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Thread: Operating systems for really, really old computers

  1. #21

    Re: Operating systems for really, really old computers

    Too bad. I once found a Packard Bell 486/something in the Dumpster behind my apartment. I messed with it for a day or two, then put it back. I hadn't discovered Linux by then, and I wish I had.
    Ubuntu user #7247 :: Linux user #409907
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  2. #22
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    Re: Operating systems for really, really old computers

    Oh, this thread is PERFECT for me right now!!

    I just got a Dell Inspiron CP laptop (Pentium MMX with 64MB Ram (max 128MB ) ) from a co-worker who didn't want it (or their father didn't want it, not sure).

    Anyway, no wonder it was slooooooow... they had Windows XP on it! (yet it "technically" matched the "minimum requirements" but I imagine there wasn't much you could DO with it!)

    Anyway, I have Damn Small Linux installed right now (I tried Red Hat 6.1 and Red Hat 9.0 but they didn't work out). I want to try Fluxbuntu when it comes out, but this list will give me more choices than I imagined.

    I also was thinking of Ubuntu minimal install, Debian net install and Gentoo (except the compiling aspect.. ugh) and just building something small from the ground-up.

    UPDATE: Oh, on the Featherweight Linux website I see the message:
    Folks, I've moved on. I'm back to working full time and no longer have the time to support or develop this distro. It's still very useful for older machines, but I just can't support it anymore and can't spend the time to continue development. It's all yours. Take it, use it, develop it, and add to it.
    Last edited by Dragonbite; October 26th, 2007 at 04:55 PM.
    Friends don't let friends wear a red shirt on landing-party duty.
    DACS | Connecticut LoCo Team | My Blog
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  3. #23
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    Re: Operating systems for really, really old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by WarholsGhost View Post
    Where do fluxbuntu and xubuntu come in on this scale?
    Just a note on Fluxbuntu. I read the fluxbuntu review on tuxmachines and although it is only 300Mb image, it seems to struggle with 256Mb RAM let alone 128Mb RAM (which I'd like to be the threshold for inclusion). Is this true, because the website suggests as little as 64Mb RAM, and should it go on the list?
    Last edited by darrelljon; October 28th, 2007 at 01:56 PM.

  4. #24
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    Red face Re: MiniLinux

    Quote Originally Posted by darrelljon View Post
    Here's some suggestions in order of their size.

    Not Linux but worth mentioning is KolibriOS which is a GUI OS (based on MenuetOS) under 2Mb.

    Under 50Mb
    Distros under 50Mb fit onto a MiniCD.

    (<15Mb) SliTaz with JWM
    (<50Mb) DamnSmallLinux - based on Knoppix, but with Fluxbox
    (44Mb) Jinx - with Opera 9, Flash, Textmaker and Planmaker.
    (<50Mb) Austrumi - A business card size bootable live CD Linux distribution based on Slackware.
    (<50Mb) MeanPup -A live distro based on Puppy
    (<50Mb) Mitrax -A live distro based on Slackware
    (<50Mb) Luit - XFCE and ROXFile

    Under 128Mb

    (<100Mb) NimbleX sub100 - Slackware based with KDE
    (<100Mb) Puppy Linux - live with IceWM (see also eBoxPup, IcePup, LitePup, MiniPup, PizzaPup and SafePup)
    (84Mb) DamnSmallLinux-Not - distro using Knoppix hardware recognition with Abiword and Gnumeric.
    (<128Mb) DeLi - Desktop Light
    (<128Mb) SLAX Popcorn Edition- A smaller version of SLAX with Xfce
    (<128Mb) FeatherLinux - Knoppix based distro with Fluxbox

    Under 256Mb

    (177Mb) TinyMe - based on pcLinuxOS, but with Openbox
    (182Mb) Kurumin 6 Light - Knoppix based, with KDE
    (~200Mb) PUD - based on Ubuntu
    (~200Mb) Slax - Distro based on Slackware using KDE
    (223Mb) TinyFlux - based on TinyMe, with Fluxbox
    (230Mb) Kanotix CpxMini, Kanotix, but with Fluxbox
    (<250Mb) Featherweight- based on Feather Linux, but with KDE
    (<256Mb) Flash Linux- Gentoo-based, initially designed to run off of a 256Mb USB key.

    Under 700Mb
    Distros under 700Mb fit onto most CD-Rs. These should still run in 128Mb RAM on a Pentium III level machine.

    (278Mb) AliXe - Slax based with Xfce
    (410Mb) AntiX - MEPIS based with Fluxbox
    (551Mb) Kanotix Lite with KDE
    (614Mb) SaxenOS 1 - with EDE
    (626Mb) MEPISLite - MEPIS based with KDE
    (662Mb) eLive - Debian based with Enlightenment
    (699Mb) SAM - A LiveCD based on PCLinuxOS, but with Xfce.
    Wolvix Hunter 1.1.0 (File Size: 482 MB) - based on Slackware with Xfce4 & Fluxbox
    Wolvix Cub 1.1.0 (File Size: 241 MB) - based on Slackware with Xfce4 & Fluxbox
    Last edited by RAV TUX; October 28th, 2007 at 11:04 PM.

  5. #25

    Re: Operating systems for really, really old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by darrelljon View Post
    Just a note on Fluxbuntu. I read the fluxbuntu review on tuxmachines and although it is only 300Mb image, it seems to struggle with 256Mb RAM let alone 128Mb RAM (which I'd like to be the threshold for inclusion). Is this true, because the website suggests as little as 64Mb RAM, and should it go on the list?
    I would put it on the list. I put Fluxbuntu on a 450Mhz K6-2 with 256Mb and memory usage was less than 128Mb. I know a lot of the bugs are still being ironed out, but it's very polished and quite impressive.

    A lot of folks are pinning their installation experiences and system profiles on here ...

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=581033
    Last edited by K.Mandla; October 29th, 2007 at 01:25 AM.
    Ubuntu user #7247 :: Linux user #409907
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  6. #26
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    Re: Operating systems for really, really old computers

    Looking through all of those distros, the biggest limitation I come across is my 64MB of Ram. Most of them recommend 128MB + Ram for a GUI (and a few of them recommend 300MHz or P2 or better).

    This list gave me a great starting point to look at for my old laptop so I want to say "thanks!"

    Right now I have DSL on it, but after a little while of surfing the net (via dial-up) the whole system freezes and has to be rebooted. Hopefully it's something with the version of DSL I have and not something with the hardware (DSL can be re-downloaded).

    I actually pulled out my Breezy Badger CDs (seperate Live and Installation CDs) and did a server install and it worked alright. I tried installing Gnome but that strained the system too much and I was having trouble connecting to the repositories so I went back to DSL.

    I'm hoping to do a Gutsy or Feisty server install and get something like fluxbox or openbox from the repositories instead, but I also have TinyMe coming in the mail.

    I've also just ordered the 2nd 64MB ram module to max out at 128MB Ram. That should open up some possibilities.
    Friends don't let friends wear a red shirt on landing-party duty.
    DACS | Connecticut LoCo Team | My Blog
    Ubuntu User# : 17583, Linux User# : 477531

  7. #27
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    Re: Operating systems for really, really old computers

    hi

    this is my first post. i have found the apropriate thread, since i am fond of minimalistic OS's, but in no way cripled ones. i am a home/personal computer user and very annoyed by the fact that today modern computers are powerfull beasts but the trend of makeing newer and more bloated OS's, that have CIA knows what inside them, is makeing them look and respond really slow and sloppy.

    i've tried Minix 2, once on my p200, but didn't know what to do with it.

    what about QNX, anyone got expirience?

    now you'll have to excuse me, i am not a Linux user and i have a question that probably won't fit strictly into this thread. i can see that most of these decent OS's mentioned here are some modification of Linux, or based on it's core. the question is: if someone compiles a working program on, let's say DeLi or Jinx, can i expect that binary to work (as is) on my computer if i have for instance DamnSmallLinux or UbuntuLite?

    ps - i know of a small OS that would work good on an old computer, Amiga OS.

  8. #28

    Re: Operating systems for really, really old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonbite View Post
    Right now I have DSL on it, but after a little while of surfing the net (via dial-up) the whole system freezes and has to be rebooted.
    That's odd: I had a similar issue on a K6-2 using a Xircom Realport modem/ethernet card wired to a router and VDSL. I wonder if there's some Damn Small bug I didn't bother to chase?

    Quote Originally Posted by bstard View Post
    what about QNX, anyone got expirience?
    Not me ... but it looks interesting. ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bstard View Post
    if someone compiles a working program on, let's say DeLi or Jinx, can i expect that binary to work (as is) on my computer if i have for instance DamnSmallLinux or UbuntuLite?
    Maybe. I think it depends on a lot of things. I have heard of people compiling small, modular executables in one system and directly copying them to a completely different distro, and it's fine. On the other hand, I think the possibility is there that it won't work.

    Were you thinking of anything in particular? Perhaps someone can offer a testimonial.

    Quote Originally Posted by bstard View Post
    ps - i know of a small OS that would work good on an old computer, Amiga OS.
    Right on!
    Ubuntu user #7247 :: Linux user #409907
    inconsolation.wordpress.com

  9. #29
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    Re: Operating systems for really, really old computers

    QNX intrigues me too.

  10. #30
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    Re: Operating systems for really, really old computers

    Although it's not Linux, FreeDOS is also an option. In fact, it's one the only options now for my PIII laptop. The CD-drive is dying, so I have to rely on floppy boot. Linux isn't very useful on a floppy, but I'll need to try copying Menuet, Kolibrios, and Solar OS to floppies.

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