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I have a old Dell dimension l600r from like 1999 and I want to be able to use it with some type of version of Linux or some other free ...
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  1. #1
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    Best version of Linux for old computer.


    I have a old Dell dimension l600r from like 1999 and I want to be able to use it with some type of version of Linux or some other free OS. I plan on using to do programming on. C++ and Perl mostly.

    The hardware is:

    CPU - Pentium |||-600
    RAM - 256MB (I upgraded it from 128MB to 256MB)
    Hard drive - 10GB
    Intel graphics with UMA and 4MB of 3D cache
    Optical Drive - 22x-48x CD-ROM
    Networking - V.90 modem, Ethernet card
    OS - it came with windows 98 SE

    Anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    oz
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    Hello and welcome!

    You can get some ideas about where you might want to start by checking this poll for favorite distro for older computer hardware, as voted by our membership:

    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/cof...re-2010-a.html

    DSL and Pupply are always two of the most popular if you want a very lightweight distro.
    oz

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    I don't care much for these self-consciously small distros. They are fine for carrying around on a pen drive or business card to do repair work, but they are a bit out of the Linux mainstream. I recommend a minimal net install of Debian, then download exactly what desktop and applications you want. Debian has its own lightweight desktop - lxde - which I find works well on a PIII and 128 MB of RAM.

    PS If you want to do programming, install geany. It's a wonderful programming editor/build environment.
    Last edited by hazel; 07-15-2010 at 01:15 PM. Reason: PS
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
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  4. #4
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    I have a PIII 500 with 384 MB ram, and I run Puppy 5.0 on it, and have used DSL on it also with no problems. In my search, several distro's ran, but only Puppy, DSL, and Goblinx (couldn't get it to install to hard drive properly) were able to configure the Toshiba screen properly. Good luck hunting, that's half the fun.

  5. #5
    Linux Newbie theNbomr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazel View Post
    I don't care much for these self-consciously small distros. They are fine for carrying around on a pen drive or business card to do repair work, but they are a bit out of the Linux mainstream.
    Bingo. Just because a distro is trimmed down (read:incomplete), doesn't necessarily make it better suited to older hardware. The only resource it will conserve is disk space, unless the kernel is so old that it is significantly smaller, and with 256 MB RAM, you shouldn't worry about a MB of kernel size.
    What you do have to worry about is support for some vintage hardware, which sometimes gets dropped from modern distros. I've installed completely modern distros on hardware much more resource constrained than what you describe. How much do you have to lose by trying recent versions of anything? Install the full bushel if you have the disk space.

    --- rod.
    Stuff happens. Then stays happened.

  6. #6
    Linux User zenwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kogo5000 View Post
    I have a old Dell dimension l600r from like 1999 and I want to be able to use it with some type of version of Linux or some other free OS. I plan on using to do programming on. C++ and Perl mostly.

    Anyone have any suggestions?
    Tiny Core Linux, Micro Core Linux, 10MB Linux GUI Desktop, Live, Frugal, Extendable
    One wouldn't need a GUI, then, would s/he?

    Otherwise, right on, Hazel!

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