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  1. #1

    Linux needs huge system resources to run?

    I've got a Armada compaq laptop with 128meg ram, pentium II 333, and the best version I've tried is knoppix, but with knoppix I can't get the ps/2 mouse or a mousepad to work. I can change stuff without the mouse but have no idea where to even start looking to get a mouse working.

    I'm a bit surprised with the amount of ram needed to run linux (slackware recommends 500meg ram which is twice xp needs). Is this because of the desktop or that many of the versions runs off CD. I've tried mepis and ubuntu but they are so slow running off cd they're unusable. I did have the impression that linux was an o/s that didn't need a top-notch pc but is that only true without the desktop?

  2. #2
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Clackamas, Oregon, USA
    check again from

    * 486 processor
    * 16MB RAM (32MB suggested)
    * 100-500 megabytes of hard disk space for a minimal and around 3.5GB for full install
    * 3.5" floppy drive

    If you're going to run X, just stick off of KDE and try to use GNOME, XFCE, or any of the windermanagers instead.

    Linux also can do a SWAP space, which is a seperate partition for "virtual ram" on your hard drive. It's very useful and should let you be able to run KDE. I ran KDE with 196 megs, so you shouldn't have a problem with your computer.

  3. #3
    Linux Newbie eerok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    On a machine of that vintage I'd run fluxbox or something else that's fast and light. You should have no problems.
    noobus in perpetuum

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004
    A full Linux system with all the bells and whistles does require more resources than Windows. Of couse, some would say Linux has more bells and better whistles, but that's subjective.... I have a near complete install of Fedora Core 3 on a system with specs similar to yours. It's a bit slow, but it does what I want without crashing. I've made no effort to trim down the system, yet. All of the heavier applications: web browser, desktop manager, mail clients, office software, all can be replaced with less demanding but still good alternatives. In Linux, you can even browse the internet in text mode if you want. E-mail too.

    You didn't say how you determined how much ram your system is using. The way Linux manages memory is not real straightforward. Depending on how you gage it, it may appear to be using a lot of ram when it's just using it for cache and is able to move that to swap if the need arises.

    As for your mouse and other hardware detection issues, while Knoppix is very good at detecting most hardware, every distro has its weaknesses in that area. With just a little of the right editing of configuration files, though, there is very little hardware that any good flavor of Linux won't work with.
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

  6. #5
    Thanks for the help.
    Shame about Knoppix. I've just tried Puppy linux and it does a great job on a old computer. I'll give fluxbox a try. Cheers

  7. #6
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    penn: I agree that Puppy is quick, a very fast greyhound, but I want to let you know that I'm using my old Dell 233 Mhz PII with 128 mb of ram perfectly happily on a custom install of Conectiva -less than 650 mb used but still using KDE . I also use Xandros 2, Mandrake 10 OCE and Mepis on this same box but they do run slower tha Conectiva.

    I think that almost any distro if you are sparing about what you install and what desktop environment you use will run on your machine.

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