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i want to install linux on my ibm thinkpad 380xd, but unsure which version would be best for me, since the computer is so old. what would you recommend?...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    linux on my ibm thinkpad


    i want to install linux on my ibm thinkpad 380xd, but unsure which version would be best for me, since the computer is so old. what would you recommend?

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie
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    This article will describe how Mandrake Linux on IBM 380XD was installed:

    Hardware
    My 380XD is a P-II 266 with 96MB, 6GB drive, USB, 12x CD, Serial, Parallel, PS2 and floppy. It isn't the fastest machine but it serves my purposes.

    Linux
    My distro of choice is Mandrake thanks to their graphical config tools and clean layout. Lots of window manager choices and good software on the CDs. 9.1 on this machine as I am waiting 10 to come out before upgrading. I have installed this version on several machines and I am very familiar with it. It onlys has a couple of problems that I can spot. 1) the network wizard has issues with my Intel 10/100 PCMCIA card during setup. It finds the card but then the wizard goes a little crazy for some reason. 2) My Canon bubble jet prints very oddly. Sometimes wide, sometimes stretched top to bottom. 3) It doesn't like to install KDE sometimes. it just hangs when you try to run it.

    Setup
    I booted the machine with the 1st Mandrake disk and began a standard graphical install. I opted for an expert install as I like to think I know what I am doing. The little red joystick thing was autodetected without a hitch. I setup the drive with a 256MB swap, a 2gb root partition and the rest as /home as I hate losing my data when the OS takes a nosedive.

    I had the 10/100 card in the slot during the install and Mandrake found it without problem on the initial install. I also had my 56k modem in the slot and it too was detected without a problem. Same goes for the VGA card and the display. It all just worked. The install took about 1 hour thanks to my slow CD, slow processor and limited memory. Best of all there was only one reboot. I installed a Windows 2000 server about a week a go for my sister's office on a Dell PowerEdge 1400SC, 1GHz, 256MB RAM and mirrored Seagate Barracuda drives. That took 4 hours and god only knows how many reboots.

    USB
    Works like a charm. It took less time to setup my Canon Powershot A70 on this machine than my sister's P-IV 1.5MHz, Windows 200 machine. I have a Bafo external drive enclosure that I use for backups and it connets without a glitch as long as I cold boot with it. No hot plug.

    Problems
    Very few. I can put the machine into suspend but not standby. When I do suspend, sometimes I can't use the modem after. Even after popping it out and then back in, it's in lala land.
    Because the Mandrake network config wizard doesn't quite work and I do switch networks a fair bit, I have to log in as root to run netconf and linuxconf. not a show stopper by any stretch of the imagination.

    Conclusions
    Mandrake really does like this hardware. IBM makes a great laptop. As I only paid CDN$350 for this machine, I think I came out ahead. The only reasons I'll give this machine up are as follows; 1)No battery time. I bought it used. What can I say.
    2) It's a little too slow for me. Open Office takes about 1 minute to open as it starts to swap to the disk.
    3) Weight. It's heavy as laptops go but then again it's an antique.
    Unix, Linux tips...

  3. #3
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    try Ubuntu

    Try Ubuntu. I use it on my newer IBM think pad T43 as LIVE CD and it has sound and wireless out of the box.

    Manrui

  4. #4
    tpl
    tpl is offline
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    recommend:

    http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/ibm.html

    7 different 380's w/ various linux distributions
    (includes w.k.t.w's helpful post above)

    the thinkwiki is also good
    the sun is new every day (heraclitus)

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