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Resource-light version of Linux?

ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
edited January 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
What's the best version of Linux for an old, piece of shit laptop? 256 or 384MB of RAM, 1.2ish Ghz. processor, 128MB GeForce2Go video card.

Thanatos on

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    SilvoculousSilvoculous Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    You can run practically any distro with those specs. Go to distrowatch.com and scroll on down the lists if you're familiar with a few already. If you had a really, really shitty laptop (like one I had once - 233MHz Pentium II and 64MB of RAM), I would recommend Damn Small Linux or Puppy. But that ought to be able to run anything major - Ubuntu, Mandriva, you name it.

    If you're interested in DSL anyway, it goes out of its way to ensure that the only programs installed with it are incredibly resource-light and space-efficient too. I believe the latest Firefox on it is still 1.5, but even with its reputation as a memory hog, running it with those specs ought not to give you a problem. Other examples I can think of at the moment are the Ted word processor, Dillo web browser, and Sylpheed for email.

    Silvoculous on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    You can run practically any distro with those specs. Go to distrowatch.com and scroll on down the lists if you're familiar with a few already. If you had a really, really shitty laptop (like one I had once - 233MHz Pentium II and 64MB of RAM), I would recommend Damn Small Linux or Puppy. But that ought to be able to run anything major - Ubuntu, Mandriva, you name it.

    If you're interested in DSL anyway, it goes out of its way to ensure that the only programs installed with it are incredibly resource-light and space-efficient too. I believe the latest Firefox on it is still 1.5, but even with its reputation as a memory hog, running it with those specs ought not to give you a problem. Other examples I can think of at the moment are the Ted word processor, Dillo web browser, and Sylpheed for email.
    I tried to install Ubuntu previously, and the laptop shat a brick. Whatever they claim the requirements for it are, they're way, way higher. I need something that will actually work, not something where I meet whatever fake requirements the Linux fanboys have decided to make up as an example of how much less resource-intensive Linux is than Windows.

    Thanatos on
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    SilvoculousSilvoculous Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Give Mandriva One or PCLinuxOS a try. It ought to work fine if you maybe stay away from potentially sluggish background programs like Beryl (takes up quite a bit of RAM).

    PC-BSD isn't technically a Linux, but I've run it perfectly on an old HP with 128MB of RAM and an 800MHz Pentium III and it's easy to install software for it (www.pbidir.com). You'd hardly know the difference.

    EDIT: I just remembered Zenwalk. I would try this right away. Same results for me as with PC-BSD, it installs with the XFCE environment, and just generally runs like buttah.

    Silvoculous on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Oh, I mainly need this to be able to connect to the internet through my wireless network card, and play DVDs/CD-ROMs in my drive. Nothing more than that.

    Thanatos on
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    SilvoculousSilvoculous Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Thinatos wrote: »
    Oh, I mainly need this to be able to connect to the internet through my wireless network card

    Setting up a wireless card feels to me like a different experience depending on the desktop environment. I use Mandriva on my laptop currently, and setting up my wireless was a breeze. My specific card already had a Linux driver and was autodetected, but it's easy to set up ndiswrapper with a Windows driver to make one work too.

    I haven't done it in Zenwalk but I don't see why or how you would have any trouble. Seriously, go with Zenwalk.

    Silvoculous on
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    DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Thinatos wrote: »
    I tried to install Ubuntu previously, and the laptop shat a brick. Whatever they claim the requirements for it are, they're way, way higher. I need something that will actually work, not something where I meet whatever fake requirements the Linux fanboys have decided to make up as an example of how much less resource-intensive Linux is than Windows.

    There is likely some other hardware reason that this didn't work. I have Ubuntu installed on my 800MHz PIII machine with 256MB of RAM and it works. I don't usually log into it directly, so it's not usually running anything graphical (aside from the login screen, since I do occasionally want to log in to do things).

    And I have a version of Debian installed on my 300MHz PII with 160MB of RAM with no issues.

    Don't immediately assume that since it doesn't work on one particular machine that it has higher requirements.

    Daenris on
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    seasleepyseasleepy Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Thinatos wrote: »
    I tried to install Ubuntu previously, and the laptop shat a brick. Whatever they claim the requirements for it are, they're way, way higher. I need something that will actually work, not something where I meet whatever fake requirements the Linux fanboys have decided to make up as an example of how much less resource-intensive Linux is than Windows.
    Yeah, it's possible Ubuntu and your hardware just don't get along (sometimes this happens with one distro or another, particularly with laptops). If it was just slow as fuck as opposed to just not working, you could try Xubuntu, which has got a lighter-weight desktop environment.

    seasleepy on
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    naporeonnaporeon Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Than, PCLinuxOS was in fact the distro I recommended to you before, so I echo Silvoculous' suggestion.

    They have scaled-down variants of it, and you might even give SAM a look.

    I have to say that, in every way but the repositories, I preferred my PCLinuxOS experience to K/X/Ubuntu.

    naporeon on
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    SilvoculousSilvoculous Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    naporeon wrote: »
    Than, PCLinuxOS was in fact the distro I recommended to you before, so I echo Silvoculous' suggestion.

    They have scaled-down variants of it, and you might even give SAM a look.

    I have to say that, in every way but the repositories, I preferred my PCLinuxOS experience to K/X/Ubuntu.

    Additionally, PCLOS is based on Mandriva which has a really easy LiveCD installer. You'll be up and running within minutes. While I'd never lambast Zenwalk, it's based on Slackware which is notorious for its installation procedure. Installing those packages will take awhile, and you're screwed if you don't know fdisk.

    Silvoculous on
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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Than, I'll second Damn Small Linux. I've put that on several older boxes and it's always done a great job of not killing my system. It's basically my weapon of choice for anything with under 512mb ram. I ran it on old 400mhz p2 machines that I network for clusters before I put on beowulf. It would probably fly on your system.

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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    You may also want to look into different window managers. KDE and Gnome are both kind of big (although KDE 4 is apparently much improved), but something like Blackbox or Fluxbox (I personally preferred fluxbox) would probably work really well.

    I was running fluxbox on a gentoo install on a 400mhz machine a few years ago, and it was very very usable. I would not use Gentoo nowadays, but I bring it up to point out that most of these alternative distros should work just fine. They'll be more work than Ubuntu, but you have pretty specific needs and don't need a do-it-all distro.

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    naporeonnaporeon Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    EggyToast wrote: »
    You may also want to look into different window managers. KDE and Gnome are both kind of big (although KDE 4 is apparently much improved)...
    Agreed. That's why I mentioned SAM, which is based on PCLinuxOS, but uses Xfce.

    naporeon on
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