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Author Topic: distro-hopping newb  (Read 2608 times)

Xheralt

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distro-hopping newb
« on: August 10, 2007, 01:14:23 am »

I've sort of adopted boxing terminology for hardware requirements.

As I mention in another thread, I've really gotten to like Vector as a "welterweight" Linux, something I will try on a machine with 64MB or so of RAM.  Especially if I'm expecting non-Linux-geeks to be able to use it easily. 

Most modern newb-friendly linuxes, in my experience, can be installed on machines with 128MB of RAM, "middleweights"  (except for IBM Netvista 6841's, even with 1GHz P-III cpu's, they behave more lie a welterweight machine)  More RAM is of course always better.

Lightweight:  D*mn Small, Puppy.  Of the two, I like Puppy better.
Welterweight:  Morphix, Wolvix, FeatherLinux, Mint XCFE beta, Vector, most Knoppixes.  Often advertised as "lightweight GUI"  64+MB
Middleweight:  Fedora 7, MEPIS, Mint, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, PCLinuxOS  128+MB
Lt. Heavyweight; SUsE.  256+MB
Heavyweight:  experimental 3D interfaces.  Or WinXP ;)

My current installs:
Personal desktop:  2.4GHz Celeron, 640MB ram.  Still WinXP.   I paid for it, I'm going to get maximum possible use out of it, d*mnit!
Laptop:  Compaq Presario V2000.  Dual-boot, WinXP/Fedora 7
Basement desktop: 500MHz P-III.  256MB RAM.  was Fedora 7, now MEPIS (only because MEPIS has berkeley's BOINC client packaged and available in their default repo.)
Coffeehouse internet terminal:  450MHz P-II, 192MB RAM.  was Vector, now PCLinuxOS.  If the shop owner lets me, I'll convert his stupid Win2k NetVistas to Vector.

I tend to prefer Gnome-based to KDE-based, only because I don't like how Konqueror adopted MS Internet/Windows Explorer's tactic of having hard drive and web browsing being handled by the same app.  On the other hand, K3b kicks Brasero's butt in the CD burning department...so it kind of evens out.  I've flirted some with XCFE.  When it mimics Gnome, it's ok, but some XCFE-based desktops (like Morphix) are a little too avante-garde for my taste.
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nubcnubdo

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Re: distro-hopping newb
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2007, 08:15:39 am »

There may have been an earlier version of Mint that would run on 256 MB, but you need 512 MB to run Mint 3.0 Cassandra. When I run "free" command from terminal in Mint 3.0, I get 384 MB ram usage, so you might get by with 3 sticks of 128 MB ram, but you really should have 512 MB, as recommended by Clem and Crew. Mint 3.0 Xfce shows 252 MB ram usage when run as live CD. On the other hand, Debian Etch and PCLOS 2007 run fine on 256 MB ram. The latest version of Puppy 2.17/2.17.1 has enhanced analog modem support, so I can connect by dialup in Linux for the first time in years. If you're comparing Vector with PCLOS, you'll see a difference in DVD playback on a P3 450 MHz computer. In VectorLinux, use Xine for DVD playback; VLC is good too. From my personal experience, I had a P2 350 MHz box that played DVDs smoothly with Xine in VL 5.8 Std. Not many OSes can do that, certainly not Windows.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 02:07:31 pm by nubcnubdo »
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Colonel Panic

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Re: distro-hopping newb
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2007, 10:32:07 am »

Puppy used to be good, but I couldn't get 2.17 to run from my hard drive; the normal live CD is probably OK if you have it. This may have been fixed in 2.17.1 though.

If you've got a really old machine (32 MB or less), the two best options I know of are Deli Linux and Basic Linux.
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caitlyn

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Re: distro-hopping newb
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2007, 10:53:06 am »

If you've got a really old machine (32 MB or less), the two best options I know of are Deli Linux and Basic Linux.

Actually, Ubuntu Feisty Fawn runs amazingly well in 32MB.  I have it on an old Liberty small footprint system and it's really fast.  The thing is you have to build a custom, cruft-free Ubuntu install with no Gnome, KDE, or even XFce and you can't use the Ubuntu installer.  What you do is work from another partition with Linux (I used an old VL 5.1 install on the box for this) and use raw debconf to install a minimal system.  You then chroot into it, install a kernel, a bootloader, and minimal X.  Configure networking, add a lightweight window manager or three and a few lightweight apps and you're good to go.  Detailed step-by-step instructions on how to do this are in Appendix D of the Ubuntu Installation Manual, available both online and in the iso image.

Damn Small Linux is also perfectly fine in 32MB if you do a conventional hard drive install, not a frugal install.
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1

nubcnubdo

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Re: distro-hopping newb
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2007, 02:11:40 pm »

Quote
Puppy used to be good, but I couldn't get 2.17 to run from my hard drive; the normal live CD is probably OK if you have it.

Shouldnt really be a problem if you use the Puppy Universal Installer under Setup. For a couple steps, you have to read carefully. I guess grub configuration could get tricky for a multiple boot.

Puppy is a lot like VL: If you stick with it long enough, eventually things will work out well.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 09:09:48 pm by nubcnubdo »
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Colonel Panic

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Re: distro-hopping newb
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2007, 02:13:47 pm »


Thanks for the reply nub (and caitlyn); I didn't know Ubuntu could be made to run in 32 MB.

I may try again with Puppy 2.17 or another one like PizzaPup, but 2.00 does most of what I want from a live distro. I'm very glad that you can praise another distro on this forum if you wish, there's a generosity of spirit there which I think is very healthy.
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