Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 18th Jun 2012 04:20 UTC
Linux In the past year I've reviewed four lightweight Linuxes for OS News: VectorLinux, Puppy Linux, Lubuntu, and Damn Small Linux. This article compares the four distributions. I invite your comments in response: what are your own experiences with these and competing lightweight distros?
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RE[2]: Comment by wigry
by zima on Mon 18th Jun 2012 08:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by wigry"
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

Slackware can still be installed on as low as a 486 with 64MB RAM! You can't beat that for old/low specs.

I think you can ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightweight_Linux_distribution - admittedly, large part of them based on Slackware, even if on its old versions).

Though... that would be one unusual 486, with 64 MiB, me thinks. Still, it points to what the article barely addresses (worse, it seems to focus more on CPU generations for demarcation): for most "daily usage" scenarios, RAM tends to be more important than CPU power.
Lubuntu is moderately decent on a PII that I keep around (well, dual, but OTOH only 266 MHz), with a relatively large for its era 384 MiB of RAM.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by wigry
by bassbeast on Tue 19th Jun 2012 05:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by wigry"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

The problem I've found with any of those "old systems", not talking about some 486 that someone found in an attic but what you'd normally find, those P3s and P4s that seem to be everywhere? yeah their power usage was just awful compared to even a cheapo Atom or AMD E series or ARM, those things just blew through the power, especially anything to do with netburst.

So while I can appreciate playing with the old stuff just to goof around I have to wonder if keeping anything like that for an actual purpose would be smart or if you'd waste more in electricity than you'd save just getting a small ARM box or one of those $100 E350 kits where they draw like 8w on average. I can tell you when I finally got around to replacing my boys Pentium Ds for an AMD Hex and Quad the power bill dropped pretty dang quick. I hadn't thought about how much power and cooling them old units took, just as tossing their CRTs for LCDs a few months later caused another decent sized drop. You don't realize how little they cared about power draw back then until you actually change them out for something modern but its a pretty big difference.

That is why the only older machine I've kept is a 754 Sempron, it only pulls 35w or so and makes a nice nettop, I'm sure it'll be even better when i get around to tossing the Sempron for a Mobile Athlon with better thermal controls.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by wigry
by zima on Tue 19th Jun 2012 16:05 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by wigry"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

When all the overall resources and energy consumption are taken into account, the total cost of manufacturing and shipping new electronic thingy tends to eclipse the energy usage from continuous operation of old machine - at least within the limits of sensible usage patterns (not turned on 24/7 and such; well, and perhaps not if that's some Pentium D or smth). It might be often not directly apparent because all externalities are virtually never accounted for in retail prices.

P3s were moderately decent BTW, comparable to that Sempron you keep, certainly in the most popular Celeron (not pushing things) or even Celeron Tualatin variants (0.13 - nice those ones, and quite fast; unfortunately, Intel marketing was too often succesful in convincing that in fact slower Netburst Celerons were "better" with their much higher clock and so on...).
Many budget AMDs similar - and I even keep around an Athlon XP Palomino which, according to my back-of-the-napkin calculations, uses at most as many Watts as your Sempron (it's underclocked and undervolted - slight performance loss doesn't matter in how it's sometimes used; it's more a "cool, I have a decade old PC which is still perfectly comfortable in 'daily' tasks" thing)

Edited 2012-06-19 16:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2