Best Linux for an old P-133

The place to post if you need help or advice

Moderators: ChrisThornett, LXF moderators

Best Linux for an old P-133

Postby oldamericanbroad » Fri Jul 01, 2005 5:58 am

Would somebody PLEEZ give an American cuz with no Linux, but lots of Windows, experience some advice?

After rebuilding this old castoff Pentium (133, a mere 3 g HD, 32 mg RAM), I want to now set it up with a small, easy Linux OS and start to learn it.

Many hours of searching later, I canNOT find Mandrake 6.0 or anything nearby--

Any suggestions of which ver. to get, and where to download it, would be greatly appreciated!


Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 5:52 am

RE: Best Linux for an old P-133

Postby towy71 » Fri Jul 01, 2005 6:38 am

Vector Linux says it works on p166 32 mb ram see:
still looking for that door into summer
User avatar
Posts: 4262
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:11 pm
Location: wild West Wales

RE: Best Linux for an old P-133

Postby alloydog » Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:40 am

Unless you want an older release, Vector Linux really needs something better than a 233 MHz PC

Since you don't seem to be relying in the PC for any other than learning about Linux, I would recommend Slackware, even the latest, at 10.1. But... only install the basic A series disc set. This will give you a working command line system, with the latest(-ish) kernel and what-nots. From there, you can build up the system, by adding components from the additional the disc set, so you only run what the PC can handle.

At 32 MB it is going to have a real problem with graphics, so you might be best not using a desktop/window manager, rather, rather just run applications from X. You will need to check that any graphical application, such as word processors, web browsers and so on, do not rely on the likes of Gnome, KDE or other libraries, as things will start getting bogged down.
User avatar
LXF regular
Posts: 600
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:32 pm

RE: Best Linux for an old P-133

Postby bigbee » Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:04 am

I have debian (woody, but Sarge will also do fine) and slackware(10.1 with manually selected packages) running on 2 p1 133 32mb 1,5 GB machines. With X and IceWM! It has just enough memory to let me run gaim or amsn for chatting and visit a website with Dillo or links :-) When I'm not using the GUI, one of them serves as a shell server and the other as a mp3box.
I can recommend both of those distro's because they are not that hard to install and packages can be installed easily. (besides, I consider them both as the godfather of many distro's out there, so by learning them, you get a good base for further exploration!

I can also recommend some small distro like DSL (Damn small Linux), I use it to test "new" machines. It's really fast in booting and before you know it: some pengiun is greeting you from your desktop (even on low RAM machines)

Have fun with your machine and remember the saying about old hardware: "It ain't useless untill it's broke" :-)
User avatar
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 2:46 pm
Location: Westerlo, Belgium

RE: Best Linux for an old P-133

Postby M-Saunders » Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:33 am

Give that a go -- it should run happily. You could install an older distro, but you'll be limited to old software too -- it'd be difficult to add some of the latest apps. But DSL includes a good variety of software and should make the box usable.

Failing that, try FreeDOS + GEM :-)

User avatar
LXF regular
Posts: 2893
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:14 pm

RE: Best Linux for an old P-133

Postby alloydog » Fri Jul 01, 2005 9:46 am

I suppose this is where we all pitchin with our favourite mini-distibutions...
Although I recommended Slackware, for learning to put a Linux system together, if you want one that is up and running and usable as a desktop/web browser, then I recommend BeatrIX, though I fear 32 MB is going to be rather tight for anything that has more than just X on it.

I run BeatrIX on a 450 MHz PC, with 512 MB of RAM, but it will do fine with 64 MB. I have tried DSL, Vector Linux 3.something and 4.0, Red Hat 8.1 SuSE 9.2, and tiny Linux. Tiny Linux was the easiest - thought it is a stripped version of Slackware, with an old (IIRC, 2.2) kernel, so would have to be updated anyway - so you might as well use Slackware. Vector Linux 3.something was the best of the bunch, but a bit rough. Also, I could get my printer, the sound, or CDRW to work. From 4.0, everything bar th eprinter worked, but things were slow. DSL didn't sem to work properly at all, SuSE 9.2 was like treacle, and Red Hat 8.1 well, if it were a person, people would be debating whether to keep it alive or not... BeatrIX was up and running from scratch and installed in less than 30 minutes. It does need a few tweaks and pokes, but if you read the "Start here" bit, you'll appreciate why it is the way it is!
User avatar
LXF regular
Posts: 600
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:32 pm

RE: Best Linux for an old P-133

Postby Guest » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:59 pm

I didn't lke damnsmalllinux as a harddrive install on a Pentium 200. (64Mb Ram, 2G drive).
I opted for a 'server' install of ubuntu, then used apt-get to acquire X, a minimalist window manager (I like IceWM), and any software you require.
The ubuntuforums have instructions on what to do once you have got to the command line.

Return to Help!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests