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Which Linux

Posted on 2002-07-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06
i am planning on installing Linux on an old PC (Dell 133Mhz). I have plenty of UNIX experience (SUN OS, AIX) but I only tried a RedHat 4.0 a while ago and the install failed completely after several tries ...
What Linux would you suggest? I'd like a RELIABLE install and X-Windows, that's what they (hopefully) all do.
Any comments are appreciated.

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Werner
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Question by:griessh
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9 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:dorward
ID: 7136181
For an oldish machine like yours I would suggest either Debian (my choice) or Slackware (often recomended by other people for low end systems but I've never tried it).

AFAIK neither will set up X for you, so you need to know your graphics hardware before you start.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:jlevie
ID: 7136520
I think you'd be pleasntly surprised at how far RedHat has come since 4.0. Your system is a little shy on CPU speed for the current generation of GUI applications, regardless of what distro you use. But, it would be usable with any Linux (including the GUI apps) if it had 128Mb or better of memory.

I've run Redhat 7.1 in console mode on a 486dx100 (64Mb ram) and felt that it had acceptable performance for most things. And that or 7.2 would probably be my choice for what you have. The decision as to whether to use 7.1 or 7.2 would be a matter of how much disk you have. 7.1 can be squeezed onto an 2Gb drive (with X).
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:MFCRich
ID: 7137635
I'd go with RedHat 6.2. It is quite easy to install and is very stable. Make sure to get the updates. Newer RH's will work as well.

TIP: Don't go for the GUI install. You'll have much more control with the 'text' mode install. In most cases you can select the packages in groups but if you want to you can select them one-by-one.

BTW: I'm a RedHat guy so this post is biased :-)
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:griessh
ID: 7137740
No problem with a biased comment as along as it's helpful :-)

It seems RedHat is dominating, so maybe I should try it again, your comments sound encouraging. Drive space is not problem for me, I think 20 GB should be more than enough.

I do a lot X/Motif programming, but to be honest, I  myself use X mainly to open enough xterms, my favorite editor is still vi & company.
There are new GUIs out there, I've never tried any of them. Are they worth installing them?

======
Werner
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:dorward
ID: 7138428
I would very strongly advise AGAINST Red Hat 6.2, security updates are no longer released for it.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:jlevie
ID: 7138647
I completely agree with doward. While 6.2 would have the smallest demand on processor resources, the inability to get security updates is a definite drawback.
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Accepted Solution

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kylar earned 400 total points
ID: 7141928
I am running RH 7.1 and 7.2 on several low end machines at my house (SETI Cluster ;), Pentium 133, 150, 166 and a PPro 200 and I've never had any trouble with them. IN all cases RH correctly detected my old (and sometimes integrated) video cards, chips, sound and network cards. Never once did I have to manually install a module.. All of the installs included KDE or Gnome..

Cheers,
Kylar
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:petereilering
ID: 7143020
You should consider using Debian because it is easy to
install and when you want to add packets you can use
apt-get install 'package name' and is does all the rest for you.
with apt-cache search you can see what packages are available.
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:griessh
ID: 7163881
Thanks Kylar, sounds like RH 7x will be a go, just hav eto get my office back, being in the middle of a remodelling :-)

Thanks to everybody else for their help, I will have questions posted for everybody.

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Werner
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