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 Post subject: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:30 am 
Willamette
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Are there any lightweight Linux distros that will run on older hardware? Here's the specs of the computer I'm going to put it on:

Pentium 3 - 900 Mhz
384 MB of RAM
20 GB Hard Drive
Has 10/100 network card
Has a basic sound card (16-bit) & onboard video (It's an Intel 810-based board, so it only has a few MB of onboard video)

I would like it to be able to connect to my router (which has my other Windows 7 PCs on it) for Internet access and file sharing from the Windows PCs, if possible. At the very least, connect to the router.

All I want to do with this is just use it for Internet and some very basic tasks . Task that could probably actually be done on a Pentium 2 computer. But I would like to have a GUI, and not just a command line prompt.

I think Ubuntu requires too much for this computer. I've heard a little about Linux Mint, but haven't tried that one yet.

Suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:49 pm 
Thoroughbred
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You are in a slightly better position then I am. I've got a 300MHz PII with 160mb of ram. It seems to work fine with Lubuntu. It is rated to run with as little as 300MHz and 128Mb RAM. I'm still cutting it a bit close, but you will be fine.
Also try Linux Mint, Debian LXDE, antiX, NimbleX and Vector Lite (the free one.)


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:34 pm 
Java Junkie
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When you're dealing with hardware that is out of date, I find it is best to compile your own kernel from source. This way, you can build it to run most efficiently with the instruction set built into your CPU.

Gentoo makes this (very) easy to do but you can do it with any distro. A distro is just a collection of apps with a (usually) vanilla kernel. You can always (and always should) recompile your kernel for your hardware and you can always (should always) trim your install so it is specific to your needs. Any distro can do these things but some make it easier than others.

I strongly recommend that anyone who wants to really learn linux should do at least one stage one compile of Gentoo. Better still would be to install Linux from Scratch


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:57 pm 
Thoroughbred
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Fastest way: Crunchbang! Linux. It runs passibly fast on my PII/Celeron.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:06 pm 
Java Junkie
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Fastest to setup, perhaps .. but definitely not the fastest performer.

That is just a distro that chooses lightweight GUI options for you .. that isn't a power user's choice .. it is the choice made by people who don't know which GUIs are lightweight.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:10 pm 
Thoroughbred
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It usually depends. LXDE/Openbox is usually good. XFCE has kinda departed from the "Lightweight" standard. That's just the two most well known ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:05 pm 
Java Junkie
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It doesn't depend at all, actually.

Compiling from source with hardware optimisation flags is always faster than vanilla installs.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:31 am 
Thoroughbred
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Jipstyle wrote:
It doesn't depend at all, actually.

Compiling from source with hardware optimisation flags is always faster than vanilla installs.

Unfortuanatly, I don't quite have the time to configure it.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:23 am 
Thunderbird
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how bout MSDOS5.0 ? or windows 3.1 ? JK

someone here mentioned CRUNCHBANG..
I vote for that too !


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:25 am 
Java Junkie
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logicmaster2003 wrote:
how bout MSDOS5.0 ? or windows 3.1 ?


Lack of drivers FTL


:P


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:03 pm 
Thoroughbred
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Jipstyle wrote:
logicmaster2003 wrote:
how bout MSDOS5.0 ? or windows 3.1 ?


Lack of drivers FTL


:P

Crunchbang has the drivers. Of course, if you are willing to go through the trouble of compiling your own kernel, preinstalling drivers won't be a problem, either. BTW, I just found out my processor is really 500MHz. Because of a faulty fan, however, it was throttling to 300MHz.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:29 pm 
Thunderbird
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I got few more for you...

http://www.slitaz.org/en/

http://www.xpud.org/

i've tried them both in the past !


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:36 pm 
Java Junkie
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noghiri_x wrote:
Jipstyle wrote:
logicmaster2003 wrote:
how bout MSDOS5.0 ? or windows 3.1 ?


Lack of drivers FTL


:P

Crunchbang has the drivers. Of course, if you are willing to go through the trouble of compiling your own kernel, preinstalling drivers won't be a problem, either. BTW, I just found out my processor is really 500MHz. Because of a faulty fan, however, it was throttling to 300MHz.


Both MSDOS 5.0 and Windows 3.1 lack drivers for a P3. Thus, 'lack of drivers FTL' in response to logicaster2003's tongue-in-cheek 'how bout MSDOS5.0 ? or windows 3.1 ?'

I could draw you a picture, if that would help?

:P


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:41 pm 
Thoroughbred
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Slitaz was a bit buggy on my laptop. I haven't heard of xpud. I'm gonna check it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:26 pm 
8086
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For a P3, I'd probably go with Debian Sarge. 2.6 kernel, older GNOME, and less resource hungry than any of the modern distros.

After all, if it's a processor that old, you're probably just building it as a toy, right? If so, the instant gratification implied means you should skip gentoo and any other similar ricer linuxes (you'd be building for weeks, for that extra 0.5% performance you could easily net by just going with a lighter weight older linux in the first place).


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:42 pm 
Thoroughbred
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But that doesn't have all the cool Madwifi drivers I need!


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:30 pm 
8086
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Didn't you say it has a 10/100 card?

I've got a P3 1.2GHz on an 810 board in a production environment right now, and it runs Debian Woody, with the onboard eepro100 card just fine (and has, since 2002). Granted, it's not someone's email or web browsing station, but aside from swapping disks in the RAID array every so often, I haven't done a thing to it, and it still runs fine.

edit: my bad, you're not the OP. Stop confusing me! In that case, my recommendation would be to upgrade the kernel to include the drivers, and use the wireless tools in Sarge.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:44 pm 
Thoroughbred
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Jehannum wrote:
Didn't you say it has a 10/100 card?

I've got a P3 1.2GHz on an 810 board in a production environment right now, and it runs Debian Woody, with the onboard eepro100 card just fine (and has, since 2002). Granted, it's not someone's email or web browsing station, but aside from swapping disks in the RAID array every so often, I haven't done a thing to it, and it still runs fine.

Yes, but it's a winmodem with no linmodem support. I am using a PCMCIA Wifi card using an Aetheros chip, which means it uses Madwifi.
With Crunchbang, I can run this forum, Wikipedia, most Google pages, and is faster than my dad's Turion 64 x2 laptop.
Remember, this thing is only a P2 500MHz.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:02 pm 
8086
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noghiri_x wrote:
Jehannum wrote:
Didn't you say it has a 10/100 card?

I've got a P3 1.2GHz on an 810 board in a production environment right now, and it runs Debian Woody, with the onboard eepro100 card just fine (and has, since 2002). Granted, it's not someone's email or web browsing station, but aside from swapping disks in the RAID array every so often, I haven't done a thing to it, and it still runs fine.

Yes, but it's a winmodem with no linmodem support. I am using a PCMCIA Wifi card using an Aetheros chip, which means it uses Madwifi.
With Crunchbang, I can run this forum, Wikipedia, most Google pages, and is faster than my dad's Turion 64 x2 laptop.
Remember, this thing is only a P2 500MHz.

Hey that's great. I'm glad you're happy with what you've got.

My work laptop (Phenom II N620) running windows 7 sucks hind tit, on account of the fact that I have to run whole-disk encryption.

For what it's worth, you can run madwifi drivers under Sarge. It doesn't require the latest and greatest kernel.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux Distro for an older P3 computer?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:16 pm 
Thoroughbred
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No, but the dependencies give me nightmares.


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