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Operating System Choices....

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#1 mrgreenjeans



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Posted 23 July 2007 - 09:39 PM

I just bought two used computers....one is a Pentium II while the other is PIII...the hard drives on them have been wiped clean.  I cant seem to figure out the ram size yet but am interested in Linux.

I have done some research on Linux and was considering Fedora core 7 as a replacement to Win XP Media Center.  What I am curious about is what might be a good linux os to install on these two used computers.  No fancy grapics are needed, just basic gui would be nice...

Also to keep in mind...would installing server software be reasonable?  I am interested in networking my external hard drive.  Gaining access outside of home would be awesome....Thanks....

#2 jace5869


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Posted 13 August 2007 - 11:33 AM

I would recommend Slackware for the P2 and Fedora for the P3...Slackware is awesome, and its intense...Can run on old 3/486's I believe
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#3 trans1stor


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Posted 19 September 2007 - 08:39 PM

Try Ubuntu. Its based on Debian. You can configure the install for any type of machine. To check RAM just press <enter> OR <f2> OR <del> at startup to invoke the BIOS, this lets you know how much memory the machine has.

#4 Carpenter16p


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Posted 26 September 2007 - 02:40 PM

I'm running ubuntu. It works for me. I was able to build the computer and install the OS in about an hour. the only problem I had was with the sound. It took me an afternoon of research to figure out what to do to  get it going. One caveat: be realistic about running it on an old machine it can be temperamental but probaly less so than XP

#5 ender20852


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Posted 09 April 2008 - 05:55 AM

If you are fairly new to Linux and are unsure of the equipment you have then I would start by booting knoppix off of a live CD and seeing how well things may run and what gear is easily used.  If all goes smoothly with that then I would stick to one of the more mainstream end user distributions such as Ubuntu which is very nicely set up for the beginner who just wants to get things up and running fast.

That being said - Distrowatch is a great place to check stuff out (see above reply for the link) for more specialty distros for specific needs such as a media center type distro.  

Slackware and DamnSmallLinux are superb for the older machine as both were made to run with minimum resources.

Hope that helps.

#6 vbjustin


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Posted 20 May 2008 - 09:31 AM

I have a Ubuntu Server on an old G5 Mac.  It works great!  Webmin gives you remote access to your server for pretty much everything you need to do with it.  I also have an old Pentium 2 that I will be turning into another server, might have to go with a smaller distro for that, because it has very limited RAM and Processor speed, plus its only got a 20 gb hard drive.

Might have to look at Distrowatch, ive heard of it before, but haven't really looked into it too much.

#7 SgtRauksauff


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Posted 24 June 2008 - 12:42 PM

I like to recommend Ubuntu for people just starting out, because it has a great update schedule, it's easy to install, and has one of the best support communities out there.  That being said, I'd recommend the Xubuntu version of it, running the xkce window manager, which is lighter weight than Gnome (standard with Ubuntu) or KDE (standard with Kubuntu).  Debian-based, so good package management for upgrading/installing software, too.

If Xubuntu is still too slow on the machine, you could try using fluxbox or the like as a window manager, which has even less overhead.  I recommend just downloading some LiveCD's of various ones, and playing around to see which one you like the best.  Keep in mind that when running from the LiveCD, you will be going MUCH slower than when it's actually installed on the system.

regarding being used as an actual media center, I have a Dell 12.1" XPS laptop that I dual-boot Vista and Ubuntu (gutsy, currently).  It was actually much easier on the linux side to configure the VGA output as a second screen, to connect the laptop to my HDTV (it's got a PC input) than it was in Vista.  I had things running nicely on XP previously, where all you had to do was make sure you had your video overlay set up right, but Vista took that option outta there.  Ubuntu Gutsy worked out of the box playing almost every type of video file that I've collected over the years, too.


Edited by SgtRauksauff, 24 June 2008 - 12:47 PM.

#8 crigby


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Posted 26 June 2008 - 01:32 PM

Just yet another thought! Why not get a free CD, yes completely free, copy of OpenSalaris. You did not state the presences of CD drives, but I risked it. I do not remember the URL, but a search engine will find it. You can download it, but there is a link to get the CD.

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