Re: What Linux distro for old PC?

From: Chris Sologuk (
Date: 05/14/04

Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 01:28:24 -0400

Chris Sologuk wrote:
> Chaos Master wrote:
>> Hello people.
>> I got, for cheap, this computer: Pentium 233, 32MB RAM, 840MB HD,
>> HSP56 (PCTEL) modem, S3 video card, 24x CD-drive and Aztech sound card
>> and want to turn it into a test box.
>> What distro do you recommend for running on this? I'd like to have a
>> basic desktop for learning programming (C/C++ using GCC), browsing the
>> Internet (browser, IRC, ICQ/MSN and others) and accessing my Windows
>> box which has my .MP3 files, and use VNC to access other machines.
>> Getting the HSP modem to work would be interesting but not essential.
>> I know some interface like KDE or Gnome will get slow, but there is
>> WindowMaker, BlackBox, and others.
>> Would Slackware be a good choice?
>> Thanks.
> Well if you possibly could update the RAM. That machine is fast enough
> to even run KDE and gnome at a decent speed but not with 32mb of RAM.
> Pop on Ebay and pickup some cheap sims. I got 128mb in EDO SIMMS for 30
> bucks on ebay. It makes a world of difference. Im using a Pentium Pro
> 200MHz 256k L2 Cache (OC'd to 233MHz) and it runs debian fine. Not to
> mention it hosts my website, dns, ftp, ssh, nntp, ircd and acts as my
> desktop. Which is running Gaim (MSN , ICQ , AIM , Yahoo, Jabber) and
> runs Windowmaker as my screenmanager. It's got lots of speed to listen
> to music and browse the web.
> In other words I recommend Debian ( ) and to get some
> more RAM. Also about the sound card. It might not be supported in linux
> so check that out before you run it. I had the same problem with my
> Aztech Q233 so I simply traded it for a Soundblaster AWE 64 (it is worth
> my time since that card didn't support anything but Windows ME and under).

Yeah ... Windowmaker should do the trick for you, also use Mozilla
Firefox or Opera 7 (crack or purchase). The plain mozilla browser will
be much too slow for you. Just compile your own version of gaim. In
Debian it's very easy. With your apt-get sources as "testing" simply go
"apt-get build-dep gaim". This will download all the files you need to
compile gaim and then simply goto and download the
most recent. It works on all the major IM services. KDE and GNOME got a
bit slow but in some cases I found KDE quicker then some things since
the libs are usually already loaded when you load KDE. But if you like
to run GNOME apps or others it won't be too bad in windowmaker.

That is a shot of my Windowmaker running Natilus in the background for
those icons. The speed isn't AMAZING ( 5 seconds to open Firefox or
thunderbird. But it seems to do the work for a small "room" machine.