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Ok... I have an old Dell Latitude LM 166 Mhz Pentium w/MMX 40 MB RAM 1.6 GB HD My biggest problem is the floppy drive swaps with the CD drive, ...
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  1. #1
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    Red face Old Laptop = Distro Madness


    Ok...
    I have an old Dell Latitude LM
    166 Mhz Pentium w/MMX
    40 MB RAM
    1.6 GB HD

    My biggest problem is the floppy drive swaps with the CD drive, so I cannot use both at the same time. Problem two is that my cd drive is not bootable. I am having a really hard time picking a distro because of this. I used the website that asks you all of the questions and tells you the best fit for a distro and it came out as Suse. I am totally open to suggestions though as to which would be best. It also has to be fairly easy, given that I am a complete douche bag when it comes to linux.

    I do have a network card and a seperate PC and Mac that can aid me in my install if need be. Before anyone suggests (although I doubt they will) I do not have any usb ports on this laptop.

    My main goal is to get linux with some sort of graphical interface up and running, for no good reason but to do it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    SuSe is way too heavy for an older computer...but damnsmalllinux on that and it'll run like a champ. Plus you can do a floppy install of that...and use apt for all of your other packages...
    Operating System: GNU Emacs

  3. #3
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    Slackware has good guidance on working with old machines and they have older versions of Linux that have lighter resource requirements. As an added bonus, installing Slackware is a good learning experience.
    /IMHO
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

  4. #4
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    damnsmall sounds like the best optino for me since (and correct me if I am wrong) there is no package manager in slackware.

    So on to my next question. How would I get started with a floppy install? I've downloaded the bootfloppy.img but am not sure where to go from here.

    Thanks for the responses!

  5. #5
    Linux User truoc444's Avatar
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    there isn't a bios setting to make the cd drive bootable?
    Desktop: Dual Xeon 2.8 GHz 1.5 GB RAM Ubuntu/XP Pro
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  6. #6
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    IIRC you're able to install Arch Linux through floppies, it's a FTP installation.

    Boot from floppy with bare essentials, download and install the rest.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by truoc444
    there isn't a bios setting to make the cd drive bootable?
    Nope, Its pretty old...

  8. #8
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    Pretty much most distros will have some sort of net-install procedure, be it using CD or floppies. I've used Debian's net-install before and it's quite easy. You only need 3 floppies for that: boot, root, net-drivers (Look Here), so if you can get your network card to be auto-detected you're good to go. Slackware also has a net-install floppy set. I've never tried it, but chances are it's not that much harder from the regular install. (Boot Disk and Root Disk, read the README files)

    As for your earlier comment of Slackware not having package management, that's not correct. It package manager is called "pkgtools". It's a very simplistic package manager, so it doesn't have dependency checking or any of that stuff that you might be used to (such as apt). It pretty much just installs what ever package you tell it to and it's up to you to figure out what are the dependecies. Usually it's pretty easy finding out what's missing. Slackware is also very reliant on the root user and doesn't configure anything automatically (such as run levels, net config, X config, etc), which might be a good or bad thing... I personally love the fact that I configure it the way I want, others aren't so hot about it, it's up to you.

    And even though I do like DSL quite a bit, I don't think I would be able to live with it day to day. For one thing, I really don't like Fluxbox, so that's a major turn-off. Busybox is also not exactly fully featured and--even though not always--lacks some usability. It's just a personally opinion, so take it for what it's worth!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk4two1
    My main goal is to get linux with some sort of graphical interface up and running, for no good reason but to do it.
    Just read this part, and if that's all you want:
    http://modest-proposals.com/Hacklin.htm
    You asked for it!!!

  10. #10
    Linux Enthusiast Weedman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk4two1
    Ok...
    I have an old Dell Latitude LM
    166 Mhz Pentium w/MMX
    40 MB RAM
    1.6 GB HD
    thats a good little system youve got. i have a system just like that but it has:
    150mhz pentium (no mmx)
    48mb ram
    1 gb hdd

    mine will run X with slackware and dsl. dsl is smaller, but once you install it to your hdd, you realise that it really only is a live distro. slackware is more fully featured, but you will not be able to run kde or gnome one it (which will save a ton of disk space). your best bet is to run xfce, fluxbox or any other small wm's on it.

    just my 2 cents
    /weed
    "Time has more than one meaning, and is more than one dimension" - /.unknown
    --Registered Linux user #396583--

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