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Thread: a lightweight, user friendly linux?

  1. #1

    a lightweight, user friendly linux?

    Hello, I'm hoping someone can give me some advice here.

    My brother has an older PC that he just uses for the internet and email, that's it. I believe it's a pentium 2 333 with 256mb ram, but I don't remember exactly. It's old anyway, but it works. Currently he has windows 2000 installed on it, but it's having some annoying problems that probably aren't worth the time to troubleshoot. Since I don't have a win2k install disc, I thought maybe linux would be a good option.

    Now, my brother isn't a computer expert by any means, but he knows what he's doing and doesn't have much trouble learning new things. Is there a linux distro suitable for this purpose? Something light on resources and straightforward to use, and a web browser that's actually going to run on that system (which may be faster than I stated, I don't recall).

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Debian basic (no X), then install IceWM as your DE. I had it running on P 233 with 256 MB and it's very usable with firefox browser (I also used to have Opera on it, very nice).
    LinuxVillage - The truely community run Linux/Floss forum !

    No IT BS !!

  3. #3
    There is also DamnSmallLinux. For it's small size it has a lot of horsepower. And SlackWare is also friendly for older and smaller systems. If your brother has a CDROM drive, you could have try different "Live" versions of Linux. This would give you an idea on which one would be the best for his system. Pick the one that you want, and simply install it on his system.
    Another alternative is the "live" version of Knoppix linux. It uses the memory instead of the hard drive, to operate. But the CD must stay in the drive for it to operate. What's nice about that version is that you can create a permanent presence on that machine. It can store the setups created. It can create a small swap-file. Also, it can create a /home directory on the hard drive. So, when you boot up the CD again, all that information is still available, and no new setups need be made. It is also possible to copy the entire CD into the hard drive. It would then run from the hard drive. This would free his CD drive for other purposes.

    Hope that you don't get confused with all those choices.

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    I suggest you SUSE Linux, its easy to use and fast.

  5. #5
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    Ubuntu is pretty nice, and the upcoming Freespire 2.0 and Linspire 6 ought to treat you well also. If you like getting a bit more control, Fedora is a good choice as well. Some things that are automated in a poor/hastened fashion, create other issues that can make life miserable. Fedora is my favorite for the latter reasons.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prabhat View Post
    I suggest you SUSE Linux, its easy to use and fast.
    Prabhat, are you sure Suse will run fast on 256MB RAM?
    another light linux is goblinx, and xubuntu (found on ubuntu.com) which is the lightest of ubuntu and works well on older system, although I wouldn' t call your system very old if running win2k.

    take a look at www.distrowatch.com
    debian is the answer, but I'm not sure installed without the xserver is the answer for a linux beginner... coming from Windows how we all do, we can't just go on the black terminal of joy, can we? I couldn't ...although having since learnt to like it, thanks to the SAMS teach yourself Unix in 24 hours (Dave Taylor's precious book) I have discovered that seeing the system in form of list of files with their properties, is another very instructing way of getting to know a system.
    :~$ ls -l /
    total 92
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2007-11-18 20:34 bin
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 2007-11-18 20:49 boot
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 11 2007-11-18 20:03 cdrom -> media/cdrom
    drwxr-xr-x 15 root root 4340 2007-11-27 18:52 dev
    drwxr-xr-x 108 root root 4096 2007-11-27 18:52 etc
    drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 4096 2007-11-22 10:54 home
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2007-11-18 20:05 initrd
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 28 2007-11-18 20:49 initrd.img -> boot/initrd.img-2.6.18-5-686

    allez, I feel I'm boring you... bye.

  7. #7
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    I suggest you look at Damn Small Linux and TinyMe.

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    Absolute Linux


    I would give you a link, but I get this when trying:
    Code:
    To be able to post links or images your post count must be 25 or greater. You currently have 5 posts.
    
    Please remove links from your message, then you will be able to submit your post.

  9. #9
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    VectorLinux/Xfce will fly on that hardware. Slackware based but rather easy to install if you know anything about basic partitioning. Great community.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schotty View Post
    Ubuntu is pretty nice, and the upcoming Freespire 2.0 and Linspire 6 ought to treat you well also. If you like getting a bit more control, Fedora is a good choice as well. Some things that are automated in a poor/hastened fashion, create other issues that can make life miserable. Fedora is my favorite for the latter reasons.
    I agree. Ubuntu will be a great choice for you

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