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I have a 2000 HP laptop which I was going to toss out but then thought it might be fun to install linux on it (pretty sad, I know ) ...
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  1. #1
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    Install Linux on Legacy Laptop


    I have a 2000 HP laptop which I was going to toss out but then thought it might be fun to install linux on it (pretty sad, I know) . Anyway, back in the day (2001) I actually did try to install RedHat but apparently there was no driver for the screen. So my question is, what kind of luck would I have nowadays on this older laptop (500Mhz/600Mb RAM)?

  2. #2
    oz
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    Hello and welcome!

    Can you give a few more specs such as CPU, hard disk size, and what other drives such as CD/DVD/Floppy that you have available?

    Also, you can take a look at this poll for favorite distro for older spec hardware:

    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/cof...re-2010-a.html
    oz

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    Quote Originally Posted by toppy View Post
    I have a 2000 HP laptop which I was going to toss out but then thought it might be fun to install linux on it (pretty sad, I know) . Anyway, back in the day (2001) I actually did try to install RedHat but apparently there was no driver for the screen. So my question is, what kind of luck would I have nowadays on this older laptop (500Mhz/600Mb RAM)?
    I have an old IBM Thinkpad 600 (I think from 1995-6 time frame) and I have run Fredora 8, SuSE 10, and Gentoo on it. It finally died two years ago still running Gentoo (the bios says call IBM for a box and send it back but IBM is not in the business anymore as they sold it to Levnovo).

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    Linux Engineer psic's Avatar
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    I love seeing these old computers get a new life with Linux! The suggestions in that poll Ozar mentioned are pretty good, my vote went to Debian. I've had it on quite a few old computers (including laptops). I'm talking 200 to 300 MHz CPU's and 64 or 128 MB of RAM. I tried Damn Small Linux, but I found Debian easier to configure on a new machine.

    I'd say that more important than your choice of distro is your choice for desktop and other programs. I'd suggest something light - say Fluxbox or IceWM, coupled with fast and simple programs (i.e. AbiWord instead of Writer from OpenOffice). You could go hard-core and just use the command line for as much as possible. I once spent a few months using mpg123 for playing MP3's in KDE4 because Amarok was next to useless.
    Stumbling around the 'net:
    www.cloudyuseful.com

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    It's 500Mhz /600Mb RAM /20G hard drive/floppy/CD drive so it should be more than up to the task. I guess I'm just looking for the correct match. Maybe if there was somewhere I could search the HP model number and that would return a known successful install. Like I said, it seemed to be the screen that was the hanging point (literally). Thanks guys.

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    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by toppy View Post
    I guess I'm just looking for the correct match. Maybe if there was somewhere I could search the HP model number and that would return a known successful install.
    The thing about a correct match is that it needs to agree not only with your hardware, but also with your personal tastes. Most distributions work perfectly with my hardware but I'm rather choosy about the distribution that I run by default so lots of experimenting with different distros was required before I could settle on any certain one. Of course, all this trial and error distro hopping gave me plenty of opportunities to see how each distro worked with my hardware.

    That said, I'm not aware of any database that shows what distros work with which completed desktop or laptop computers, although you might find some that tell what certain hardware components are known to work with Linux in general. The thing is, users change out their components, the kernel changes often, and applications change frequently, so anything that worked yesterday might not work today, or it could work out the other way around. Throw in the fact that people's tastes in a distribution can change and you'll find that it's quite hard for anyone else to tell you what you will work best for you.

    I really like having all these choices under Linux and hope you will to!
    oz

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    Linux Engineer psic's Avatar
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    That laptop sounds more than fast enough for pretty much any distro - as I said above, I'd look to light-weight desktop environments instead. As for finding a distro where everything works, I don't think you should have much problems with any of the larger distributions, as most of these computers tend to have pretty standard hardware.
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    Newbie testimony

    I recently went through the same process with an old Toshiba. I went to distrowatch and downloaded 10 distrobutions of the different linux types. I burned them to a live boot disk, and tried them one at a time. When I decided on which one worked best on my machine, I did a full install. Good luck with your search!

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