Hello all! I was wondering. I keep on wanting to install linux on older machines for friends and customers alike. I put linux on them hoping that it will run efficiently or faster than windows. It seems that it runs slow, when it comes time to running X. Should I run a new kernel. Stripped keeping lean and mean, specifically for that particular hardware setup. Say a old PII with 64 megs of ram running email, firefox, printing services and USB support?
The alternative... run an older version of linux with a custom kernel made for that hardware?
thanks for sharing advise and experiences.
which Window Managers are you trying?
Usually gnome, but I have tried fluxbox and xfce4 - still slow. the apps they use are also reource intensive. like mozilla, and openoffice. I did find a link that might be worth trying out.
they specialize in this type of thing. THese guys are running linux with graphical interfaces, IceWM , GDM for graphical log in with Pentiums and 16mb of ram. So my PII with 64 should have a good time. I think everyone should check out this project at sourceforge.net
Older boxes, by their nature, are gonna run slower whether running Windows or Linux. There are two routes you can try. You can go with a newer distro like Puppy Linux or Damn Small Linux that has apps that use fewer resources, or take a step back and try an older distro.
I have a Packard Bell Legend 814CD I use as a secondary machine, and though it is slow, it loves running Red Hat 6.2.
lakerdonald speaks wisely in alluding to using a DE that uses less resources. Fluxbox is good, as well as FCE. I believe IceWM beats the pants off of both of them in the speed/resource friendly department, but that's my personal opinion.
For browsers, Firefox is all the rage now, and runs fast. So does Galeon. For older boxes, I think Links-Graphics is the best choice. For mail, Sylpheed is good and so is Balsa for boxes with limited resources.
OpenOffice is just gonna take a while to get up and going, but in the end, is worth it if you can't wait that long. Abiword is a little better on resources and speed, but isn't as full featured as OpenOffice.
I had a couple of 64 RAM boxes that were agonizingly slow. I bought an additional 64MB of RAM for each that breathed new life into them. In my opinion, RAM is the very best investment you can make in any older box that runs Linux.
try vector, runs great on old hardware.