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View Poll Results: What is your favorite Linux distribution for older/weaker hardware?

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  • Damn Small Linux (DSL)

    3 6.12%
  • Puppy

    7 14.29%
  • Arch

    9 18.37%
  • Debian

    16 32.65%
  • Slackware

    3 6.12%
  • Vector

    1 2.04%
  • Zenwalk

    1 2.04%
  • Other (Please Specify)

    9 18.37%
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This poll/thread is meant to help those users that are having difficulty deciding which distribution(s) they should use to work with their older/weaker computer. Please use it to post information ...
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  1. #1
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Favorite Distro for Older/Weaker Hardware - 2010


    This poll/thread is meant to help those users that are having difficulty deciding which distribution(s) they should use to work with their older/weaker computer.


    Please use it to post information about your favorite distro for older/weaker hardware. Do not post comments saying that any particular distro is the best, because the best truly is very subjective.

    Note that this thread will be locked and/or deleted at the end of the year and a new thread started.

    The poll from last year can be found here.
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  2. #2
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Previous years I have voted DSL, this time I voted Arch. I just can't get over the login as root in Puppy, and DSL refused to recognise network cards for me.

    Arch lets you just install what you want, and is binary rather than source based. For old hardware compile times are a real pain, days to compile Gentoo rule out source based distros for me.
    Debian would also probably be good for old hardware.

    If your connected to the net then it needs to be patched - even if it runs on old hardware.

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Debian net install with LXDE. I also use Crux and don't find that compilations take days (though I do sometimes have to leave a system update running overnight). Jonathan's definition of old and weak hardware must be older and weaker than mine! For the record, I have a Celeron Coppermine processor (which I think is equivalent to a P3) and 256MB of RAM.
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  4. #4
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    Arch, assuming an i686 processor.

    Otherwise, Tinycore or Slitaz.

    Same as in other polls, I question prominently featuring Damn Small Linux, since the project appears dead. (And one of the main developers moved on to create TinyCore Linux.)

  5. #5
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Voted Puppy because there a a ton of Puplets with different Kernels,Desktops,Wifi Support, etc..... Running as root user takes some getting used to for sudo users . The Puppy community is a vibrant community and I have seen Puplets like Uhuru that will run on minimal spec hardware. So this time my vote goes for Puppy.

    TinyCore which I haven't dabbled with as yet looks like a good distro also. Test driving Slitaz was a joy on Pentium 2 Ibm 390E with 128mb of ram.

    Edit: I just mention these because they are pretty easy for a Non Linux Computer Technical Windows only Home user that has no idea of how a computer works to run live at least though Tiny Core would be harder on them then Puppy or Slitaz.
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  6. #6
    Linux Enthusiast Bemk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazel View Post
    Debian net install with LXDE. I also use Crux and don't find that compilations take days (though I do sometimes have to leave a system update running overnight). Jonathan's definition of old and weak hardware must be older and weaker than mine! For the record, I have a Celeron Coppermine processor (which I think is equivalent to a P3) and 256MB of RAM.
    I don't call that weak and old hardware, I have similar system, but with twice the amount of RAM and I run Ubuntu on it, also using Compiz. Now you can't tell me that's something true old and weak hardware will be able to do fluidly. I also have similar system which isn't used that much, but is exactly those specs, and despite its ability to run Compiz, it runs a full Ubuntu.

    I call old hardware a PII or lower with 128 or less MB of RAM.

    A Debian net install will work quite nicely on those kinds of systems.

  7. #7
    Linux Newbie Charles4809's Avatar
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    I do have a very old Toshiba laptop with only 8 MB of Ram (32 MB max), 500 MB HDD and no usb or CD-rom, only floppy drive.
    Still looking for a distro that fits on it and gives a bit of performance. Originally it had Win 3.1. Now it is running on Win95.
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  8. #8
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    There are a couple of projects out there for machines with such limited hardware. I don't know how many are active though. If you can upgrade to the 32 MB max, your options slightly increase.

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    The last is command line only, but actually uses a modern kernel and had an update this year. Requires 16 MB RAM.

  9. #9
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles4809 View Post
    I do have a very old Toshiba laptop with only 8 MB of Ram (32 MB max), 500 MB HDD and no usb or CD-rom, only floppy drive.
    Still looking for a distro that fits on it and gives a bit of performance. Originally it had Win 3.1. Now it is running on Win95.
    THIS is old hardware .

    I voted arch. Though any binary distro that lets you build from the ground up I think is good (debian, arch, heck even ubuntu server).

  10. #10
    Linux Newbie Charles4809's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed9 View Post
    There are a couple of projects out there for machines with such limited hardware. I don't know how many are active though. If you can upgrade to the 32 MB max, your options slightly increase.

    Feather Linux - Download
    MuLinux Home Site: muLinux version 14r0
    ttylinux homepage

    The last is command line only, but actually uses a modern kernel and had an update this year. Requires 16 MB RAM.
    I'll first try to get the extra RAM, and then do some experiments with your suggested distro's. Thanks anyway
    Charles
    ASUS EEE Box B202, Atom 270 1,6GHz, 1 GB, HDD 80GB, XP-SP3 / PinguyOS
    Asus EEE PC 901 with Bodhi-Linux

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