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  1. #1
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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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.

  2. #2
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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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.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  3. #3
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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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.]

  4. #4
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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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.
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix (for sale)
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  5. #5
    Hardrocker
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    use KDE.

    Check out Gentoo.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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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.

  7. #7
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    FVWM ftw!

  8. #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.

    - Mark

  9. #9
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    lol i'm doing the same thing.

  10. #10
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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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.

  11. #11
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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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.
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix (for sale)
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  12. #12
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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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.
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
    My latest tip: Carrying your laptop
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