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Thread: very old laptop

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  1. #1

    very old laptop

    hi all,

    i still have an old Dell xpi around with win95. its a pentium 133 with very small amount of ram (12?). its possible to boot graphically and browse the internet with this fine IE version

    i havent used it for a long time but looking forward to give linux a try....

    question is what linux distro to choose .... DSL requires 24 MB so no good..
    Tiny linux required 6 Mb so that looks good
    any other suggestions?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Welcome to the forums!

    A memory upgrade is definitely in order if you want to run a GUI.

    You can find a listing of some other mini distros that might work on it here:

    Mini Linux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  3. #3
    tnx ,
    i'll check that out.
    its a very old portable so an upgrade is not possible/worth it


  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    NH, USA
    DSL min requirement is 8 mb ram and a 486 proc

  6. #5
    I don't know if you have tried booting up any live cds yet to see ig you get a working GUI yet, But On a old Compaq P1 I got puppy and DSL to work on it. My ram was 64mb though. If interested here is how I went about it.

    Yet Another Technology Site: Damn Small Linux 4.0 install on Compaq 1540DM

    Yet Another Technology Site: Compaq Armada 1540DM running Windows 95 and Linux Puppy 2.15CE
    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.

  7. #6
    rechecked the system.... it happens this oldie got 28 MB and 1 gb harddisk.... with a pcmcia nic 10 Mb card but cd .... so unless im skilled in network booting(im not) i'll have to try to get it started with a few floppies....
    trying with "basic linux" now so hopefully those 2 floppies will be enough to get it up.

  8. #7
    Good luck then code2k. All I can say is if you can borrow a PCMCIA CDROM the Smart Boot Manager floppy will detect and boot that up. And I thought doing that Compaq was tough.
    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.

  9. #8
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Hello Code2k;
    New also..
    Had great luck with the same type of laptop that was too old to upgrade..Pen11, 133, 8gb drive and a CD.

    Learned a little as trying to install different distros found that Suse 9.1 was great for configuring and came in 5 CDs. YasT configuring tool was the best for getting hardware detection right as you well know that stuff like monitor and modem can be painful if not done right.

    I had enjoyed that old machine with 9.1 where Winxp was too much for it.
    Yes, I did upgrade memory and found a 20 gb drive , and an old external monitor, all the configuring was done right.

    Today, partial to SuSe because of the configuration tools.
    Gave the computer to an 11 yr old that didn't have one.
    Have the box of CDs if you would like them I'll send them if you contact me
    Hope you have fun

  10. #9
    I am sure a prehistoric version of slacware would work there is a new distro that fits on a 10 meg cd called tiny core might work

    Tiny Core Linux

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