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Old 08-24-2004, 03:26 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Gentoo 2006.1
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Newbie Friend + Old Computer + Linux

A newbie friend of mine has a higher end pentium II (for which I'll be stongly advising him to add lots of ram), and would like me to install linux on it for home desktop use, ie, amsn, firefox, xmms etc.

My question is this:

He knows very little about computers, and since KDE is not an option, what window manager setup would provide him with the highest speed and reliability while maintaining ease of use? What other things should I consider when installing the system, and would it be better to choose a flavour of BSD instead?

edit to add:: and which filesystem would be best?


Last edited by flamesrock; 08-24-2004 at 03:29 AM.
Old 08-24-2004, 03:44 AM   #2
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I'm partial to Fluxbox as a lightweight WM. Be sure all of the software you add for him is in the Fluxbox menu. I've run KDE 3.1.4 on a PII 400 MHz with 192 MB of RAM. It's not fast, but it's usable, so maybe KDE isn't toally out of the question. Filesystem type doesn't really matter on a desktop IMO, just so long as you get something journaled (EXT3 or ReiserFS).
Old 08-24-2004, 08:00 AM   #3
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Please provide more details about the machine -- how much RAM is available, what kind of video card does it have, what's the clock speed, how much disk space is available, etc. I'll agree with btmiller, and wouldn't write off KDE so fast, although it should be understood that it's unlikely that you will see blazing performance.

As for the file system, I would recommend either ext3 or reiserfs. -- J.W.
Old 08-24-2004, 07:47 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2003
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Thanks for the responses, guys

It turns out the computer is a 400mhz processor with 64megs of ram (he'll be adding 256 for 320megs) and amazingly, it can run windows XP so it looks like we'll go with KDE after all-minimal eye candy. The hard drive seems to be in good condition at 20gigs, while I'm not sure what kind of graphics card he has, I know its not going to be able to run Doom III and not likely anything 3d accelerated.
Old 08-24-2004, 08:16 PM   #5
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Depends on the cpu type and what video you put in it... With a P2-400 and a tnt2 you could run ut original or even Q3 maybe... certainly some of the older 3D stuff like early quakes 1 and 2... and legacy doom.
Old 08-24-2004, 09:50 PM   #6
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Colorado, USA
Distribution: Fedora Core
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check out Cobind

I installed COBIND on my old laptop (PII, 450mhz w/ 10G HD).....

Cobind rocks for newbies not looking to learn linux at first. It's all about less is more -- it has everything you need ONCE and nothing else (i.e. only one Word Suite, only one Music Player, only one etc etc) and it all works out of the box.

It's based on Fedora Core and I think they've done a very good job (it even has a GUI software manager).


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