[clug-talk] Linux distro for older laptop?
Marcel A. Lecker
volvox at telusplanet.net
Mon Jan 31 21:07:58 PST 2005
I always had the best luck with SuSE for just plain getting stuff to
work. However, it will usually cost you a performance hit, even if you
trim it down to the bare minimum.
VidaLinux is set up for higher end systems (i686+) if memory serves.
That might explain your problems.
I have found the Knoppix is usually quite responsive when loaded on the
hd (via the knx-hdinstall command) and it plays nice with wireless etc.
Neils' suggestion about Mepis is likely a good one. I haven't tried it
but have heard good things. I'd certainly give it a shot.
Recently I've tried Libranet:
And have quite enjoyed it. It is a little soft WRT wireless support, but
is otherwise a strong Debian based performer and perky on lighter
My favorite for quick and easy(er) light-weight installs is VectorLinux:
...but it is based on Slack, which will make maintenance a bit onerous.
Plenty perky though as it is put together with an eye to breathing life
into old hardware. They have two versions. Light and SOHO. SOHO 5 is in
the later stages of testing (RC-2). Could be nice. Thier RC-2 didn't
include PCMCIA so I was a little disappointed, but I suspect they're
still working on it. The older versions are pretty dated so I'm looking
forward to this one.
...For the truely adventurous there's this one:
http://www.vum.at/vum-box/ It seems like it hasn't been maintained for a
bit. It was originally set up as a light-weight OS for all those
486s/P1s headed to the 2nd/3rd world.
Now this is bordering on heresy for a Linux list, but there's a live BSD
disk with installer called FreeSBIE
I haven't tried it yet on a laptop, but it is certainly a nice effort on
the part of the BSD camp.
And yes there's always Gentoo ...if you have the time.
On Sat, 2005-01-29 at 19:04 -0700, Shawn wrote:
> I'm looking for a decent distro to put onto an older laptop (Acer TravelMate
> 512DX), with only a 4GB drive. The target system will be used for software
> development, so will need a development environment. It should also have a
> graphical interface, but doesn't strictly need KDE or Gnome (though the base
> files might be needed for some of the development tools - KDevelop for
> instance). The disto should be pretty lean, but still robust enough to
> handle the above tasks.
> Thus far, we've tried Suse 9.2, VidaLinux (install failed), and Ubuntu (Live
> CD - networking problems with it). We'll keep trying things over the
> weekend, but maybe someone will have suggestions for another disto well
> suited for this laptop? (NOTE: This is NOT a call for a distro war..
> Thanks for any ideas.
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