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What distro for low spec rig?


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OK heres another "what distro?" question.

My mate wants to start using Linux but doesnt know which distro to choose.

He only has:

600mhz duron

192mb SD RAM

A one CD version would be preferable.

Must be easy to use as otherwise he will give up and give me Linux sucks sh*t.

Any ideas? I was thinking Ubuntu as that seems to be the standard recomendation, but im not sure if it would run smoothly on his rig?

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Try Xbuntu (its uses XFCE instead of gnome which is better for lower specced machines).

I've had issues with older kit and Ubuntu before though, so you might want to try DSL (but its a bit to geeky for most people). If you want to do the setup, I know Metatron recommends debian for older kit, but its not simple to config. There's FreeBSD's evil stepson, PC-BSD, which is OK, and freeBSD has never let me down (its based on freeBSD, but n00b proofed somewhat).

If you want to set it up, then any desktop system thats stable will work.

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Ok dude that isnt that low spec of a rig , its outdated yes but you can run most versions of linux on that fairly fast with a GUI just shop around a bit a pick one out , my home server is only 350mhz 440bx with a 256mb ram chip , however i cant find a bios flash to handle more than 128mb of ram anyways you can still have a very useful pc with that just learn to love the PC its your friend it listens to you do what you want with it if it runs put linux on it if you search hard enough they may even have a distro designed for exactly this damn small linux is only 50mb and has a nice repository so you can get more but it runs great on low end machines my 440bx 350 runs suse 9.3 no problen

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Cool, although that box can do a lot more if you forgot about running a gui on it.

Yea but my mate has never used Linux before and he will get put off if he doesnt get a GUI because he will be using it for web mostly.

I just tried Backtrack the other day and it was awesome. Would that run on my mates rig, it would be installed of course, not live CD.

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Backtrack is built on Slax if i'm not mistaken http://www.slax.org I think and it's made to run from the CD so i'm not sure if you'll want (or be able to) install it to the harddrive

source : slax website faq

Why shouldn't you install SLAX as a regular OS?

SLAX is primarily designed to run from CD or USB (or any other removable device) without installing. I put a lot of effort to make it work as a Live OS, so you shouldn't ruin all my work by asking for harddisk installer. If you'd like to have a regular Linux installed on your computer, you should definitely install something else, not SLAX. My advise is: Go for Slackware, I'm using it too, it's the best system for those who are not lazy to learn new things.

^ top

Come on, how to install SLAX to harddisk?

It is possible to boot and run SLAX from harddisk or USB stick and preserve all changes and settings during reboots. I don't call this 'installation' as the system still behaves as a Live OS, just running from disk.

Running SLAX from a writable media will bring you some very usefull features, while preserving the modularity and all other SLAX advantages. Keep reading :)

SLAX CD contains make_disk script (either .bat for Windos or .sh for Linux). Make_disk copies all files and directories from SLAX CD to given destination device/drive and it makes it bootable (overwriting its Master Boot Record, so the device will no longer boot anything else!).

In Linux, start konsole and use:

$ cd /mnt/cdrom # replace /mnt/cdrom by mounted SLAX CD or ISO

$ ./make_disk.sh /dev/sda1 # replace sda1 by your target device name

The script will not format the device, so you should create some filesystem prior make_disk.sh by using mkfs. You may use any filesystem writable in Linux (eg. FAT16, FAT32, ext2, XFS, etc). MBR will be set up by using LILO on /dev/sda (the script just writes MBR to the same device you provice without numbers at the end).

In Windos, start commandline and use:

C:> D: # to switch to D:, replace D: by SLAX CD disk

D:> make_disk.bat E: # replace E: by your target (destination) disk

The same apply like before, disk E: can use any filesystem writable in Windos. Syslinux will be used to setup MBR. If E: is just a partition then the MBR will be set for the whole disk, again, overwriting any old record.

this section is under construction. some more information is needed to describe, eg. how to use changes= properly and benefit all the new SLAX features while running from writable media

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