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Which Linux OS would be best?


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#1 Kaidacat

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:47 PM

I recently got a fairly old Dell Optiplex computer that had Windows XP Professional on it. It has an Intel Pentium 4 2.56 GHz processor, 256MB RAM, and a 60GB hard drive.

I have never really had a chance to play around with Linux, and I'm interested in installing one of the distros. I tried using Puppy 5.2.5, but it kept giving me trouble. I did a full wipe of the harddrive using DBAN before trying to install Puppy from a live CD, but it's trying to tell me that I only have 125MB of personal space? It's showing as being installed on the harddrive, but it can't boot when I take the CD out.

It's entirely possible I'm not doing something right. This is my first attempt at working with a Linux OS, and I'm not going to even TRY and claim to know a lot about the nitty gritty of operating systems.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 12:12 AM

Try any of these: http://www.livecdlist.com/

#3 Brewster Down Under

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 04:10 AM

oops try again :huh:

Edited by Brewster Down Under, 28 July 2011 - 04:24 AM.

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#4 Brewster Down Under

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 04:19 AM

With only 256MB of ram you are a bit limited. If not possible to upgrade try Linux Mint LXDE. http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1705
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#5 pane-free

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 07:45 PM

Try Swift Linux
Of course, upgrading the RAM to at least (and probably all it will take) 512MB will help, but still limit
reasonably good performance to those specifically for "old computers,"
like Zenwalk (standard), antiX_M11, CrunchBang-10-i486, PCLinuxOS LXDE, and the like.
(Definitely not those with Gnome or KDE, and not any 'buntu above 10.04 with 256MB!)
Best wishes!

Edited by pane-free, 28 July 2011 - 07:48 PM.

There comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation.
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#6 norc

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 12:54 AM

(Definitely not those with Gnome or KDE, and not any 'buntu above 10.04 with 256MB!)


I agree. I'm running ubuntu 11.04 on a 512mb old desktop. It slows down to a snail if I open more than a couple of programs. Even just pressing the ubuntu button (that opens the unity panel) is very sluggish. But the speed between running this and windows is night and day.

Mint might be a good choice, or even maybe ElementaryOS, although that's still in very early beta stages (although what isn't in the open source world). I recently tried out Jupiter and it was very speedy on 512mb. Couldn't do wireless, so I had to run a 25' long ethernet cable just to really try it out, but I've been wanting a wired connection for a while now so it wasn't in vane. Ultimately though I switched just because it is barebones basics.



Hmmm, you booted straight from the CD correct? Then install to hard drive, put in your name, picked a password, location, etc. It might be possible that you installed it on a flash drive or something by mistake (I did this the first time I installed linux). The reason it needs the CD is because it wasn't installed on the harddrive correctly or because you wiped it with DBAN so it has no OS on it now, so it can't boot from the HD. It can only boot up from a CD or flash drive. Remove all external storage devices from your computer and then try installing straight to your HD (if you know its name that helps a lot). Otherwise, not sure what the problem is.

Edited by norc, 03 August 2011 - 01:08 AM.


#7 rburkartjo

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:24 AM

kaid had the exact same problem with puppy. here is a list of linux that might run on your computer. good luck
http://downloadpedia.org/Open_Source_Operating_Systems


quote:He that would live in peace & at ease, Must not speak all he knows,nor judge all he sees.'

#8 scurvychef

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:39 AM

I agree, I would defiantly upgrade your RAM, most light Linux OS require a minimum of 256MB. If you have that installed, you are likely running 222MB or something.

I had the same problem with Xubuntu on an older laptop a week ago. Kaidacat, can I ask, do you remember see an alert about you RAM right after the kernal loaded the setup files? It was a modest little alert so i shrugged it off and later in installation discovered it was relevant.

#9 MadDawg

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:08 PM

Have a look at this list. I agree/recommend that you upgrade your RAM, though.
A penguin broke my windows with a half-eaten apple!

#10 leppinlenny

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 02:12 PM

You might try Peppermint Linux,it's small enough to run on your old machine albeit slow but runnable just the same.I had it on my old Dell Dimension 2200 & it only has a 1.6 GHZ cpu & 512 RAM.Did ok.

#11 ejames82

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 09:55 PM

what you have for ram is enough for most of the distros mentioned, but upgrading to 512 will definitely improve everything you do.

some of the distros i have never heard of, but i agree with crunchbang as being your best bet, followed by peppermint. if you are really willing to take on a challenge with a nice payoff install tinycore, the smallest fastest distro with a gui. only 10mb. but don't prejudge it because it's small. it's well built and well supported. it's actually easier to install software on tinycore than ubuntu.

#12 leppinlenny

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 02:17 PM

Another one you may want to try is PC LinuxOS Minime.I haven't tried it on my older mach..But I just might when I feel like reinstalling winders again.I have it on my newer mach. on a sata 250 GB laptop HDD.Yes it works because it is SATA.

#13 leppinlenny

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 03:23 PM

OK,just installed PCLinuxOS Minime on my old Dell Dimension 2200,seems to be doing ok.I set it up to dual boot with winders EX-Pee. :busy:

#14 rhetoric_X

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 04:09 PM

I see you already have a distro installed, but if you're looking to try different options, you might consider Bodhi Linux. It's extremely lightweight (will install with only 128 megs of RAM!). It has a rather different graphical interface as compared to most modern Linux distros, but it looks very slick. It's a good option if you'd like to learn something different.

#15 mrfingerz

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 01:15 AM

There's a good site here with lots of information about running Linux on older computers and other Linux stuff.
It's nice to be important, it's much more important to be nice.




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