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Which flavor for dinosaur PC?


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#1 IT_N8

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 10:35 AM

I have a really old Dell desktop that has/had Windows XP on it. I rarely used it due to its slowness. I recently started my Masters in Cybersecurity and and we use Linux terminal quite a bit. So, I wanted to re purpose this machine in order to get more comfortable with Linux. Yesterday I moved all important files to an external HD and completely replaced Windows with Ubuntu 14.0.4. However, even after a fresh install it is still very slow booting and opening applications. Is there a more basic Linux version I should go w/ that would be more efficient? I don't need all the extra software that Ubuntu came with. Currently the desktop has these specs:

 

32 bit 

2 GB RAM

80 GB HD

Intel Pentium 4 HT 3.00 Ghz

 

I want something that is fairly basic and quick that I can utilize efficiently in my hacking techniques classes. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Nate



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#2 mremski

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 10:55 AM

That's close to the old Compaq Presario laptop I just installed Ubuntu 14.0.4 on.  The choice of desktop makes a difference, try xubuntu or install xubutnu-desktop (sudo apt-get install xubutnu-desktop).  Slow booting could simply be due to the old HDD.  Look at cat's "...overdrive" thread talking about putting /tmp and some other stuff into a tmpfs (memory backed filesystem, RAM disk).  Yes it eats a bit of ram, but a reasonable trade off (at least for me).  You could also try setting the default run level to 3 instead of 5:  that should be "multiuser with networking" instead of "multi user with networking and X11 started".  You'd just have the console to work on. 

 

Others may have better recommendations.


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#3 Al1000

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 10:59 AM

Hi Nate,

Here are a few suggestions to consider:

Xubuntu
Lubuntu
LXLE

Xubuntu and Lubuntu are based on Ubuntu, except have lightweight desktops and applications in comparison to Ubuntu. I recommend using the 14.04 LTS releases, as newer releases are more suited to newer hardware.
LXLE is based on Lubuntu, and is specifically designed for older hardware (but comes with a lot of extra software, and your computer should be perfectly capable of running Xubuntu or Lubuntu 14.04)

Edited by Al1000, 21 December 2015 - 11:06 AM.


#4 pcpunk

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 11:17 AM

Surprised it don't run better?  Perhaps you should do some diagnostics on it.  Although...from what I've read Ubuntu takes up a lot of resources.

 

I like Linux Mint Xfce this would be the one you need: http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=193

 

Test them all, and check the Hash just in case you get a skip in the download.  


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#5 DeimosChaos

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 01:24 PM

You could give Kali a try and see how it runs on there. Would be the best option considering what you are needing it for. Any other distro you will have to manually install a lot of the hacking tools that are already on Kali.

For something fast though, puppy would work. It also runs automatically in root which would make it a lot easier for the hacking tools as well. Again you would just have to do manual installs on the tools, which shouldn't be too hard but if you are in a time crunch to get something out it may not be the best option.

 

Also, on a side note, where are you taking your Masters for Cyber security? I have my B.S. in Computer Security already and will probably get a masters in Cyber as well, just have to figure out where to go.


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#6 IT_N8

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 02:54 PM

Thanks for all the help! I may just keep trying different ones until I find one I like best!

 

"You could give Kali a try and see how it runs on there. Would be the best option considering what you are needing it for." 

 

I currently have an install of Kali Linux on a VM on my new laptop. We used that quite a bit in my classes and it's pretty sweet.

 

"Also, on a side note, where are you taking your Masters for Cyber security? I have my B.S. in Computer Security already and will probably get a masters in Cyber as well, just have to figure out where to go."

 

It's a brand new graduate program here at Missouri State. The entire program is online. I really enjoyed my classes and felt like I learned a lot of useful knowledge. There are a bunch of virtual labs. However, I just got a new job as a DBA, so trying to take two classes and working full-time wasn't the smartest move. There is quite a bit of busy work. 1-2 page papers almost every week along w/ the labs. I'll be dropping down to one class a semester from now on. Pretty reasonably priced too. Think I'll have about 12g total in the degree. Here is a link to the program: http://cybersecurity.missouristate.edu/  

They also offer a Cybersecurity certificate as well, which requires just 4 courses instead of 10. 


Edited by IT_N8, 21 December 2015 - 02:57 PM.


#7 DeimosChaos

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 03:20 PM

 

Thanks for all the help! I may just keep trying different ones until I find one I like best!

 

That is usually the way to go. Everyone is different in what they like.

 

Thanks for the link to to the program, I'll check it out!


OS - Ubuntu 14.04/16.04 & Windows 10
Custom Desktop PC / Lenovo Y580 / Sager NP8258 / Dell XPS 13 (9350)
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Security +


#8 IT_N8

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 03:53 PM

After reading more about the different "distros" and features, I think I'm going to try to replace Ubuntu with the LXLE Lubuntu on my old desktop. Mint also looks very intriguing as well, so I may spin up a new VM on my Dell Precision.

 

Thanks again!

 

Nate



#9 NickAu

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 04:05 PM

If you really want a challenge you could try Puppy Linux.

 

Download latest Puppy Linux release

 

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#10 jargos

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 07:22 PM

I have a really old Dell desktop that has/had Windows XP on it. I rarely used it due to its slowness. I recently started my Masters in Cybersecurity and and we use Linux terminal quite a bit. So, I wanted to re purpose this machine in order to get more comfortable with Linux. Yesterday I moved all important files to an external HD and completely replaced Windows with Ubuntu 14.0.4. However, even after a fresh install it is still very slow booting and opening applications. Is there a more basic Linux version I should go w/ that would be more efficient? I don't need all the extra software that Ubuntu came with. Currently the desktop has these specs:

 

32 bit 

2 GB RAM

80 GB HD

Intel Pentium 4 HT 3.00 Ghz

 

I want something that is fairly basic and quick that I can utilize efficiently in my hacking techniques classes. Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Nate

Well, those specs look about the same as the ten year old clunker I put Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon on, and I can tell you, I haven't looked back. It works beautifully - far better, easier, nicer, more efficient, more productive, more intuitive, than, say, my daughters new (newish) W10 lap top, which is a constant source of frustration and time wastage, and which I describe as, an abomination !!!

 

On this page, check out my thread 'My Linux Experience'. You don't need to read all 19 - 20 pages, the first few will give you the idea.

 

One tip - make sure your HDD is completely clean and devoid of anything else, ie,  do a full install rather than a dual boot, etc, which I found most unsatisfactory and frustrating.


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#11 cat1092

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 04:00 AM

You could give Kali a try and see how it runs on there. Would be the best option considering what you are needing it for. Any other distro you will have to manually install a lot of the hacking tools that are already on Kali.

For something fast though, puppy would work. It also runs automatically in root which would make it a lot easier for the hacking tools as well. Again you would just have to do manual installs on the tools, which shouldn't be too hard but if you are in a time crunch to get something out it may not be the best option.

 

Also, on a side note, where are you taking your Masters for Cyber security? I have my B.S. in Computer Security already and will probably get a masters in Cyber as well, just have to figure out where to go.

 

IT_N8, this may be what you're looking for, the distro is designed from the ground up for your need, rather than building the same out of a consumer based distro, which can take a lot of time & work to build & configure. 

 

I take it you know which wireless adapters works the best for this type of situation, not all are equal, yet all doesn't have to be expensive either. Some on the list are long outdated (for consumer use) 'N 150' USB wireless cards. Newegg recently had a deal on a TP-Link one that's a recommended model for that distro for about $10. I still use one of these generic model USB cards of that standard, not because I have to, rather it runs good & frees a Gigabit Ethernet port, and has since 2009. Has an Atheros chipset, yet a clean install of most any recent Linux OS & even Windows 7 or greater auto installs the card. It's been a long time since I've had to install drivers, and this was prior to SP1 for Windows 7, though when purchased, was for an XP notebook. 

 

For $10, a fantastic ROI. :thumbup2:

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#12 shadow-warrior

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 07:33 AM

You should have a look at Antix http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page  that runs on some very old machines...

 

look for any with Openbox, Fluxbox, Icewm,  Desktop Managers as opposed to Gnome KDE, XFCE Desktop environments as they will slow the PC up a lot  and when you feel a bit more Competent try i3  or Awesome tiling desktops... a must for people in coding, cyber security etc...very light weight keyboard centered  as opposed to mouse...

 

Some Slackware based distros  like Salix and Slackel, or Absolute linux  run very good on old hardware and have Fluxbox or Openbox,  though not always the easiest for newcomers to Linux.. 



#13 cat1092

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 05:22 AM

I believe that the solution that jargos posted may be the way to go, though if Cinnamon doesn't run well, you can always try MATE or Xfce. Much of the differences between MATE & Xfce, is that with MATE, it's a loaded OS on a software level, Xfce has software, yet not overloaded. 

 

This allows you to place the software you need on Xfce & don't have to deal with what you don't need. Much of what you'll need may be in the Start menu. Administration > Software Manager & in the Package Manager under System to the left when opening the Start menu. Some searching will be needed, yet I believe you'll find much of that's needed. 

 

 

 

look for any with Openbox, Fluxbox, Icewm,  Desktop Managers

 

shadow-warrior may be onto something here, these are well worth looking into. :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#14 wizardfromoz

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 03:08 AM

Hi, Nate - I note you have been a BC member for over 3 years, but :welcome: to the Linux side of the forum.

 

Wikipedia have a good page here, featuring lightweight Distros:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightweight_Linux_distribution

 

I can personally recommend, in the lightweight/<2GB RAM category:

 

  • antiX, which Shadow Warrior has advocated
  • LXLE 32-bit, running on my wife's laptop, an old Compaq-Presario with 512 MB RAM and 60GB HDD
  • Peach OSI BB (Bare Bones) 32-bit, running likewise on hers
  • Porteus, comes in five (5) desktops - LXDE, KDE4, Razor-qt, MATE, & Xfce
  • Bodhi Linux

I have tried all of the above, as full installs.

 

Puppy of course, is very popular and may suit, a bit of a learning curve but there are a number of Puppy people here whom can help.

 

Linux Mint, in most of its flavours, is excellent, although the Debian Edition LMDE requires some effort. I have had it installed.

 

Uberstudent 4.1 codenamed Epicurus, I find exceptional. You can read its Wikipedia reference here:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UberStudent

 

Good luck, and enjoy Linux! I do!

 

:wizardball: Wizard



#15 cat1092

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Posted 26 December 2015 - 04:15 AM

 

 

Peach OSI BB (Bare Bones) 32-bit,

 

I didn't think of that one, it's Xfce, the default version is loaded with so much software that at fist, didn't realise it was Xfce. 

 

Haven't ran the 'bare bones' version, it's likely faster, though one thing to keep in mind. Just because software is installed (unlike Windows) doesn't mean it's hogging resources, only when opening one. Didn't think of it, have a PC that may benefit from the full version, where I nuked the HDD with DBAN last night. 

 

Chances are, may donate the PC & get a tower that that MSI Radeon 7770 (1GB DDR5 OC Edition) will run in, it's a shame to waste a GPU only used for 11 months, and don't envision reinstalling it back in my main one, in fact, Dell approved a couple of GTX 970's for the XPS 8700, though will run this one 2 years before upgrading again. Maybe with some luck, Dell will test & approve a GTX 980, but I'm not holding my breath on that. The 970 is a powerful card. 

 

Back to the point, Wiz has a good idea with Peach OSI Bare Bones edition for that computer. The lighter the OS, the better chance of success. :)

 

Any of the needed tools can be added to any Ubuntu based OS, many of the ones our members runs are Ubuntu based, though there are a couple who runs Arch based OS's, and shadow-warrior runs some I've never heard of, though am positive he knows his stuff. There are some regions of the world where a high powered computer is for the wealthy only, and other citizens gets leftovers that often weren't saleable in the US. These units are shipped direct to these areas after relieved of their duties, some with HDD's that has 8+ years of usage, with some being IDE rather than SATA HDD's. 

 

I've been there, anything is better than nothing when it comes to having a computer. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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