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I've got an old old touchscreen laptop/netbook with an Intell Pentium III 496 MHz cpu and 128 MB of RAM. It doesn't have specs worthwhile enough to run a full ...
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  1. #1
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    Question Good Linux Netbook distros for very old computers


    I've got an old old touchscreen laptop/netbook with an Intell Pentium III 496 MHz cpu and 128 MB of RAM. It doesn't have specs worthwhile enough to run a full desktop operating system, so I'd like to turn it into a purely internet machine. I would just say that it's worthless, but it actually runs Windows XP really well: (good startup time, pretty responsive as long as I keep the OS relatively naked), so I know it's capable enough for a really small operating system.
    I know about Puppy Linux and DSL, but both of those are 1.really ugly, sorry and 2.desktop oriented. I'm wondering how I could get a netbook operating system like Jolicloud on there. All of the operating systems I've looked at though have (relative to my specs) huge system requirements, like 512 megabytes of ram.
    I've always gotten better performance out of my linux boxes than my Windows boxes, so I wonder if there's something I'm missing here. If the laptop can run XP so well, why would the requirements be too small for other Linux distros?
    Any advice about distros that I could try?

    I wouldn't be against installing DSL or Puppy Linux on it if I can then install a different desktop environment or window manager to make a more touchscreen/internet friendly environment but so far I haven't been able to find anything that looks like it would work, and whenever I do, the requirements are too high.

    Just curious.

  2. #2
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome.
    You can check out our poll on distros for lower spec hardware.
    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/cof...re-2011-a.html
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
    All new users please read this.** Forum FAQS. ** Adopt an unanswered post.

    I'd rather be lost at the lake than found at home.

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    Thanks a ton. I guess I should have searched before posting... Sorry about that but thanks for the pointer.
    There are a lot of great distros that I have never heard of on there. Now I just need to find a good netbook style environment to install on top of one of them.

  4. #4
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Hey, no problem!
    You might get a few ideas from here too. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/cof...ui-2011-a.html
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
    All new users please read this.** Forum FAQS. ** Adopt an unanswered post.

    I'd rather be lost at the lake than found at home.

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    I've tried a couple of distros out on a somewhat larger computer 348 megabytes of ram. Slitaz is very nice, I like that a lot more than Puppy Linux, although it still is a little overly menu-cluttered for my taste. I've been using Unetbootin to do installations since I don't have a CD drive and can't boot from USB; it's pretty sweet.
    I'm having some display issues with Slitaz on the actual laptop itself (it boots and configures, and then drops to a black screen) but I'm pretty sure that's just because I haven't done my homework and checked hardware compatibility like I usually do.
    Depending on how much free time I find, I might try and go with arch and make a single-purpose machine, either with a web-browser or some kind of note taking app.

    Anyway, thanks for all of the help you gave. I really appreciate it.

  6. #6
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    Go to distrowatch.com and use the search function for netbook computers. It should bring up a number of options which you can check for system requirements. I am partial to EasyPeasy and Ubuntu netbook. You might also look at meego and moblin to see if they meet your needs.
    Registered Linux user #526930

  7. #7
    Linux Newbie Charles4809's Avatar
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    A distro with a small footprint but a very good WM (E17) is BodhiLinux.
    Charles
    ASUS EEE Box B202, Atom 270 1,6GHz, 1 GB, HDD 80GB, XP-SP3 / PinguyOS
    Asus EEE PC 901 with Bodhi-Linux

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    Thanks. BodhiLinux is absolutely gorgeous, EasyPeasy looks amazing as well, but is a little bit out of my system requirements. I'm staying clear of Meego and Moblin, at least until I can be sure that at least one of them will actually be around in the future. I love Meego's interface, but I've heard hardware support is a little iffy. In any case, I should be able to install Bodhi linux without wiping out my Windows XP installation, which will be nice because I'll have a fallback option if everything just starts to fail. I'm fixing the laptop up for a friend either as a single purpose device (he wants use it as a Midi-sound-thing interface with Scpop) or as a lightweight internet/touchscreen device.
    Anyway, thanks.

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