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Old 01-13-08, 03:57 PM   #1
banerjek
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Need to know which linux to install on old laptop

I've got an 8 year old Sony VAIO laptop I'd like to install linux on (currently, it has ME). Memory is maxed out at 256MB. If I recall correctly, it has a 300 MHz CPU. It was a cool machine at one time.

Can I install a GUI from one of any of the current distros on it (can I install any of the current distros at all)? I'd like to give Ubuntu a shot. In my dream world, I get this thing running and even get it to recognize the wireless card.
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Old 01-13-08, 04:01 PM   #2
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It's pretty marginal, I'd look at a distro called DSL(Damn Small Linux). I got Ubuntu minimally functional on a computer that small, but had a lot of dependency issues and broken pipe issues I had to manually patch. It was a LOT of work, and I never got the full functionality.

Another you MIGHT be able to get working is Blag Linux.
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Old 01-13-08, 04:13 PM   #3
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You can get Debian to use a pretty small footprint. I was using it on a PII/400 with 256 or 512MB of RAM and a 6GB hard drive (using less than a gig). I was using the ctwm window manager (with a very customized config file), but WindowMaker is also pretty lightweight, and a lot more user friendly.

Downside is, unlike something like Ubuntu, Debian isn't quite as user friendly on the install.

[edit: Also, laptops tend to be more of a pain in the ass in general than desktops.]
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Old 01-13-08, 04:37 PM   #4
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Xubuntu will install on that quite easily as I have it installed on an old IBM 600x 500mhz with 256 mb of ram. My only issue is I am having a hard time getting my wireless card to install and work. Don't have a huge knowledge of linux and installing a driver for linux is a lot different than windows.
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Old 01-13-08, 04:39 PM   #5
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use KDE.

Check out Gentoo.
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Old 01-13-08, 06:23 PM   #6
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Let me suggest Slackware 12.0. You can choose packages to install in the beginning, so you can tailor it down to your laptop's capacity.
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Old 01-13-08, 06:36 PM   #7
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FVWM ftw!
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Old 01-13-08, 06:45 PM   #8
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I'm running Debian on one of my old 300 mhz Pentiums. Does Okay, but I wouldn't want it as my day-to-day machine - mostly I fiddle with it and use it as a Samba file server on a Windows network.

There is a bootable from CD version of Linux out there as I recall. I'd try this first just to see how it goes.

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Old 01-13-08, 07:12 PM   #9
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lol i'm doing the same thing.
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Old 01-13-08, 07:36 PM   #10
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Damn. Linux has grown a lot. The first machine I ever installed in on was a 486 33 MHz with 4MB of RAM. Now running it on a machine with 10 times the speed and memory is becoming an issue. If they can just get it to crash a bit more often, M$ will undoubtedly sue the developers for stealing patented Windows technology.
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Old 01-13-08, 08:45 PM   #11
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I finally got my wireless working and now am posting this from my Xubuntu machine. Runs great and much faster that XP sp2 with 256mb.
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Old 01-13-08, 11:16 PM   #12
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I run OpenBSD/WindowMaker on a Pentium 90 with 40 MB of RAM. Back when I used to deliver pizza, it was my so-called war-driving machine. WindowMaker is just about as lightweight as they come without being ********-stripped-down like twm.

If I were you, I'd try FreeBSD, Debian, maybe Xubuntu, or something. I'd really stay away from "live" distros with that puny amount of RAM.
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