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Which distro to use on old laptop (p3)

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#1
Just got this laptop for my mum just for browsing the internet and word processing.

I wanna try using linux on it as I've heard it runs great on older hardware, but I'm worried about compatibility issues (drivers for printers/wireless PCMCIA cards etc).

Would it be worth just using windows 7 due to possible lack of drivers???

Thanks :)
 
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#3
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#4
I used OPENsuse, however I did a short period of time. My crappy laptop thanked me tho, as it runs smoothly on ancient hardware.
 
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#5
You could also try DSL, I'm sure it would work fine. And I think Fedora is easier to use than Ubuntu. But that is just me.
 
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#6
try any distro but with fluxbox or xfce
kde and gnome are kinda resource hogs
 
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#7
Xubuntu should run fine on it, but DO NOT attempt at putting Windows 7 on it. It will be slower than XP! I know, I've tried it on my Dell Inspiron P3 (see sig for specs), and it is just not worth it. Also, Linux is more likely to have all the drivers than Windows 7; remember, W7 is still BETA, and although Vista worked fine on my laptop (Thanks to vLite, and lots of tweaking, but in the end SP1 killed it), it just took up far too much HDD space and ended up slowing down.

Xubuntu or Puppy Linux would run fine, I'd recommend Puppy over DSL because of the ease I had with installing and using Puppy compared to DSL. And almost everything should work fine, but don't try to enable visual effects unless the laptop has a semi-decent graphics card.
 
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#9
Xubuntu should run fine on it, but DO NOT attempt at putting Windows 7 on it. It will be slower than XP! I know, I've tried it on my Dell Inspiron P3 (see sig for specs), and it is just not worth it. Also, Linux is more likely to have all the drivers than Windows 7; remember, W7 is still BETA, and although Vista worked fine on my laptop (Thanks to vLite, and lots of tweaking, but in the end SP1 killed it), it just took up far too much HDD space and ended up slowing down.

Xubuntu or Puppy Linux would run fine, I'd recommend Puppy over DSL because of the ease I had with installing and using Puppy compared to DSL. And almost everything should work fine, but don't try to enable visual effects unless the laptop has a semi-decent graphics card.


windows 7 on a p3 is just stupidity on ur part.. :banghead:
 

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#10
I say puppy linux
 
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#11
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#12
what about fedora?
 
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#13
I have an old laptop, an Asus A1000 with a 1Ghz PIII Mobile and 576Mb of RAM (64Mb embedded and one 512Mb SDRAM SO-DIMM, out of that 32Mb are taken by the vidcard).

I went through half of my B.Sc by using it with Xubuntu/XP/Win2000 for my coding needs until I got my Dell XPS last year (And back then it had just 192Mb of RAM and a 700Mhz processor, I upgraded it for my mom when I had no use for it anymore - 50$ off ebay for the CPU and the memory). After the upgrade the lappie runs WinXP SP3 with nothing to complain about, amazing for a laptop built back in 1999.

So Xubuntu should work, Puppy Linux would work too, I haven't used Damn Small Linux, but it might be worth a shot.
 
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#14
Thanks, I take it DSL = damn small linux :p
 
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#15
Damn small linux (yes, DSL) would be the fastest as the entire OS runs in RAM, and with 256mb of ram, thats way more than required for the 50mb DSL takes. That OS is FAST! Programs open up like lightning. If you want a little more versitility though, try gOS. (goodOS) Its based on google web apps. I use it on a P3 system for my living room for guests to use when over, parties, etc (so as to eliminate the need to maintain it, no viruses and the like) and it runs just fine with 256mb. Its very versitile too. Plays DVDs, mp3's pretty much anything you want out of the box, and people dont even realize its not windows. They're like "Whoa! how'd you get windows to look like that I want mine to look like that!" After they've been using it for hours, so learning curve is nil, as everything is self explanatory once you've set it up. Has apps for web, email, office, productivity, entertainment, and very lightweight.
 
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#16
I think imma go for puppy linux, looks nice and very light on resources



EDIT: after reading papahyooie's post I might try DSL!

decisions, decisions...
 
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#17
If you like puppy linux, go for it. It has the same capability to be loaded into RAM.

KDE looks nicer too.

But try out gOS as a live CD sometime you may find it easier. Especially for the linux uneducated.
 
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#19
Id disagree, if I could convince my mother to even try gOS I know she would love it. Then I wouldn't have to save her from virus and spyware attacks, fragmentation, registry degradation every couple of months due to terrible computing habits. Linux varients can be SO much easier to use than windows if you find the right one, and if your user doesnt need more than basic productivity.

Not to mention with those specs, she would have to stay on top of maintainence constantly to keep it from slowing to a crawl (reformats every 3 months anyone?) And if she doesnt know how to do that (which I assume she doesnt) then guess who gets to perform said maintainence?

Im no linux fanboy, but (virtually) zero maintainence and zero viruses is VERY tempting to someone who has to maintain others' computers all the time. (like my living room computer I spoke of)
 
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#20
Would I even have to run an anti-virus/firewall?
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#21
Id disagree, if I could convince my mother to even try gOS I know she would love it. Then I wouldn't have to save her from virus and spyware attacks, fragmentation, registry degradation every couple of months due to terrible computing habits. Linux varients can be SO much easier to use than windows if you find the right one, and if your user doesnt need more than basic productivity.

Not to mention with those specs, she would have to stay on top of maintainence constantly to keep it from slowing to a crawl (reformats every 3 months anyone?) And if she doesnt know how to do that (which I assume she doesnt) then guess who gets to perform said maintainence?

Im no linux fanboy, but (virtually) zero maintainence and zero viruses is VERY tempting to someone who has to maintain others' computers all the time. (like my living room computer I spoke of)
I spent 9 months of my life working at a company where the users (stores) used Linux. Trust me, it wasn't as straight forwarded for them as it was for us.

User friendly or not, recognition is far more important, only Windows has that.
 
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#22
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#25
Be aware, DSL has a small learning curve for the linux uninitiated. I'd go with puppy linux if I were you, as the start menu and whatnot are more familiar. Or install KDE or something on DSL (though that would defeat the purpose of keeping it small footprint). Then again, 256 megs is more than enough for DSL+KDE. Something to think about, she may not like the interface. Also, If I'm not mistaken, you have to mount drives all the time when plugging in usb drives, camera cards and such, which is hard for most people to get the hang of. gOS is will mount them automatically, not sure of puppy linux.

Also, no, you dont really have to run antivirus, and mostly anyone who hacks through your router is going to run away when they see you have a linux computer running on your network lol.
 
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