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  1. #1

    Pentium II 128mb RAM 299Mhz, 6.2gb hdd - Best distro?

    I have an old laptop, which is currently running windows 98 very slowly, I don't want to run 98 for many reasons, and instead want to run linux.
    The laptops specs: Pentium II 128mb RAM 299Mhz, 6.2gb hdd
    Speed is an issue with me, and I'd like the laptop to run as fast as it possibly can, without me having to wait, basically like a nice desktop pc or laptop. And I want to know which distro would run best. Arch linux?
    I also plan on installing some nice GUI programs, namely open office. I've been told running open office on this machine will mean open office runs quite slowly, are there any better office suites for the job that can open and save in open document and microsoft file formats?
    I dont have many worries regarding the size of the HDD, as linux takes up considerably less room than windows. How much space should I set as swap to optimize the laptops performance but not lose a single unnecersary mb of space? Im not entirely sure how much programs like open office take up on disk, frankly I havent really had to worry about it, so id like to be a strict as possible with my diskspace as I don't want to run out.
    The laptops primary uses will probably be word processing and not to complex spreadsheets and maths.
    Some music too and possibly some videos but not really anything too intensive, a standard pc.
    Thanks for any help you can give me as I realise ive asked allot :P

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Nottingham, England
    Seems to me like you need to try it out; get Arch linux (which you seem favoured towards) and give it a go. You can also try out the lightweight distros (DSL, etc.) and maybe give one of the big boys a go (Fedora, Ubuntu, etc.).

    They're all free, so it's worth a go...

    As far as office stuff goes, it's not a big deal either, try OpenOffice and maybe KOffice, and do a poke around for more. Remember, these are free too - so it costs you nothing to try them out.
    Linux user #126863 - see

  3. #3
    Not ubuntu!
    Well, I jsut like to be preprepared, and it odesnt have internet access so faffing around with disks will be required.

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  5. #4
    I've had some success with debian and a really lightweight window manager like fluxbox on a laptop with 128 MB of RAM. It is an ibook with a G3, but it's pretty speedy. I use Abiword for word processing and Gnumeric for spreadsheet apps.

    I would also like to recommend you stay as far from OpenOffice as you can. With such a low amount of memory, it will probably be painfully slow to even open that program. At any rate, all of the programs mentioned can read and save in Microsoft document formats.

    The hard drive footprint won't be that large. I should go check how much of the hard drive is taken up by debian on that ibook, but I know it has 6 GB of hard drive space as well.

    Anyway, you can and probably should try out a variety of different distros. The same programs are available to all of them.

  6. #5
    The office suite I use will have to have microsoft and open document file format save and read capabilities.
    I've thought about it and I think I'll go with DSL, because I'm a newb and don't know what half the stuff on linux does, so I'll start with the smallest install I can find and build my system up from there. I don't know if DSL is optimized to run on i686 but my guess is it isn't, but it will still go faster than arch, right?

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