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hi, i'm new to linux and have been browsing for a Linux distribution that I can use on my old Acer Extensa 366D laptop. Is there any Linux distribution that ...
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  1. #1
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    New Linux user with an old laptop


    hi, i'm new to linux and have been browsing for a Linux distribution that I can use on my old Acer Extensa 366D laptop. Is there any Linux distribution that can fit on it ? It has 16 MB RAM, 2 GB harddisk and a pentium 166 Mhz processor. The laptop is still good but using Windows is slow, that's why I'm thinking of switching it to Linux.

    Appreciate your feedback.

    Thanx

  2. #2
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    With the 16 meg of ram you are really tied down as to what you can run. You could try damn small linux. I have not yet tried it but that is the one that i am going to run on my laptop. It is even slower then yours. It has 40 meg ram pentium 75, and and 500 meg hdd.
    Desk TopAMD Semperon 3200+, MSI KT6V mobo, ATI Radeon 64mg DDR, 256 mg 3200, 40 gig HD
    LapTop Toshiba 105s. Pentium 75, 45 meg ram, 500 mg hdd.
    Server Compaq Proliant 166 mhz cpu. 168 meg ram, 2 x 4 gig hdd, 2 x 9 gig hdd

  3. #3
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    I think Damn Small will tell you that 16Mb is not enough. Check out Slackware version 8.1 and earlier. 8.1 uses the 2.4 kernel so it's not too far back. You can run a GUI (gotta have a GUI!) but stay away from Gnome and KDE: they're both too heavy. Tough thing with a lot of notebooks is getting the right drivers. I got an 8.1 CD from LinuxCD.org and they are still available.

    edit:
    Slackware' 8.1 HOWTO:
    • Here's a basic list of what you'll need to install Slackware:

      Sixteen megabytes (16MB) or more of RAM. If you have less than 16
      megabytes, we strongly suggest adding some additional RAM. If you have
      low RAM and booting the CD-ROM or boot floppies fails, you can try
      installing with the Zip version of the installer, or install ZipSlack plus
      the fourmeg.zip swapfile. See the documentation in the rootdisks
      directory for more information about these options. If you have 16 or more
      megabytes of RAM, you'll be just fine.
    /IMHO
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

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  5. #4
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    ohh you know what, that is the one I was meaning. That is the one that is only like 50 meg right. I just got those two confused. OOPS.
    Desk TopAMD Semperon 3200+, MSI KT6V mobo, ATI Radeon 64mg DDR, 256 mg 3200, 40 gig HD
    LapTop Toshiba 105s. Pentium 75, 45 meg ram, 500 mg hdd.
    Server Compaq Proliant 166 mhz cpu. 168 meg ram, 2 x 4 gig hdd, 2 x 9 gig hdd

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1badex96
    ohh you know what, that is the one I was meaning. That is the one that is only like 50 meg right. I just got those two confused. OOPS.
    Right. Damn Small Linux is damn small, but not THAT damn small!

    With your 500Mb HD, you will have to pay very close attention to what you install. I recently put 8.1 on a 486DX50 with 32Mb ram an 650Mb HD. I did the install with the drive in a PII machine so I could finish in my lifetime. I haven't setup a GUI (it's supposed to be just a gateway/router) and I've used about 250Mb of the drive. Working with command line only is a pain: Midnight Commander (command: mc) is a good file manager type application that helps alot. Install PINE, if not for the e-mail application, then for the editor PICO.
    /IMHO
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    I've run Damnsmall and Feather Linux experimentally on machines with only 16 to 32MB of RAM. It can be done, and is usable.

    Most of your 16 MB RAM will be used up by the time the desktop is up and running, but most of the programs that come with these distros are very small and don't need much memory. If you try to run large programs, or multiple programs, the machine will start to thrash the swapfile. You can monitor memory usage by opening a terminal and using the 'free' command.

    500MB of HDD is plenty - you'll still have room for a swapfile of 30 or 40MB.

    You could try customising the kernel, to save memory by removing the bits you don't need. I haven't tried this but there is plenty of information available.

    I suggest you go ahead and try Damnsmall or Feather, you might be pleasantly surprised. Good luck! :o

  8. #7
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    I would give an older version of vector a try. I currently have thier version 3.2 running on an old laptop with a pentium 166 32mgs of ram and 1.5Gb hard drive. Some of there versions say they will run in 16 megs.

    Main site
    http://www.vectorlinux.com/
    comparisson chart
    http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/...ion_table.html
    Long live the revolution!
    Have a nice day.
    If you want real change vote Libertarian!

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    if you use dsl linux, get it running from a live cd, tell it to insall to hard disk by right clicking on the desktop and finding the menu for it coz i have forgotten.... it will detect the partitons format you windows one unless it can use it... its about 40 - 50 meg
    great for a small hdd....
    eg 500mb!!!! turn it into an mp3 player !!! using xmms
    j4m32,

  10. #9
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    thanks guys for all the tips. I'll try them one by one - damn small, feather, older versions of vector and slackware 8.1. I'm sure one of them will work

  11. #10
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    Here's a good reference article

    Here's a good reference article on the "The Ultimate (but small) LInux Box!" from 2002. The article itself is good, and the following comments also gives good advice and examples from readers.

    http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6169


    Rick D.

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