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Desktop Distribution and WM for P266 - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

Hi, A friend of mine has an old P266 (96 MB RAM, 20 Gig HD) laptop, Compaq Armada 7400, which I would like to install linux on. The old question comes up: Which distribution? I personally use Debian, but I guess this wouldn't be the right one for him he'd like graphical configuration and stuff just working without having to edit a lot of files. So I installed Mandrake 9.1 (which detected everything except the sound card), but it just isn't convenient: Apart from the fact that it installs way too much stuff by default, the whole system becomes very ...

  1. #1

    Default Desktop Distribution and WM for P266

    Hi,


    A friend of mine has an old P266 (96 MB RAM, 20 Gig HD) laptop, Compaq
    Armada 7400, which I would like to install linux on. The old question comes
    up: Which distribution?

    I personally use Debian, but I guess this wouldn't be the right one for him
    he'd like graphical configuration and stuff just working without having to
    edit a lot of files.
    So I installed Mandrake 9.1 (which detected everything except the sound
    card), but it just isn't convenient: Apart from the fact that it installs
    way too much stuff by default, the whole system becomes very slow,
    especially with KDE. And connecting to a windows network within 2 hours of
    configuration was impossible.

    He used to run Win98 on the machine, and we would like to install a linux
    with a WM that runs as smoothly. That's probably impossible to achieve with
    KDE. Which one would you recommend? I know there are extremely fast ones
    out there, but the comfort should be comparable to Windows as well.

    And concerning the distribution? Are Red Hat or SuSE really slimmer? Would
    it be worth installing an older version with a 2.2 kernel? Or is there no
    Linux out there that can beat the Win98 speed and comfort??

    Thanx a lot for your advice...
    Carsten

    Carsten Guthardt-Schulz Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Desktop Distribution and WM for P266

    Carsten Guthardt-Schulz <guthardtgmx.de> wrote in message news:<bi1i4a$p3j$1newsflash.concordia.ca>...
    > Hi,
    >
    >
    > A friend of mine has an old P266 (96 MB RAM, 20 Gig HD) laptop, Compaq
    > Armada 7400, which I would like to install linux on. The old question comes
    > up: Which distribution?
    >
    > I personally use Debian, but I guess this wouldn't be the right one for him
    > he'd like graphical configuration and stuff just working without having to
    > edit a lot of files.
    > So I installed Mandrake 9.1 (which detected everything except the sound
    > card), but it just isn't convenient: Apart from the fact that it installs
    > way too much stuff by default, the whole system becomes very slow,
    > especially with KDE. And connecting to a windows network within 2 hours of
    > configuration was impossible.
    >
    > He used to run Win98 on the machine, and we would like to install a linux
    > with a WM that runs as smoothly. That's probably impossible to achieve with
    > KDE. Which one would you recommend? I know there are extremely fast ones
    > out there, but the comfort should be comparable to Windows as well.
    >
    > And concerning the distribution? Are Red Hat or SuSE really slimmer? Would
    > it be worth installing an older version with a 2.2 kernel? Or is there no
    > Linux out there that can beat the Win98 speed and comfort??
    >
    > Thanx a lot for your advice...
    > Carsten
    I have SuSE 8.2 running on an IBM thinkpad 760xd (P166, 80Megs RAM)
    and I can run KDE (slow but tolerable) but Gnome does run noticably
    faster. I am actually using WindowMaker most of the time, which runs
    quite well. I also have SuSE on my P233 desktop and all runs faster
    but KDE is still the slowest. I notice little difference in speed
    when I use the lighter weight WMs.
    Felwynne Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Desktop Distribution and WM for P266

    Carsten Guthardt-Schulz <guthardtgmx.de> wrote in message news:<bi1i4a$p3j$1newsflash.concordia.ca>...
    > Hi,
    >
    >
    > A friend of mine has an old P266 (96 MB RAM, 20 Gig HD) laptop, Compaq
    > Armada 7400, which I would like to install linux on. The old question comes
    > up: Which distribution?
    >
    > I personally use Debian, but I guess this wouldn't be the right one for him
    > he'd like graphical configuration and stuff just working without having to
    > edit a lot of files.
    > So I installed Mandrake 9.1 (which detected everything except the sound
    > card), but it just isn't convenient: Apart from the fact that it installs
    > way too much stuff by default, the whole system becomes very slow,
    > especially with KDE. And connecting to a windows network within 2 hours of
    > configuration was impossible.
    >
    > He used to run Win98 on the machine, and we would like to install a linux
    > with a WM that runs as smoothly. That's probably impossible to achieve with
    > KDE. Which one would you recommend? I know there are extremely fast ones
    > out there, but the comfort should be comparable to Windows as well.
    >
    > And concerning the distribution? Are Red Hat or SuSE really slimmer? Would
    > it be worth installing an older version with a 2.2 kernel? Or is there no
    > Linux out there that can beat the Win98 speed and comfort??
    >
    > Thanx a lot for your advice...
    > Carsten
    I forgot to add "notice little difference in speed (on my 233) between
    SuSE and win98 as long as I use a lighter weight desktop". I really
    need to pay attention.... :) I am still relatively new to Linux, but
    I thought I'd share what I have discovered after putting it on my old
    systems. I was surprised it runs as well as it does on the laptop
    but I did give it a good size swap (500MB).
    Felwynne Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Desktop Distribution and WM for P266

    Carsten Guthardt-Schulz wrote:
    > A friend of mine has an old P266 (96 MB RAM, 20 Gig HD) laptop, Compaq
    > Armada 7400, which I would like to install linux on. The old question comes
    > up: Which distribution?
    > [..]
    Try Slackware, but carefully select which packages to install, install
    XFree only, without KDE or GNOME, then download and configure FluxBox
    [[url]http://fluxbox.sourceforge.net/][/url] which is very very fast.

    You can get quite nice results from that, but you must configure fluxbox
    to match persons needs, then, it will be nice.

    Sime Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Desktop Distribution and WM for P266

    "Carsten Guthardt-Schulz" <guthardtgmx.de> wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    >
    > A friend of mine has an old P266 (96 MB RAM, 20 Gig HD) laptop, Compaq
    > Armada 7400, which I would like to install linux on. The old question comes
    > up: Which distribution?
    [snip]

    I installed Gentoo on a similar system, but then again, I had a lot of free
    time available. :-) However, Gnome runs smootly on it.

    //Peter
    --
    My REAL email address is "gijoe (at) mail dot nu"
    "Gentoo Linux - Because I'm worth it!"
    Peter Karlsson Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Desktop Distribution and WM for P266

    Carsten Guthardt-Schulz wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    >
    > A friend of mine has an old P266 (96 MB RAM, 20 Gig HD) laptop, Compaq
    > Armada 7400, which I would like to install linux on. The old question
    > comes up: Which distribution?
    >
    > I personally use Debian, but I guess this wouldn't be the right one for
    > him he'd like graphical configuration and stuff just working without
    > having to edit a lot of files.
    > So I installed Mandrake 9.1 (which detected everything except the sound
    > card), but it just isn't convenient: Apart from the fact that it installs
    > way too much stuff by default, the whole system becomes very slow,
    > especially with KDE. And connecting to a windows network within 2 hours of
    > configuration was impossible.
    >
    > He used to run Win98 on the machine, and we would like to install a linux
    > with a WM that runs as smoothly. That's probably impossible to achieve
    > with KDE. Which one would you recommend? I know there are extremely fast
    > ones out there, but the comfort should be comparable to Windows as well.
    >
    > And concerning the distribution? Are Red Hat or SuSE really slimmer? Would
    > it be worth installing an older version with a 2.2 kernel? Or is there no
    > Linux out there that can beat the Win98 speed and comfort??
    >
    > Thanx a lot for your advice...
    > Carsten
    I installed Mandrake 9.1 on my old computer, which has a P133. It was
    impossibly slow (well, not impossible, but highly improbable.-) running
    KDE, but acceptable running lighter WMs. It still boots slowly and loads
    apps slowly, but it functions adequately. The bonus is, the Mandrake
    configuration tools are in the menu. And you can select to do a text-based
    install, which is much faster than the graphical one. If you keep software
    selection to an absolute minimum, you can get a pretty lean installation.
    Then add just the apps you want after it's up and running.

    As for running as "smoothly and comfortably" as Win98 - that would be
    entirely subjective. It's not Win98 and never will be, no matter what you
    do. If he wants Win98, install Win98. If he wants a Linux-based OS, go
    for it. But don't get caught wishy-washy in between.
    Jim Bowering Guest

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