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> Installed Ubuntu On Desktop, Slow As Molasses In January, Pentium III, 600 MHZ, 512 MB RAM
Jon_J
post Oct 30 2007, 10:36 PM
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This desktop has these specs: Pentium III, 600 MHZ, 512 MB RAM, 20GB HDD, onboard video (sis chip)
Windows 98SE is pretty fast on this computer, so I installed ubuntu 5.10 onto it and the entire install took about 4 hours (huh?)
I've installed a fresh copy of windows on this machine in about an hour in the past.
Ubuntu installed a dualboot scheme, I don't remember the name now, it wasn't lilo. (OK, now I remember, it was Grub).
I had to search the ubuntu forums to get my serial mouse working, (the PS/2 port is bad).
When I finally got to the desktop with a working mouse, it was as slow as molasses.
It took 10 seconds just to open a help window and a file browser window took about as long.
(And I thought some Zaurus apps were slow).
Last year I was going to try Debian, but got lost in the confusing amount of CD-ROMs required to be downloaded and gave that up.
I'm thinking of installing damn small linux on that box, but I thought I would ask here:
What is a good starting linux distro for a beginner that will install on an older PC?
Do all linux distros support cross compiling for the Zaurus? (I would rather muck about on an old desktop, than mess up my Z).

I have since removed it, deleted the extra partitions it set up, and fixed the master boot record, using win XP recovery disc.
It was so slow that it was un usable.
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danboid
post Nov 26 2007, 02:20 AM
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Here are my recommendations:

MANDRIVA 2008 ONE (GNOME EDITION) (256MB RAM min req)

Best wifi support I've ever seen in a Linux distro- by FAR! Mandriva has its own wifi tool which has worked with every chipset I've tried with it yet, WPA and WEP. Compiz Fusion for Vista-destroying desktop FX, NV/Ati 3D drivers, MP3, Flash and MP4 playback all included on this live CD. Mandriva has a great control panel which is faster than YasT (SUSEs rival effort which both Debian and Ubuntu lack a decent equivalent of yet). I'd say this is the best disc for Linux noobs in most cases.

Ubuntu 7.10

If you actually turn off your machines and you're bothered about boot and shut down time like me- Ubuntu 7.10 is a good bet as it boots a full 30s faster than say Mandriva or Suse on my machine! Ubuntu(studio) is also quite special in that it easily allows me to have both a rt kernel and Compiz/Nvidia driver at the same time- installing the rt kernel under Mandriva 2008 messes the system good and proper unfortunately.

The best thing about Ubuntu is it its easy access to 22k+ reasonably uptodate packages through the wonderful APT packager. I would say that if you don't need the super-easy wifi support and control panel of Mandriva then try Ubuntu Alternate first. Ubuntu 7.10 desktop CD is OK for checking a system out but don't install off it- hasn't worked once for me and I tried it a few times.

If you want Ubuntu 7.10 with multimedia stuff included plus additional tweaks then try Mint Linux - http://linuxmint.com/

CPX-mini

This is my fave distro for the rebirth of machines otherwise considered useless- PCs with as little as 64MB RAM suddenly become lightning fast Debian boxes thanks to cpx-mini, a fluxbox/rox based desktop with auto-mounting of discs that can be installed on a 256MB usb stick!

http://debian.tu-bs.de/project/cpx-mini/

The cpx-mini dev promises a sidux vased version will be out soon but an alternative to cpx-mini, if you can get it to work, is fluxbuntu which uses the same wm/file manager (fluxbox/rox) combo but has a much more up-to-date Ubunbtu 7.10 base. I've tried the x86 RC but failed to get it to boot tho.

2008 will be a VERY exciting year for Linux, without a doubt! Craiginator for one...
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