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Hey all! I've never used any distro of Linux before, so I'd appreciate any advice or feedback on deciding which distro to go with. I was given an IBM Thinkpad ...
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  1. #1
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    Slackware vs DSL? (for an old IBM ThinkPad)


    Hey all!

    I've never used any distro of Linux before, so I'd appreciate any advice or feedback on deciding which distro to go with.

    I was given an IBM Thinkpad 2635 (a very old laptop, circa 199. It has, (don't laugh!) a mere 300Mhz CPU and (again, try not LOL here) 48MB of RAM. It's currently running Win98, and seems very responsive and stable -- and 93% resources free when idle.

    But Win98 is waaay outdated, I'm especially worried about Win98's suceptibility to malware and trojans. Any up-to-virus, isn't even compatible with Win98. When I put in 256MB of Ram, it'll meet the minimum for WinXP, but it'll be heavy, even Win2k would be heavy, I need something more lightweight, that's why I'm turning to Linux.

    I've narrowed it down to Slackware or DSL. Keep in mind, I'll be using this machine ONLY for email, light web-browsing, and maybe listening to music (CD or MP3). So all other daemon apps, services, and drivers not required for that usage, or for this machine, will be removed by me. (Preferably before the installation, to save time).

  2. #2
    oz
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    Welcome to the forums!

    I'd personally recommend trying DSL first. It's a small download and quick burn to disk, and should work fine for you. If it doesn't, you can always try Slackware.

    Best of luck with it.
    oz

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    Thanks Ozar! That was a fast reply.

    I was leaning toward DSL myself, but for the second part of my question:

    How will I slipsteam my device drivers? And make sure the ones that don't apply don't get installed? And how big of a HDD will I need for DSL.

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    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Drivers should be in the kernel. I have a IBM 390e that runs Puppy 3.01 very well also. You should be OK with DSL with a 750mb HD. You can look at my installs on something even older than your IBM.

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    Thanks for the links Roky, I'll go try it right now then. Oh, and one more thing -- What Anti-virus do you recommend? I doubt AVG would run on DSL...

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    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    If bios has the capability of booting from CDROM. Disregard the Smartbootmanager part (Boot Floppy) of the tutorial.
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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechShui View Post
    Thanks for the links Roky, I'll go try it right now then. Oh, and one more thing -- What Anti-virus do you recommend? I doubt AVG would run on DSL...
    ClamAV would be my suggestion. There are Debian packages for it (DSL is based on Debian).

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  8. #8
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    I second Moes suggestion ClamAV is a good one and easy to install in DSL or Puppy.
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    I would also recommend Arch Linux, I don't know offhand how much space it requires but i think a typical minimum install might run around a few hundred MB's (ofcourse you could handpick and install only what you need). Then using pacman you can pick and choose anything extra you might need. Arch has a pretty well maintained repo + a solid community base.

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    For a machine with such few resources I would probably recommend DSL, not that I've ever tried it myself of course; whenever I need a distro I just build my own, like I did with my 600MHz Dell Latitude. The last time I tried Slackware it used about 30MB on startup which in your case is almost all of your memory. You could probably get away with using swap while you shave things down but you really don't want to thrash the hard drive. I would say to try both and just experiment a bit.

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