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Thread: distribution for older laptop

  1. #1

    distribution for older laptop

    I am searching fo a distribution that will run on a 166MHz, 16MB RAM, 2GB HD laptop. And as I stink at learning prompt commands, I want some kind of graphical user interface.... Otherwise I will stick with WIN 98SE which runs just fine on it. My laptop is off, off, off brand (Leo Design note???), so I know very little about the components in it. And to make it more complicated, I can't run the CD and the floppy at the same time and it doesn't want to boot straight from a CD (it has the option to do so in the BIOS, but just sits there). I tried Red Hat 7.3: not enough RAM. I tried loading Debian potato (I did it via the PCMCIA network card.. very nice!), but I was way over my head trying to configure it with anything but a prompt. I typed startX and got nothing but errors. I also tried Phat Linux, but I waited for HOURS and it never did boot all the way!

    Any suggestions?? ???

  2. #2

    Re:distribution for older laptop

    You have a number of choices, but I would go with something like Debian( Potato or Woody, that generally uses a 2.2.x kernel. With an older machine like that, you won't need all the bloat & features of a 2.4.x kernel, and it should run fine with 16 meg ram. As far as a gui goes - Blackbox or some other light weght deal will do you right.
    btw, the Debian laptop mailing list is a superb resource for info and help, there are a ton of folks who'll bend over backwards to try and help you get things right.
    Check these out:

  3. #3

    Re:distribution for older laptop

    Slackware would be a good coice for a laptop of that speed. I run it on a 150mhz laptop with 32megs of ram, and a 1.2 gig HD. I run Fluxbox as my Windows Manager, and it starts up in < 5 seconds. Also, I run opera and sylpheed, and I have no problems with speed. if you want to check it out.

    I warn you, slackware often takes a lot of configuration via the console, so if you have trouble doing it with a debian install, you'll have trouble doing it in slackware.

    Although... any trouble you run into you can always lets us know about. SkyNet and myself are more then happy to answer your slackware questions.

  4. #4

    Re:distribution for older laptop

    As an addendum, even if you don't go the Debian route, the debian laptop mailing list is still a great resource. Since Debian is GNU Linux pretty much all the way, you can still read and learn a lot and apply it to other distros via the info there, at least I have.

  5. #5

    Re:distribution for older laptop

    I'd give Peanut and Behive a look. both are relative small small (240 MG and 640 mg) full featured distros. If you are not familiar with linux, behive will install from windows.

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