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lunix on a old laptop

b0bd0db0bd0d Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I got an old thinkpad my brother gave me. Battery doesn't work but everything else seems okay. Anyway, I installed Ubuntu to see how it worked. It's cool and all but I'm looking for something more...uh... old school. More of a windows 3.11/DOS setup. Ubuntu has all that graphical stuff running. It's trying to be too helpful and I can't figure out what's going on. Anything above a command prompt confuses me. Soo many colors! I wanna get a real basic linux system and then build on top of it. Start fairly low on the scale as it were. Anybody got any hints?

b0bd0d on


  • tribenettribenet Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If you want to start really low, give Gentoo a try. You compile pretty much everything with Gentoo, there aren't any pre-compiled packages. Beware.. since you're laptop is old, it could take a while until you get a functional system compiled from scratch.

    Somewhere in between Ubuntu and Gentoo is Slackware, which is my favorite distro. The installation is text-based, you can customized a lot of the packages to be install, and doesn't come with a pretty interface by default.

    tribenet on
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Don't use Gentoo if you value your time (not compiling that is). If you want to get really hardcore, you could try Linux From Scratch (LFS); you'll have to boot strap everything yourself and most likely compile everything (like Gentoo). Personally, I think you should just install Debian. You don't have to install X (graphic server), and you can just use the commandline for everything. The Lenny network install is less than a hundred megs, and you'll be up and running in no time.

    I use Debian as my main system, and I much prefer it to Ubuntu, for a couple of reasons. First, su isn't crippled (although, I understand why Ubuntu did what it did). Second, Debian doesn't foist a specific set of packages on me when I want to install. I run Fluxbox, so I don't need to have GNOME installed or enabled by default (although I think GDM rocks the socks off of KDM), which Debian allows me to do at install.

    Like Slackware and some of the older distros, you get experience with the commandline quite quickly in Debian, whereas it is actively hidden from you in Ubuntu. Plus, you get the package management goodness of APT (which Slackware lacks) without having to compile everything (like Portage, which is the system used in Gentoo). Also, Debian runs on the largest amount of hardware and architectures out of any Linux distro (not as many as OpenBSD or NetBSD, however).

    saggio on
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