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Hi, I have an old IBM ThinkPad iSeries 1310, 500MHz Intel Celeron, 192Mb RAM, 20 Gb, in good working order. Currently there is only Windows 98SE, but I would like ...
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  1. #1
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    Debian on an old computer


    Hi, I have an old IBM ThinkPad iSeries 1310, 500MHz Intel Celeron, 192Mb RAM, 20 Gb, in good working order.

    Currently there is only Windows 98SE, but I would like to make it a dual-boot with Debian with a KDE desktop, dividing the hard drive in two equal 10Gb partitions.

    Is this plan duable in this old machine? I understand that Debian Sarge may work on 32Mb RAM, but I wonder if KDE would be too taxing on it.

    Thanks!

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    Just Joined! brokndodge's Avatar
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    not sure about kde, i run gnome 2.14 on debian etch... my box is a pIII 500, i do have 320 mb of ram and a 15 gb hard disk. but my sons machine is a cyrix 366 with 192 mb of ram and a 10 gb hard disk, also running debian etch and gnome 2.14. for best results i recompiled the kernel specifically for each processor and stripped out all the drivers that wern't needed, but it ran fine before the kernel tweaks.

    yes it should be doable.

    gnome 2.14 has undergone quite an extensive memory overhaul. i don't use kde so someone else will have to report on it.

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    Linux Guru antidrugue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amador
    Hi, I have an old IBM ThinkPad iSeries 1310, 500MHz Intel Celeron, 192Mb RAM, 20 Gb, in good working order.
    As "brokndodge" said, you would probably be better of with with Gnome on that thing, or even XFCE4.

    But running Debian Sarge with KDE 3.3 (shipping KDE's Sarge version) is very much doable. I myself run it on a Celeron 333, with 192 of RAM.

    Make sure:
    -you set the esthetics (in KDE first time config) to a conservative level
    -use 16 bits color in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 instead of the default 24 bits
    -etc.
    "To express yourself in freedom, you must die to everything of yesterday. From the 'old', you derive security; from the 'new', you gain the flow."

    -Bruce Lee

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    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amador
    Hi, I have an old IBM ThinkPad iSeries 1310, 500MHz Intel Celeron, 192Mb RAM, 20 Gb, in good working order.
    That processor is nice and fast, and you have plenty of RAM. You've got more than enough disk space also. The real question is whether there's any laptop hardware which may have compatability difficulties. In particular, on board sound and ethernet might not work, and video might have incomplete support.

    Another little thing--do you know if your laptop can boot from a CD-ROM? If not, then installation may be more difficult.

    Currently there is only Windows 98SE, but I would like to make it a dual-boot with Debian with a KDE desktop, dividing the hard drive in two equal 10Gb partitions.
    A default Debian Sarge Workstation suite install will take up about 2gigs of space. I'd personally partition it this way:

    hda1 - 3 gigs - FAT32 (Windows 98SE, mounted as "/mnt/hda1")
    hda5 - 12 gigs - FAT32 (shared data partition, mounted as "/mnt/hda5")
    hda6 - 3 gigs - ext3 (linux OS partition, mounted as "/")
    hda7 - .5 gigs - linux-swap

    Is this plan duable in this old machine? I understand that Debian Sarge may work on 32Mb RAM, but I wonder if KDE would be too taxing on it.
    I use Debian Sarge with KDE on most of my computers. For me, the minimum usable amount of RAM is 128megs. 192megs is plenty. One tweak that significantly boosts performance is to turn off font anti-aliasing, but I find that even a 300mhz Celeron is acceptably responsive with anti-aliasing turned on. I even use font anti-aliasing on my 120mhz Pentium--but that machine has only 48megs of RAM so I use IceWM rather than KDE.
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

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    Thanks all

    Thank you very much for your replies. Looks like KDE will work normally with a little tweaking. If not, time to learn about a more basic desktop

    I'll try the following partition:
    Windows 98: 3Gb
    Debian: 4Gb
    Swap: 0.5Gb
    Common: 12Gb

    If it works nicely enough, maybe I'll have a Linux-only laptop. Would that mean reformatting the drive once more, or would I just have to resize the partitions?

    Wow, it's my first time installing Linux on my own, and I'm excited

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    Just Joined! michael_aust's Avatar
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    if you find that kde is too slow on your laptop from a sarge install, my suggestion would be to go for etch (testing) and use xfce with the thunar file manager (much better then the standard xfce one), xfce should run perfectly on those specs, and its extremely similar to gnome.

    or if you decide on staying with srage use the back ports repositories to grab a newer kernel if you have problems with sound and things on the 2.6 kernel included with sarge.

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