Welcome to Linux Forums! With a comprehensive Linux Forum, information on various types of Linux software and many Linux Reviews articles, we have all the knowledge you need a click away, or accessible via our knowledgeable members.
Find the answer to your Linux question:
Site Navigation
Linux Forums
Linux Articles
Product Showcase
Linux Downloads
Linux Hosting
Free Magazines
Job Board
IRC Chat
RSS Feeds
Free Publications


D. Travis North found himself in need for a Linux Distribution on his old laptop, so he started testing different distributions on his machine, read on to see the results he got

I am an avid Linux user. Ever since I was introduced to the alternative operating system over a decade ago, it has grown from a small curiosity to a near obsession. Due to certain hobbies, I haven't entirely given up the Windows OS, but Linux has become my preferred operating system for every day tasks.

I currently have three functional computers: My server (which runs Gentoo Linux), the game and MIDI desktop computer (running Windows XP) and a laptop which currently runs Windows XP. My goal is to find a Linux distribution that is appropriate for my laptop without having to remove Windows XP.

My laptop has, as of late, become my primary machine for daily use. I use it for e-mail, web browsing, music and web development. To date, almost all of my web page designs have been created using a text editor in my Unix or Linux shell. So even with Windows on my laptop, I was easily able to shell into my server to do my web development. Over the past several months, my use of PHP has increased and my projects are growing more and more complicated. A simple console text editor is no longer sufficient to manage these larger projects. I experimented with several programming interfaces, and I settled on one that best suits my needs: Bluefish. The major drawback about this is the fact that it does not run within Windows. It is designed for the world of Linux and my desire to have Linux on my laptop has overwhelmed me. The problem, however, is that the laptop is also my wife's primary machine. Even though I have tried countless times, I have been unsuccessful in converting her to the world of Linux. As such, Windows XP must stay. Fortunately, the wonders of partitioning and boot managers will allow me to install Linux along side my Windows installation. The only problem is that my laptop isn't what you would call "state of the art".

I am faced with a challenge: I need to find a Linux distribution that is both small enough, efficient enough and easy enough to maintain for my laptop. Realizing that all Linux distributions are not created equal, I did my research and was able to narrow my list to a handful of distributions that may be suitable for my needs and my laptop. Throughout the course of this article, I am going to test each of these distributions on my laptop and discuss my experiences. I will attempt to install and evaluate each distribution for a period of a couple of days. Based on my findings, I will select the distribution that best suits my needs.

The Challenge

The laptop is an 800 megahertz Celeron based machine hosting a 10 gigabyte hard drive, 128 megabytes of RAM, an S3 Virge video card (memory shared with system RAM) and a generic sound card. For networking, it has a PCMCIA wireless network card based on the Prism 3 chipset from Intersil. I also have a PCMCIA wired network card that works natively with Linux which I will use for installation as necessary.

The biggest challenge that I have is the storage space. I have already eliminated any unnecessary components and programs from the Windows installation to increase the available space for my Linux partition. I am, however, still limited to a partition roughly 2 Gigabytes in size. My home network is going to save me a lot of trouble in this regard as my web development projects can be hosted on the server. Therefore, I do not need to install a web server (Apache), a database (mySQL) or PHP. As a bonus, these services will not be taxing my already slow processor. The only drawback is that I will not be able to carry out development away from home. But that's a compromise I'm willing to make.

Since my laptop is fairly old and since it was designed to run Windows, I am faced with several other challenges as well. I know full well that I will likely be unable to use the laptop's modem in Linux. Some preliminary research has shown that my wireless network card can work, but it will require a lot of tinkering to get it to work properly. The video card does have native support in Xfree86 (the graphics environment that I will be using), but 3D hardware acceleration is mediocre at best. As a final challenge, I am not willing to upgrade this laptop for a long time.

Test Criteria

While testing each distribution, I intend to install test the following minimal set of applications and tools:

  • KDE - My desktop manager of choice.
  • BlueFish - A GTK text editor with extensible support for HTML and PHP.
  • Mozilla Firefox - My preferred web browser
  • Mozilla Thunderbird - For e-mail
  • GIMP - A GTK, multi-platform graphics editor, a must for any web developer.

These tools are the minimal tool-set that I need in order to carry about my development projects and most of my daily tasks. Since it is typically absent from most distributions, BlueFish will most likely need to be installed manually. This will not, however, reflect poorly on any distribution I review.

Where possible, I will try to minimize the footprint of any installation. Since space is at a premium on my laptop, my ability to reduce the size of my installation will greatly influence my final decision. At the very least, I will try to prevent the installer from installing certain packages that I do not need.

For the purposes of testing each distribution, I will try to maintain the default settings and options during installation. This includes things like partition layout, management tools and default services. Once I make a final decision, of course, I will modify any of these settings as I see fit.

Each distribution will be rated on installation size, ease of use, appearances and functionality. I will take into special consideration each distribution's installation process, update tools and maintenance applications. I will also give special consideration to the distribution's community where I will inevitably be turning for troubleshooting and support. {mospagebreak title= Distribution Tests and Review}

Distribution Tests and Review

The first thing I did was research several Linux distributions to find any potential candidates. The 'Comparison of Linux distributions' article at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org) became a surprisingly indispensable resource throughout this process. Most distributions are compared and described in full detail on the site. This information was, of course, cross-checked with each candidate's website. I also visited the 'Linux Distribution Chooser' website (http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/) which also helped me to determine which distributions to consider. Finally, asked friends and other Linux fans for recommendations.

I immediately eliminated many of the smaller, less popular distributions. Most were not as fine-tuned as I would have liked and did not have communities large enough to help me in case of need. I also eliminated any of the commercial 'boxed' distributions as I do not wish to spend any money for this project. The LiveCD distributions were not considered at all. While it may seem appealing to have an installation that doesn't impact my hard drive, these distributions often run much too slow for my laptop. I have narrowed down my search to a handful of distributions and I evauluated each with my Test Criteria in mind. I will briefly describe my research.

Fedora Core

Fedora is a free distribution based on one of the most widely known commercial Linux distributions: Red Hat. It took me several times to successfully download the distribution. I first tried the FTP site and ended up with a corrupt DVD version and a CD version (5 CDs) which also suffered corruption. Finally, I had some luck with BitTorrent. Unfortunately, my troubles did not end there.

For whatever reason, the graphical installation did not work on my laptop, so I was required to use the text-mode installation. Initially, I was not concerned about this fact, until it came for package selection time. For those of you who aren't familiar with Red Hat or Fedora, you are given an opportunity to select packages for installation. You can select packages by group or you can select them individually using an advanced user mode. The first time I tried to install the system, it was not apparent to me as to how I could select packages individually, so I selected the groups that I knew I'd need. Unfortunately, that resulted in an installation requiring much more hard drive space than I had available. I was not keeping track of this, however, as I expected the installation program to warn me if I were expected to run out of space. I got about half way through the installation before it informed me that I had run out of hard drive space. I was left with a non-working system, and I didn't even have a boot loader with which to access my windows partition. I was not happy.

So I tried it again. This time, I was able to find the little check box that allowed me to select packages individually. Generally, my method for this is to select the groups that I want, then to go through and deselect the packages I don't need. Once I got to a point where I thought I was done, I started to install packages. I got a few errors for dependencies, which were easily corrected. But then I was faced with a system that was again much too large for my laptop's poor hard drive. With some frustration and some profanity, I again tried to cut down the size of the installation, blatantly ignoring the warnings in some cases. I was able to get my installation down to 1.6 Gigabytes; larger than I would like, but still able to fit. Once again, I started the installation. This time I got about two-thirds of the way through the installation before it gave me a warning that I was, again, out of disk space. Again, I was not happy.

After spending several hours just to get this distribution installed, I decided that I had acquired enough information about Fedora to make my decision. At the very least, the installation program should have some sort of check for hard drive space. I also felt that the installation process was overwhelming for a distribution of this history and stature. Fedora will not be the distribution that ends up on my laptop. It may be a great distribution for more current hardware, but not at all appropriate for my needs.

Gentoo

I have been running Gentoo on my server for a couple of years now and, of all the distributions that I will test, it is the one I am most familiar with. Gentoo is a source based distribution. At it's core is an update program called portage. While some may feel intimidated by the Gentoo install process, it's really not that complicated and it's well documented. I believe that anyone with minimal experience in Linux would be able to install this distribution. The default installation, referred to as 'Stage 3', now starts you with a working base system that is pre-compiled. Using portage, I was able to easily recompile the entire system so that it was optimized for my laptop, though this did take a lot of time.

Gentoo makes no assumptions during installation. The installation instructions offer several different options when it comes to most of the major daemons and services. Of course, when Gentoo is installed, that's just the beginning. The installation instructions leave you with a fully functional system, shell and some essential services. Anything else that you may need must be installed using Portage. This is where some Linux experience comes in handy. Not only does one need to know what to install, but some applications may require some manual configuration, such as the Xfree86 windows environment. I was able to get everything installed that I needed without too much effort, including BlueFish which is available through portage.

The biggest advantage that I see with Gentoo is that Portage can be configured with a default set of compile-time options, called 'use flags' that are used for the compilation of every application. This feature is ideal for my situation as it allowed me to further optimize my system and save hard drive space. A flag like "-gnome" prevents any applications from compiling in Gnome support, which I don't need since I am running KDE in its place.. I also added a flag, "-doc", to prevent applications from adding space-eating documentation in formats that I don't need. You can add dozens of flags to the configuration file to allow you to tailor almost any aspect of your system. In many cases, certain flags even prevent certain dependencies from getting installed; definitely a bonus for those with a space handicap.

Configuration was not flawless and there were some troubles, as I expected there would be on this laptop. I had some difficulties getting my wireless network card running. Fortunately, I was able to reference the Gentoo networking handbook, the Gentoo Wiki (http://gentoo-wiki.com) and the Gentoo forums (http://forums.gentoo.org). Many of the users are very knowledgeable about Linux, and I was able to pinpoint the drivers I needed to get it working. It wasn't without a hassle, but at least I had some help. I was also concerned about the large file tree necessary for Portage to work. For that, I found some advice on the forums. One person suggested setting up the portage directory as a mount-point from a network drive. It's a perfect resolution to the problem, and if I settle on Gentoo, I will definitely consider setting that up. For now, I'm happy to know that it's an option.

For those who may have a slightly better computer than mine, there is also a fairly new method for installing Gentoo. The Gentoo LiveCD method of installation has both a text-mode query system and a GTK+ (graphical) system for installation. While these still require some Linux experience to fully understand the installation, they are, without a doubt, a much easier installation process than the common method. The LiveCD ran fine on my system, but when it came to the installation process itself, I just didn't have enough memory. The installation process requires 256 megabytes of RAM. If you have that, you may consider this as a valid option.

In summary, Gentoo is a very valid option. I liked it for the customization and the ability to have a small footprint. I am also quite impressed with the community that backs the distribution. On an 800 MHz laptop, however, compile times are very slow which makes for a very slow installation. From a blank partition through to a working KDE desktop with Mozilla Firefox, Bluefish and GIMP, a system-wide optimized compilation took a little more than 3 days. Regardless, this is an option that I will definitely consider for my final decision.

Kubuntu / Ubuntu

Ubuntu was recommended to me by a friend. So I did my research and discovered Kubuntu, which is a related distribution. The only difference, as near as I can tell, is that Kubuntu uses KDE instead of Gnome for it's Windows and Desktop Manager. So, I decided to give it a try.

My first major complaint is that there isn't a lot of online documentation that I was able to uncover. I understand that this distribution is much younger than other distributions that I have tested. However, certain things should always be available, and installation documentation is one of them. I was able to find some basic information, but very little highlighted the actual process of the installation. For that matter, I wasn't even able to find minimum requirements.

From a CD-ROM ISO that I downloaded from Kubuntu's site, I was able to get the installation started. The installation process is fairly simple. I was asked a couple question about hardware, time zone and partition setup. The installation program was not able to detect my network card which, again, didn't surprise me. This wasn't reason to give up yet. Installation continued installing the base system, and it even installed the Grub boot loader which automatically detected my Windows partition. The system was even able to reboot itself off of the new installation. But it wasn't long before I had problems.

After Kubuntu installs its base system, it reboots to install more packages such as the windows environment and presumably KDE. However, my installation died slightly beyond the halfway point for this crucial step. The error I was given didn't explain very much. I had my base system, but little else. Some careful investigation told me that my installation was much too large for my meager 2 gigabyte partition. Sadly, I could've saved some time for myself if I was able to find minimum requirements on Kubuntu's website.

Due to my situation, the only thing that I can definitely confirm about Kubuntu is that it is not ideal for my laptop. I believe that the poor documentation is inexcusable. I also believe that the installation should be more customizable. Overall, I wasn't happy with this attempt. Given better hardware and resources, Kubuntu does show some promise. If I ever get a larger hard drive or a better laptop, I will again revisit this distribution. But it will not make it onto this laptop.

OpenSUSE

OpenSUSE is a free version of Novell's enterprise editions of Linux. While it is officially sponsored by Novell, it comes with no support contract. Most support is through the community wiki or through the support database. But you can also use the corporate website (http://www.novell.com/linux/) to troubleshoot many other problems. And if all else fails, it follows the Linux Standard Base criteria, so you can get help from almost any Linux user. I downloaded version 10.0 using BitTorrent, which I highly recommend as the FTP site linked from the website is slow.

Installation was a breeze. Not only was YAST the best looking installation program, it was probably the simplest and most intuitive of all the distributions I tested. The default installation was 1.8 Gigabytes, which was a bit too large for my comfort. But I was able to get down to 1.2 gigabytes by removing packages that I know I wouldn't need from the installation. The other nice thing about the installation was that it allowed me to select which desktop I wanted to use: KDE or GNOME. Obviously, I picked KDE. But I wasn't able to avoid GNOME completely as a lot of the SUSE tools are based on some of GNOME's libraries. This did add some bulk to the installation, but nothing worth ranting long about. Unfortunately, BlueFish was not a selectable package as part of the installation. But it would be easy enough to install from source, and there are several packages available on the internet that would drop right into OpenSUSE.

One of the things that impressed me, at least initially, was that OpenSUSE successfully detected my wireless card. So I loaded up YAST to try to configure my wireless network, and I grew frustrated. In hind sight, I didn't have reason to get frustrated. The prism2 chipset for my wireless card depends on proprietary firmware which, for obvious reasons, cannot be released in an open source project. So I had to do some manual installation that was not much different than setup in any other Linux distribution. So my only valid complaint about the wireless in OpenSUSE is that it made me believe that I could use YAST to set everything up when, in fact, I couldn't. I researched, but was unable to discover if Novell's enterprise edition of SUSE was better at handling prism2 cards.

Once everything was installed, the system ran very smoothly. It's configuration and update tools are pretty easy to use and very in-depth. It had a definite identity through it's graphics and its overall setup scheme. As it had been nearly 8 years since I tried SUSE last, I was very happy to see that it was now using the Linux Standard Base, which was my reason for abandoning the distribution in the first place so many years ago. The community behind OpenSUSE, as near as I can tell, is not nearly as active as some of the other distributions I've tested (Gentoo, especially). But I am confident that I could find the answers I needed in a pinch. As a solution for my laptop, this distribution has definitely earned some serious consideration.

Vector Linux

Vector Linux is based on the Slackware Distribution (http://slackware.com). For those of you who don't know, Slackware is one of the oldest living Linux distributions. It has earned a reputation as one of the most stable distributions available. It has also earned a reputation as an advanced distribution requiring extensive comfort in the world of Linux. When I initially drafted this study, Slackware was definately going to be on my list. I was, however, not enthused to run through another Slackware installation. Even the online documentation is intimidating (this is one distribution that benefits from buying pre-configured CD-Rs). After some research, I discovered Vector Linux. Supposidly, it has the stability that Slackware has and it has a few new features that make it more user friendly to install and maintain. That was enough to sell me on the idea.

Vector Linux comes in three different configurations: The Standard Edition, the Deluxe Edition and the Small Office & Home Office Edition (SOHO). The Deluxe edition is only available for purchase through the Vector Linux website. I grabbed the SOHO edition as it came with KDE, OpenOffice (an open source replacement for Microsoft Office), and several other features that seemed worthwhile to me.

Installation was, for the most part, a breeze. It uses a text-based installation program that isn't pretty, but it's simple enough to use. It made some major improvements to the Slackware installation system which, in my opinion, asks too many questions and was too complicated for many people. Vector Linux, on the other hand, left out anything that wasn't necessary. I was happy to see that one of the first tasks of the install program was to check itself for possible corruption. I was disappointed to see that the default boot manager was LILO instead of GRUB which is my preferred boot manager.

I had only one major difficulty during installtion: LILO wouldn't install. The install script asked me a couple of questions to, presumably, set up the LILO configuration file. However, it returned a generic error stating that it was unable to install. So I skipped this step for now and continued with installation. Once installation was complete, I was able to reboot with the CD again to gain access to my new Linux installation. On the install menu, there is an option to reinstall LILO. I tried to do this, but it didn't work. Fortunately, another option allowed me to boot an already existing Linux partition. This allowed me to troubleshoot the LILO configuration file and I discovered several problems which shouldn't have existed. I fixed these, reinstalled LILO, and we were good to move along once again.

The installation program recognized and properly configured most of my hardware including my video card, monitor, mouse and keyboard. It even auto-detected sound which worked beautifully out of the box. It did not, however, detect my network card - though again I must point out that no distribution I tested allowed it to work out of the box.

Once I was up and running, I loaded up VASM, which is the Vector Linux system configuration program. It was very simple and easy to use and it exposed many overlooked areas of system configuration. There are a lot of system configuration elements that have not yet been addressed, but the most common configuration tasks are available. The package management system, VLAPT, seemed fairly intuitive and easy to use. It also flags security updates automatically. As far as package management software goes, it wasn't anything special...but it got the job done.

As an advanced Linux user, I found Vector Linux to be happy medium between the no-frills distributions like Slackware and the more user-friendly distributions like Red Hat or Lindows. At times, Vector can appear a bit rough around the edges. Visually, the distribution could benefit from a graphical installation or a more tailored boot frame buffer. There are also a few weak points in the installation such as the LILO configuration problem that I had, or another problem I had with the proc mounting improperly. For me, these problems were easy enough to fix. But for the purpose of my evaluation, they are definite strikes against Vector Linux. On the plus side, Vector had the absolute smallest footprint weighing in at only about 960 megabytes including everything I asked for. While I think this distribution is a possible option, it does lack many of the frills that I would've liked on my laptop.{mospagebreak title=Overall Summary and Ratings}

Overall Summary and Ratings

It is important to realize that my ratings are derived with my specific needs and challenges as outlined above. You will note that I have rated Kubuntu / Ubuntu poorly as part of this study. If I had more available space, I am confident that I would've rated the Ubuntu family of distributions much higher.

Fedora Core: 2/10 points
http://fedoraproject.org
Advantages: Based on Red Hat which is one of the most widely accepted distributions. RPM package installation & upgrade method - one of the most widely accepted package systems.
Disadvantages: I was unable to successfully install the distribution due to hard drive space constraints. Graphic installation did not work, and I was forced to use the text mode.

Gentoo Linux: 8/10 points
http://www.gentoo.org
Advantages: Ability to maintain a small footprint while getting desired functionality. Optimized for your computer and needs. Great package/source manager (Portage). Unmatched community support and documentation. Professional looking theme sets and logos.
Disadvantages: Very slow installation due to compiling from source. Requires some prior Linux experience to properly complete installation (Example: Default installation ends at shell. It does not install Xfree86, KDE or the like which is up to the end user to install using Portage).

Kubuntu / Ubuntu: 3/10 points
http://www.ubuntu.com
Advantages: One of the easiest install routines.
Disadvantages: Fairly sizable footprint (2 gigabytes PLUS user space). Very few options for installation to minimize footprint. I was not able to get this installed successfully on my laptop.

OpenSUSE: 8/10 points
http://www.opensuse.org
Advantages: The most advanced and easiest to use installation program. It's post-install configuration utility (YAST) is one of the best. Most professional looking of distributions I tested.
Disadvantages: Community isn't very prominent. Hardware support is misleading (detected my network card, but doesn't actually support it 100%).

Vector Linux: 6/10 points
http://www.vectorlinux.com
Advantages: Small footprint (960 megabytes including KDE, GIMP and Bluefish). Simple and effective configuration tools and package management tools.
Disadvantages: Text based installation. Installation not perfect (LILO install and proc mounting troubles). Not for beginner Linux users. Small user base.

Final Decision

It was very difficult for me to come to a conclusion as to which distribution I would permanently install on my laptop. As you can see from my ratings above, I assigned the highest score (8/10) to both OpenSUSE and Gentoo. Both would have been absolutely perfect for my needs. So I had to carefully weigh the advantages of each. I really felt that OpenSUSE was the cleanest installation and the best looking. Even the boot loader looked and felt much better than Gentoo's. It had a lot of great system management tools and a solid package management system. Given better hardware, OpenSUSE would've been the ideal choice without any debates. But considering my laptop, the eye candy and management tools were not enough to pull me away from Gentoo.

As I had mentioned earlier, I was already using Gentoo on my server. I initially fell in love with Gentoo because it was so easy to maintain from a remote connection, which was very beneficial for a server. When it came to picking a distribution for my laptop, this was no longer an area of concern. It was highly unlikely that I would ever need to maintain my laptop from a remote location. Before doing this study, I was expecting to end up using a different distribution. However, I overlooked two benefits of Gentoo (or any source-based distribution) that I had previously taken for granted: It's small size and it's optimized performance. If only for these two reasons, Gentoo was the natural choice.

Conclusion

This entire study was an incredible learning experience. Not only did I find the ideal distribution for my laptop, but I was exposed to different views and different ways of doing things. For example, my new installation of Gentoo will use the ReiserFS instead of the old standard file system, ext3. I was exposed to ReiserFS for the first time with OpenSUSE, which uses the file system by default. In my opinion, I found the ReiserFS to be much faster on my ancient hard drive. I was also exposed to more modern package management systems which I hadn't used in over three years. I am happy to see the advancements that have been made in those distributions. I am confident that Linux will continue to grow in popularity and usability.

I'm glad I placed this experiment upon myself. I think that, too often, myself and others have gotten locked into a distribution that they don't know what's evolving out of the remainder of the Linux world. In the end, I ended up back with the distribution I have favored all this time. But I am much more aware of what other distributions are doing. With this knowledge and experience, I will watch as these other distributions evolve and I will likely revisit this study again and again. Now, I am much wiser and much happier that I did not blindly choose a distribution for my laptop. That said, don't take my study for grail. You should do your own evaluations before you decide which distribution is perfect for your needs.

References:
Rate This Article: poorexcellent
 
Comments about this article
800 megahertz Celeron, 128MB ram
writen by: reckless2k2 on 2006-05-19 13:59:22
I find it amazing that you were able to run Windows XP on that spec laptop. If it runs it must be a performance crawl and it must be sparse of applications.
RE: 800 megahertz Celeron, 128MB ram written by reckless2k2:
Old computer?
writen by: Tom on 2006-05-19 16:06:41
I find it amazing that 10GB + 128MB on a PIII 800MHz is considered underpowered for what you're doing! I was running Mandrake 6.1 on a P150MHz laptop with 1.3GB + 80MB. I even had VMware w/ win98 on it. No, I don't want to go back to that. I started w/ linux on a 486 w/ 16MB + 340MB disk. What can be run on *that* system?
RE: Old computer? written by Tom:
You should really try Mandriva 2006
writen by: Djamé Seddah on 2006-05-19 16:25:36
It run without a problem in each laptop and pc I tried it. Really. go to http://plf.zarb.org to have your urpmi (equivalent of apt-get) setted up and you'll see.... really Djamé
RE: You should really try Mandriva 2006 written by Djamé Seddah:
WTF?!
writen by: WTF?! on 2006-05-19 17:59:49
2GB? Install ubuntu in server mode (uses 32MB of RAM) then apt-get install gnome-desktop. You can run ubuntu, you just have to TRY to run Ubuntu. Rating it a 3 because you couldn't get it installed says that you probably should stick to Windows. Worst case, you should have just not rated it. As for documentation, you didn't look very hard. next time try www.ubuntuforums.org and look at the stickys or use the search function. Posted by a WINDOWS user that's installed Ubuntu on a 200MHz box with 1GB of disk space and only 32MB of memory just for the h*ll of it.
RE: WTF?! written by WTF?!:
Zenwalk
writen by: gujeroo on 2006-05-19 18:01:34
I also tried some different flavours of Linux on an even older Laptop (200MHz) and found that Zenwalk is an excellent Choice. Like Vector it comes from Slackware, but it uses XFce, which is fast yet complete. It can be used to run either QT (KDE) or GTK (Gnome) Applications, but I prefer GTK ones. I personally disliked Vector, it did not look 'professional' enough to me (dancing penguins and stars flashing in the login manager). I would suggest giving Zenwalk a try. Cheers Gujeroo
RE: Zenwalk written by gujeroo:
Fifth of November
writen by: Phil Vance on 2006-05-19 18:14:09
For older laptops, I would recommend Zenwalk linux - it uses XFCE instead of KDE, but other than that, it meets all of your requirements. I've installed it on an old Sony PictureBook PCG-C1X with no major issues. My wife (non-techie) absolutely loves it. Small and zippy. It's a small group, but on the other hand, I made a request on the forums (better wifi support) and they had a better wifi app tested & included in the distro in about a week - hard to beat that. When I saw the list of distros you were trying, I cringed inwardly - trying to get any of the big boys onto a HD partition that size is like trying to drive a Buick through the eye of a needle.
RE: Fifth of November written by Phil Vance:
just missed it :(
writen by: Manny on 2006-05-19 18:21:40
It's a pity you didn't try the real Slackware, i can't understand why you were "intimitaded" if you see yourself "As an advanced Linux user, I found Vector Linux to be..." You just missed the one that suits your needs, on my laptop i got XP, Gentoo, FreeBSD, Slackware. Wanna guess which one is the faster, easier to mantain, just works? Correct
RE: just missed it :( written by Manny:
KDE is minimal?
writen by: noone on 2006-05-19 19:04:12
I know that you mean "these are the minimal items that I require" when you put the list up, but lets be serious... KDE on a "I need a small linux distro on my laptop"? I am not bashing KDE either... Gnome is in the same heavyweight (titanic?) boat. As the other commenter said, it must have crawled with XP, why are you trying to clobber it once more with a heavyweight desktop?? Try a real minimalist but full featured desktop, there are plenty of choices out there (ice, WM, fluxbox, metacity, etc, etc)...
RE: KDE is minimal? written by noone:
Minimal use
writen by: D. Travis North on 2006-05-19 21:12:50
It's slow, but not unbearable. Disable a lot of the frills and it runs okay. Believe it or not, inimum requirements for WinXP: 300mhz, 128MB RAM, 1.5gig HD (we all know it needs twice that). That's not to say that my shiny new KDE on linux doesn't run faster.
RE: Minimal use written by D. Travis North:
New Laptop?
writen by: reidster on 2006-05-19 21:20:29
It is possible to purchase a new laptop for less than $500 that would be twice as fast, have twice the memory and 4 times the hard drive space. Of course, if money is an issue then a used or refurbished model could be purchased as well. That would eliminate many problems. Or buy a larger hard drive. Often you only need to remove two screws to get to and replace your drive. Just my .02 cents!
RE: New Laptop? written by reidster:
Zenwalk !
writen by: Devendra Vidhale on 2006-05-19 22:14:10
You should have tried Zenwalk linux too. Given your requirements, it makes perfect sense to go for zenwalk. BTW it comes with Bluefish pre-installed, although thats a non issue for most distributions. See www.zenwalk.org Off course, nothing matches the glamour and attraction of Gentoo :)
RE: Zenwalk ! written by Devendra Vidhale:
kubuntu
writen by: Vincent on 2006-05-19 23:28:11
I assumed you did not go to www.ubuntumforums.org for any bit of help, right? Judged by your article and the reference you listed. I was there when I first installed ubuntu on my P-III 700 MHz laptop and it was incredible how rich the information there. You might want to take a second look at ubuntu with the help of the forums. There are reasons that Fedora and ubuntu are two among the most popular distrubutions. Vincent
RE: kubuntu written by Vincent:
archlinux
writen by: Tom on 2006-05-20 00:21:44
I think you'd be impressed with the speed, ease of use, and hardware support of arch linux. you have the power to use binary packages in a similiar way to apt-get, while still retaining the ability to build packages on your on, much like ports/portage. I use it almost daily now on a celeron 1ghz laptop, much like your own.
RE: archlinux written by Tom:
Mr.
writen by: Rohan Dhruva on 2006-05-20 00:33:34
Wow, your laptop is faster than my pc - my pc is p3 550mhz 256mb ram. And thats the one and only computer I have. Yes, I have 'doze XP on it, and I run debian on it. It works pretty well. I have tried ubuntu, and it works perfectly. But thanks for the review, I might try SUSE now :) Cheers.
RE: Mr. written by Rohan Dhruva:
SLAX!
writen by: garoo on 2006-05-20 00:41:26
Get slax: LiveCD is only 96mb of ram req, and can install from the CD, several flavours available, but designed to be small and fast, runs great on older hardware. Has KDE for the desktop, and you there are many modules you can add/remove to make a custom livecd.
RE: SLAX! written by garoo:
Re: 800 megahertz Celeron, 128MB ram RE
writen by: Béranger on 2006-05-20 01:29:41
No, in fact XP works reasonably on the given spec, though 256 MB RAM is highly recommended. My own old laptop is pretty close: Celeron/850, 10 GB HDD, S3 Savage/IX 8 MB, and has 256 MB of RAM -- but was initially only having 128 MB. Strangely, WinXP worked much better than Win2k on the given spec with 128 RAM!!
RE: Re: 800 megahertz Celeron, 128MB ram RE written by Béranger:
what is old is really newer
writen by: me on 2006-05-20 02:48:38
i thought when i read the top that he meant an "old" laptop and not a "slightly old" laptop. i was expecting a 100mhz one.
RE: what is old is really newer written by me:
gtk & qt
writen by: Andre on 2006-05-20 02:49:38
your favourite apps are gkt based, and kde is qt based. I would not do that mix with 128mb ram. Using gtk everywhere should save some mb of ram. I suggest you to try xfce. maybe xubuntu would work good, I think it has a smaller hd footprint.
RE: gtk & qt written by Andre:
Debian
writen by: John on 2006-05-20 06:30:35
Why didn't you try Debian Sarge? I have a brilliant XFCE install with every program I could possible need for internet, multimedia, development and productivity that weighs in at under 900 mb.
RE: Debian written by John:
Zenwalk and Puppy !
writen by: Caraibes on 2006-05-20 06:59:30
You should also have tried Zenwalk and Puppy !
RE: Zenwalk and Puppy ! written by Caraibes:
Mepis
writen by: sasquatch666 on 2006-05-20 07:36:21
try Mepis it's a live cd similar to Knoppix but it also includes a nice graphical installer,it's a debian based distro,it has excellent hardware detection and I ran it on a similar laptop alongside winXP and it worked well for me.
RE: Mepis written by sasquatch666:
Damn Small Linux
writen by: Nehemoth on 2006-05-20 08:44:00
Maybe you can try this http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/
RE: Damn Small Linux written by Nehemoth:
WinXP runs fine on PII350 with 128MB ram
writen by: fatso83 on 2006-05-20 09:02:43
I have finally replaced this machine with something new, but for me it was more than sufficient. In general it felt kinda snappy. Only thing was browsing with Firefox, which was kinda slow on WinXP, but really SLOOOOOOW on Ubuntu. Why there was such a difference I don't know (and this goes for all distros). Actually it booted WinXP in less than 20sec, but this was only with Office97 and a few other apps installed. Trying to run Warcraft 3 on the thing actually worked with a GF400MX, but only as long as there wasn't more than 5-6 characters fighting at once. I would guess a 800mhz celereon would be quite sufficient.
RE: WinXP runs fine on PII350 with 128MB ram written by fatso83:
not exactly XP
writen by: me on 2006-05-20 09:04:28
I cannot speak for XP but I needed a "usable desktop" for my old 133 PI with 64MB. To make a long story short: there is no chance running linux+gui+(real)browser, real browser nowadays means Javascript, that is you have to use opera/firefox/... and X which is just tooo slooow. No xynth,nanox coz no app support. Finally I settled on NT4 with IE6+tabextension, hey and you even get Acrobat7 for a 20 year old OS, ...what a pity ;)
RE: not exactly XP written by me:
Plenty of power, if...
writen by: Rick on 2006-05-20 09:38:11
I've installed and run XP on machines with PIII 350 megahertz chips, with 128 MB of RAM, and had them run acceptably. If you choose to turn off all visual effects in XP and you're not looking to run processor-heavy applications, XP can be functional at pretty low specs. It's not pretty, but it'll certainly work for web browsing, email, etc. That said, I'd rather install Linux if that's all I'm going to do on older hardware. I totally understand the Wife Factor and the need to work with XP, though!
RE: Plenty of power, if... written by Rick:
Gentoo in 2 Gig?
writen by: Will on 2006-05-20 10:23:03
How on earth are you able to maintain a gentoo intall in only 2 Gig? That isn't even enough space to build glibc. Did you set up some kind of remote storage for all of your source downloads and temporaray build space?
RE: Gentoo in 2 Gig? written by Will:
Debian
writen by: Barney on 2006-05-20 10:36:10
I think you will also like Debian testing since it allows you to do a minimal install and apt-get the rest.
RE: Debian written by Barney:
try coLinux or Cygwin?
writen by: mike on 2006-05-20 10:56:15
I don't know if they would have been able to handle your specific development needs, but you might also want to check out coLinux (www.colinux.org), which can host linux as a system process alongside Windows and provides excellent performance (and supports Gentoo), and/or Cygwin/MinGW, which provides an X server and many other standard GNU tools. These would enable you to avoid repartitioning and avoid rebooting into another operating system.
RE: try coLinux or Cygwin? written by mike:
pleeease!
writen by: Armona on 2006-05-20 12:43:46
You say you abandoned Suse because it wasnt LSB... And you go with Gentoo?
RE: pleeease! written by Armona:
Gentoo easily fits in 2Gig
writen by: D. Travis North on 2006-05-20 17:03:57
For the purpose of my tests, I didn't use any remote storage. As I'm sure you probably figured out, Gentoo takes up a lot of space for the portage tree and the compilation space. But after I finished my entire system and got everything set up exactly the way I wanted, My complete install was roughly 1.6gig. And I didn't delete any of the temporary files created by portage. But through some creative use of the USE flags, one can create a really compact setup with Gentoo. Now, I realize that having 80% of my hard drive space is not ideal for daily use. I'd like more free space. Of course, now that I have everything installed, I'm researching how to set up the portage tree on a network drive. Not knowing full well how portage works, I want to be careful. But if I can make that work, it will cut nearly a GIG.
RE: Gentoo easily fits in 2Gig written by D. Travis North:
Didn't read what I said...
writen by: D. Travis North on 2006-05-20 17:07:18
SUSE is LSB compliant now. 8 years ago, I abandoned it because it didn't seem to be organized in a way that aligned with the average Unix/Linux system at the time. I was using SCO at work, and SUSE didn't seem to be very similar at all. NOW, SUSE makes a lot of sense. It's made leaps and bounds, and I'm very happy with it. As for Gentoo, it has its quirks, but they are justified, in my opinion.
RE: Didn't read what I said... written by D. Travis North:
KDE was part of the challenge
writen by: D. Travis North on 2006-05-20 17:17:47
I realize full well that KDE isn't what one would call a lightweight desktop. Trust me, I know. I used to be an afterstep user which at the time was a pain to configure...but it was about 1/10 the size of KDE or GNOME. But I've grown used to KDE. Besides...I have an underlying plan to convince my wife that she likes LInux.
RE: KDE was part of the challenge written by D. Travis North:
I will try Zenwalk
writen by: D. Travis North on 2006-05-20 17:21:34
Several people, in response to my article, have recommended Zenwalk. None of my friends had used it and I honestly never gave it any thought. But it sounds interesting, and I'll definately try it out down the line. I think that this article will have a reprise down the line.
RE: I will try Zenwalk written by D. Travis North:
Slax distribution
writen by: syner on 2006-05-20 19:09:22
Try www.slax.org
RE: Slax distribution written by syner:
wrong title, wrong distros, wrong articl
writen by: RAM on 2006-05-21 02:34:52
I have old hardware too, and I wouldn't think of the same software the author reviewed. He is full of wrong assumptions or did not research carefully enough: [quote]The LiveCD distributions were not considered at all. While it may seem appealing to have an installation that doesn't impact my hard drive, these distributions often run much too slow for my laptop.[/quote] DSL anyone? Slax? Puppy? A lot of commenters have pointed out those 3, I can add BeatrIX/BeaFanatIX to the count: all of them tiny and shiny live-cds intented for old hardware. Of the installing crowd zenwalk, yoper, arch... For experienced users who know what to left out during installation: debian. And the "intended functionality" and scarce storage space? KDE, Fx, T-bird, GIMP? Obviously ironic... There are some free alternatives tod the GIMP that are light, although w/o all the functionality. DSL have a great patched version of Dillo for browsing most of the web. It also comes with sylpheed claws for mail, etc. There are a lot of possibilities when you are looking for software/distros intended for old hardware, but they are not KDE, GIMP or Mozilla based... This, or the title was indeed ill chosen.
RE: wrong title, wrong distros, wrong articl written by RAM:
Missing Distros?
writen by: Bloke on 2006-05-21 09:36:14
Although I'm repeating what others have said. Where is Debian and Slackware??
RE: Missing Distros? written by Bloke:
Distro for older laptop
writen by: George Nielsen on 2006-05-21 09:37:48
I would give Slackware a try and use XFce4 as your window manager. XFce4 has good functionality and runs lighter than KDE. You will be able to run all of the apps on your list with XFce4. Slackware would be my choice.
RE: Distro for older laptop written by George Nielsen:
educator
writen by: blackdog on 2006-05-21 12:28:02
An old programming book once adviced the readers to take a step back and look at the situation again from a wider perspective. In your case you want to run all your linux applications and do it from your wife's laptop. ...and she doesn't want you to mess with her laptop much. So... You ask for a small distribution to dual-boot on the laptop. But maybe you should "zoom out" a bit more to see more possible solutions. OK... This is how I would solve the situation: Install and configure a freeNX terminal server system on your server. Then install NoMachine's NX client (for windows) on the laptop and use it to connect to your server. There you have it. Your very own favourite desktop, fully mobile and with a minimum of modifications to her machine. Sorry for cheating.
RE: educator written by blackdog:
ubuntu too hard?
writen by: shane on 2006-05-21 13:26:22
well lets see here i have run ubuntu on everything from a 300mhz pentium II mmx with 300mb pc 133 ram....and a 10 gig hard drive upto my current computer which is an amd xp 2800+ and never had any issues...i think you gave it an unfair chance my freind...and as for documentation there is tons of it everywhere O_o www.ubuntu.com is one place to start....it has alot of good documentation for both ubuntu and kubuntu. also there is xchat as well that connects to freenode.net all you have to do is open it up and connect and you are in the ubuntu help room. if anything you should rate your knowledge of linux a 3 and this distro a 10. even more so if a moron like me can use it.
RE: ubuntu too hard? written by shane:
(k)Ubuntu
writen by: Chanchao on 2006-05-21 23:00:17
Kubuntu and Ubuntu require more space than the partition you gave it. As for documentation, the Ubuntu documentation is really good. Kubuntu is a repackaging of Ubuntu with KDE as defauld and is in no way small. If you really want to use KDE even on old hardware, then it's probably best to start with an Ubuntu Server install (bare-bones) and then ONLY add the kde-desktop to it. (Or just those KDE packages you actually want to use.) Also Firefox as a web browser isn't the smallest ever, but I can see why you'd want to use it obviously. Actually your laptop isn't THAT old... Mine is a Pentium 3 with 20 Gb disk, I also dual boot windows. Ubuntu runs absolutey stellar on it. If I only had a 10 Gb disk then I'd either run Windows VERY minimally (Windows 2000 I guess), not run Windows at all, or pick up a cheapo second hand 20 Gb disk to replace the 10Gb one. :)
RE: (k)Ubuntu written by Chanchao:
Xubuntu !
writen by: Kjell on 2006-05-22 01:43:00
You can always try Xubuntu, i run Kubuntu on an old Compaq PII laptop but it is rather slow to start. When i get the time i will try out Xubuntu instead. Cheers Kjell
RE: Xubuntu ! written by Kjell:
Linux on old Laptops
writen by: stuski on 2006-05-22 03:45:30
I just shipped an old Fuji 850Mhz e series lifebook out to my son that dual boots XP and Simply MEPIS (although it has 256MB ram and a 40G HDD). It works great, even with the no-name wireless PCMCIA card. With that as an inspiration, I have decided to refurb old laptops, and preload them with Linux (as a hobby, mostly) for anyone interested in getting one. I have found the following distros quite good: Vector SOHO 5.1.1 (has KDE and Bluefish) Damn Small Linux (of course!) Simply Mepis 6.0 (PIII or better) Puppy Xubuntu ...and I'm still playing with more, most of which have already been mentioned here.
RE: Linux on old Laptops written by stuski:
"Kubuntu / Ubuntu"? What a lie!
writen by: David Kastrup on 2006-05-22 08:41:54
You did not test Ubuntu at all. Since Ubuntu is quite better integrated and takes fewer resources, it is utterly unfair to list it in the headline when you have not actually seen it, just because people told you it would have been a good idea to actually look at it. If what you tested is Kubuntu, then it is dishonest to state anything different in your headlines and summary.
RE: "Kubuntu / Ubuntu"? What a lie! written by David Kastrup:
xubuntu
writen by: towner on 2006-05-22 13:43:31
I can recommend Xubuntu. I've got a Celeron 400Mhz, 256 MB ram and a 5 GB hard drive. I installed dapper as a server install, it picked up my pcmcia xircom card, no problems, and apt-get xubuntu-desktop...This baby flies. I've got no intention to upgrade my laptop. It has given it a new lease of life and saved me quids.... I dont slow it down with open office either, Abiword goes like stink!
RE: xubuntu written by towner:
Gentoo?
writen by: Markus on 2006-05-22 15:01:12
Rating gentoo so much higher then the rest is weird to me! Maybe starters with the same problem read it and then try gentoo. Trust me they will NEVER ever try linux again! Gentoo is for freaks and not for users that like everything easygoing! I am using linux since quite a while and studied information technology and cannot at all recommend that distribution. I got it running but needed 2 weeks to do so!
RE: Gentoo? written by Markus:
ret.
writen by: irlandes on 2006-05-22 21:53:12
This may be a minor point, but Fedora is NOT based on Redhat. Fedora is sponsored by Redhat as a development community for Redhat, period. Fedora is changing fast, Redhat is the well tested stable result of the development process, and it is not free. Redhat keeps saying thus, but most folks don't pay attention. Redhat "Clones" are available under other names. e.g. - CentOs which is free for download, but is not supported by Redhat and it is prohibited to call it Redhat.
RE: ret. written by irlandes:
reiserfs on laptop
writen by: Alex Klymov on 2006-05-24 14:51:38
...might be not the best choice gentoo or not. Some post on gentoo forum into doing small research on speed/cpu consumption of various filesystems and JFS seem to be definitely a choice for laptop - had to convert my laptop to jfs and it does take less CPU... not to mention mount/unmount time. As of OS selection - I'm big fan of gentoo as of late. Still have to run 115+ redhat servers as job requirement though. Before my personal choice was Slackware but now this distro is lagging in implementing a lot of useful improvements (PAM/2.6 kernel, grub...) the list is getting longer and longer... There is an option for Gentoo - if you don't have enough resourses to compile the package you can set BINHOST variable in your /etc/make.conf and download precompiled package for your architecture...
RE: reiserfs on laptop written by Alex Klymov:
Wrong title - Key is light weight deskto
writen by: Emmanuel_uk on 2006-05-26 02:12:51
A misleading title. I run PII 300 MHz with mandriva 2006, no problem at all. The key is a lightweight desktop. Max the ram if you can. Do not forget to check hdparm on old laptop. That is all there is to it If the HD is "really small", under 800Mo/1 Go, then you enter a restrive no of distro, but you are left with DSL, puppy and the like
RE: Wrong title - Key is light weight deskto written by Emmanuel_uk:
Disk space gentoo kde
writen by: Evald Sjöberg on 2006-05-26 06:36:33
I want to use only kde programs for workstations. What USE settings should I use? Can you or anyone reveal that?
RE: Disk space gentoo kde written by Evald Sjöberg:
Prism2 chipsets have native support!
writen by: jabby on 2006-05-27 07:09:41
You state multiple times that the Prism2 chipset isn't autodetected and that it requires proprietary firmware. Either this is some new version of the chipset or you don't have your facts straight. The Prism2 chipset from Intersil was one of the first chipsets to come with full specifications, allowing for native drivers to be written under *BSD and Linux. I have a USB network dongle with a Prism2. It "just works(TM)" in Linux. Not being detected on install does not necessarily mean that it's not supported. It just means that it has to be configured after installation. In my case, it did take some searching to find the magical combination of commands, but I just put them in a script and it's ready to go. It uses the wlanctl-ng interface. To get the hardware detected, you should be able to run this: modprobe prism2_usb prism2_doreset=1 Enjoy!
RE: Prism2 chipsets have native support! written by jabby:
I'm sorry, but...
writen by: Tetsuo on 2006-05-29 03:15:16
... just because he didn't like your personal preference of distro doesn't make him an idiot. Goddamned Linux zealots are almost as bad as Mac zealots. I mean, I like Linux, but this is not a religion thing - it's not a matter of Ultimate Truth.
RE: I'm sorry, but... written by Tetsuo:
Zenwalk on picturebook
writen by: Ed Taylor on 2006-06-11 09:35:48
Hey Phil, How did you install Zenwalk? It doesn't recognize the PCMCIA cd-rom and I don't have a windows partition to place the iso image on? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! So far, I've only been able to get FC4 on it and it's achingly slow (even without Gnome or KDE)! Thanks, Ed
RE: Zenwalk on picturebook written by Ed Taylor:
Late, I know, but if you look again look
writen by: joe f. on 2006-06-15 09:42:32
Kanotix Lite. Just installed it on an off-brand laptop with a Via C3 processor and 128 MB of RAM. It has KDE and IceWM and a bunch of Kanotix goodness. You end up with a nice Debian install. I personally have Zenwalk on my laptop (a centrino that spends most of its time running at 600Mhz) and it's nice. They have the KDE packages available for download, too. Another choice is STX Linux. It uses the EDE desktop, but it's Slackware-based, so you should be able to just use slapt-get to install KDE. I know this is an old discussion, but people might get here via a search, as I did, and I thought I'd add my $.02. I just installed Linux on a 300 Mhz K6-II and that Via C3, so I just did something very similar to what you did, but ended up at a different place.
RE: Late, I know, but if you look again look written by joe f.:
I recommend Zenwalk
writen by: tritran@yandex.ru on 2006-07-27 07:31:30
I am in the same situation: my wife have a Fujitsu Laptop, Celeron 600, 192MB RAM, 16G HDD, and I have spent a lot of time to find a good distro for her. RedHat 9: works but the printing not good (old drivers) Debian Sarge: same as Red Hat 9. Xubuntu: Great but slow. Zenwalk: Perfect -- very fast and works well. My choice is Zenwalk. I use Xfce, but you can download in install KDE. Mplayer, OpenOffice 2.0.3 (latest version), XMMS, all works. Zenwalk is considerably faster than other and take quite few of RAM. I notice that in most case, it only use 2 or 4 MB on swap -- namely it run all in RAM.
RE: I recommend Zenwalk written by tritran@yandex.ru:
Xubuntu: my first linux experience
writen by: Juan Carlos Lopez on 2006-07-27 08:47:53
3 days ago I got a Notebook HP n3410 K6-2+ 550 mhz “3D-now” 64mb ram (8mb r used for the video card) 5GB HD max res: 800×600. It is in very good condition. It has (or i may say “had”) Windows ME. After a lot of online research i decided to download and install xubuntu 6.0. The installation is as easier as any windows os. actually, a little bit better (not as faster, though) It also detected and install my 108 Mbps Wireless PC Card Model WG511T. I did notice that my pc was faster when I was using the oem windows me. But, i have read so good comments about that xubuntu that I just order new memory (256mb) for my laptop (i can wait to receive that memory). I only want to use this pc as emergency pc or just to go to my local starbucks to check my email. I wonder where can i get some applications for my laptop; applications that allow me to maximize the battery life and also to make the hibernation process as smooth as my girlfriend’s mac laptop.
RE: Xubuntu: my first linux experience written by Juan Carlos Lopez:
slanted?
writen by: Joe Snow on 2006-07-29 18:42:27
The article reads well, but, I can't help but constantly feel a bias toward Gentoo the entire time. From the get-go I could predict which distro he would pick because he's sticking to what he knows how to operate best, not what necessarily IS best per-say. As someone in the comments pointed out, he totally skipped Slackware 10; minimalistic for an old laptop is going to require quite a bit of text-install, it shouldn't be "intimidating", it's straight forward. His analysis of Redhat's product just shows that he's not familiar with it, and didn't take the time to actually discover how to make it work the way he needs, which is not complicated and doesn't require documentation to figure out. Also, the whole point being a shot at minimalistic on old hardware is contradicted when choosing a heavyweight like KDE. He should have tried a minimalistic (but still very functional and powerful) WM, there are plenty. I don't disagree with his choice, but, I also don't disagree with his method of presenting it. If you're going to be fair-minded and conduct a "study" then you need to proof-read for the obvious bias, in this case toward Gentoo. I like Gentoo, and I agree w/ the decision, but feel that the other distros really never stood a chance and were there purely for the purpose of being thorough in his report. Based on the first time he mentions Gentoo, I already knew the answer, simply on how he mentions it, which I should not be able to do in a well-written article, or an unbais study.
RE: slanted? written by Joe Snow:
gotta try it
writen by: acoustic.net on 2006-08-03 00:04:20
I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to much that is linux. I have tried ubuntu on an old p2 400mhz w/96 megs of ram and it installed flawlessly in about 15 minutes, had support for my network card that caused win 98 to crash, ran fast, and works very well. I tried gentoo 2005 on a newer machine and after 6 weeks of trying to get it installed (about an hour a day) i finally realized that I was trying to install the 2006 packages (livecd) so i download the 2006 disk and i can't get it up and running. Suse is also a very good distro and has some cool features (pinkus anyone?) and i even managed to install slackware (but couldn't do too much). Anyway, the whole point i'm trying to make is that (x)ubuntu is a wonderful install compared to some and gentoo is never going to be on my list of options ever again (i've had enough of dealing with portage in the command line. synaptic is way easier to use). But like i've said, i'm not too prone to linux and maybe i shouldn't have tried gentoo as my second install.
RE: gotta try it written by acoustic.net:
n00b on the loose
writen by: impromptu user on 2006-10-13 14:33:24
I was given an older laptop not too long ago by a friend and he had Win XP installed on it. It was slow and cumbersome. I'm a total n00b with linux and I would like to know what you guys would install on a PII 350 / 4 gb hd / 128 mem Gateway that is lightweight /has a gui / compiler / office software to be used for school type applications. ubuntu? fedora? suse? ??
RE: n00b on the loose written by impromptu user:
P2 400
writen by: bj0rn on 2006-10-24 15:44:36
I Run a stripped down version of XP on a Old Armada with 400mhz, 256ram, 20gb HDD, it runs fine! just use nLite and get rid of the crap! merry xmas anf a happy newyear! ... O_o
RE: P2 400 written by bj0rn:
Amazing
writen by: Felipe Alvarez on 2006-10-25 02:19:37
I loved reading every word. Very good article. Good for the beginner and the experienced user. Great for people new to computers or new to linux. Good discussion about something common to nearly ALL computer users -- OS support for old hardware. HardDrive space is always an issue. Very critical, precise, and utterly important topics discussed here. Thank you! Thank you!
RE: Amazing written by Felipe Alvarez:
Mandriva on old Laptop....
writen by: Ikey on 2006-11-08 22:23:30
Just wanted to say that I have been running Mandriva 2006 dual with Win XP on a Thinkpad 600E; PII 400MHZ, 288MB RAM, 10GB HDD.... and the thing works great..:) To everybody supporting Linux.... I am on your side... not too much of a MS person myself... hoping to change 100% to Linux, I love it!!
RE: Mandriva on old Laptop.... written by Ikey:
My first Linux experience...
writen by: Prashant on 2006-11-14 14:53:57
Total linux newbie here, and I have a dell inspiron 4000, with a P3 600MHz, 128MB RAM, 40Gig HD (yay!) and a lousy ATI video card, running WinXP (actually not that bad for surfing, after disabling all fancy graphics and stopping unnecessary services). I was excited after reading this article, and I decided that I wanted to get to point where this clunky laptop is usable in Linux, so that I can browse, check email, write reports and do some programming. And, I get to learn Linux finally! I have gone through FOUR complete installations over the past three days (up all night on the Weekends too!), but am still not where I want to be. My brief experience has been quite fun, although a little intimidating. I was unable to install Xubuntu after several tries(installer kept crashing). SUSE 10.1 as well Knoppix installed quite well after I began the installation with the commands to disable my PCMCIA wireless device. For some reason, the installations would simply freeze otherwise. Also tried Vector (installed fine), which i just found tacky, with all the flying penguins. I had to struggle to fix the resolution on my monitor, and couldn't get the wireless card to work. SUSE seems to have the best installer by far, and a very polished interface! I loved it. I chose GNOME though, and my laptop crawls, slower than my WinXP installation. Knoppix was neat, but i just could not get my wireless card (Linksys 802.11g, Cardbus) to work. As a newbie, I am sure I screwed up, and will have to learn more before I can get this LinkSys card working. I cant wait to get home from work, tonight I will reformat my linux partitions and install Zenwalk 3.0. I hope I can find some help with installing devices though. I intend to buy more RAM for my laptop only if I can somehow get the Wireless Card to work.
RE: My first Linux experience... written by Prashant:
Zenwalk?
writen by: Prashant on 2006-11-14 19:04:41
RE: Zenwalk? written by Prashant:
Zenwalk?
writen by: Prashant on 2006-11-14 19:04:56
RE: Zenwalk? written by Prashant:
Zenwalk on Dell Insp 4000
writen by: Prashant on 2006-11-20 11:20:27
Hey, Zenwalk 3.0 installed on my Dell Inspiron 4000 just fine. I set up the partitions manually before loading the installation disk. Had a few problems because Grub was my bootloader, and I foolishly tried to install Lilo over it on the MBR, but i was able to go in and manually clean things up. My laptop is OLD, so I was surprised at how fast some of the applications ran, such as AbiWord and even Thunderbird!!! I had to load the PCMCIA wireless card driver manually using ndiswrapper, and got the wireless to work! Yay! Go ME! As a total Linux newbie (but not unfamiliar with console based commands and programming) I thought that Zenwalk was very user-friendly, and there are so many people out here online to help out. Will leave my XP installation for dual-booting in case I need to do some programming for Windows, but over the next few weeks I will be doing my crash-course on linux!
RE: Zenwalk on Dell Insp 4000 written by Prashant:
But what about performance and startup/s
writen by: Erik on 2006-12-05 12:02:56
Hello! I've been running SuSE on a similar laptop for years now. The problem is that the distros get more and more bloated and run slower and slower on old machines: i) Old versions detected my screen resolution (1024x768) in text mode much better than newer version and therefore looked much better. ii) There are more and more time consuming background jobs, e.g. when starting or stopping my laptop I have to watch some "preload.d" actions for minutes (or so it feels like). iii) The first thing I read about Gentoo (or source distros) is that you need a fast machine to compile "everything" yourself. So I never had Gentoo in the picture when looking for a notebook distro. iv) I'm sure I successfully used my pcmcia WLAN card with an older distro (and ndiswrapper) but nowadays it doesn't work anymore (but the card works fine when booting windows). v) The upgrade SuSE 10.0 to 10.1 took more than 10 hours! Give those programmers some slow machines !-) (On a newer Centrino notebook it took still 3 hours) When I'm getting too upset about it all during the Xmas season I might do a full backup and start with a fresh and old distro. But I guess I will find out that our everyday applications (GIMP2, Firefox, etc.) and media players will not work on those ancient versions ... You cannot have it all ;- Erik
RE: But what about performance and startup/s written by Erik:
And for a REALLY old laptop
writen by: Ben on 2007-01-22 14:29:41
Sometimes I just chuckle at what defines an "old" laptop. I'm currently running Puppy Linux 2.1.3 on a Pentium 166 Toshiba. Becuase it runs in RAMdisk it's plenty fast with 128RAM. Took tweaking, but I have no difficulty with my wireless connection etc. Runs Firefox 2.0, Opera (with Flash,) GIMP, Open Office, and everything else I really need.
RE: And for a REALLY old laptop written by Ben:
Nitwit
writen by: Colorado on 2007-01-23 20:43:29
What a useless exercise by a complete nitwit!
RE: Nitwit written by Colorado:
Questionable article but interesting non
writen by: Dave on 2007-02-04 14:27:05
Hi All; I'm not sure I agree with the article completely. As has been pointed out a number of things are contradictory in the presentation and there is the obvious Gentoo bias right from the beginning. Plus there seemed to be a desire to cram a full desktop distro into a rather small partition. Many of the alternative distros have been mentioned but there seems to be one missing alternative. That would have been the use of a external USB device. Be it a disk drive, USB memmory stick, or an IPod. One could have either part or an entire distro on the external device to free up variable (R/W) space to the faster local drive. So I think the first mistake here was the lack of foresight into growing the machines storage space to better accommodate a desktop distro. With a little effort one should be able to find a 2 gig byte memory stick for around $20. Then put a distro on there optimized to run from such a device. Managing limited disk space is something everybody with an old machine has to do anyways. The second mistake seems to be a conscious effort to cram distros into space they weren't designed for. Fedora for example is designed to support both KDE and Gnome well at the same time, it is hardly a light weight distro. Further Fedora is balanced to the Gnome side of things, so it will be damn difficult to trim gnome from it and still have KDE running. The reality is though that this is not a fault with just Fedora as all the larger distros strive to be able to run as much software as possible. So I can't see the point in trying to even install distros that don't meet with the authors requirements. It is sort of like buying a backhoe when you need a bulldozer. Lastly I think the author must be trying to pull a leg or two here if he really expects us to believe that running Firefox and some of the other apps he listed will be acceptable on a machine that is as old as it is. No matter what the Linux install is if the App has grown beyond the capability of the hardware it will be unacceptable. I've been running Linux for years now and the one thing that causes me to upgrade the hardware is the Browsers available at the time. I really don't give a damn about load times, or other things that the tweakers and bench markers zero in on; I want to know how the machine behaves when I'm actually using the apps of interest. An 800MHZ laptop isn't it nowadays. It really makes me wonder how this install is seen as acceptable!
RE: Questionable article but interesting non written by Dave:
Feather Weight
writen by: John on 2007-02-10 10:53:55
I am new to the forum and my hobby is downloading different flavors of Linux. I am surprised that you have not tried Featherweight Linux. Installed, it takes about 700MB. I am running it on a Compaq Presario 1200, which has a 475MHz chip, 6GB hard drive and 64 MB of RAM. It runs with KDE and anything else you need you'd have to install. Just my $0.02.
RE: Feather Weight written by John:
Old Laptop .. you call that OLD?
writen by: Dennis Rodgers on 2007-02-10 12:23:14
HoWdY!! Every time I talk to someone about how Linux will work on a 366SX, I wonder what it would work like. I have an **OLD** Laptop! I am not financially able to purchase a new one at this point in time. My brother has an 8Mhz 4Megs RAM Attari that he has been doing his live music performances on stage with for a decade or two. He says it works fine! He makes money at doing it! My question to this august group is this ... WHERE and HOW do I install a multimedia package that plays audio and runs midi on a Pentium 120 laptop with 32 megs RAM. The gauntlette has been thrown! Let's see how GOOD you guys are (grin) I've heard Xfce was a good interface for size restrictions, I've read that Studio 64 is a great audio recoding package. I've got Agnula Demudi on this laptop and it crawls at a snails pace because of all the graphics I suppose. Totally unusable for my needs! I need some of you experts to show yer stuff and cram this great Linux into a package that will do the job! You have your task ... let's see what you can do! Here's where the rubber hits the pavement and you are using this in the real world for real work! Winner gets a free CD of my first live performance with this winning setup. heh heh heh ... Thankx Dennis
RE: Old Laptop .. you call that OLD? written by Dennis Rodgers:
WTF!
writen by: Chris on 2007-02-12 16:33:01
After reading your article I'm under some confusion as to your ability to make the judgment. You don't seem to demonstrate much understanding at all of many of the basic features. Yast is a horrible, horrible package manager. It's well known for being so! Ubuntu uses apt however. Again, well known for being a superb package manager. Your primary motivation was to get a distribution which would run well on an old laptop. You missed out Xubuntu however - a distribution written for - wait for it - older computers! Come on linuxforums.com, you've got to have better than this!
RE: WTF! written by Chris:
I agre xubuntu
writen by: fredericthewise on 2007-02-21 04:29:22
I recently installed Xubuntu on a friends old 400 celeron desktop with 128mb ram - t ran like a charm, and still runs really really well after about 6 months. This is a must try, it looks good and works good.
RE: I agre xubuntu written by fredericthewise:
Xubuntu +1
writen by: sarper on 2007-03-06 12:46:57
RE: Xubuntu +1 written by sarper:
Looking at pc with no HD
writen by: vis naicker on 2007-03-10 00:58:18
The notebook I have available Celeron 400 with 64m has no hard drive for swap space, so what are my options here. Puppy hardly copes.
RE: Looking at pc with no HD written by vis naicker:
Is Gentoo for freaks?
writen by: Alejandro Nova on 2007-04-25 07:53:03
RE: Is Gentoo for freaks? written by Alejandro Nova:
USE flags
writen by: Alejandro Nova on 2007-04-25 08:00:00
RE: USE flags written by Alejandro Nova:
giu linux on disk
writen by: anthony on 2007-05-03 09:24:43
yea so lets talk about old i sagged a free laptop (everex) so old the company doesn't even have it on file. the problem is that it only has a 3.5 floppy drive. anyone know of a Linux that comes on floppy that would work. ( i just need the bare bones graphic display, a word possessor and internet. can any one help?
RE: giu linux on disk written by anthony:
Old computer
writen by: Jacob on 2007-05-21 05:13:39
2 words: Toshiba Satellite. 1 date: 1996 Specs: ~75 MHz, 814 MB HD, ~40 MB RAM. 3D? What's that? 5x CD-ROM with external floppy drive. Pre-USB. I had some problems with DSL (Damn Small Linux), but it mostly ran. Firefox did not, however. Debian was more trouble than could be afforded for this baby. Slackware runs great. The problem that I have with Slackware is that I specifically chose not to install certain options, and it installed them anyway. Locale/language settings was the big one. After I removed all of that, though, I have about 200 MB free. Fluxbox works for it. I can't name a specific browser that works graphically, though. I know there's one out there, I just haven't named it a priority. Oh, and I can even network wirelessly, thanks to Xircom's old PCMCIA card. Ahhhh, simplicity. Jacob
RE: Old computer written by Jacob:
slax and puppy
writen by: harocas on 2007-05-24 10:57:40
RE: slax and puppy written by harocas:
Laptop
writen by: wobf58 on 2007-05-29 19:57:20
RE: Laptop written by wobf58:
new laptop battery
writen by: battery on 2007-07-06 21:25:30
Verizon is about the only place you can get the authentic RIM product and matching door. Most other sites are out of stock and even when they are in stock they have the black battery door which looks like crap. We supply a large range of rechargeable Laptop Battery packs for your Laptop , All Laptop Battery in our <a href="http://www.laptopbatterybbs.com">www.laptopbatterybbs.com</a> are made with high quality cells.
RE: new laptop battery written by battery:
the jojo
writen by: jojo on 2007-07-16 03:41:21
KDE sucks GNOME rocks!
RE: the jojo written by jojo:
I recommend Ubuntu
writen by: Ubuntu on 2007-09-10 19:20:33
Hi Ed, Just was reading posts... Next time you could try Ubuntu. Once you have installation cd, just put it in and try without installing. If you liked it, you can install it very easily - provided it shouldnt be dual-boot with Windows. Dual boot was reported to be easy to do, but I haven't done it, so dont know. Just try it - it is very stable and easy-to-use, yet professional.
RE: I recommend Ubuntu written by Ubuntu:
"Creative use of flags..."
writen by: James Scholes on 2007-09-25 05:30:27
RE: "Creative use of flags..." written by James Scholes:
Why?
writen by: Henry on 2007-10-10 00:59:11
What is the point in diving into a C program, when the majority of people reading this are just wanting to figure out how you send email from a command line. I may be wrong, but if you can write and understand a C program that does exactly that, you wouldn't be reading about how read your email! Thanks
RE: Why? written by Henry:
Easy fix for your problem.
writen by: Sean on 2007-10-10 11:09:39
First install Ubuntu Server (Fiesty Fawn is the latest, wait 8 more days and Gutsy Gibbon will be the latest). Then do the following since installing gnome-desktop is no longer acceptable the package is now called ubuntu-desktop for the newer ubuntu server releases and that is approx 500Mb of download after installing. After installing the barebones server and ubuntu-desktop you will have used up approx 550Mb of space. Then simply install bluefish. Here are the steps. 1) Install Ubuntu server from the CD. 2) apt-get install ubuntu-desktop. 3) apt-get install bluefish. Now you can remove all the bloat that comes with installing ubuntu-desktop from step 2. You might want to use the Synaptic package manager (super easy to use) to remove all the games and the excessive number of audio applications and picture viewer applications that come with it. Just keep one picture viewer app and once audio app (I suggest you keep amarok since it works with ipods as well and IMHO is the most versatile and full featured.) You will now have used up only about 400Mb of your HDD. The rest is free for your use. Thats it, you will now have a full system that flies on your configuration of system. You can continue to remove more applications as you like there by removing any unnecessary bloat. After you remove any application run the following commands as root from the commandline. apt-get autoremove apt-get autoclean Installing applications on Ubuntu is also super easy on Ubuntu just use the apt-get install <packagename> command to install apps or use apt-get remove <packagename> command to uninstall apps Or as I mentioned earlier use the Synaptic package manager that comes installed with a GUI.
RE: Easy fix for your problem. written by Sean:
senor
writen by: ezekieldas on 2007-10-10 15:02:29
RE: senor written by ezekieldas:
newbie
writen by: Steve on 2007-10-10 16:11:10
I have a Compaq Presario 1200 that came with 128mb of ram and XP Pro would load load and run on that machine just just fine-- it originally came with WinME installed. I tried a number of Linux distros and some would work OK and some wouldn't. I bought a 256mb memory module (just one slot in that machine) and after upgrading the memory, I installed PCLinuxOS and it works great. Compaq Presario 1200-XL505 Celeron 766mhz cpu 10 gb hdd 320 mb ram (256 module plus 64 built in) PCMCIA wired ethernet card
RE: newbie written by Steve:
Mr.
writen by: Paul on 2007-10-11 04:14:14
RE: Mr. written by Paul:
Mr
writen by: Julian Mitchell on 2007-10-12 06:52:03
Great article. I'm looking at breathing life into an old laptop and have been looking for an opsystem that just works well enough for Internet Browsing and some wp and spreadsheet work. It would be nice to have a pretty front end also... My big issue is will opensuse detect my netgear wireless card and link to my router ok and will it be easy to use.?? I have no knowledge of Linux!
RE: Mr written by Julian Mitchell:
drivers
writen by: bunty on 2007-10-15 12:56:16
Hi this is bunty, In Linux it default detect the hardware so no need to install drivers. that is one of the advantages of linux. And you are using fedora6 so you have to select the correct packages when you are installing only. after that for any application you want to use the rpm to work in your pc that rpm's can be installed in your pc by using this command rpm -ivh --aid by using this you can install rpms for applications like open office or media players etc. have a nice day
RE: drivers written by bunty:
ubuntu
writen by: dr.salahuddin on 2007-10-15 14:39:58
i tried ubuntu on my celeron1.1 machine with 128 ram . i cannot even start the os, after wasting a long time the screen goes black .any idea how i can install.
RE: ubuntu written by dr.salahuddin:
try this
writen by: acidburned on 2007-10-19 19:48:20
try antix which is based off of mepis and debian.it will run a machine with 64mb ram and 128 swap.
RE: try this written by acidburned:
ubuntu! how ?
writen by: mahi on 2007-10-20 04:36:45
RE: ubuntu! how ? written by mahi:
KERNELKERAJA
writen by: rajainnov on 2007-10-25 04:08:39
Very Well Written article on Kernel Modules. I am unable to comile and insmod kernel modules on SUSE Linux 10 Can some one help me with the method to successfully do this on SUSE? The tried modules are the ones supplied with Oreilly Linux Device Drivers 3rd Edition Book by alessandro rubini. Thanks in Advance Pavan
RE: KERNELKERAJA written by rajainnov:
Faculty
writen by: Abhishek Chib on 2007-11-19 02:54:05
Please write proper steps to complete this work.
RE: Faculty written by Abhishek Chib:
here is the reality of the OS situation
writen by: knifemonkey on 2007-11-25 18:29:58
There are 3 major players in this game. Windows, Mac and Linux. There are other great alternatives out there like BeOS but for simplicity let's focus on these three. Windows, Mac and Linux. So What's The Deal? Two of them are commercial products and one is not. The commercial products have brought a large amount of influencial power in many sectors of everyday life. Schools (Mac for multimedia, Windows for everything else), software distrobutors, computer retailers (HP, Dell, etc etc all come with the latest Windows as a selling point), hardware designers and retailers (GT8800 is Directx10 compatible, DESIGNED for Windows Vista) (ATI wont even support Linux), early education, pop culture like magazines, billboards television, the gaming industry, basically everything that can be asssociated with computers in any way shape or form. The most selling Operating System gets the most support from people because it makes money, but does that mean it is better? Just because they thrust it into our face at every oppourtunity and tell us to use it in school and work does that make it a better OS? In short, NO I have been fixing computers ever since I could type, I've used Windows most my life because that's what people and the media taught me to use. Ever since I could use windows I've been annoyed by bluescreens and general unstablitity, viruses and malware, useless security resulting in systems being hacked and money being stolen, incompatiblity with latest hardware, bloatware, commercialware (MYOB, Norton etc), slowness, limited customisation, closed sourced software, non existant consumer support, the establishment of biased and faulty standards and much much more. Worse still, none of these things have changed since the beginning of windows, yes there have been some 'improvements' but the cost in hardware requrements hardly justifies this crap. It's all one big commercially driven, money hungry butt ugly cesspit of software stagnacy. (to put it niceley.) Two major problems with Windows, 1: Its broken 2: Microsoft doesnt care about people, they only want your money!!! Ok. onto the Mac. I have used Macs for multimedia purposes having worked at a Student television company. All I can say is that it is a good operating system for multimedia purposes, and has a growing support for games and such but it's proporitory hardware design and proporitory software design means that u can only use their products with their system. Being a commerically driven company, power and control are second only to taking your money. now Linux. I've recently moved to linux after 15 years of Windows use. I finally managed to find enough workarounds that I could apply to windows to make it fairly stable and slightly more resistant to viruses. The growing media interest in Ubuntu and my Slackware friend convinced me to give Linux a try anyway. I quickly found out using Ubuntu that Linux is THE BEST OPERATING SYSTEM, however misunderstood by the massess of sheep. (From which I managed to escape) I quickly discovered that linux: Is Easy to use, through intuitive window managers such as Gnome, XFCE, Enlightenment and KDE. Has much greater hardware support for the latest and oldest hardwares (excluding ATI) Is, much faster on NEW AND OLD systems. Has an infinite library of FREE AND OPENSOURCE software for EVERY PURPOSE, education, business, games, multimedia, development you name it, currently at 3000+ programs and counting everyday! Completely stable and reliable. Completely customisable from top to bottom. Supports software from Windows and Macintosh! Windows programs will work with Linux with Wine! When this project is finished all Windows programs will work with Linux! And the latest Macintosh operating system is basically Linux with a facejob so of course the programs can work with linux! THE MOST SECURE COMPUTER SYSTEM. Goodbye viruses, malware and hackers! Consistently updated through an easy to use interface like Synaptic, operating system components and programs are updated consistently easily installed. The largest community driven support group in the world. If you find a bug or have a problem, ask on any one of the forums and a solution will be given to you by real people, not some crappy faq script. With all of these things taken into consideration, I honestly cannot understand why people would stick with windows. If it's DirectX well u get DirectX support through Wine, besides opengl is better, all the decent games developers port their games to linux, ID-Software for example. For workstations, it is the best system avaliable because of its robustness and capability and security, for servers it is the best system because of its robustness and capability and security. The problem with ubuntu is that it is a mutilated debian derivative. I went from Slackware 12, to Xubuntu to Debian Lenny testing. And I'm sticking with it. 120fps playing Savage on my old computer, I was lucky to get 30fps on WindowsXP. Ultimatley the choice is yours, but if you actually knew anything about the alternatives, or took any of this in, you would go with a linux distrobution to suite your needs without a second thought. -STOP THE WAR FOR OIL, 2 MANY LIVES HAVE BEEN LOST! DONT BUY AMERICAN GOODS TO SUPPLY BOMBS IN IRAN!- thats another good reason not to buy Microsoft/Dell/McDonalds/Subway/Nike they can control our world but not if we dont support them! (ps i apologise for my crappy spelling and insidious yet truthful ranting)
RE: here is the reality of the OS situation written by knifemonkey:
sorry
writen by: knifemonkey on 2007-11-25 18:59:00
btw i have nothing against americans, just their politics :P Like the worst place for my extremist views just asking for a flame war lol oops. umm linux distrobutions in my experience: slackware for all systems but only if u want to learn something or if u are an advanced linux user. ubuntu is great for newbies, it does make things easier with driver module support, but no good for older systems. debian lenny is ftw but again, probably not the best option for older computers, unless u know what you are doing, Damn Small Linux is my favourite distrobution for older computers, pentium 1s and low mhz pentium 2s, once aptget is intergrated from the repository. Damn Small Linux Not! is for 300mhz to 500mhz pentium 2's in my opinion, again aptget is needed if u want extra applications. Puppy linux is a great simple to use system for older computers like pentium 2s but is slightly more resource hogging than DSL I also reccemend Vector Linux and Yoper for low range computers because they are more complete than puppy linux and are still very simple to set up and use. For high range computers I suggest that you use Debian Lenny or OpenSuse or Ubuntu, depending on your needs and level of knowledge, of course you should not be afraid to experiement with different operating systems to find out which ones suit your needs. PEACE
RE: sorry written by knifemonkey:
NimbleX is very lightweight
writen by: Levart on 2007-12-08 03:13:55
I use NimbleX sub100 (http://nimblex.net) for my old Laptop and with my additions it takes only 200MB of the 6GB HDD, everything works and it runs pretty fast with only 300MHz.
RE: NimbleX is very lightweight written by Levart:
xP special edition :)))
writen by: XT on 2007-12-15 12:40:11
I've try install Kubuntu alternate (text mode installation) on old Nec Powermate 2000 (Celeron 533, RAM 128 mb, HDD 6G). It's sucks. Very slow works, even I've try optimized it. XP rules (but only special distro ) - it's Flying on Powermate. Use Russian pirated XP Gamer Edition (with some tweaks) - torrent help u.
RE: xP special edition :))) written by XT:
linux
writen by: AVINESH on 2007-12-18 11:50:48
RE: linux written by AVINESH:
programmer
writen by: lou on 2007-12-28 16:04:57
The following top output seems to contradict itself. In the body it shows %cpu: 93.3, 11.3, .3, .3 for the top 4 processes (all the rest are 0). But in the summary (on top) it shows: 26.6, 48.2, 7.3 and .3. I would apprecitate any suggestions as to how these seeminly disparate sets of numbers can be understood/reconciled. top - 13:55:32 up 1 day, 4:53, 6 users, load average: 1.35, 1.19, 1.07 Tasks: 139 total, 2 running, 136 sleeping, 1 stopped, 0 zombie Cpu0 : 26.6% us, 9.0% sy, 0.0% ni, 64.1% id, 0.0% wa, 0.0% hi, 0.3% si Cpu1 : 48.2% us, 8.3% sy, 0.0% ni, 43.2% id, 0.0% wa, 0.0% hi, 0.3% si Cpu2 : 7.3% us, 1.3% sy, 0.0% ni, 90.0% id, 0.0% wa, 0.0% hi, 1.3% si Cpu3 : 0.3% us, 1.7% sy, 0.0% ni, 97.7% id, 0.0% wa, 0.3% hi, 0.0% si Mem: 2075092k total, 1196232k used, 878860k free, 11364k buffers Swap: 2096472k total, 248k used, 2096224k free, 1106376k cached PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND 7439 fridkis 19 0 1980 376 232 R 91.3 0.0 0:04.81 /bin/zcat /mirror/arrayexpress/ftp.ebi.ac.uk/pub/databases/microarray/data/experiment/TABM/E-TABM-361/E-TABM-361.cel.tar.gz 7440 fridkis 15 0 9728 2464 1764 S 11.3 0.1 0:00.78 /bin/tar -O -x ./E-TABM-361_cel/060125_S96_genomicDNA.CEL 2726 root 15 0 0 0 0 S 0.3 0.0 6:49.67 [rpciod] 7337 fridkis 16 0 7464 2628 1824 R 0.3 0.1 0:00.31 top Here are my system stats (from uname -a): Linux 2.6.10-1.771_FC2smp #1 SMP Mon Mar 28 01:10:51 EST 2005 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
RE: programmer written by lou:
booting issues?
writen by: Majkl on 2008-01-01 20:00:20
RE: booting issues? written by Majkl:
1.1Ghz Pentium III Laptop with Wireless
writen by: Marcus Taylor on 2008-01-26 05:05:18
I only started playing with Linux a few days ago and have tried installing around a dozen OS so far. FORESIGHT 4 is the only one that detects and runs everything including the wireless card 100%. Fedora 8 is the only other one that detects it but I havn't managed to get it to work yet. Fedora 8 is better than Foresight 4 if you have a wired connection to the net as it uses less memory and is faster. My laptop has 380mb and struggles a bit with Foresight. Hope this is helpful to a new user.
RE: 1.1Ghz Pentium III Laptop with Wireless written by Marcus Taylor:
Hi
writen by: Reena on 2008-01-29 10:22:05
Great..thanks a lot
RE: Hi written by Reena:
My story.
writen by: Peter on 2008-02-18 02:32:51
First of all, great article! Pretty cool that all them kids are getting a computer with linux, I'm sure they will enjoy it. Anyway, this is my experience with Windows Vista. About a year ago I finally had enough money again for a new laptop. After long searching and comparing laptops on online shops I found one that was perfect for me and my price range. It had one of them new core 2 duo cpu's and 1 gig of ram and all the other hardware was good for my needs. The only thing what I was worried about was that it came with Vista. It was still kinda new and from previous experiences with just new Microsoft operating systems it seemed that it wasn't always all that good as they made it out to be. If I recall it right, the blue screen of death of Win98 on international television, Windows ME which wouldn't run stable for a full day straight and Windows XP in the beginning that didn't have any drivers written for most hardware out there. I bought the laptop anyway and I was really happy with it. I booted it and Windows Vista started with all its "pretties". I started to install some software that I needed and it kept asking me if I really wanted to install it and if I really wanted to be administrator so it already started to really piss me off. The next thing I noticed is that everything really wasn't all that quick. I mean CORE2DUO and 1 GIG of ram. That should be top of the line right? Appearently not (with Vista). So I turned all the "pretties off" and the annoying slow services that nobody needs. It ran quite a bit better but still being that happy with your new computer it was kinda a dissapointed. The next thing I did was repartitioning my harddrive and install Slackware Linux on it. After recompiling the 2.6 kernel everything worked great! All hardware was supported and the computer worked as fast as it should be! "Top of the line" after all. Anyway, I did keep the dual boot even though I had vmware installed and generally wouldn't need it anymore. Then I had one of them days that I was extremely bored and I wanted to play a game. So I downloaded some free rpg game and started playing. The screen started shivering or turned totally black. So I did some research and the game wasn't supported in Vista, and reading up on that site it seemed to be Microsofts fault. What a surprise. So I wanted to download another free game and they also mentioned on their site that it wasn't supported on Vista. About two weeks later I was watching some show on TV about computer games. And one of them guys on TV was getting an interview, and the question was "What operating system would you recommend to use?" and he answered "The gamers OS and that is ofcourse Windows Vista." This disgusted me. How false can advertisement be? Another thing that I would like to point out is this. I remember that for a very long time people disliked linux because hardware wasn't supported very well. Well my brother also recently bought a new laptop with Windows Vista installed on it. And he couldn't get his scanner to work because it wasn't supported in Windows Vista. I tried to google for him a bit to see if their was maybe some kind of fix for this but unfortunatly for I couldn't find anything for him. However I did find out that the scanner was supported in Linux. Has the tables been turned? I have one final question. When I was studying for MCSA (in my defence I also have Linux+ and I'm working on CCNA) I learned that Microsoft recommends 128mb ram for Windows XP. Everybody knows you need at LEAST 512 to run it decently. I think they recommand 1 gig of ram for Windows Vista, is this right? So I was wondering how much ram you would really need for Windows Vista to have it run like a computer should run. My appologies if my story was to long and boring to read, and maybe for my bad spelling since English isn't my first language.
RE: My story. written by Peter:
nhgf
writen by: gtre on 2008-02-21 17:00:05
hjgfvu
RE: nhgf written by gtre:
Relacement Electronics Battery
writen by: batterybattery on 2008-02-22 18:40:01
RE: Relacement Electronics Battery written by batterybattery:
Of course \'everyones\' a *nix \'e
writen by: 14ND0 on 2008-02-25 17:16:49
2) \"It is not very likely you have used it.\" Way to condescend to your audience. Maybe give us a bit of credit for having used UNIX and GNU/Linux a time or two before? Ass. [/quote] Well Mr. Unix/Linux \'expert\'... not all of us HAVE much of a background in the *nixs! I appreciate Girish\'s help. I am self-taught for the last 16-17 years with NO benefit of having some programming classes at some school. Oh except for some FORTRAN in \'77! Do you even know what that is? How many classes have you had, kid? Speaking of being an \'ASS\"!!
RE: Of course \'everyones\' a *nix \'e written by 14ND0:
autocompletion 2
writen by: linjava on 2008-03-05 11:27:46
Oh, and to set up the autocompletion and all you need to of course have you jdk source untarred/zipped and run ctags on it like so (I put this in a start up script and only uncomment it when I've made major updates to my project): [b]Please note that I cannot take credit for these settings[/b] as I got it from a kind forum poster on www.vim.org (sorry I don't have the exact link) ##################################################################### # set up vi for ctags use with jdk source and the current project # UNCOMMENT BELOW TO RE-RUN/LOAD TAGS! ##################################################################### #PROJ_HOME="${HOME}/progs/checkouts/MyProjects/MYPROJECT" #pushd $HOME #ctags -f jdk_tags -R $JAVA_HOME/src #ctags -f proj_tags --exclude=CVS -R $PROJ_HOME/src/com $PROJ_HOME/web #popd Please notice that I have it setup for both the jdk source and the source of my current project. Now I can cursor over an identifier and hit cntrol-} to go to the source, and then subsequently control t to get back. Control p for autocompletion (or control n).
RE: autocompletion 2 written by linjava:
autocompletion 2
writen by: linjava on 2008-03-05 11:28:53
Oh, and to set up the autocompletion and all you need to of course have you jdk source untarred/zipped and run ctags on it like so (I put this in a start up script and only uncomment it when I\'ve made major updates to my project): [b]Please note that I cannot take credit for these settings[/b] as I got it from a kind forum poster on www.vim.org (sorry I don\'t have the exact link) ##################################################################### # set up vi for ctags use with jdk source and the current project # UNCOMMENT BELOW TO RE-RUN/LOAD TAGS! ##################################################################### #PROJ_HOME=\"${HOME}/progs/checkouts/MyProjects/MYPROJECT\" #pushd $HOME #ctags -f jdk_tags -R $JAVA_HOME/src #ctags -f proj_tags --exclude=CVS -R $PROJ_HOME/src/com $PROJ_HOME/web #popd Please notice that I have it setup for both the jdk source and the source of my current project. Now I can cursor over an identifier and hit cntrol-} to go to the source, and then subsequently control t to get back. Control p for autocompletion (or control n).
RE: autocompletion 2 written by linjava:
try this
writen by: saurabh baid on 2008-03-14 01:37:58
RE: try this written by saurabh baid:
old compaq
writen by: hook on 2008-03-24 03:29:45
Helo, im a new comer from indonesia, i want learn linux with my old computer I have old computer, compaq P2-400, RAM 64 I want instal my computer with linux, I have try with DSL and XUbuntu, but failed can u help me ? thx
RE: old compaq written by hook:
Recover root and grub passwords
writen by: Gustavo Boksar on 2008-04-14 11:52:23
RE: Recover root and grub passwords written by Gustavo Boksar:
comment
writen by: StanB on 2008-04-18 05:28:58
RE: comment written by StanB:
Whereis all the lesson
writen by: rahul on 2008-05-04 07:25:27
Its very help full We want all lesson at a time.
RE: Whereis all the lesson written by rahul:
Title is a required field? On a reply?
writen by: Baylink on 2008-05-08 08:47:45
RE: Title is a required field? On a reply? written by Baylink:
Laptop Data Protection
writen by: mindshift on 2008-06-11 05:31:31
Hi, If you lose your laptop data ? Read this and post queries here! If you lose your laptop, you can now be confident that your data will be safe. The mindSHIFT data protection service initiates a remote data wipe of the machine when it is lost or stolen. Richee robert ( http://www.mindshift.com/Products-and-Services_PCRetrieve.aspx )
RE: Laptop Data Protection written by mindshift:
Laptop Data Protection
writen by: mindshift on 2008-06-12 05:35:54
RE: Laptop Data Protection written by mindshift:
Laptop Data Protection
writen by: mindshift on 2008-06-12 05:37:51
RE: Laptop Data Protection written by mindshift:
wrong gcc
writen by: Al Andrews on 2008-06-13 11:19:32
RE: wrong gcc written by Al Andrews:
perlproblem
writen by: avi on 2008-06-14 02:56:46
RE: perlproblem written by avi:
QUESTION
writen by: sharath on 2008-06-24 01:05:10
Hello, I have to configure 1)TOM CAT SERVER 2)JAVA JRE JDK 3)MYSQL. in my system . So, can u send me the needful command and step to configure them . Thanks, Sharath
RE: QUESTION written by sharath:
Laptop Data Protection
writen by: Richee robert on 2008-06-27 03:19:48
RE: Laptop Data Protection written by Richee robert:
shell script
writen by: cathy on 2008-07-09 08:38:42
write a shell script that adds two intersgers and displays the answer on screen
RE: shell script written by cathy:
suse 10.2
writen by: colleen on 2008-07-22 12:17:50
RE: suse 10.2 written by colleen:
Linux and applications.
writen by: Victor on 2008-07-26 18:21:33
First time reading all this and here is a point of view of a person who just wants computer to reliably do useful work. If windows can do the job, fine by me. You all are discussing which distro is the "best" and I realize it depends. Bu, again, you all like *computers*. I like *outcome* of what they produce, I don't give a damn if it's called Linux, Unix, or F**us. Real life example what I do: I'm hardware designer for embedded controllers. I use CAD extensively as primary tool. At home, of course we use wordprocessing, regular internet *useful* things like bill pay, e-bay bids, etc. I'd love to get rid of WIndows' dangers like viruses and things. What do I do now? I image to a DVD my hard disk every time I install new software. If I get infected (happened once I'm aware of), I don't bother cleaning up - I reinstall latest image. Problem solved. Now, I have to produce my work - schematics and layouts for the hardware, and also mechanical designs. *DON'T* suggest me zillion CAD packages existing for Linux - if they don't work close to how *my existing CAD* works, read and writes files in the same format (so I don't render years of previous work no linger accessible e.g. useless), it makes no difference - I'm not going to relearn new CAD system,reconvert hundreds of existing designs just because OS has changed. I'm looking at Vendor's web site (circad), no mention about Linux anything. Simpler example. I want bill pay. I log on to my bank's site and get message: "only Internet Explorer is supported if you want bill pay feature". I realize this has nothing to do with Wonderful Linux, but it makes Linux *totally useless* to somebody who wants *a* computer do useful work for him. So I *have* to get back to Windows/IE if I want to use bill pay. Else why do I need a computer at all? I sure can write a letter using Open Office or draw an image. Try to find a GUI for USB -based CAN-network emulator I use for my projects. Try to find *any* software for Linux to configure the charger and controller in my electric vehicle. EEPROM programmer I use (and no, I'm not gonna change it) only has Windows GUI and with Linux I can't read/write memory chips in my embedded projects. Then, why do I care how stable Linux is or how many viruses Windoes machine can get if I can't do any useful *to me* work other than browse internet and read .PDF app notes?? Manufacturers of special periphery just don't provide only Windows versions. This is *practical usefulness* of the computer in real life, not abstract Windows vs Linux as OS debate you all have here. I don't want to spend time making computer work. I want to spend time working on my target projects *a* computer just helps to drive, Windows, Mac, Linux based or whatever. For that all manufacturers of periphery I use must provide the same level of support for Linux as for Windows, but they don't, assuming (rightfully so] that most users use Windows anyway so why bother. Therefore Linux-based machine is just a toy for series work related to other hardware, unless you only use computer to talk to other computers or perform visual or computer-related tasks (FTP, burning CD, photo-editing). These can be done on Linux machines, but again, if you have archive of something written in a format or by a software for Windows only, Linux machine is totally useless to deal with that huge time-invested database which is what computer is for. So why bother. At one point I installed SUSE 9.0 few years back out of curiosity. It went smoothly, without errors, and I could see all the files and directories on my windows network of 4 more computers. Nice. Now what? Familiar double-clicking on any .exe files of course yields nothing. I sure have stop working on my projects and start learning new OS how to launch programs from command prompt. Perhaps I could, but there are no such programs (for what I do). Not only that, as I described above silly bill-pay doesn't want to work with anything other than MS IE, not even with my default Firefox browser. Sure, not Linux's fault, but why do I need Linux machine then? Bottom line - for user, not geek liking computing for the sake of computing, the choice is driven by what can you do with your computer as a tool. Not how stable or safe it is. The most safe and stable Linux machine is nearly useless *to me*, no matter how much I want to use it. Please, please prove me wrong. (I know, you can't). Any comments welcome. Stuck with windows for the reasons above, Victor
RE: Linux and applications. written by Victor:
That's BS, Microsoft Guy!
writen by: Solid Snake on 2008-08-01 15:21:31
Sure Ubuntu isn't as customizable as most distributions of linux, But it has a excellent GUI, Great support, fast performance, and an awesome package manager that no other distribution has. The driver support is amazing, I never got my wireless card to work on Fedora correctly, and Ubuntu configured it under the network manager and now it is even more useful than XP or Vista's network manager. Oh, and to the Guy who worked on this for Microsoft in his basement, please, don't you have a crappy OS to fix or are you just going to give us more excuses to switch to your "Windows ME with a wannabe compiz feel" operating system"?
RE: That's BS, Microsoft Guy! written by Solid Snake:
Pearl Lesson 6 - 10
writen by: Manish on 2008-08-14 00:43:26
Hi i found lesson 1 - 5 where r the rest still to update i m waiting its nice thanx
RE: Pearl Lesson 6 - 10 written by Manish:
file permission
writen by: dat on 2008-09-03 02:03:58
i want to give a file execute permission at the time of creation in sunsolaris
RE: file permission written by dat:
Fedora, Ubuntu
writen by: fadzli on 2008-09-17 18:54:44
I tried slackware,mandriva and suse before. suse is good. others sucks! now im using fedora. better than suse because of stability and ease of use. One of my friend gave me a ubuntu live-cd and you know what?? it amazed me. cool!! I've used to fedora now but i'll give ubuntu a try then. most distro nowadays offer easy installations and ease of use but not many offer stability. how many of u out there prefer win xp dark edition over vista?? u know what i mean :)
RE: Fedora, Ubuntu written by fadzli:
linux beginner
writen by: faisal on 2008-09-21 13:13:15
please tell me now linux permission with example in detail because i am a beginners in linux so i have no knowledge in this opreting system.so please guide me in detail with example
RE: linux beginner written by faisal:
Can I?
writen by: Motherfucker on 2008-09-24 13:45:11
I would like to fuck your mother. When she's available you can contact me: motherfucker@ilikeyourmothersvage.net
RE: Can I? written by Motherfucker:
linux
writen by: Raam on 2008-09-25 03:49:21
looking linux discussiuon
RE: linux written by Raam:
Linux for My old laptop
writen by: Dipangkar on 2008-10-07 21:40:35
Hi, I've the same configuration like yours except that it has 256 Mb ram. I want to use Linux on it. Is it possible to use any kind of Linux operating system in my laptop. It would be kind if you could advice me about the operating system. Thanks Dipangkar
RE: Linux for My old laptop written by Dipangkar:
REPLY SHARMINDGEY PROGRAMMING
writen by: AWAIS LATIF QURESHI on 2008-10-08 06:45:47
RE: REPLY SHARMINDGEY PROGRAMMING written by AWAIS LATIF QURESHI:
not customizable? O_o
writen by: elphias on 2008-10-09 07:38:36
Yes Gnome is old, it's been around for a really long time. and gusse what that means? that it's a tried and true GUI. as for it being non customisable? well thats just plain BS, i have had people mistake my nice pritty ubuntu box as a windows box, one person even thinking it's vista. yes, it's sometimes a bit of work to customize, but then if you use windowblinds or some other app to customize your desktop in windows, you also at times have to work at it, i have many times destroyed the splash screen in windows with apps trying to make my windows box "leet" as for canniocal needing to become more "business like" to compete with microsoft? well look at it like this, there are now computer company's such as dell selling custom linux PC's that have the ubuntu OS on them as well as the fact they even provide tech support for them. system76 is a computer company that sells really damn good computers with gusse what? the Ubuntu Linux OS, gameing manufacturers are now porting there games for the ubuntu os. schools, hospitals and various other institutions both goverment and non goverment are useing or at this time looking at ubuntu as a viable alternative to the TCO of windows. i mean, it's hard to beat free. while there are no ways to tell what the most dominant OS of the pc market is, im pritty sure that ubuntu is casueing microsoft to look at it in a whole new way, so to say that ubuntu is a sloppy OS with no functionality, well.... it does everything and i mean EVERYTHING i need to do in windows. not haveing a box that crashes with the BSOD, TCO $0.00 not haveing to worry about viruses, TCO $0.00 haveing an OS that is free works and is stable? Priceless. there are some things windows cannot buy. for everything else, theres Linux.
RE: not customizable? O_o written by elphias:
re:
writen by: shroomy_bee on 2008-10-27 09:53:33
RE: re: written by shroomy_bee:
re: server mixup
writen by: shroomy_bee on 2008-10-27 09:56:13
RE: re: server mixup written by shroomy_bee:
owner
writen by: Sam Brown on 2008-11-30 01:14:40
After fifteen years of using Windows for a business and having an excellent 64 yr old bookeeper who is comfortable in MS apps does anyone really think they could sell me on a switch to some kiddie toy OS because of a $1000 license? I've tried viewing Excel and Word records in Open Office. It ain't pretty. I'm willing to play with Linux distros at home out of curiosity, but it won't get anywhere near my business. The first time I looked through just the packages installed with the OS I knew that Linux wasn't intended for business "out of the box". I don't need 15 media apps with unintelligible names. I need 1 that works, and I want it to be installed invisibly with the OS. I don't want to put my business records on the line with some spreadsheet that is "almost" like MS or entice any of my employees into early retirement by forcing them to retrain on applications that have no manuals or support. I also don't want to join in on the flame wars that are the trademark of every Linux discussion group. The only way around the kiddie hassle is Red Hat, but why bother? What I have isn't broke, so why spend money to fix it? Face facts. There is a big crossover between business and home use and until Linux (and it's users) grows up it will not make serious dents in either. Hardware manufacturers also don't want their brands associated with a "not ready for prime time" OS and all the frustration attached. When you are thinking in terms of business applications and rollout costs, Linux is anything but free. Bill Gates is quite safe from the horrible fate you all have in mind for him. Keep dreaming though kiddies. You'll get it right someday, maybe.
RE: owner written by Sam Brown:
http://www.electrocomputerwarehouse.com
writen by: David@Used Laptops on 2009-01-12 03:59:17
I always supported the fact that we could always upgrade our laptops instead of discarding or dumping them.
RE: http://www.electrocomputerwarehouse.com written by David@Used Laptops:
FREE OPRETING SYSTEM
writen by: SANJAY on 2009-02-20 00:40:28
RE: FREE OPRETING SYSTEM written by SANJAY:
Linux
writen by: on 2009-06-15 13:03:51
cute...thinking ubuntu is a linux distro
RE: Linux written by :

Comment title: * please do not put your response text here