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Old 07-03-2019, 02:29 PM   #1
swaanjati
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which version Linux is suitable for p4 machine with 512 mb ram ?


which version Linux is suitable for p4 machine with 512 mb ram ?
 
Old 07-03-2019, 02:41 PM   #2
jefro
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Hello and welcome to LQ.

Well, there are a number of current distro's that have been created to support minimal hardware. Distrowatch and other web pages offer lists for older hardware.

I guess you could also seek out older distro's if you simply want to run linux and don't care about current updated issues.

Antix, puppy, slitaz, slack, austrumi, and many others are commonly offered choices.

Other members here have their favorites too maybe they'll offer ideas.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 07-03-2019, 03:03 PM   #3
Mike_Walsh
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I'm running Puppy Linux on an elderly Dell 1100 laptop, from 2002.

This uses a 2.6 GHz P4, 1536 Mb of RAM, a 64 GB KingSpec PATA/IDE solid state drive, and dual-boots two Puppies internally.....and two more from a USB flash drive. And because Puppy is designed to run totally in RAM, it's also very fast & responsive, even on a P4.

Puppy's very newbie-friendly, especially tailored to appeal to those from the Windows side of the fence. Tool-tips and 'wizards' abound, making use of this remarkable little distro very easy.

You can find the currently available downloads here:-

http://puppylinux.com/

.....and the friendly forums here:-

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/index.php

---------------------------

AntiX is Debian-based, should you wish to go that route. It's quite a popular choice.
SliTaz is, um....'quirky', for want of a better description.
TinyCore is a very small distro, but is also very traditionalist; there's no 'hand-holding', so it tends to drop you in at the deep end. Prior Linux experience is advisable for this one.
Slack & Austrumi, I can't comment on, having never tried them.

There's plenty of very lightweight distros out there, but you need to experiment. Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and the whole raft of 'buntu-based 'spins' are getting so that you need a reasonably powerful, modern machine to run them; Mark Shuttleworth, head of Canonical, who produce Ubuntu, wants to compete directly with Windows nowadays.....

'Nuff said.

If you just want to be able to use an 'old clunker' from that period, Puppy takes some beating. But the decision is ultimately yours, of course.


Mike.

Last edited by Mike_Walsh; 07-03-2019 at 03:16 PM.
 
Old 07-03-2019, 05:45 PM   #4
jefro
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Mike_Walsh thanks, I forgot about tinycore.
 
Old 07-03-2019, 07:02 PM   #5
Mill J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Antix, puppy, slitaz, slack, austrumi, and many others are commonly offered choices.
I'm assuming you mean Slax, instead of slack? I've actually never heard of Austrumi but it sure looks interesting.

About the only distro I could run on a 512mb Compaq pc I had, was puppy. I've tried many but Puppy out preformed anything else.

 
Old 07-04-2019, 10:10 AM   #6
DavidMcCann
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If you're a beginner, I'd suggest Antix. I know from experience that it would work. Other things would, but are more difficult. The RAM is the real limitation: Xubuntu is fine on a P4, but easily uses up 1 GB. Since Puppy is intended to run in RAM, it really needs more than you've got to work well. It may work for Mike, but he has three times your RAM!
 
Old 07-04-2019, 11:51 AM   #7
Mill J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
If you're a beginner, I'd suggest Antix. I know from experience that it would work. Other things would, but are more difficult. The RAM is the real limitation: Xubuntu is fine on a P4, but easily uses up 1 GB. Since Puppy is intended to run in RAM, it really needs more than you've got to work well. It may work for Mike, but he has three times your RAM!
As mentioned above Puppy does run on 512mb RAM. In fact it runs better than antiX in my experience. My experience is with a Compaq Presario with a single core amd athlon xp 2600+ and 512mb RAM.
 
Old 07-04-2019, 12:17 PM   #8
ugjka
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Alpine, but if you are advanced linuxer
 
Old 07-07-2019, 05:17 PM   #9
Mike_Walsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
If you're a beginner, I'd suggest Antix. I know from experience that it would work. Other things would, but are more difficult. The RAM is the real limitation: Xubuntu is fine on a P4, but easily uses up 1 GB. Since Puppy is intended to run in RAM, it really needs more than you've got to work well. It may work for Mike, but he has three times your RAM!
David:-

I'll be the first to admit, the extra RAM really made a difference. It originally came direct from Dell with just 128 MB of the stuff (we had it from new), and Windows XP; how it ran at all with so little RAM beats me.

Dell's official response was always 'Max RAM = 1 GB'. I did some digging on Intel's website, years ago, and discovered that the old 845 chipset would in fact support up to 2 GB.....but Intel well & truly buried that nugget of information away in the dim depths of a 2001 white paper. It was never actually publicised. Or, if it was, I never found any reference to it. And NOT for lack of trying.

In the day, it was quite common to read of P4's running w/2 GB.....but never with the 845 chipset. These were almost always either the older 850 chipset, or the VIA P4X266 (which would in fact support up to 4 GB). And this was 2002, remember; at that time, 4 GB of RAM was considered an astronomical amount.....and total 'overkill' for most situations.

Now, of course, that same amount is considered by most to be woefully inadequate.....and 16-32 GB is the new 'standard'. For which I blame the modern internet, and stuff like Electron apps, which basically run on top of the Chromium browser. And that's no lightweight, either...


Mike.

Last edited by Mike_Walsh; 07-07-2019 at 05:41 PM.
 
Old 07-07-2019, 06:14 PM   #10
derezion
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# Hi
I would suggest looking into Bodhi Linux.
 
Old 07-08-2019, 12:08 AM   #11
FlinchX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaanjati View Post
which version Linux is suitable for p4 machine with 512 mb ram ?
There are certain things to think about here.

1. You need to see if your CPU is 32bit or 64bit, since the wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_4 claims it could be either. If you have a 32bit CPU, you will need to exclude the Linux distros that don't support 32bit anymore (like Arch Linux, that always had a preference for bleeding edge software, which eventually evolved over time into frowning upon older hardware it seems)

2. 512MB of RAM makes it not only a matter of which Linux distro to use, but also a matter of which particular programs will you use. 512MB is fine to run X and a window manager or even a lightweight desktop environment like Xfce if all you need is to run a text editor or read a pdf file in a lightweight pdf viewer. But run a notorious memory hog like a web browser (think Chrome/Chromium), open a couple of tabs with fancy "modern" JavaScript heavy sites and you'll hit swap in no time.

3. The Linux Kernel generally has a great policy of supporting well documented legacy hardware, but theoretically you might be using hardware that is not free software friendly and while it may provide kernel drivers, they may fail to compile with new kernels.

Your best bet is to prepare as well as you can before attempting real installs: write down the exact models of your hardware (CPU, video card, network cards), try booting from a live media like a livecd if your old computer has a CDROM, or a bootable USB flash drive if your old computer is able to boot that (computers that are too old can't boot from USB flash drives) and see if all your hardware works.
 
Old 07-08-2019, 07:18 AM   #12
ehartman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlinchX View Post
There are certain things to think about here.

1. You need to see if your CPU is 32bit or 64bit, since the wikipedia page
Almost all of the Pentium 4 cpu's are 32-bit ONLY, only the very latest ones, when already the Pentium-D and first Core ones had been released, got the 64-bit instructions backported FROM those cpu's.
From the wikipedia page you mentioned:
Quote:
The first Pentium 4-branded processor to implement 64-bit was the Prescott (90 nm) (February 2004), but this feature was not enabled. Intel subsequently began selling 64-bit Pentium 4s using the "E0" revision of the Prescotts, being sold on the OEM market as the Pentium 4, model F.
so if the system is older then 2004 it most certainly doesn't support 64-bit.
If you use "cat /proc/cpuinfo" and the "flags" path of the output doesn't include "lm" (LM = Long Mode. (64bit Extensions) then it's 32-bit only.
 
Old 07-13-2019, 01:26 AM   #13
mrmazda
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The way to tell if an installed non-running P4 is 32 bit or not is the CPU cooler. LGA775 sockets mount the cooler with a square pattern 2.8125" for 64 bit CPUs. LGA775's predecessor Socket 478 has a rectangular pattern 2.25" by 2.875" for 32 bit CPUs.

I don't remember if I ever tried more than 1GB in my 845 chipset Dell GX260. In my Intel motherboard with 845 chipset I have 1.5GB.

If OP is using onboard 845G video, then he has less than 512MB RAM for the OS, because the GPU shares system RAM.
 
Old 07-13-2019, 05:30 AM   #14
fatmac
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AntiX Base version, (Debian based), when installing, create a swap partition of 2GB, that will help considerably.

(You can add any extra needed software when you are up & running.)

If at all possible, increase the ram on it, as that will help speed up any system.
 
Old 07-13-2019, 09:18 AM   #15
rnturn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaanjati View Post
which version Linux is suitable for p4 machine with 512 mb ram ?
I think anyone's recommendations might be affected by what your plans are for the system. Server w/o GUI? General purpose computing with a modern desktop?

I still have an old Compaq EN (P-III, 866MHz, 512MB) that was, for a long time, used as the DNS and Nginx server for some internal web pages at home. It was running openSUSE 13.2 for a long time---no GUI, though. While Xorg is installed, the system boots to level 3. (On the rare occasions that I need to be in running at Level 5, it's painfully slow though that may be, in large part, due to the crummy old video adapter that's in the system.) I've got plans for it to help me complete an old project and it'll be running a recent stable Slackware for that. I have no doubts that Slack will be lightweight enough to keep it from being overtaxed but, again, it won't be running Xorg. (Well, maybe Xorg+twm.)

If your intent is a command-line-only system, IMHO, almost any distribution would probably work.

Cheers...
 
  


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