Need Linux distro recommendation

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Linuxer
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Need Linux distro recommendation

Post by Linuxer »

I have an old Toshiba Satellite laptop (it says 1415-S173 on the bottom). It has 1.79 GHz and 256 MB of RAM. If it matters, it needs to support a USB modem (no wifi). Can someone recommend a good linux distro for it? Preferably one that is newbie friendly.
Running Mint 13 Maya, XFCE
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dXTC
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Re: Need Linux distro recommendation

Post by dXTC »

I had a Toshiba Satellite some years ago that was in that model range, and I believe it would have some trouble running modern Linux distros, especially with the underpowered video hardware.

What is it exactly that you intend to do with the laptop after it's refreshed? Or is this just a test machine? Do you intend to use this online via that modem? The answers may help us fine-tune our recommendations.

EDIT: I'm looking at the specs; there should be an onboard 56K modem, and I'd use that rather than a USB one. Also, 256Mb is a very small amount of RAM; most current or one-version-back distros run on a minimum of 512Mb. That single-core 1.8GHz Celeron has seen its better days as well-- Flash will make it choke something fierce. If your intent is to refresh and give to a friend/relative to surf the net just because their XP is out of support, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.
Last edited by dXTC on Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need Linux distro recommendation

Post by Linuxer »

I'll primarily use it for web browsing and watching video. I'm also thinking of trying to use it to monitor a webcam. Plus generally fooling around/trying to learn things. No gaming or resource intensive stuff. I have broadband and can connect via cable but I'd like to be able to use the USB stick if possible. That's not a priority.
Running Mint 13 Maya, XFCE
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Re: Need Linux distro recommendation

Post by deleted »

Semplice is light and snappy.
http://semplice-linux.org/
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dXTC
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Re: Need Linux distro recommendation

Post by dXTC »

In order to run any decent newer distro, I strongly recommend adding another 256Mb RAM module. Consider getting yourself a basic WiFi router/access point that can act as a WiFi bridge to your cable broadband modem, as trying to watch video over 56K is not recommended. Most video sites use Flash in some fashion, and as I said before, that Celeron will choke on Flash content-- hard.

Ultimately, I'd go with an ultralight distro such as Lubuntu 12.04 or 12.10, Puppy Linux 6.0 "Tahrpup", or if you must go with Mint, Mint XFCE 13.
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jimallyn
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Re: Need Linux distro recommendation

Post by jimallyn »

I have two computers here I am preparing for friends of mine. Both of them are old and underpowered. I tried several different distros, and wound up putting Antix MX-14 on both of them. They claim it will run on a Pentium II 266 MHz with 64 megs of RAM. It runs well on both of the computers I installed it on, one of which is a Toshiba Satellite similar to yours. Just for grins, I decided to try it on an older computer I have here with an AMD K6-2/500 processor and 384 megs of RAM. I didn't install it, just ran it "live" from the CD, and I was amazed at how well it ran. Get it here:

http://www.mepiscommunity.org/download-links

Edit: it installs very fast, like 3 or 4 minutes, and the install includes a lot of useful applications. Some of the apps are even newer versions than what's in Mint 17.
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Re: Need Linux distro recommendation

Post by jsalpha2 »

+1 on MX-14. 512MB RAM is the most the unit will support. 2 Expansion memory slots 256MB in each one. Check E-Bay or one of the forums that offer buying and selling of used parts, like ARS or Anandtech.
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Fred Barclay
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Re: Need Linux distro recommendation

Post by Fred Barclay »

My machine has one 1.70GHz Celeron M processor and runs fine any variety of Debian. I do have 1 GB of RAM, though.
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Re: Need Linux distro recommendation

Post by I2k4 »

You can try some of the ultra-light distros like Puppy Linux, but even so I don't think you can successfully run a current browser (with flash or HTML5) support, on 250mb of RAM. My experience with XFCE and LXDE desktop distros is the OS will run 150mb to 200mb all by itself, but try to run Firefox, Chrome/Chromium, or Opera or any full-featured browser, and they will want another 400mb or more.

I personally gave up on an old Dell laptop with 512mb of RAM for that reason. It's not the OS, it's current browsers needing more RAM than the OS does (there are some lightweight browsers, too, but good luck with site compatibility using those - all I've tried have been more headaches than they are worth.).
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anticapitalista
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Re: Need Linux distro recommendation

Post by anticapitalista »

jimallyn wrote:I have two computers here I am preparing for friends of mine. Both of them are old and underpowered. I tried several different distros, and wound up putting Antix MX-14 on both of them. They claim it will run on a Pentium II 266 MHz with 64 megs of RAM. It runs well on both of the computers I installed it on, one of which is a Toshiba Satellite similar to yours. Just for grins, I decided to try it on an older computer I have here with an AMD K6-2/500 processor and 384 megs of RAM. I didn't install it, just ran it "live" from the CD, and I was amazed at how well it ran. Get it here:

http://www.mepiscommunity.org/download-links

Edit: it installs very fast, like 3 or 4 minutes, and the install includes a lot of useful applications. Some of the apps are even newer versions than what's in Mint 17.
antiX may run on Pentium II 266 MHz with 64 megs of RAM. not MX. MX specs here:

http://www.mepiscommunity.org/user_manu ... ection-1.1
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