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View Full Version : OT - looking to set up a LINUX box



andy_b
01-26-2008, 05:52 PM
i have an old 266 MHz PII overclocked to 300MHz (75MHz bus) and i'm thinking of putting a Linux version on it. right now the machine has an old ATI video card (Rage chipset, current in the 90s when i built the system), Adaptec SCSI controller on the motherboard (as well as the usual IDE interface) and 256 MB of RAM. i have a CD writer in the machine now, but no DVD player. the machine was very stable as a Win95 and then Win98 box. i figure one of the Linux flavors should work. anyone have any experience with one of the current offerings that may work without much trouble? i have never setup a Linux system, so the easier the better. i only want to use it for web surfing and playing music.

thanks,

andy b.

MTNGUN
01-26-2008, 08:05 PM
Hmmmm .... your box is a little slow for most high-end distros, but there are distros especially intended for older boxes. I don't have experience with any "light" distros, so I can only point you in the general direction.

One is xubuntu, http://www.xubuntu.org/tour

Another is puppy linux, http://www.puppylinux.org/user/viewpage.php?page_id=1

If you are new to Linux, there is a learning curve. Still, if you only plan to use Firefox and a music player, it shouldn't be too tough.

Tinker2
01-26-2008, 08:17 PM
Knoppix Linux

You can put this in your CD and boot to it.
Take it out turn the PC off and it is back to what it
was.
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-knopp.html



Tinker2

ckelloug
01-26-2008, 10:02 PM
The knoppix suggestion is a good one. I've had amazing luck with having a knoppix CD run on just about anything. This is a good first thing to try if you're not that familiar with linux. If the knoppix eye candy works alright you will know then you can pretty much install anything.

Ubuntu in it's various flavors is popular. I use suse myself but I don't have any knowledge of how it would respond on a box like that. Exactly what to install is going to be determined by what you want to use it for.

I've been doing 99% of my work on linux for about 10 years and I like it. Of my 8 years at the company, late last year is the first time I've touched windows.

--Cameron

andy_b
01-27-2008, 12:08 AM
maybe i'll try the Knoppix.

the thing that gets me is that back in '99 or so there were versions of Linux out there, and folks were always saying about how great Linux was to run because it wasn't a resource hog like windows. so it sounds like Linux is now just as bad as windows. i guess other than it being free there isn't all that much of an advantage.

maybe i'll just leave Win98 on it and install Firefox.

andy b.

mochinist
01-27-2008, 10:04 AM
maybe i'll try the Knoppix.

the thing that gets me is that back in '99 or so there were versions of Linux out there, and folks were always saying about how great Linux was to run because it wasn't a resource hog like windows. so it sounds like Linux is now just as bad as windows. i guess other than it being free there isn't all that much of an advantage.

maybe i'll just leave Win98 on it and install Firefox.

andy b.
Tiny Linux is a small Linux distribution designed especially for old recycled computers.

http://tiny.seul.org/zimaj/tatou.gif TINY Linux distribution comes under GNU GPL (http://www.gnu.org/).


Technical requirements:

processor : i386 or better
hard disk : 50 Mo is enough for installation itself, but you will do better with at least 80 Mo
ram: 8 MB minimum, 12 MB or 16 MB is better
floppy drive :3"1/4
keyboard, mouseget tiny linux here (http://tiny.seul.org/en/)

barts
01-27-2008, 01:06 PM
i have an old 266 MHz PII overclocked to 300MHz (75MHz bus) and i'm thinking of putting a Linux version on it. right now the machine has an old ATI video card (Rage chipset, current in the 90s when i built the system), Adaptec SCSI controller on the motherboard (as well as the usual IDE interface) and 256 MB of RAM. i have a CD writer in the machine now, but no DVD player. the machine was very stable as a Win95 and then Win98 box. i figure one of the Linux flavors should work. anyone have any experience with one of the current offerings that may work without much trouble? i have never setup a Linux system, so the easier the better. i only want to use it for web surfing and playing music.

thanks,

andy b.

The issue isn't the operating system (although a small Linux would work well here); it's about your desktop experience. Browsers like firefox, a gnome or KDE desktop, etc, take a lot of memory. I"m running Gnome + Firefox on OpenSolaris, and modern desktops want lots of ram. Firefox has 150 MB resident set size and thunderbird another hundred.


- Bart

kendall
01-27-2008, 01:42 PM
There are also some very lightweight window managers for linux.
Gnome and KDE are the most resource hungry ones, and KDE is the most windows like that I've seen.

Linux also has extremely good memory management, so many things that require huge amounts of ram in windows can run fine in linux.

First linux I ran was on a p90, and it was impressively FAST compared to windows on the same machine, don't remember what window manager/desktop I ran on it though. (was my first triple boot system, dos/w95/linux)

Ken.

andy_b
01-27-2008, 09:58 PM
well i installed the xubuntu version. all i had to do was copy the CD ISO image and set the BIOS boot sequence to include the CD drive. i let it install the dual boot option. it seems to run fine, but i can't get it to recognize the network. i have a cable modem going through a Linksys router. on my regular machine (the one i am typing this from), everything is set to auto configure and auto detect. any ideas? i think there is something wrong with my settings in general because sometimes i have to bypass the router and plug right into the cable modem to get the network to work. all of my friends just plug their router into their cable modem and plug a cable from the router into their PC and fire right up. i never have such luck.

andy b.

MTNGUN
01-27-2008, 11:35 PM
Hey, andy_b, congratulations for taking the plunge.

I don't know the answer to your internet problem, but the nice thing about ubuntu is you have access to support on the ubuntu forums, http://ubuntuforums.org/

lunkenheimer
01-27-2008, 11:48 PM
I have been able to use a thinkpad with a 233 MHz cpu and 164 MB running win 98 and firefox without any problem. Not as fast as some but works fine for browsing the web etc. This is with a wireless PCMCIA card...

This isn't my main pc but it is my main web pc.