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Thread: Ubuntu on an OLD (1996-99?) PC

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu on an OLD (1996-99?) PC

    hi guys, have tried ubuntu and i like it! i have had an old compaq for a while, how old? old enough that the case is the same cream gray that all electronics were in the 1990s, id estimate it to be a 1997 or 98, it originally had win98 on it and was upgraded to win2000 which i used to play some games when i was say around 7 or 8, anyways i am quite a bit older now and soon to be off to college and wanted to get ubuntu on it as it was a lighter OS and would run faster and take up less space, all i need to know is what distro and version or what updates i need to do for it to work on this PC, as for the PC, it about as fast as a revision A raspberry pi,

    here are the specs:

    cpu: x86 Family 5 Model 8 Stepping 12 Authentic AMD ~531 Mhz
    Total Physical Memory (ram?): 196,144 KB (196.4 MB?)
    HDD: C: 13 GB
    D: 4.67 GB


    not much eh? shows that we sure have come a far way from this, all ready tried several ubuntu installs but i know im probably doing something wrong or using the wrong port or version. hope you guys can help, and please no answers like "why don't you get a new computer?", i just had the thing laying around and figured i would see if i could still use the thing rather than part it out.

  2. #2
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    Kubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: ubuntu on an OLD (1996-99?) PC, help please?

    try using old version of ubuntu with lxde desktop.
    perhaps 4.10 or 5.10

    btw, what do you want to do with this pc? use it as router? proxy server? office stuff?

  3. #3
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    Lubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark

    Re: ubuntu on an OLD (1996-99?) PC, help please?

    Please don't recommend anyone to use old (=unsupported) versions. It will cause a major security problem.

    The computer is a K6, which is not supported by Ubuntu any more. I would send it to recycling and get another used one in stead, sorry.
    Last edited by mrgs; March 25th, 2013 at 08:27 AM.
    If you install Buntu 17.10 remember to download a new ISO file.

    Old ISO files might contain a bug which can damage UEFI hardware. Updating an existing installation and upgrading to 17.10 (if one has faith in upgrades in general) are safe.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu on an OLD (1996-99?) PC

    hey thanks all, im not worried about security as i would like to run xmbc and surf the web maybe, im familliar with the ldxe interface as its what the new Wheezy Raspbian runs on, id prefer something a little newer though, something i could get firefox on easly as i remember ldxe only really liking iceweasel, a ported version of firefox for the raspberry

  5. #5
    Topsiho's Avatar
    Topsiho is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Re: Ubuntu on an OLD (1996-99?) PC

    I support mrgs when he says that you shouldn't use an old and unsupported version of Ubuntu. And Alaska Skier is wrong when he says that he is not concerned about security. He should be, if he wants to connect to internet. Unsecure computers have made the internet a jungle, and Linux users should not participate in this.

    I think that the 200 MB of RAM is not enough even to run Lubuntu. Especially not for running Firefox. Sorry for this. Of course AS could try and upgrade the RAM to somewhat more, say to at least 512 MB or even 1 GB of RAM, if the motherboard can cope with so much RAM.

    Even then the K6 processor is very slow, but as trying (X)(L)Ubuntu does not cost much or nothing, AS could of course try whether he is happy with it or not.

    I sympathise with trying to reuse very old hardware , but one needs to be realistic.

    AS, look at Distrowatch and see if you can find a lighter distro that can run on your computer. If you run it without a GUI (in a terminal) you can use this to learn the real thing: using the command line. That should keep you busy for some time.

    Topsiho

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu on an OLD (1996-99?) PC

    Try out Lubuntu or puppy linux!

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu on an OLD (1996-99?) PC

    +1 for puppy.

    Or try crunchbang, or even something like bodhi linux.

    For fun, though you could try running Ubuntu on that machine, it's possible it'll run albeit run slow as molasses in the winter.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu on an OLD (1996-99?) PC

    Please everybody: Don't give advice unless you know exactly what you are talking about.

    As I mentioned the K6 is unsupported. After 10.04 the entire Buntu family requires a CPU with CMOV instructions, which the K6 does not have. It's not a question of speed, it's a question of support. There might be a workaround, but it's simply not worth the effort.

    Can Alaska Skier trust that people suggesting Puppy and Chunchbang have tested that the OS works without CMOV?
    Last edited by mrgs; March 25th, 2013 at 10:31 PM.
    If you install Buntu 17.10 remember to download a new ISO file.

    Old ISO files might contain a bug which can damage UEFI hardware. Updating an existing installation and upgrading to 17.10 (if one has faith in upgrades in general) are safe.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu on an OLD (1996-99?) PC

    Recycle it.

    I know times are tough and money is tight for a lot of people. Try: Freecycle, Craigslist, Goodwill, friends, family, neighbors, local businesses, etc. and you should be able to find a decent computer free or low cost.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu on an OLD (1996-99?) PC

    thanks to all guys, any possibility of getting xmbc running it in its native win 2000? i have a feeling that linux is going to be impossible on this machine, how bout an old hp pavillion circa 2003-05 with a celeron processor?, dont know the specs but im guessing bout 2 g's of ram and a 1.2Ghz processor

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