[Techtalk] A distro for old machines...

Bud bud at babytux.org
Fri Dec 5 12:49:51 EST 2003

Hi Katie,

 Thanks for the input. I downloaded vectra linux and will try it later next 
week. At the moment I went down the Debian route (woody) and compile a custom 
kernel using 2.6 and used some of the embedded features to slim it down a 

 I also installed a wody backport of XFree86 4.3 and installed blackbox for 
the moment... seems to work well but then I installed xine since I think a 
good video player is need to play atleast mpegs and vcds (I know DVDs will be 
an overkill). X totally crashes!! May be I should download XFree binary from 
the site or try compiling my own. I have a swap space with 128MB for the 32MB 

Do you think I should also look for an alternative video player? Is mplayer 
any faster?


On Friday 05 December 2003 1:18 am, you wrote:
> Hi, Bud,
> > It should be able to run X windows with a decent desktop so that its
> > intutive  for newbies/windows users (with minimal documentation). The
> > applications I am  looking to run are mainly office based. Simple
> > mutimedia is ofcourse a like  to have option (play mp3, mpg/vcd and an
> > audio cd)
> Because of your very limited hardware I'd recommend Vector Linux at
> http://www.vectorlinux.com  I've used it with great success on my Toshiba
> Libretti.
> > * Would kde/qt work faster than Gnome 2.0/gtk 2+
> No, quite the opposite.  You have nowhere near enough memory for either,
> though.  At 32MB you need a lightweight desktop.  The default IceWM window
> manager for Vector will do nicely.  It also comes with XFCE and Fluxbox,
> which also would qualify.
> > * Would debian be a good starting point or should I look into Slackware
> Vector Linux is a Slackware based-distro designed specifically for smaller,
> older systems.  It's got a pretty good installer that's unique to VL, BTW.
> > * Would kernel 2.6 be able to work faster (having been customized) or
> > should I  stick with 2.4 or even perhaps consider 2.2
> A recent 2.4 kernel wold be faster than a 2.2 due to better memory
> management.  You can always recompile a kernel to slim it down, but as most
> things are modular I'm not at all convinced that it would buy you anything
> in terms of performance.  Vector Linux' default kernel is optimized for
> i586 systems.
> > * Would i386 be faster than i586 compiled apps if one was to run in a
> > PII or  PIII platform? I
> IME, no.  Go with optimization for your actual platform.  On a PIII that
> means i686.  On a Pentium 200MMX that means i586.
> > * Would dietlibc be anyfaster and effectively usable as a replacement
> > for  glibc
> Don't know, haven't tried.  I get decent performance on some really limited
> hardware so I haven't felt the need to slim down glibc.
> > * Has this been done? Any similar project?
> VectorLinux is one of many, but I think it's about the best.  There is also
> Peanut Linux, DamnSmall Linux, etc... but VL is a complete distro designed
> for what you want with regular updates and releases.
> All the best,
> Caity

We can change the world if god gave us the source code

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