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  • Which Linux Distro?

    Which linux distribution should I use for my old laptop?

    It's a Compaq
    -233 Mhz
    -3 gig hdd
    -32 or 64 ram (I can't remember)

    I want a gui enviroment, preferrably GNOME if it will run on there.

    Or should I spend a couple bucks on ram and a new hdd?

    I just want to mess around with a couple games, access the internet and my email when I go on my trip next month.

  • #2
    If you want an easy to use OS try Mandrake. If you want to learn some and not have your hand being held and learn how to configure settings by CML try Slackware. It's easy once you know the basics. If you want buy the book "Linux In a Nutshell" by O'Reilly - You can get it on sale or online for around $5 shipped. (I got mine that way)

    You can do a search for "Which linux" here and you're find plenty of threads. Any linux flavor can run on minimum specs and there are even ones made to fit on small hard drives. You could also download Knoppix, which boots from a CD and needs no hard drive. Lindows is freely distributing Lindows Live! via p2p, check that out as it's easy to use.
    Running vB since 4-14-2002

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    • #3
      233Mhz with 64 MB RAM aint gonna do a usable GUI, if it does it at all.
      Computer Help Forum
      An informed rider makes their first destination the motorcycle forum at rider info.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by noppid
        233Mhz with 64 MB RAM aint gonna do a usable GUI, if it does it at all.
        It doesn't? Strange Linux worked fine on my machines that were 133mhz and 200mhz with 32mb and 64mb ram. It ran quite great in my opinion. Next time you should go off experience and not opinion when giving feedback.
        Running vB since 4-14-2002

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        • #5
          I love gentoo but it isnt very newbie friendly if this is your first time playing with linux even though the docs are great.
          Hungry ?

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          • #6
            Gentoo and SuSE are my favorite distros, but I've only tried 5 total (redhat, gentoo, slackware, SuSE, and mandrake) in a matter of 2 days. Format, install, use for 2 hours, format, install. I just wanted to get the general feel, so my opinion might not be to useful.

            I currently run Gentoo linux on my home PC which I rarely use. Just like most other geeks, it runs apache and ftp flawless. No one at home would know how get it back up if it went down, and Gentoo seemed to run the smoothest, making it a reliable little box
            Trent Gillespie Mod Theater Gillespie Photography

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            • #7
              Try RedHat
              it's awsome
              Let the flames begin.

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              • #8
                Don't you mean Fedora? Redhat is now enterprise software and will cost you.
                Running vB since 4-14-2002

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                • #9
                  I think he means RH 9 or even RH8.0, being its only a 233Mhz, 3GB HD
                  MCSE, MVP, CCIE
                  Microsoft Beta Team

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                  • #10
                    Debian. Debian. Debian.

                    Woody distro is virtually impossible to crash.

                    Anyhoo, that's my input. Debian rocks high and low, as far as I'm concerned, and blows the others away in most things.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by IDN
                      It doesn't? Strange Linux worked fine on my machines that were 133mhz and 200mhz with 32mb and 64mb ram. It ran quite great in my opinion. Next time you should go off experience and not opinion when giving feedback.
                      Boy you are full of yourself...I've been running Linux for years now. I sit in #fedora all day everyday and see guys like you come back and say, yeah you were right, I could make it work, but it wasn't usable. Read my statement next time before you get so full of your self....I said a GUI wouldn't be usable, I didn't say it wouldn't work.

                      Fedora Hardware Requirements

                      The following information represents the minimum hardware requirements necessary to successfully install Fedora Core 1:

                      CPU:

                      NOTE: The following CPU specifications are stated in terms of Intel processors. Other processors (notably, offerings from AMD, Cyrix, and VIA) that are compatible with and equivalent to the following Intel processors may also be used with Fedora Core.

                      *

                      Minimum: Pentium-class

                      NOTE: Fedora Core 1 is optimized for Pentium PRO (and later) CPUs, but also supports Pentium-class CPUs. This approach has been taken because Pentium-class optimizations actually result in reduced performance for non-Pentium-class processors.
                      *

                      Recommended for text-mode: 200 MHz Pentium-class or better
                      *

                      Recommended for graphical: 400 MHz Pentium II or better

                      Hard Disk Space (NOTE: Additional space will be required for user data):

                      *

                      Custom Installation (Minimal): 520MB
                      *

                      Server: 870MB
                      *

                      Personal Desktop: 1.9GB
                      *

                      Workstation: 2.4GB
                      *

                      Custom Installation (Everything): 5.3GB

                      Memory:

                      *

                      Minimum for text-mode: 64MB
                      *

                      Minimum for graphical: 192MB
                      *

                      Recommended for graphical: 256MB

                      Note that the compatibility/availability of other hardware components (such as video and network cards) may be required for specific installation modes and/or post-installation usage.
                      As you can see 32MB won't even run the CLI on a 200Mhz machine. And I can tell you from the experience of many others the usability of the GUI on a 400Mhz machine with 256MB is very poor at best. ie. unusable.
                      Last edited by noppid; Fri 26th Mar '04, 7:15am.
                      Computer Help Forum
                      An informed rider makes their first destination the motorcycle forum at rider info.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bahbah
                        I love gentoo but it isnt very newbie friendly if this is your first time playing with linux even though the docs are great.
                        I found the documentation to be abismal, but each to his own.

                        However Gentoo probably would be good for this as it markets the feature of being optimized. You can install the system in a source code state and compile everything with optimizations for your processor. It would likely take literally days for everything to compile, but it should be at least slightly faster.

                        Also, no modern window manager that is included in any distribution is likely to be fast on a machine that old. Linux itself may be, but not the window manager--this is from experience on a faster machine with an older distribution a few years ago.
                        --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
                        Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
                        vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

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                        • #13
                          He's an anology most should understand...Windows could run on a Pentium 100, but you wouldn't do that.

                          The Linux Kernel has the ability to run on old less powerful machines. It's not the do all end all to save old machines once you add packages though, especially the GUI. Keep the specs in perspective. The minimum requirements for the Kernel and the GUI are vastly different and can easily mislead you. Linux is only a Kernel.
                          Computer Help Forum
                          An informed rider makes their first destination the motorcycle forum at rider info.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by noppid
                            233Mhz with 64 MB RAM aint gonna do a usable GUI, if it does it at all.
                            That's not true. if you go back a few version it will work just fine. I am runnig red hat 6.2 on a dual p133 with 256 megs of ram and it works just fine. it's slow at doing some stuff but it still works. i also have redhat 9 with a gui runnin my my laptop wich is a IBM p233 with 96mb of ram and a 3gb hd and it runs a little slow but still runs faster than windows 9x did on the machine.

                            it can be done you just wont be moving very fast. if that ok with you then you can do it.
                            Jon Whitcraft
                            Internal Systems Engineer - SugarCRM

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sidhighwind
                              That's not true. if you go back a few version it will work just fine. I am runnig red hat 6.2 on a dual p133 with 256 megs of ram and it works just fine. it's slow at doing some stuff but it still works. i also have redhat 9 with a gui runnin my my laptop wich is a IBM p233 with 96mb of ram and a 3gb hd and it runs a little slow but still runs faster than windows 9x did on the machine.

                              it can be done you just wont be moving very fast. if that ok with you then you can do it.
                              Yeah and if I use windows 3.11 I can use any of my junk machines. But let's be serious here. Those Distros are EOL for a reason. These are worthless facts of an age past.

                              You made my point in your last statement, it's slow. You guys are mincing words suggesting I said it can't be done. My time is worth more then the effort to setup and run such an old machine. Yours probably is too. The point is to have a usable tool, not one where you can have coffee while Oo loads.

                              So what if KDE starts, lets talk productivity here. I could ride my bicycle to California from Florida, but so what. We all know a car or plane is better. Just because it can be done, does not make it practical for use.

                              Alot has changed since the 2.2 kernel. Let's talk about current supported Linux code and current packages if we're gonna debate.
                              Computer Help Forum
                              An informed rider makes their first destination the motorcycle forum at rider info.

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