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Darkelve

Distro recommendation for old laptop

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I'm looking for a distribution that runs okay on an old laptop, Compaq Presario 128mb ram and -I think- 600 or 800Mzh or so PIII processor. Hard drive 20 GB or so. Runs Windows ME right now, but no one uses it anymore (probably partly *because* of the WinME... :-x ).

 

It has a PCMCIA card, Intel Pro/Wireless 2011(B). I am guessing there are not native drivers for it yet, which probably means the distro should have easy ndiswrapper setup.

 

Also, it should be relatively small, fast (especially boot time), and have an easy to use package manager with automatic dependency handling.

 

Should run preferrably KDE or XFCE or -less preferrably- Gnome. Doesn't have to have the latest-and-greatest packages, but does have fairly recent and stable ones (e.g. Firefox 1.5). Should have easy updates.

 

Any distro that comes to mind?

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I'm liking the ubuntu's so far. I'm using kubuntu, but I also installed the ubuntu-desktop too so I do have gnome as well.

 

In fact, it's working damn fine on my laptop. But yeah, xubuntu would be good, as it's using a light-weight window manager. And quick to install. It just.....works.

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Yes, in fact that was my first thought. My 2nd one was to give Puppy Linux a shot. But I'm afraid that might turn out be a bit too spartan for my likes. Well, trying can't hurt. Slax is also on the list, but I'm guessing that it'll be too heavy with KDE and I don't really like Fluxbox. XFCE would be perfect. WindowMaker might work too, I liked that when I tried it. Or something else, but not Fluxbox or Blackbox unless the other DE's are absolutely too heavy for the thing.

 

 

 

I'm guessing that a recent KDE would be too much for it. Have you thought about Xubuntu?
Edited by Darkelve

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It has a PCMCIA card, Intel Pro/Wireless 2011(B). I am guessing there are not native drivers for it yet, which probably means the distro should have easy ndiswrapper setup.

Ye of little faith.

 

Google is your friend, scroll down to Linux on this page: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/schuster/wlan.htm

 

Also, it should be relatively small, fast (especially boot time), and have an easy to use package manager with automatic dependency handling.

 

Should run preferrably KDE or XFCE or -less preferrably- Gnome. Doesn't have to have the latest-and-greatest packages, but does have fairly recent and stable ones (e.g. Firefox 1.5). Should have easy updates.

 

Any distro that comes to mind?

 

What sort of distro are you looking at? Easy to use? Cutting edge?

 

Old hardware isnt limited to tiny corner distros and old software versions. It'll work best if you avoid memory hogs, but even hogs like KDE and Gnome can be tuned pretty well to work on lower specced hardware.

 

The kernel is designed so that it works on old hardware, and a majority of the basic userspace apps used in Linux distro's don't have very heavy requirements. (except the bleedin obvious like games and such)

 

Keeping that in mind, Debian, Arch, Xubuntu, Mandriva, FreeBSD, Fedora would all be great choices.

 

It'd take a few minutes to turn stuff down in some of those bigger distros, but they'd work well. Turn off some extra services, and turn off extra options in KDE and Gnome. In kde chuck the effects to none, and turn off services. Maybe disable Nautilus in Gnome and use Thunar instead.

 

I'd probably go Debian or Arch depending on who's using it and what it's goin to be used for. They'll give you enough control when setting it up, so you can ensure only what's needed is enabled, as well as sufficent hardware and package support.

 

Jame

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Easy to use, not cutting edge. Also I'd like it to detect all the hardware, but an old version of Mepis from 1 or 2 years ago actually did that when I tried it. Should also work relatively fast when using light-weight apps. The faster the better. Fast boot time also important.

 

For example Amarok probably wouldn't run very smoothly I suspect since it's a big program. But I'd want, say, Xmms or something to run fluidly.

Edited by Darkelve

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Hey, sweet! B)

 

Believe me, I used to Google for this a lot, but at a certain time I just gave up...

 

It has a PCMCIA card, Intel Pro/Wireless 2011(B). I am guessing there are not native drivers for it yet, which probably means the distro should have easy ndiswrapper setup.

Ye of little faith.

 

Google is your friend, scroll down to Linux on this page: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/schuster/wlan.htm

 

<snip>

Edited by Darkelve

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Easy to use, not cutting edge. Also I'd like it to detect all the hardware, but an old version of Mepis from 1 or 2 years ago actually did that when I tried it. Should also work relatively fast when using light-weight apps. The faster the better. Fast boot time also important.

 

For example Amarok probably wouldn't run very smoothly I suspect since it's a big program. But I'd want, say, Xmms or something to run fluidly.

 

It's old enough that the hardware should all be detected on any distro. Even the wireless card, provided that the driver is installed.

 

xmms should run fluently on any distro. Heck, it ran fluently on my old 300Mhz P2 on any distro. Programs like that will run well irrelevant of the distro.

 

The boot time is an odd one. You can get debian and have a good boot time out of the box, but lack some of the GUI configs ala MCC, or you can get the GUI configs in Mandriva, Fedora and Xubuntu, and not have the boot time.

 

Although with a laptop of that vintage, suspending shouldnt be an issue, so give that a shot.

 

James

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Contrary to iphitus, I wouldn't use Fedora on that one. Fedora is a bit heavy for such a box.

 

Arch, Slack, Vector, Debian, Mandriva, Xubuntu or elive are all good choices imho. And puppy is not bad, either. At least it is fast.

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Contrary to iphitus, I wouldn't use Fedora on that one. Fedora is a bit heavy for such a box.

I found it quite heavy for tasks like adding new SW.... its proably doing a great job sorting deps but it felt heavy for me. (running as a virtual machine)

 

Arch, Slack, Vector, Debian, Mandriva, Xubuntu or elive are all good choices imho. And puppy is not bad, either. At least it is fast.

 

Yep any Deb or *buntu based distro should be fine..you can just apt-get different WM's you until you find one your happy with then remove the others... .. I actually got converted over to Debian with a combo of my laptop which never ran Mandriva well and XBOX ....

The XBOX was a bit of the available distro at the time ws Xebian... a debian for XBOX's so I figured I'd better learn it...

However it copes really well with 64MB RAM and a slow virtuial FAT fs and a 667 Mhz celeron which is what's inside the xbox...

 

Memory wise the nvidia driver is huge.... so if you don't *need* it you save lots of RAM....

No reason amarok shouldn't work except it uses lots of KDE libs... so you need to load them too but the one thing I could never get on my crappy cheap lappy was video playback or any accelerated GL stuff.... I just learned to live with it and its a matter of getting used to....

 

If you just want Internet access, basic office stuff etc. , music then its fine... OO takes forever to Open but its usuable once open... and I keep lightweight stuff for just quick edits...

 

You might squeeze KDE in... its a matter of tuning and what feels acceptable to YOU.... I tend towards using IceWM on my lappy it doesn what I need which is start programs in Windows... its not pretty but ????

 

Anyway, if you strip away eye kandy, don't wanna use google earth or picassa etc. then it should serve as a fine GP machine...

 

Distrowise.... I don't think is that important so long as the distro has good software installation ...

if you can add/try/remove progs then you can work out what works and doesn't....

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