oslo, Norway
Distribution: Slackware 11, Solaris 10, Solaris 9, Sourcemage 0.9.6
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Slackware works on my 300MHz 192MB RAM box. I would suggest it.
Old 09-17-2005, 12:18 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Cork, Ireland
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I must say that i am a slackware fan. It comes with a full compliment of applications which will fit comfortably into the disk space available. Any linux distro will run on that machine, although i would not advise a graphical display if you are interested in performance. although, fluxbox runs very minimalisitc. I think when it really comes down to it, find a distro that you are comfortable with. Slackware can be a bit daunting at first because it is very unix-like ( ie: not easy to learn from scratch ) but once you have it working, it is great.
Old 09-17-2005, 12:20 PM   #4
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Im trying to install linux on an old pc, the specs are
32mb ram
3gb hard drive
currently uses windows 95
64 bit!? Are you sure? With those specs it can't be a 64 bit PC. Anyhow, I've ran debian (with no X) on a 300mhz 64mb ram and it was pretty darn smooth.

Old 09-17-2005, 12:23 PM   #5
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Bangalore, India
Distribution: RedHat 9 (2.4.20-8, RHL 3.2.2-5), Trying out Fedora Core 1 for x86_64 on Presario Laptop r3140us
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A 64bit cpu with 32 MB RAM?

I earlier had installed Redhat distro on my 486SX box with 4 MB RAM and 300 MB HDD. Worked very fine for command line desktop and occasionally ran X also. So, that should be good for you too.

My other box (PIII, 10+20+20GB, 320MB RAM) now runs Fedora Core 4 with complete X, and runs very good to play music, run java servers, vnc server, cvs server and DB servers, all at same time. (and I'm going to add a MQ server soon). Ofcourse, my transaction rate is not very high. YMMV.

Good Luck.
Old 09-17-2005, 12:40 PM   #6
Registered: Dec 2004
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Distribution: Debian
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I have vector linux 4.3 on a pc with these specs


Vector is slackware based ,so it can use slackware packages.It has the 2.6x kernel preinstalled and fast software.It runs icewm ,and fluxbox so it doesn't have all the features of kde or gnome.You will have to do some stuff via command line.You should give it a try.
Old 09-17-2005, 12:46 PM   #7
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As far as I know, any distribution (that you suceed to install) will work on this machine. If that may help, I sucessfully run Debian Sarge on my old 64 MB laptop. Everything works fine, but KDE and GNOME are too slow, so I generally use IceWM

[I don't think an "old" PC with 32 MB RAM has a 64 bits CPU...]

Good luck
Old 09-17-2005, 03:46 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot for the help, Im going to try slackware.
Old 09-17-2005, 11:53 PM   #9
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What do you want to do with such a machine. It will be command line only. I would use such a machine for something like a web server, mail server, firewall, or some other dedicated, command line only type system. You could install Smoothwall firewall, or use debian woody and configure it for dedicated use. A dedicated box needs no monitor, called headless, or keyboard because it can be maintained using a web browser, ssh, or putty. if the machine is for someone else, be kind, and think what you are doing.

Linux is like a classy woman. If you take her on a cheap date, but you don't ask for much, she will give you what you want. If you tolerate her little whims, she might do it again.


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