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  1. #1

    Choosing a distro... yet again!


    So the "what distro is best for me" has been done to death, I'm sure... but I have a somewhat different wrinkle.

    I was recovering an XP machine for a friend - it had been stolen and when they got it back they found that "it has a password on it now!" Well, actually, it had been flattened and reloaded with an illegal copy of XP. So I figured this was a great opportunity to introduce them to Linux.

    I soon found that the machine is too feeble to run the noob-friendly distros I'd usually plop down on it. Xubuntu is too heavy for it. Puppy rocks like a maniac on it, but it's not really noob-friendly. I just know they'd open a menu and be completely turned off by what they saw there, recycle the machine and buy a new Vista box.

    So there's the thing: I need a grandma-friendly distro that can run on older hardware, in this case a Sony Vaio P4. I have yet to see such a thing. Puppy comes really close. I suppose I could install Puppy and rework a ton-o-stuff in the menu to make it simple & obvious, but I sorta hate to do that...

    (as an aside, Puppy screams on this thing. It has a "Designed for Windows ME" sticker on it but I seriously doubt any version of Windows EVER ran that fast on a P4.)

  2. #2
    forum.guy
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    Zenwalk might work well on it:

    www.zenwalk.org - Ever tried zen computing?
    oz

  3. #3
    Dang! I've never even heard of Zenwalk.

    I'll sure as heck try that!

    Thanx...

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  5. #4
    forum.guy
    Join Date
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    It's based on Slackware and is usually very stable.

    I used to run it and liked it a lot.
    oz

  6. #5
    The screen prints are very pretty and clean.

    I'm downloading & burning a CD now....

  7. #6
    Damn... that wouldn't fly either.

    That's a damn shame, cos' I really liked Zenwalk when I tried it on one of my own boxes. A very crisp distro.

  8. #7
    forum.guy
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    You can find some other lightweights mentioned here, but Puppy and Damn Small are probably the lightest:

    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/cof...re-2009-a.html

    ...for something lighter, you can take a look here:

    Mini Linux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Slax might work.
    oz

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ephonk View Post
    So the "what distro is best for me" has been done to death, I'm sure... but I have a somewhat different wrinkle.

    I was recovering an XP machine for a friend - it had been stolen and when they got it back they found that "it has a password on it now!" Well, actually, it had been flattened and reloaded with an illegal copy of XP. So I figured this was a great opportunity to introduce them to Linux.

    I soon found that the machine is too feeble to run the noob-friendly distros I'd usually plop down on it. Xubuntu is too heavy for it. Puppy rocks like a maniac on it, but it's not really noob-friendly. I just know they'd open a menu and be completely turned off by what they saw there, recycle the machine and buy a new Vista box.

    So there's the thing: I need a grandma-friendly distro that can run on older hardware, in this case a Sony Vaio P4. I have yet to see such a thing. Puppy comes really close. I suppose I could install Puppy and rework a ton-o-stuff in the menu to make it simple & obvious, but I sorta hate to do that...

    (as an aside, Puppy screams on this thing. It has a "Designed for Windows ME" sticker on it but I seriously doubt any version of Windows EVER ran that fast on a P4.)
    It's hard for me to suggest something different than Puppy (I started with it and still it is my great love)
    Did you try Knoppix - I had good expirences with it.
    Also openmamba and SAM


    They are all liveCDs so you can try them out before installing

  10. #9
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    If you start out with something like a debian net install you can install just the things you want and keep things pretty lightweight. I have installed ubuntu on machine with 64m memory with no problem (server install cd, install X11 and fvwm-crystal WM), though I haven't read what your mem specs are. Arch net install will allow you to create a pretty light distro, I am running gnome on my laptop with a torrent client, firefox, pidgin, thunderbird open and its < 256m memory, so I imagine if you install something lighter it would be even better.

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