Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Dec 2008 23:31 UTC, submitted by linuxlinks
Window Managers "Mainstream Linux distributions typically default to one of two desktop environments, KDE or GNOME. Both of these environments provide users with an intuitive and attractive desktop, as well as offering a large raft of multimedia software, games, administration programs, network tools, educational applications, utilities, artwork, web development tools and more. However, these two desktops focus more on providing users with a modern computing environment with all the bells and whistles featured in Windows Vista, rather than minimising the amount of system resources they need. For users and developers who want to run an attractive Linux desktop on older hardware, netbooks, or mobile internet devices, neither KDE or GNOME may be a viable option, as they run too slowly on low spec machines (such as less than 256MB RAM and a 1 GHz processor). This article seeks to identify the best lean desktops for Linux, for users that have old or even ancient hardware."
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how ancient
by MamiyaOtaru on Tue 2nd Dec 2008 08:51 UTC
MamiyaOtaru
Member since:
2005-11-11

I several months ago got DSL working on a Pentium something or other 90 mhz with 16 MB of RAM. This IBM Thinkpad laptop is old enough it doesn't have USB or Ethernet (to say nothing of wireless) without the use of the PCMCIA slots ;)

DSL works and I can do stuff (surfing, emailing, etc). Windows 95 is faster though. It can also make use of all of the screen. My ancient lappy can do 640*480 at 16bit color or 800*600 at 8bit color. Unfortunately my attempts to get X to run in 8bit (for various reasons like trying to improve Starcraft performance, getting this laptop's full screen working) have always failed with funky looking colors.

Unfortunately Win95 with Opera and Lotus Smart Suite is a better alternative on that laptop, though unstable and crashy. I'd hate to think about getting a graphical linux going on something even older than that.

Reply Score: 2

RE: how ancient
by Vanger on Tue 2nd Dec 2008 09:23 in reply to "how ancient"
Vanger Member since:
2007-11-28

I've ran Slack 11 on 2.4 kernel on P60/16.
Ran fine in console, though fluxbox was quite sluggish, as Windows 98.
For such old machines the best choice is W95, indeed, cause it's very complicated to find packages for contemporary distros' versions.
But if the machine is 10 years old (starting from P2), then Linux for modern machines should run fine on them too.

Reply Parent Score: 2