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Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:37 pm
by tj_guy
I'm trying to help a public school with several computer labs filled with Compaq PC's with 256MB RAM and Pentium III or early Pentium 4 CPU's (about 120 computers), running Windows 2000 slow as molasses. No budget for a RAM upgrade or computer replacement. No hardware problems, they have been maintained well.
Students need browser + office + Wine for some specific Windows apps. I've tested LXDE 8 and it works well, but would like to get the best performance from this hardware and, ideally, have a smooth transition from Windows to Linux. Should I use Fluxbox, Xfce, LXDE or ???

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:21 pm
by Robin
Fluxbox is the easiest Mint available for older, low-resource hardware. I think LXDE is a good transition from Win2K. You might try the awesome Xfce edition (Xfce is kinda like "Gnome Lite"), which is closest thing to regular Linux Mint but a little easier on resources.

Enjoy!

-R

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:27 pm
by gunfyter
I would try Mint LXDE or Peppermint Ice http://peppermintos.net/index.php

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:44 pm
by wkmanire
The needs seem pretty minimal. If you're brave you could always try a basic debian install. Then you can apt-get yourself xorg, fluxbox, firefox, wine, perhaps open office.

Gentoo is another barebones distro but I've never found the trade off of time vs. convenience to be worthwhile.

As far as the Mint Fluxbox RC. Its still a release candidate so you might not want to put it into prime-time for your school.

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:58 pm
by cra1g321
i would definitely go with LXDE. XFCE isnt as light as people think and fluxbox isnt as user-friendly or as easy to use as LXDE imo

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:44 am
by wkmanire
cra1g321 wrote:i would definitely go with LXDE. XFCE isnt as light as people think and fluxbox isnt as user-friendly or as easy to use as LXDE imo
Thats a good point about fluxbox not being as user friendly.

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:19 pm
by jeffreyC
I have to agree that your best choice would be LXDE (Fluxbox, though my favorite is not newbie/recent Windows user friendly)

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:48 am
by Pierre
I would go with 256Mb, is kinda - a bit slim :)

However, I would still try putting XFCE onto a few if those machines,
& see how the students react.

just my 2c ...

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:23 pm
by AKiRa121
LXDE without any doubt, Mint XFCE is based in Xubuntu, which uses a lot of Gnome libraries and so, is as light as Gnome. In the other hand, as somebody said, Fluxbox isn't very user friendly.

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:44 am
by webb1976
Thanks guys. I am debating which one to use myself. I got a P4 machine with 256MB.

I was contemplating which one to use as well. I actually am able to run regular Ubuntu on it 8.04, but I want to give Mint a try. I have heard alot about Openbox/LXDE (Crunchbang) and how light it is. I have also heard some talk about XFCE (I have seen that on Xubuntu and was not too impressed). I am curious about Fluxbox since i have heard it is REALLY light.... but I hear it is not as intuitive.

Seems that in terms of a great balance betewen hogging-resources and looks LXDE is the way to go. Hmmm, I will try that first and I may give XFCE another look (wasn't so impressed when I say it on Xubuntu...seemed to run at the same speed although it was not he current version).

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:24 am
by jeffreyC
Fluxbox isn't so much not user friendly, as not newbie friendly.
Once you know some about Linux it is not too difficult (I am by no means an expert and it is my favorite)
Configuring it is mostly plain text files, and it is very easy on resources.
I often recommend other DEs to people just coming from windows because it has no desktop icons built-in.

Xubuntu's big problem is that it is built with too much Gnome added onto it, and as far as I know Linux Mint Xfce is built on Xubuntu. If you remove the Gnome add-ons it becomes much faster and lighter.
CrunchBang Xfce is not built with Gnome parts and is much lighter.

But I would still say LXDE is the lightest full desktop environment. It would be hard to go wrong with either Linux Mint LXDE or Peppermint for someone new to Linux and on older hardware.

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:10 pm
by haylocki
Hi,

I am currently running Linux Mint Debian Edition on a 256MB Pentium III laptop.
The Desktop I'm using is XFCE.

Currently have 90MB free even though I have firefox & Deluge running.

I think XFCE is much more integrated than LXDE, and don't really notice any difference from the Gnome desktop when using XFCE. (Except memory usage, of course.)

So if you want to stick with Linux Mint on 256MB ram then LMDE with XFCE is a pretty good installation to use.

Cheers, Ian

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:02 pm
by fernbap
I have Mint LXDE runnind on a 10 year old AMD Duron 1200 with 512 MB RAM and, besides working perfectly, is faster than the windows XP it replaced. I didn't try XFCE there, but i think it's significantly heavier.

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:38 am
by TexasProud
Puppy Linux is being used by a number of financially strapped School systems for their students. It's about the easiest and most reliable, and has everything and more, that you need. There are also a number of free educational programs that can be downloaded and used with Puppy, that other strapped schools have developed.

I'm beginning to think Puppy runs on magic or fairy dust. You don't even need a harddrive for that one, it's a live cd and it loads in ram. It seems like one of the Puppy versions will run perfectly on something like 130 mg of ram or something, maybe less i.e. 60 mg ram. It detects all your wireless and automatically installs those drivers (and all the other drivers), and gets you on the internet and your network with ease. It's also free to download and has complete instructions and a forum to help you. Your computer will need a cd drive, but it seems like there is a Puppy OS that will fit on a floppy. Puppy, like Mint, is very user friendly too, and it's not sluggish at all. You can even play movies on old computers using Puppy. Office, games and everything you can think of is on Puppy.

(Sorry Mint, as much as I luv ya, on this one I gotta go with Puppy).

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:28 pm
by kvv
Edit: Puppy is good but it doesn't have support for multiple users. Guess you should just try Debian LXDE or Lubuntu.

Edit 2: Try Macpup, it seems to be very light as well.
TexasProud wrote:Puppy Linux
I gotta agree with this. LXDE and XFCE will run, but just. Once you open 3 to 4 programs concurrently, it may just hang. For a school, I am guessing that, applications need to just work, and be easy to open and configure, nothing more.

You probably already did this, but make sure the external peripherals like printers, scanners, monitors (dictated by the graphics card) and audio work fine.

Also, applications that need WINE should not have bugs that affect their need, else the whole thing may just fail because of a small feature in one application. WINE is not really recommended for a production environment, but for a school, ehh..

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:49 am
by Milky_Way
I recommend using LXDE desktop environment, or could use other distributions such as MEPIS or antiX

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:09 pm
by gotjazz
I'd say use lmde instead of the main edition's base, wipe out gnome and install lxde or fluxbox or something like that on it.

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:43 pm
by kvv
I was trying out Crunchbang Statler, which is based on Debian stable, but you can switch to testing easily enough, if you feel adventurous. Thing is Crunchbang+openbox is sweeeet. Simple desktop, and it will run very comfortably on 256MB ram. Only problem is, openbox is not for people who can't get around in Linux at a beginner-intermediate level.

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:18 am
by hemimaniac
I just installed LM9 gnome on a IBM thinkpad with the same specs last weekend, first boot went kinda painfully slow, but after installing bum and removing all the stuffs that isnt going to be used by a lowlevel machine and did some trimming on the os itself, it flies, better then the windows 2000 that was in the unit

Re: Which Mint for 256MB RAM and Pentium III?

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:51 am
by mychance
hemimaniac wrote:I just installed LM9 gnome on a IBM thinkpad with the same specs last weekend, first boot went kinda painfully slow, but after installing bum and removing all the stuffs that isnt going to be used by a lowlevel machine and did some trimming on the os itself, it flies, better then the windows 2000 that was in the unit
Is there any tutorial showing us how to remove the fat out a bloated OS ? I would certainly use that procedure on my netbook.