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It's old but probably quite capable, I want to install a distro to play around with on this machine. It needs to be fairly nippy. I think FC3/4 will run ...
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  1. #1
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    Please recommend a distro for this dual CPU pc


    It's old but probably quite capable,

    I want to install a distro to play around with on this machine. It needs to be fairly nippy. I think FC3/4 will run too slowly onit.

    Spec of the machine is:

    dual Pentium II 333Mhz
    512MB PC100 RAM
    8GB hard drive
    Matrox Millenium 8MB AGP graphics card

    I want to use this machine for learning Linux on but, also doing background jobs such as mp3 encoding, CD ripping etc.

    TIA.

  2. #2
    oz
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    You might give Damn Small Linux a try. It's a live-cd but if it works well and if you like it, you can install it to the hard drive. The download is only 48MB, so it's a lightweight distro.

    Another nice lightweight distro is Zenwalk. It's based on Slackware.

    Just do a Google search with either name to find them, or go to Distrowatch.com to find out more about them.

    Good luck with your installation.

  3. #3
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    I don't think you need a lightweight distro. That's reasonable specs for any of today's new distros. (I've run FC4 on a shittier machine smoothly with no problems - Celeron 333, 256MB RAM, 6GB hard drive, ****** video card)

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  5. #4
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    Thanks peeps. Ubuntu going on as I speak. Will report back when I can. I love playing with old hardware like this and the way there's so many flavours of Linux that will support it...whereas Windows...... lol.

  6. #5
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    I suggest anything where you start on the command line, and build your package set as you want. Arch is my personal favorite, but Gentoo, Slackware, Debian, Rubyx, and Sourcemage would be good options. There are a few reasons:

    You say you want to learn more about Linux, but it's very difficult to learn when everything is configured for you off the CD.

    Most major user friendly distros are very, very heavy. There are the likes of Vector and Damn Small, true, and these are good choices. But you really won't be learning so much, unless you make a conscious effort to dig in.

    Gnome and KDE are going to be pretty slow, though the dual CPU's will be something of a saving grace. Of course, everyone has a different idea of smooth operation. I've tried FC4 on my P3 800 with a gig of RAM and a GF3 video card, and it annoyed me to no end. But then, I guess not everyone thinks waiting a 1-2 seconds for menus and 2-8 seconds for configuration tools open is bad. Me? It drives me to insanity, or farther into it anyway
    Michael Salivar

    Man knows himself insofar as he knows the world, becoming aware of it only in himself, and of himself only within it.
    --Goethe

  7. #6
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    Actually I've ordered myself a few books to help me. Whilst there's plenty of info on the web sometimes it's not easy to get at in a structured manner and just finding it is time consuming enough - I'd rather buy a book and save my precious time.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethyriel
    I suggest anything where you start on the command line, and build your package set as you want. Arch is my personal favorite, but Gentoo, Slackware, Debian, Rubyx, and Sourcemage would be good options. There are a few reasons:

    You say you want to learn more about Linux, but it's very difficult to learn when everything is configured for you off the CD.

    Most major user friendly distros are very, very heavy. There are the likes of Vector and Damn Small, true, and these are good choices. But you really won't be learning so much, unless you make a conscious effort to dig in.
    Vector doesn't work at all with USB keyboards -- for the install you need to have an old ps2 layin' around, plug it in, and select "begin installation" for the usb drivers to load. And Damn Small is pretty hard to configure for a newb (though it is good).

  9. #8
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    I didn't realize that was an issue with Vector, I could have sworn I'd installed it with my USB Logitech board before. Maybe it was before that, with my PS/2 Kensington ergo. Regardless, most USB keyboards come with a PS/2 adapter. The likes of my Happy Hacking keyboard, which doesn't work with an adapter, is a rather rare exception. But I'm not downplaying this shortcoming, it annoyed me to no end when I was trying FreeBSD recently. But that was just an introduction to an overall horrible installer.

    I thought I recalled Damn Small doing a pretty good job with the default config. But my memory isn't all that great, and I've tried a ton of distros, so maybe I'm wrong. But in my opinion, that would make it a slightly better choice for someone wanting to learn about the internals of Linux.

    Looking back on my post, I'd probably suggest Slackware or Crux since, short of Root or LFS, they offer the thinest veil between you and manual administration. Actually, that's only the case with Slackware if you ignore the multitude of dialog based configuration tools (or was it ncurses? I can't recall) If you don't take into account package management, I'd probably replace Slackware with Arch in second place.

    Debian would probably be my last suggestion before the sugar coated user friendly distros. It just does too damned much on it's own for someone trying to learn. It's nice to settle down to later on, though.

    But really, nothing beats a wide range of experience. My suggestion is to grab a 40GB hard drive off ebay and install a whole slew of distros on there to try. One like Suse or Libranet that you can fall back on, and then anything else that catches your interest at the moment.
    Michael Salivar

    Man knows himself insofar as he knows the world, becoming aware of it only in himself, and of himself only within it.
    --Goethe

  10. #9
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    Slackware? Dude, this is the n00b forum.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chopin1810
    Slackware? Dude, this is the n00b forum.
    *looks around*
    no it isn't...

    There are quite a few people out there who started out on Slackware and were very happy with that decision, probably because they learn better by immersion. Personally I started out on Debian Woody (actually Mandrake, but for like 5 minutes) and I'm glad I did, despite taking 2 years off and on to switch fully from Windows.

    A friend recently started with Arch, and he's doing great. He even had an internship this past summer for a study on modularity of open source software projects, and helped them build a Linux based database server just a few months after he started with *nix. Given he has me to help out on AIM, but I could come over and rescue him in a pinch and that's never happened.

    So even if it was the 'n00b' forum, so what? The forums are here to help people, the path they choose is up to them. But I think it's important they know what paths are available, especially since in this case he seems rather disenchanted with the so called user friendly distros.
    Michael Salivar

    Man knows himself insofar as he knows the world, becoming aware of it only in himself, and of himself only within it.
    --Goethe

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