Best linux for Old computer?

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doomsdaydave11

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I'm looking for a decent linux distro for a very old computer. I have used Ubuntu and Ubuntu Studio a good amount, along with PenDriveLinux a fair amount, so I know my way around linux pretty well. Here is the criteria:

I have 20GB of space on the master hard drive, with lots of space on a whole bunch of other hard drives.
Here are the specs of my old computer:

Athlon 800 Mhz (can't remember)
640MB PC133
8MB Vanta graphics (sucks, I know)

Are there any distros that:
1. Will run very quickly on this machine?
2. Supports all that good stuff such as Firefox, Thunderbird, Mplayer, etc, etc. (including a few old games)
3. Ideally has a few games.
4. Ideally GNOME or KDE.
Thanks.
 

amdfangirl

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I recommend... Ubuntu 7.04. does well in benchies on phoronix.

I wouldn't say fast, but a decent workable speed...

Better than those distros which are really light but have major useability problems...

It's that or you go and customise your own.
 

doomsdaydave11

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A motherboard with 3 RAM slots for PC133 does not have many upgrade options. 32 bucks for 512MB of ancient RAM isn't that great (that's the cheapest on newegg). I stumbled across this on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/1GB-2-X-512MB-PC133-SDRAM-133MHz-DESKTOP-RAM-MEMORY-NEW_W0QQitemZ140269981606QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item140269981606&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1420|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1308 and seems too good to be true. When I go into work again, I'll check to see if the motherboard accepts this stuff.

However, I did find a decent 64MB geforce2 card. That should be a significant improvement over an 8MB vanta. Now I can use that in my K6-2 300Mhz rig with 128MB. That one I think I'll put a copy of DSL on... the hard drive I have for that is 1GB 3200RPM, with a 120MB slave drive (lol).

Why ubuntu 7.04? I have a 7.10 and 8.04 LiveCD already, and don't really feel like making a whole new one. But why will Ubuntu 7.04 perform better then the new 8.10?
 

audiovoodoo

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Complexity. 7.04 has been shown to bench faster than the newer versions of Ubuntu although it never personally felt that great a difference when I was upgrading through the versions. You should be able to run 8.10 but might want to look into running a lighter window manager such as XFCE to take some of the overhead away. Also keep an eye on what processed you include and just strip it back a little.
 

bmouring

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In my experience with systems around that "weight class" and a few that were even "lighter", I think trying to run KDE or GNOME is seriously going to hamper the experience and generally run like a dog. If you're after those types, I second audiovoodoo's suggestion at trying a lighter manager such as XFCE4 (it even runs pretty well on my 400MHz, 128MB phone) or, if you're a bit more adventurous (read: not afraid to do some reading in terms of how to use a new UI), Fluxbox (or one of the other *boxes) or Enlightenment (I'd suggest E16, E17 is still undergoing heavy dev, especially with compiz work and such)
 

audiovoodoo

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@AMD Girl

I only got the new build this summer, up to then I was running on an Athlon XP with a 32Mb graphics card. I also used to run it on an old Duron for Seti duty. Prior to that I had only played with Fedora on a K6 400.

@Linux_0

The eeeUbuntu builds really are geared for the eee hardware. I could not get it running on my own PC when I had a bit of a play with it. I did get it working on my brothers Eee and on the whole he is happy with it.
 

samb

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Not the most popular distro but PCLnuxOS 2007 runs very well on low spec equipment that you dont want to update.
 

zedx

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Try Arch Linux (archlinux.org) along with LXDE. LXDE is quite nice and the File Manager is very fast. Or try it with XFCE 4.6. XFCE 4.6 just released yesterday and is almost fast gnome though the version suitable for your processor (i686) is yet to release. Install it when the i686 version is available. Of course you can always try KDE or Gnome. Arch is a great rolling release - i.e there are no new versions like ubuntu 8.04 or ubuntu 8.10 when you have to upgrade the whole thing and a new linux kernel is available. Everything is updateable, including the great and fast package manager PACMAN itself. If you have a fast connection, you can install Arch with XFCE in very less time and it takes very little space. You can go here if you want to know how to install : http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners_Guide

Arch is very fast, much faster than buntu. Of course if you want something speedier and have more time you can always try Gentoo ( gentoo.org ) which is also a great rolling release. It will be much faster than Arch though your packages will be compiled. It will take you a day to install Gentoo with XFCE 4.6 over a fast connection. An additional day for KDE or openoffice etc though.
 

concorde

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I recommend Fedora Core 4, 5, 6, maybe even 8 or 9. Be careful with KDE though--Fedora 7 up has "newer" KDEs, so that means it will be a little slow.

A way while ago, I ran Fedora Core 4 on a Pentium III 450Mhz with 320MB RAM on a spare machine--it wasn't a speed queen, but it ran like a top and performed quite well for tasks anywhere from music listening, Internet to GIMP graphic design and CD burning.

I miss that machine a little bit...
 

super_rad

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Either arch linux with LXDE or Openbox
If you know your way around Ubuntu then Crunchbang may be a good choice for you, it's ubuntu with openbox as default. Had a go with it for a while and wasn't often i used over 100mb of ram
 

audiovoodoo

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:sarcastic:

They both still have their minimum requirements. Both still need USB or CD ROM boot support. We frequently get people down here trying to reuse old HW and sweeping generalisations are not going to help any of them.
 

Notorik

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Puppy can use a floppy to point to the cd or usb. I would suggest SalixOS, Puppy, Tiny Core, Wolvix Cub, Austrumi, AntiX, or SliTaz. I have found Vector to be a mixed bag. Blue Flops could be an option if you are really desperate. It fits on two floppies and uses Links as the browser(I think that's what it's called).
 
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