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SticksandStones

Distro for (very?) low end computer

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The computer I want to run linux on has the follow specs: AMD 450mhz CPU, 384mb SDRAM, 40gig HD, ATI Rage Pro (128?) 32mb Graphics Card, Some sound card. I was looking at Ubuntu but I was wondering how well that would run. Basicly I'm just going to use the machine for word processing and programming, so it isn't anything intensive. So, will Ubuntu run ok based on those specs?

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I'de recommend an SO that takes the most advantage of what little you already have, so Gentoo or FreeBSD.

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I wouldn't suggest Gentoo because you'd be there for weeks compiling. I guess you might be able to get binary packages for some things. Not sure what I would suggest though..

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Quote:
Original post by necromancer_df
I wouldn't suggest Gentoo because you'd be there for weeks compiling. I guess you might be able to get binary packages for some things. Not sure what I would suggest though..

So? You only do it once. You can even *gasp* let it run overnight!

I installed Gentoo on a Pentium II 266 MHz with 64 MB RAM and a 6 GB HD. Compiling the base system, with -O3, without X or KDE, took about 20 hours.

Compiling shouldn't be a problem for this machine. I think it's kinda strange that you're calling it "very low end".

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I find the biggest slow-down for any of my Linux distros is usually the window manager. My personal favorite is FluxBox (though you could easily start a flamewar on that topic). If I remember correctly, on Ubuntu you can just use Synaptic to grab a recent version (you may need to enable the "universe" repository).

good luck, and of course have fun.

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Personally im a slacker, and find that slackware can be matched to jsut about any machine with an 80486 or higher. Of course this depends on your skill level at configuring linux. I currently use a 400mhz p2 with 64mbs of ram and no harddisk(custom made livecd) running slackware as my router/gateway/'oh no windows crashed again' machine. Runs just fine. Extremely low end? lol I think not. I use a 700mhz p3 as my fastest pc!

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fine. Extremely low end? lol I think not. I use a 700mhz p3 as my fastest pc!

Ok, ok bad choice of words (by the way, my best computer is a 600mhz celeron with intergrated graphics, and I think sound too). Every person I know always called it a super low end computer so there :P

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Quote:
Original post by Ra
Quote:
Original post by necromancer_df
I wouldn't suggest Gentoo because you'd be there for weeks compiling. I guess you might be able to get binary packages for some things. Not sure what I would suggest though..

So? You only do it once. You can even *gasp* let it run overnight!

I installed Gentoo on a Pentium II 266 MHz with 64 MB RAM and a 6 GB HD. Compiling the base system, with -O3, without X or KDE, took about 20 hours.

Sure if you only want the base system you can leave it overnight.. and then when you want some other packages you have to set that off and leave it over night. Then you want more so you leave that over night.. in the end it has taken weeks to get all the software you want.

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Ubuntu runs fine as a server on a PII 400, but the GUI is a little slow with Gnome. Like others have suggested though, you can use a more lightweight wm.

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I ran Gentoo on a computer with less than half those specs and it seemed happy enough. Of course I wasn't running X, it didn't even have a video card.

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Quote:
Original post by necromancer_df
Quote:
Original post by Ra
Quote:
Original post by necromancer_df
I wouldn't suggest Gentoo because you'd be there for weeks compiling. I guess you might be able to get binary packages for some things. Not sure what I would suggest though..

So? You only do it once. You can even *gasp* let it run overnight!

I installed Gentoo on a Pentium II 266 MHz with 64 MB RAM and a 6 GB HD. Compiling the base system, with -O3, without X or KDE, took about 20 hours.

Sure if you only want the base system you can leave it overnight.. and then when you want some other packages you have to set that off and leave it over night. Then you want more so you leave that over night.. in the end it has taken weeks to get all the software you want.

Bloody hell? It wouldn't take a night to build an entire package.

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Yeah, I think lowend for us doesn't include any 32 bit x86 systems at all. And high end requires at the very least a latest-gen card on PCI express and an Athlon64. Anything in between those two extremes is considered entirely normal.

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i've run slackware 10.1, ubuntu(5.04?), and debian 3.1(sarge) on my p2 350, 192mb pc100, ide33 box without any real problems. i'm currently using debian with gnome and it's about 99% stable. if you want more speed on that pc i'd say avoid gnome and kde. xfce is suprisingly fast on an old system for the features it has.

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another nod towards gentoo... if you download and burn the larger cd it comes with some of the packages prebuilt. I mean you could just skip to stage 3 or something. Good things about Gentoo is it package management system, the gentoo support forums are excellent and you can really strip back a system to whatever you like.

Or you could do something like run a distribution like "MandrakeMove" actually off a CD without installing anything if you just wanted to muck around the linux without putting much effort in to it.

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I have a similarly spec'ed computer which I run various services on (ftp, bit torrent etc)

VIA C3 400mhz processor
256mb RAM (PC133 I think?!?)
250GB Hdisk!

And my choice? Slackware. It's so easy to set up (bear in mind it was my first install from distro for about 5 years) and you can really strip out all the crap that comes with the big distros.

No problems so far and it runs 24/7

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I'm running Vector Linux on a machine with nearly the same specs (and I agree that I wouldn't call it very low-end - this is my main computer) and it runs just fine for what I do - programming, net stuff. It's a very light-weight Slack offshoot that's easy to set up and configure.

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Mandrake should work.

I am running that on a

AMD Athalon 650 mhz Slot A
512 MB of PC 133 SDRAM
80GB WD HD
OnBoard Sound
ATI Rage Pro 32 mb card.
Kingston ethernet card

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