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Old 09-11-2004, 06:38 PM   #1
rhb_hj
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Angry Not at all impressed !! A Newbie's experience


Hi all,

As noted earlier I managed to install 10.0 (finally), however between installing and running there is a large difference! Install applications according to the instructions? Forget it!! It just doesn't happen, if it isn't one error then it is another!

So I reformatted the partition and reinstalled 9.2 At least with that version there is some rhyme and reason.
Now if one of the gurus can point me in the right direction with three problems I probably can get some work done.

First problem: accessing the printer facility in Mandrake Control Panel gets the HDD running and not stopping. It ran for at least 15 minutes and I finally had to cut the power because there was no response from the system. What exactly is going on?

Second problem: accessing any of the applications is as slow as molasses. Sure this is a Pent 166 with 64M RAM, but give me a break! This is ridiculous performance compared to what most Linuxers term "crappy Windows".

Third problem: In the install guide it mentions keeping a partition of 256M for the swap section. Now pray tell, how does LINUX know where the Swap is supposed to go?

Do I sound frustrated? You better believe it!
Perhaps I shell out a lot of money for Win apps, but at least those I can get running and do some work. So far I spent 24 solid hours fiddling with Mandrake Linux with nothing to show other than more gray hair.

My advise to other LINUX newbies: if you decide to try with Mandrake (supposedly the easiest one of the distros) do yourself a favour and start with 9.2
10.0 is - according to my experience (all 24 frustrating hours of it) - nothing but problems! It starts with the install, continues with how KDE displays and goes on and on from there.

Now, perhaps there are some Gurus out there who would have me try this or that distro. Well frankly, if everyone says Mandrake is the easiest, but I find it still behaves like an obstinate, non cooperative mule, then I'm certainly not jostling with even more obstinate stuff.

Last edited by rhb_hj; 09-11-2004 at 06:41 PM.
 
Old 09-11-2004, 07:16 PM   #2
DrOzz
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well as of your first question i am going to pass it up, cause i really have
no idea ... maybe try inititating the control panel from command line, and
seeing if there is any errors outputted to the terminal ...

second, if your running KDE or GNOME on a 166 then i can definetaly see
why it is as you say slow as molasses ... i see people complain that KDE
is slow on a PIII 800, let alone a 166 ... they are "heavy" desktop
environments, so if you want something lightweight and fast, then i will
recommend installing something such as the fluxbox window manager ...

third, it knows because the partition is of TYPE 82, and if your using
something like ext3 for you partitions then they are of TYPE 83, and thats
that ... here is a quote to, i guess explain, these partition types :
Quote:
82 Linux swap

83 Linux native partition

Linux is a Unix-like operating system written by Linus Torvalds and many others on the internet since Fall 1991. It runs on PCs (386 and up) and a variety of other hardware. It is distributed under GPL. Software can be found numerous places, like ftp.funet.fi, metalab.unc.edu and tsx-11.mit.edu. See also comp.os.linux.* and http://www.linux.org/. Various filesystem types like xiafs, ext2, ext3, reiserfs, etc. all use ID 83. Some systems mistakenly assume that 83 must mean ext2.
 
Old 09-11-2004, 07:20 PM   #3
cyclocommuter
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No offense but if you install any OS (Mandrake or XP) on a crappy machine (Pentium 1 166 Mhz with 64 MB RAM), you will get crappy performance. I doubt if XP will even install, much less run on your Pentium 1.

Save yourself the aggravation by buying or building a PC with at least an Athlon 2000XP or Celeron 2.0 Ghz with at least 256 MB of RAM... For less than 500 CDN you can get your Mandrake humming.

If you insist on running Mandrake on your 166 Mhz Pentium 1 PC, install it with the minimal options (no server components, etc.) and use a lightweight Desktop Manager like XFCE instead of KDE or GNOME.
 
Old 09-11-2004, 08:03 PM   #4
rhb_hj
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Quote:
Originally posted by cyclocommuter
No offense but if you install any OS (Mandrake or XP) on a crappy machine (Pentium 1 166 Mhz with 64 MB RAM), you will get crappy performance. I doubt if XP will even install, much less run on your Pentium 1.

Save yourself the aggravation by buying or building a PC with at least an Athlon 2000XP or Celeron 2.0 Ghz with at least 256 MB of RAM... For less than 500 CDN you can get your Mandrake humming.

If you insist on running Mandrake on your 166 Mhz Pentium 1 PC, install it with the minimal options (no server components, etc.) and use a lightweight Desktop Manager like XFCE instead of KDE or GNOME.
Thanks Cyclo!

Well, we have four 'puters. 2 are the 166 variety, a Cyrix 900 machine and an AMD 2800+ XP.

My "reasoning" goes like this: if I can run Win98SE on a 166 (using Dashboard95 to get the virtual desktops) then I would like to run Mandrake 9.2 with a similar desktop. I'll double check the install and see what XFCE offers.

One of the 166s has been relegated for hobby duty, no crazy experiments for me on the 2800+ 'til I find out what's what with Linux.
BTW contrary to commonly held opinion XP Home is performing well so far. It is blazingly fast even for the video editing stuff.
 
Old 09-11-2004, 08:44 PM   #5
cyclocommuter
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Quote:
Originally posted by rhb_hj

One of the 166s has been relegated for hobby duty, no crazy experiments for me on the 2800+ 'til I find out what's what with Linux.
IMHO, if you start playing with Linux on an old machine you will probably not be able to fully appreciate it... specially if you compare it with XP running on a more powerful PC.

The best way for you to find out if Linux is a good environment when compared with Windows 98SE or XP is to run it on your top of the line PC. I suggest buy a 40 GB hard drive and add it to your 2800+ then setup Mandrake on this hard drive. You can set it up so it dual boots XP (running on your master HD, and Mandrake running on the slave). Mandrake provides the tools at install time to set this up pretty easily. Or if you are paranoid about Lilo or Grub messing up your MBR (never happened to me despite repeated re-installs on 2 dual boot machines), you can disconnect your XP drive and connect the new drive you will be installing Mandrake on.

Only when you do a full install of Mandrake 10 on a decent PC and run applications such as The Gimp Version 2, K3B CD/DVD burning software, Open Office, Spamassasin, Apache, MySQL, etc. in a desktop environment like KDE or GNOME, will you start appreciating the power of Linux.
 
Old 09-11-2004, 09:03 PM   #6
darthtux
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Windows 98 came out in 1998 and Mandrake 9.2 I think was 2003 and you think it'll run on the same old hardware!! You're going to have to go back to Mandrake 7 for that if you want KDE or GNOME.

If you like XP keep it. I and many other people don't. It's your choice. I'll keep my Linux and not have the viruses or spyware. And I can download my software for free and run it on any machine. I bet if you had another box you wanted to install XP on you'd have to buy another copy

To me it's not only performance but philosophy.
 
Old 09-12-2004, 12:37 AM   #7
eisman
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Quote:
Originally posted by rhb_hj
Thanks Cyclo!
One of the 166s has been relegated for hobby duty, no crazy experiments for me on the 2800+ 'til I find out what's what with Linux.
BTW contrary to commonly held opinion XP Home is performing well so far. It is blazingly fast even for the video editing stuff.
You don't want to experiment with your 2800+, well you don't have to, download then a MandrakeMove cd or other LiveCD like knoppix.
With this livecd you can test your system without installing any software on your HDD. Unless you got to little memory, then it will ask you to put a file on a fat partition for swapping... which you can delete in windows.

You even can use such a livecd on your P166 and boot it with different window managers, like WindowMaker, XFCE, Fluxbox.. try it and look for the performance, but keep in mind that it starts and uses the cd , also for starting the programs it needs the cd.

But if you had enough memory you could load it into ram , like knoppix toram at the boot question...

for you I should say knoppix desktop=XFCE and look what it is doing.

Your P166 can be nice linux servers, best is without desktop. I had once a webserver running on a p75... I simulated a DOS attack, but didn't went down.. just took some time to get all requests anwsered..
 
Old 09-12-2004, 02:04 AM   #8
rhb_hj
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Thank you for the feedback!
BTW I'm fully aware that this is LINUX territory, however there are a few minor items that are hard to come by with Mandrake distros, one of them is the minimum system requirements.
I wouldn't even contemplate installing WinXP on a 166 machine because as a rule I read what it says on the box first and I half expected to find minimum system requirements for LINUX distros, too.
Well, I didn't! And foolish Newbie that I am figured "Let's try this"

@ Eisman: That's what I did in the meantime

I downloaded SAM which is based on Mandrake10 and uses XFce.
Works nicely on the Cyrix900 machine.

Didn't load on the Pent 166 (64M is not enough mem), but I'll fix that.
I'm also downloading Mandrake 7.2 to give it a try. I've frittered away enough hours already so a few more won't matter that much.

I'll report back when I get some results.

Last edited by rhb_hj; 09-12-2004 at 02:13 AM.
 
Old 09-12-2004, 02:31 AM   #9
darthtux
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Quote:
Originally posted by rhb_hj
Didn't load on the Pent 166 (64M is not enough mem), but I'll fix that.
I'm also downloading Mandrake 7.2 to give it a try. I've frittered away enough hours already so a few more won't matter that much.

I'll report back when I get some results.
I think you may be happier trying Linux on your AMD 2800. Like eisman suggested get a live-cd. Knoppix and Morphix are good ones

Mandy 7 will work on your P166 but it's not going to look as pretty as a newer distro. Plus you won't be able to run the latest version of most software. There have been a lot of improvemnets since v.7.

If you like Morphix, you can install to the Hard drive and it's rumored to be very Debian compatable

Good luck.

Last edited by darthtux; 09-12-2004 at 02:33 AM.
 
Old 09-12-2004, 02:42 AM   #10
amosf
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I have old boxes here and my main work box is just a P3-700 with many being p2-350 and p3-450 etc... But even I have delegated the p166 to very simple jobs these days - like print servers and routers and the like. Mandrake 10 works okay on the P3, tho it's starting to strain under the weight and I'm about ready for an upgrade I think... You could still run it on a p166, but you would have to know what you were doing to get it trimmed down to suit the job... ie no KDE, reduced services, basic blackbox stuff...
 
Old 09-12-2004, 03:59 AM   #11
J.K
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Mandrake recommends 128mb or more for 10.0.

I think 128mb would be the absolute minimum. Trying to run KDE on 64mb is going to give you such a horrible experience that no wonder you are perplexed.

What the guys here have been saying is correct. The latest version of mandrake would need similar requirements to XP if you are going to try and use all the functionality.

So just as with windows, trying to run the latest linux operating system built to use the latest hardware, on an older machine, you are going to have problems.

Cheers
 
Old 09-12-2004, 12:17 PM   #12
rhb_hj
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Greetings,

I got a copy of Mandrake Move, get it up and running and as you can see it works, including the Internet.

Thanks for the help and advise !

BTW I also tried XFLD. It runs much faster and even has WINE to run Win applications. I guess I'll have my work cut out trying out which suits me better.

And yes I have another question, but I'll put that in a separate thread.
 
Old 09-13-2004, 10:30 AM   #13
amosf
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I managed to find some more computer bits thrown away today, so I put together this hot new machine... It's a pentium 150 (non-MMX) with 64meg ram and a 2gig drive running mandrake 9.2 with KDE... yep I am currently using it with mozilla on KDE and it's not too bad. Considering the age and size of the machine I'm quite impressed and it didn't take too much tweaking - just disable some of the services I'm not likely to run, no fancy graphics and textures, just basic background colour for kde, not too many apps at once... Not too many mozilla windows open at once... currently have 4 open plus Kmail and a term - been using it a couple of hours... Free gives me:

[amosf@localhost amosf]$ free
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 61356 60040 1316 0 824 24884
-/+ buffers/cache: 34332 27024
Swap: 205592 34880 170712
 
Old 09-13-2004, 05:01 PM   #14
Linux24
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Quote:
Originally posted by cyclocommuter
No offense but if you install any OS (Mandrake or XP) on a crappy machine (Pentium 1 166 Mhz with 64 MB RAM), you will get crappy performance. I doubt if XP will even install, much less run on your Pentium 1.
Your are correct, sir! The Pentium 1 166mhz is below the minimum requirements for Windows XP and Windows 2000. 64 MB is below the minimum requirements for both as well.

I don't think our intrepid friend can compare the performance of something as small and un-powerful as Windows 95 (which *would* run on his equipment pretty quickly) and the big, fat, heavy installs of Linux circulating today - such as Mandrake 10.0.
 
Old 09-13-2004, 08:25 PM   #15
amosf
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yep. to compare with win 95 on an old pentium you'd need to run mdk5.2 or so...

But it's still nice to see that mandrake 9.2 did install and run on the p150/64meg I tried and it is a usable machine I can check mail with and browse the web without too many sluggish areas and it I didn't have to do anything major to make it work. Win XP - an older distro than mdk9.2 - simply will not work on that box. Indeed even ME will refuse to install as it wants a 166 cpu...

I built the p150 from scrap - most of it was literally pulled out of a dumpster - just so my sister can read mail and browse the web and play frozen bubble - and the box does that just fine plus more...

okay, so I haven't even TRIED to run OOo... I also haven't tried mdk 10 on this 150 box, tho I'm tempted to...
 
  


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