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Has anyone tried Vector or Feather Linux on an older machine, like something with a processor slower than 200 MHz? A friend of mine with an old ThinkPad wants to ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer Javasnob's Avatar
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    Performance of Vector and Feather Linux on older hardware


    Has anyone tried Vector or Feather Linux on an older machine, like something with a processor slower than 200 MHz? A friend of mine with an old ThinkPad wants to try Linux out, and I thought that these distros looked pretty good, but I want to have an idea how they will perform before downloading/burning them to disc.

    Thanks a lot for any input!
    Flies of a particular kind, i.e. time-flies, are fond of an arrow.

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  2. #2
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    I haven't run either distro, but think shouldn't be too hard to give pointers.

    Vector Linux is based on Slack, which I've used before and can say it's very easy on resources. Generally speaking though, the 2.4 kernel (Slackware's default) will support older hardware better than the 2.6 (Vector's default) as well as use less memory. The biggest barrier is also not the processor, but the memory! Something with low memory will need to swap a lot, which means it'll be slower, even if the processor is decent. If you use an extra light WM (ie: fluxbox, JWM, etc) it's also easier on older hardware.

    From what I know, Feather Linux is a live distro (be it CD or USB drive), which means it needs decent memory (not always, but they tend to).

    FYI, on my older hardware (<500MHz, <128MB RAM) I use Slackware!

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer Javasnob's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply; memory's not really an issue though (his machine has 128 MB).
    Flies of a particular kind, i.e. time-flies, are fond of an arrow.

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    I would recommend Zenwalk instead of Vector.

    About one year ago I was using Vector and switched to Zenwalk.
    My experience with Zenwalk is that it is faster and compatible with more hardware AND using the latest packages

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    Try an older release of vector

    I run vector (not on old machine though) But you can probabbly get one of the older releases (ie std 3) or something similar to bring her back to life. Vector is really easy on hardware

  7. #6
    Linux Newbie easuter's Avatar
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    i use VectorLinux 5.1 Standard (it has kernel 2.6.10) on this machine:

    pentium mmx 200mhz
    64mb ram
    4gb hard-drive
    s3 trio video card

    it works perfectly, but dont use xfce. i installed windowmaker as my graphical envireonment, and it simply flies. note that vector does not come with windowmaker, but you can download it and compile it and it works great.

    here is a screenie for you to see:
    http://clientes.netvisao.pt/alynnsut/wmaker_1.jpg

    crappy old hardware brought back to life, eh?

    i've never tried zenwalk before, but give it a shot if vector doesnt do it.

    good luck!


    btw! when windowmaker is running, the total memory usage is 25mb
    All Empires rise and fall. The Microsoft Empire has already risen, only one way to go now...

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    I used vector linux on my old machine and had no problems running the IceWM desktop, however the KDE and other dektops were very slow. This maybe because I had very little RAM (32mb), But with more RAM Vector linux would work with a processor of about 200MHz, I used 266MHz.

    Hope this helps.

    You could look at the specs table on the Vector linux website, where you will find the minium requirments for each version.

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