Best Linux version for throw away computers? - Setup

This is a discussion on Best Linux version for throw away computers? - Setup ; Hi all, I come across tons of computers that are the older kind. They generally are P2-233 with 64M of ram and 2G hds. Windows 95 runs fine on this type of machine but it seems that Linux as it ...

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  1. Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    Hi all,

    I come across tons of computers that are the older kind.
    They generally are P2-233 with 64M of ram and 2G hds.
    Windows 95 runs fine on this type of machine but it seems
    that Linux as it moves forward is slowly abandoning this
    level of hardware. The software requirements are not
    large just Internet browsing, emailing and word processing
    spreadsheets and a few presentations are all that is
    desired. For anything that requires more horsepower the
    machines can link to a server. Even Xubuntu gives the
    feedback "low memory model" when installing to a
    machine with these specs. Has anyone out there had
    good luck with a particular distribution or configuration?
    Please give experience.

    thanks,
    charles.....



  2. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    "***** charles" writes:

    >Hi all,


    >I come across tons of computers that are the older kind.
    >They generally are P2-233 with 64M of ram and 2G hds.
    >Windows 95 runs fine on this type of machine but it seems
    >that Linux as it moves forward is slowly abandoning this
    >level of hardware. The software requirements are not
    >large just Internet browsing, emailing and word processing
    >spreadsheets and a few presentations are all that is
    >desired. For anything that requires more horsepower the
    >machines can link to a server. Even Xubuntu gives the
    >feedback "low memory model" when installing to a
    >machine with these specs. Has anyone out there had
    >good luck with a particular distribution or configuration?
    >Please give experience.


    >thanks,
    >charles.....


    You could try Damn Small Linux It was developed for just that sort of
    situation.

    But 64 M memory really is pretty tiny. Upgrade to at least 128 ( eg
    canibalize one to get the memory for the other).

    Note that Windows abandoned that level of harware ages ago, and in fact you
    are violating the law by running Windows on those machines as I am sure you
    do not have a license from MS to do so. Ie Windows has also moved on.



  3. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    Bill Unruh writes:
    > Note that Windows abandoned that level of harware ages ago, and in fact
    > you are violating the law by running Windows on those machines as I am
    > sure you do not have a license from MS to do so.


    He may (or may not) be in breech of his contract with Microsoft (if he has
    one) but it is a bit extreme to call that "violating the law".
    --
    John Hasler
    john@dhh.gt.org
    Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, WI USA

  4. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    On 2007-06-04, ***** charles wrote:
    >
    > I come across tons of computers that are the older kind.
    > They generally are P2-233 with 64M of ram and 2G hds.
    > Windows 95 runs fine on this type of machine but it seems
    > that Linux as it moves forward is slowly abandoning this
    > level of hardware.


    No it's not. Certain distributions are abandoning this level of
    hardware.

    > The software requirements are not
    > large just Internet browsing, emailing and word processing
    > spreadsheets and a few presentations are all that is
    > desired.


    I'd suggest Slackware.

    --keith

    --
    kkeller-usenet@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
    (try just my userid to email me)
    AOLSFAQ=http://www.therockgarden.ca/aolsfaq.txt
    see X- headers for PGP signature information


  5. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    In message <87lkezuaqu.fsf@toncho.dhh.gt.org>
    John Hasler wrote:

    > Bill Unruh writes:
    >> Note that Windows abandoned that level of harware ages ago, and in fact
    >> you are violating the law by running Windows on those machines as I am
    >> sure you do not have a license from MS to do so.

    >
    > He may (or may not) be in breech of his contract with Microsoft (if he has
    > one) but it is a bit extreme to call that "violating the law".


    I don't see why he needs to be in breach of anything - that generation
    PC was shipped with 95, 98 or NT4, so could still be running the
    original, licensed copy.

    --
    Alan Adams, from Northamptonshire
    alan.adams@orchard-way.freeserve.co.uk
    http://www.nckc.org.uk/

  6. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    "Alan Adams" wrote in
    message news:8568d7ed4e.Alan.Adams@orchard-way.freeserve.co.uk...
    > In message <87lkezuaqu.fsf@toncho.dhh.gt.org>
    > John Hasler wrote:
    >
    > > Bill Unruh writes:
    > >> Note that Windows abandoned that level of harware ages ago, and in fact
    > >> you are violating the law by running Windows on those machines as I am
    > >> sure you do not have a license from MS to do so.

    > >
    > > He may (or may not) be in breech of his contract with Microsoft (if he

    has
    > > one) but it is a bit extreme to call that "violating the law".

    >
    > I don't see why he needs to be in breach of anything - that generation
    > PC was shipped with 95, 98 or NT4, so could still be running the
    > original, licensed copy.
    >
    > --
    > Alan Adams, from Northamptonshire
    > alan.adams@orchard-way.freeserve.co.uk
    > http://www.nckc.org.uk/


    I do in fact have legal copies of all the Windows/M$ software I use
    from MSDOS 1.0 all the way through Vista on the client side and
    a few versions of Server. That is not the thrust of this thread. So
    far it is one for DSL and one for Slackware. I started with Slackware
    way back in the early 90's and I thought that even that distro has
    gotten a little blotted for "small" machines. I have also tried DSL
    and I wasn't totally happy, don't remember why. I just installed
    Xubuntu on a small machine and it turned out that the hard drive
    was bad but it still completed the install. It took 8 hours however.
    I will be throwing out the hd and replacing it with a newer one and
    reinstalling. The two characteristics that the machine has to have
    in my scenario are: must boot to a cdrom and must have a net
    connection. It is tuff to get both of those on a real old laptop or
    Pentium 1's so I stick to P2's and higher. Under these conditions
    I may try Debian Net Install since it is rather minimal.

    thanks for the feedback,
    charles....



  7. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    On Mon, 04 Jun 2007 12:16:03 +0000, Unruh wrote:

    > "***** charles" writes:
    >


    >
    > But 64 M memory really is pretty tiny. Upgrade to at least 128 ( eg
    > canibalize one to get the memory for the other).
    >

    I agree that RAM is the critical factor. You might get a usable system
    with 128M if you are careful about which apps you run. The system
    becomes quite usable with 256M RAM. That way, KDE, GNOME, OpenOffice,
    Mozilla will run fine. I would also cut off CPU speeds slower than about
    500MHz. Slower hardware may be good for other purposes, though (file
    servers, routers).

    BTW, I am writing this on a Celeron 800 with 256M that I saved from the
    trash (via EBay). That is enough to run Gnome, Open Office, Mozilla, etc.
    My usable system spec is just above your threshold for junk.
    Unfortunately, the lower spec (with 233MHz and 64M RAM) is not appropriate
    for running the full set of desktop software, IMO. Look for motherboards
    to salvage with can accept 256M RAM.

    --
    Douglas Mayne

  8. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    "***** charles" (shultzjrX@sbcglobal.net) writes:

    > So far it is one for DSL and one for Slackware. I started with Slackware
    > way back in the early 90's and I thought that even that distro has
    > gotten a little blotted for "small" machines.


    If you think it's bloated, then you don't understand the distributions.

    They all pull the kernel, utilities and applications from the same pool.
    The difference is what they select from that pool, and the philosophy
    of the distribution.

    If there's bloat, then it's because the various parts, ie the kernel,
    utilities and applications, have bloated. There's nothing a distribution
    can do about that, unless they use old versions, which likely isn't a good
    thing.

    If they streamline the kernel, then that will make it smaller, but not
    by that much and given the kernel is a relatively small (though admittedly
    vital) part of a distribution, making it smaller isn't going to do that
    much. But it will limit the hardware that the kernel can run on, since
    much of the "bloat" over the past 15 years has been about dealing
    with more and more hardware.

    The fact that a given distribution has loads of software is not really
    bloat. You do not have to install it all, but at least you have the
    option.

    Damn Small Linux obviously comes in a relatively small size, but
    it lacks all that isn't included. It is setup to use limited
    hardware, but there's nothing special there to do that, ie they
    don't write new software in order to fit on old hardware. They
    simply select lean stuff. That lean stuff is on at least many
    of the "bloated" distributions.

    People ask for a distribution "for old hardware" and just like
    any time someone asks about what distribution, they'll get the
    same canned responses. So they believe the hype about Vector Linux
    ("intended for older hardware") when there isn't anything there
    that a bigger distribution doesn't have, it's simply a subset of
    a larger distribution.

    If something is "bloated" then you use a leaner desktop and you
    use leaner applications and you only install what you need.

    Michael


  9. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    In comp.os.linux.setup ***** charles :
    > Hi all,


    > I come across tons of computers that are the older kind.
    > They generally are P2-233 with 64M of ram and 2G hds.

    [..]
    > desired. For anything that requires more horsepower the
    > machines can link to a server. Even Xubuntu gives the


    This way please:

    http://www.ltsp.org/

    You can perhaps run some apps local if you like.

    Good luck

    --
    Michael Heiming (X-PGP-Sig > GPG-Key ID: EDD27B94)
    mail: echo zvpunry@urvzvat.qr | perl -pe 'y/a-z/n-za-m/'
    #bofh excuse 76: Unoptimized hard drive

  10. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    In article news:, *****
    charles wrote:
    > I come across tons of computers that are the older kind.
    > They generally are P2-233 with 64M of ram and 2G hds.
    > Windows 95 runs fine on this type of machine but it seems
    > that Linux as it moves forward is slowly abandoning this
    > level of hardware.


    I managed to install Debian ("Sarge", I think it was) on a machine with
    exactly that spec (IIRC I had to boot DSL from a liveCD first to create a
    swap partition). It runs OpenOffice under KDE -- just -- but has only about
    100MB for user data.

    This was an experiment, though, and if I were intending to use linux (or
    anything, nowadays) on that machine I'd upgrade the hard drive and RAM.

    I think it would be usable as it is with DSL, though, if that's not too
    limiting for you; as it probably would with "puppy linux" which is also
    well thought of despite the stupid cutesy name.

    Another possibility would be to use Gentoo ... but you'd have to build the
    system on a more powerful PC and install from packages on the P2. Gentoo
    needs something like 10GB of disk space to build, and building on a P2/233
    would take about a fortnight (depending on the packages you wanted).

    Cheers,
    Daniel.



  11. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    ***** charles wrote:
    >
    > I come across tons of computers that are the older kind.
    > They generally are P2-233 with 64M of ram and 2G hds.
    > Windows 95 runs fine on this type of machine but it seems
    > that Linux as it moves forward is slowly abandoning this
    > level of hardware. The software requirements are not
    > large just Internet browsing, emailing and word processing
    > spreadsheets and a few presentations are all that is
    > desired. For anything that requires more horsepower the
    > machines can link to a server. Even Xubuntu gives the
    > feedback "low memory model" when installing to a
    > machine with these specs. Has anyone out there had
    > good luck with a particular distribution or configuration?
    > Please give experience.


    Hello,

    you can check if the motherboards can use more than 64MB of memory.
    Because you have tons of computers you can build one out of three by
    combining the best parts (Memory, Harddisk).

    Better on computer with 256MB than three with 64MB.


    Bernd Mayer


  12. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    definitely more memory and larger harddrive will improve the
    usefulness. for a couple of years, i had apache, ntpd and pure-ftpd
    running under rh7.3 on a p1-200mhz with 48meg of ram. was able to
    upgrade after the ftp data had exceeded the 2 x 1.5Gb, raid striped
    harddrives :>)
    i would surmise, any mainstream distro with netinstall option will have
    a better chance of running well on older equipment, pII is not really
    old in the linux usefulness tree IMHO. There is no need for 3 browsers,
    or 3 media players, etc ... if they arent really needed when 1 or none
    will suffice (ie command line options). pick and choose your preferences.

    tks
    scott




    "Daniel James" wrote in message
    news:VA.000010f5.0ab38c86@nospam.aaisp.org...
    > In article news:, *****
    > charles wrote:
    > > I come across tons of computers that are the older kind.
    > > They generally are P2-233 with 64M of ram and 2G hds.
    > > Windows 95 runs fine on this type of machine but it seems
    > > that Linux as it moves forward is slowly abandoning this
    > > level of hardware.

    >
    > I managed to install Debian ("Sarge", I think it was) on a machine with
    > exactly that spec (IIRC I had to boot DSL from a liveCD first to create a
    > swap partition). It runs OpenOffice under KDE -- just -- but has only

    about
    > 100MB for user data.
    >
    > This was an experiment, though, and if I were intending to use linux (or
    > anything, nowadays) on that machine I'd upgrade the hard drive and RAM.
    >
    > I think it would be usable as it is with DSL, though, if that's not too
    > limiting for you; as it probably would with "puppy linux" which is also
    > well thought of despite the stupid cutesy name.
    >
    > Another possibility would be to use Gentoo ... but you'd have to build the
    > system on a more powerful PC and install from packages on the P2. Gentoo
    > needs something like 10GB of disk space to build, and building on a P2/233
    > would take about a fortnight (depending on the packages you wanted).
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Daniel.
    >
    >




  13. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    "Bernd Mayer" wrote in message
    news:4666d330$0$90276$14726298@news.sunsite.dk...
    > ***** charles wrote:
    > >
    > > I come across tons of computers that are the older kind.
    > > They generally are P2-233 with 64M of ram and 2G hds.
    > > Windows 95 runs fine on this type of machine but it seems
    > > that Linux as it moves forward is slowly abandoning this
    > > level of hardware. The software requirements are not
    > > large just Internet browsing, emailing and word processing
    > > spreadsheets and a few presentations are all that is
    > > desired. For anything that requires more horsepower the
    > > machines can link to a server. Even Xubuntu gives the
    > > feedback "low memory model" when installing to a
    > > machine with these specs. Has anyone out there had
    > > good luck with a particular distribution or configuration?
    > > Please give experience.

    >
    > Hello,
    >
    > you can check if the motherboards can use more than 64MB of memory.
    > Because you have tons of computers you can build one out of three by
    > combining the best parts (Memory, Harddisk).
    >
    > Better on computer with 256MB than three with 64MB.
    >
    > Bernd Mayer


    Most of the sticks of ram I come across are 16's and 32's. The
    64's and 128's are poached long before I get them.

    It sounds from the feedback that the level of throw away computers
    is getting more and more powerfull. From my searches the following
    is probably the minimum worth my time in laptop or desktop:

    P3-800, 256M of ram and an ATA66 20G hard drive with a 3D
    video graphics card and 100BaseT connection. The first half of
    the drive for system, swap and programs and the second half for data.

    thanks to all.
    later.....



  14. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    > Most of the sticks of ram I come across are 16's and 32's. The
    > 64's and 128's are poached long before I get them.

    72 pin ram possibly, and pricey.
    the 168 pin sdram runs apprx $5-10.
    tks
    scott



  15. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    On Tue, 05 Jun 2007, Michael Black wrote:

    > People ask for a distribution "for old hardware" and just like
    > any time someone asks about what distribution, they'll get the
    > same canned responses. So they believe the hype about Vector Linux
    > ("intended for older hardware") when there isn't anything there
    > that a bigger distribution doesn't have, it's simply a subset of
    > a larger distribution.


    A distribution isn't just bluffing when it says it runs well on older
    software. Red Hat Enterprise or CentOS requires 512 Mb of RAM just to
    install (http://www.redhat.com/rhel/compare/). That's quite a difference
    from Vector Linux, which requires 96 Mb
    (http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/docs/v..._guide_en.html),
    or from Puppy, which claims to require 128 Mb
    (http://puppylinux.org/wikka/MinReq), but which I've run with 96 Mb.

    I've had to install Linux on a laptop with 96 Mb of RAM and 2Gb of disk
    space, and some distributions are definitely more suitable than others.

    --
    Yves Bellefeuille



  16. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    ***** charles wrote:

    > I come across tons of computers that are the older kind.
    > They generally are P2-233 with 64M of ram and 2G hds.


    I use Debian on Pentium 120s here, but I do use bigger hard drives. A
    Pentium 2 is fine, there should be no problem with that type of machine.

    Mark.

    --
    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    Email: markhobley at hotpop dot donottypethisbit com

    http://markhobley.yi.org/


  17. Re: Best Linux version for throw away computers?

    ***** charles wrote:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I come across tons of computers that are the older kind.
    > They generally are P2-233 with 64M of ram and 2G hds.
    > Windows 95 runs fine on this type of machine but it seems
    > that Linux as it moves forward is slowly abandoning this
    > level of hardware. The software requirements are not
    > large just Internet browsing, emailing and word processing
    > spreadsheets and a few presentations are all that is
    > desired. For anything that requires more horsepower the
    > machines can link to a server. Even Xubuntu gives the
    > feedback "low memory model" when installing to a
    > machine with these specs. Has anyone out there had
    > good luck with a particular distribution or configuration?
    > Please give experience.


    Try Debian and Slackware GNU/Linux.

    --
    saf
    E-Mail protected against spam: ihnnsfbg@smtp2.trashmail.net

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