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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    linux for older systems?

    i have 2 older PCs laying around and i was thinking of making 1 a server and making the other a linux system to use as a 2nd computer. putting linux on is probably better than the ancient windows ME that is on them. however, i was wondering what are good distros to go with for this? i have ubuntu 10.10 but it doesnt seem to want to load up one it works on (it gets to the loading screen with the red dots and stays on that forever). what are min system req.s to run decent versions of linux? the systems i have are
    P3 1.0g with 256 SDRAM (ubuntu starts to load on this but never actually starts up, however knoppix will work on it)
    AMD i believe with 800MhZ processor and 126 SDRAM. (doesnt load ubuntu at all)


  2. #2
    From my experience, older hardware generally has good support when it comes to Linux. This is usually because the older the hardware, the more time the Linux community has to write and publish modules and other software for said hardware.

    For the systems listed above, I would say the more light-weight the distribution, the better. I would try to avoid heavy graphical applications and strenuous processes.

    Here is a handy article of light-weight distributions, What's the best lightweight Linux distro? | TuxRadar Linux

    If I was to make a personal recommendation, I would have to say try out Arch Linux. It is bare bones and runs like a charm on older hardware. However, due to it's minimalist nature, it will require more work than usual to setup and configure, but honestly I think it's worth it. Luckily, the Arch community has put together a Wiki and a guide that will walk you through every step of the way in clear language. Another bonus is you'll learn a lot about how a Linux system works.

    Here is the mentioned guide,'_Guide

    I hope this helps you out. Good luck and most importantly, have fun!
    “Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves.”

  3. #3
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    The minimum RAM for Ubuntu 10.10 (from the Ubuntu site) is 512MB with 1GB recommended so I doubt it would work on the computer you refer to.

    Most of the full distributions have similar requirements. You should be able to get the information for a specific distribution on its web site.

    Check the links posted by Nagarjuna. What you select depends upon what you want and what you plan to use it for.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    If me. I would make a old Gparted 0.2.5 live cd by downloading the link I posted and make a live cd of it first.

    I recommend the old gparted iso as I have one burned to cd and it boots well on 128MB ram laptops. I would delete all partitions on the drive (both Laptops) and start from scratch. I would then make a minimum of 700MB /swap primary partition first. Then format the rest of drive as a / primary ext3 partiton and flag it as boot.

    For the 128MB Laptop I would use/install
    Puppy Linux Discussion Forum :: View topic - Classic Pup 2.14X -- Updated 2 series

    For the 256MB Laptop I would use/install
    Screenshots | Swift Linux

    as swift linux is based on antiX and debian . Not hard to install and setup either like Arch (though Arch is also a fine and excellent choice also).
    Just recommending since linux computer skill set is unknown.

    Another one I like for the 128MB or even 256MB laptop is
    SliTaz GNU/Linux (en)

    Happy Trails, Rok
    I refuse to let fear and fear of others rule my life. It puts my humanity at risk.
    Accepting Death is the only way to stay alive.

  6. #5
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Mason Texas
    AntiX, LegacyOS, and Puppy have all worked well for me on older hardware, though I haven't tried them on 128 mb of ram. Go to and use the search function for older computers to get a list of distro's commonly used on older hardware, then go to <Linux> - Google Search and put the name of each of the distro's in the search box to learn about them.
    Registered Linux user #526930

  7. #6
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    thansk for the tips. i think for now im just gonna set it aside until i get some RAM to run ubuntu. but these will help out on the other one i have. good lookin out.

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