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steezemageeze

Help with distro for laptop older than me

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Funny, never thought I'd have to make a post like this. I'm trying to revive an old Dell Inspiron 8000 just for shits and giggles, and so far I haven't had much luck. The two biggest problems are the lack of a wireless connection (I have a PCMCIA card, but I can't find the driver for it), and the ATI M4 gpu (this might be a hardware issue, but the screen gets distorted at times). I need advice on what distro to use.

 

So far, I've tried Xubuntu (ran very poorly, couldn't figure out how to set up wifi driver), Absolute Linux (graphics issues out the wazoo, couldn't do anything) and Legacy OS (would've been perfect, even managed to install the wifi driver, but it has no support for WPA2), and I've been unable to get Arch, Lubuntu, and BunsenLabs to even boot to the installer properly. Also, let me note that this machine doesn't support USB boot, so I have to burn a CD for every distro I try.

 

I think Arch or Gentoo + i3 or OpenBox would be my best bet, but Arch won't boot (although I read that it might be an issue with the way Windows burns CDs, I'm going to try again on that), and Gentoo will probably NEVER compile on that machine. TL;DR I think what I'm really asking, is where would I find the best support for the ATI M4 and the Dell Wireless 1350 PCMCIA card?

 

Specs of laptop:

850Mhz Pentium 3

128MB RAM

ATI M4 GPU

Dell Wireless 1350 PCMCIA networking card


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

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win2k


RyzenAir : AMD R5 1600 | AsRock AB350M Pro4 | 24gb KVR DDR4 2666 | GTX 1060 | Fractal Design Node 804
RyzenITX : Ryzen 3 2200G | GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI | 12gb DDR4 2993 | Vega 8 | MS-Tech CI-58 | Pico PSU 150

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
9 minutes ago, Space Reptile said:

win2k

Insightful, thanks.


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

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Just now, steezemageeze said:

Insightful, thanks.

yea i know , but it runs on everything , and you will be able to find drivers , and w/ unofficial updates it can run modern software even 


RyzenAir : AMD R5 1600 | AsRock AB350M Pro4 | 24gb KVR DDR4 2666 | GTX 1060 | Fractal Design Node 804
RyzenITX : Ryzen 3 2200G | GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI | 12gb DDR4 2993 | Vega 8 | MS-Tech CI-58 | Pico PSU 150

 

PSU Tier list

 

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31 minutes ago, SCHISCHKA said:

holy crap its a P3. try something like DSL or puppy linux. Arch linux should work

this was made to run on old hardware. its a bit dated now but should work

http://damnsmalllinux.org

DSL has been abandoned for years now--latest release was four years ago, and I don't think there's been much development done on it since.  I personally wouldn't recommend it, though it might run on those specs.

 

Puppy Linux, though, would be a good one to try, especially if you swap out the desktop environment for something like plain Openbox or i3, but I worry that the really low RAM on the machine might still be an issue.

 

Four other ones to look into, though:

  • SliTaz, which is designed to be ultra low-resource use, and will load entirely into memory for maximum speed.  But given your 128MB RAM limit, this will be a tight squeeze.  You may be able to get far enough under that if you pull one of the more minimalist spins of the distro and, again, switch to one of the ultra lightweight desktop environments.
  • Tiny Core, which is...tiny.  The .iso is about 15MB, but it comes with basically nothing pre-installed.  (There's a 100MB .iso with more stuff, though, which you might want to try for usability's sake before jumping to the smaller one).  This actually spun off of Damn Small Linux a while back.
  • Nano Linux, which is like Tiny Core, but packs more stuff in and is designed to be more usable.
  • A non-Linux one this time: Kolibri OS.  This is a super neat project, since it's an OS written entirely in assembly.  You can probably run it on a potato.  It might run really snappily even on your setup, but beware that you'll have extremely limited software options compared to anything else on this list.  And it might not be at all intuitive or user-friendly at first, since the design paradigm is pretty different.
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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, Space Reptile said:

yea i know , but it runs on everything , and you will be able to find drivers , and w/ unofficial updates it can run modern software even 

Oh, you were being serious. I thought you were trying to be sarcastic. I think it came with Windows 2000, but by the time I got my hands on it, it was on XP.  That'd be interesting to try if I can't get anything else to work, but I'm pretty keen on using Linux


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, SCHISCHKA said:

holy crap its a P3. try something like DSL or puppy linux. Arch linux should work

this was made to run on old hardware. its a bit dated now but should work

http://damnsmalllinux.org

 

26 minutes ago, Azgoth 2 said:

DSL has been abandoned for years now--latest release was four years ago, and I don't think there's been much development done on it since.  I personally wouldn't recommend it, though it might run on those specs.

 

Puppy Linux, though, would be a good one to try, especially if you swap out the desktop environment for something like plain Openbox or i3, but I worry that the really low RAM on the machine might still be an issue.

 

Four other ones to look into, though:

  • SliTaz, which is designed to be ultra low-resource use, and will load entirely into memory for maximum speed.  But given your 128MB RAM limit, this will be a tight squeeze.  You may be able to get far enough under that if you pull one of the more minimalist spins of the distro and, again, switch to one of the ultra lightweight desktop environments.
  • Tiny Core, which is...tiny.  The .iso is about 15MB, but it comes with basically nothing pre-installed.  (There's a 100MB .iso with more stuff, though, which you might want to try for usability's sake before jumping to the smaller one).  This actually spun off of Damn Small Linux a while back.
  • Nano Linux, which is like Tiny Core, but packs more stuff in and is designed to be more usable.
  • A non-Linux one this time: Kolibri OS.  This is a super neat project, since it's an OS written entirely in assembly.  You can probably run it on a potato.  It might run really snappily even on your setup, but beware that you'll have extremely limited software options compared to anything else on this list.  And it might not be at all intuitive or user-friendly at first, since the design paradigm is pretty different.

I'm going to give Arch one more try, then if that doesn't work I'll give Tiny Core a shot. Thanks!


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

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