VOGONS


First post, by gaffa2002

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Hi,
Currently I'm trying to setup a Win 98 SE machine and one of the annoyances I'm having is downloading stuff from the internet without having to resort to another computer (mostly drivers, updates for my games, etc...). I'm currently using Retrozilla (using KernelEx) and it works most of the times. But some web pages cannot be opened (i.e Vogons) due to the browser not having the required security protocols.
So I'm thinking on installing linux on a separate partition just so I can have better compatibility browsing the internet...no need for multimedia, just being able to open pages properly and downloading is enough. So, can you guys recommend me a linux distro that:
1- Is light enough to run on an older machine (Athlon classic with 750mhz and 512mb of RAM)
2-Is compatible enough to open modern web pages (no need to display perfectly, as long as the links are accessible, its fine)
3-Can read/write FAT32 partitions (so I can download the files directly to the windows 98 SE partition)

I searched the forum, but the posts were kinda old and I'm not sure if they are relevant anymore.
Thanks in advance,

LO-RES, HI-FUN

Reply 1 of 10, by kjliew

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512MB will be very tight for modern Linux with contemporary DE/WM. I think 1GB is the minimum to be more likely to have acceptable user experience. I have ArchLinux32 on EeePC 701 4G, but it has 2GB RAM upgrade, SSD and supports SSE2. IIRC, Athlon classic does not support SSE2 which would be another limitation.

You can also try Debian Jessie or Stretch, which can be more forgiving for older system with less memory.

Reply 2 of 10, by schmatzler

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Judging from mamy years of testing, these distros tend to work very well on older machines for me:

- antiX
- nanolinux
- TinyCore
- Slitaz
- Slackware

antiX might be a bit too "fat", since it is based on recent Debian. But it works well on my Tualatin and only takes up around 200MB of memory. Until you run Firefox, but that's a different story... 😄

nanolinux and TinyCore are really small. According to the Readme they even run on a 486. They should be fine on your machine, but they probably lack some programs or usability because of their super-low memory footprint.

Slitaz is optimized for i686 and also runs great on my Tualatin.

And Slackware is superb for nerds that like to read manuals and tweak around because it starts into a shell by default and only uses a few megabytes of memory. It can be tweaked very well regarding which services to start etc., but you need quite a bit of Linux knowledge for that.

Reply 3 of 10, by xjas

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I have Bodhi Linux running on a Pentium-M with 640MB RAM and it does pretty well, the window manager is a fork of EnlightenmentWM which runs nice and fast while still feeling decently modern. Grab the "Legacy" iso for 32-bit support & optimizations for i686.

Other suggestions: Lubuntu if you want full Ubuntu features with LXDE. It's a bit chunkier than a "true" lightweight distro, but it might run OK.
Anything with Fluxbox - AntiX offers this as a standard option, AFAIK.
Manjaro with i3 - this will have a learning curve and I'm not sure they offer 32-bit support anymore?? i3 is about as light as you can get though.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - Tu/Th @ 1PMish PDT and whenever else. Streams will be announced in the thread.

Reply 4 of 10, by Caluser2000

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Debian and Duvian Jessie installs just fun on my K6-2 test rig with 300megs of ram. Just don't use Unity/Gnome3 or KDE as your desktop environment. Go with MATE/XFCE4/LXDE instead. Also run on a P166mmx setup with 256megs of ram without any issues.

Net installed both distros on both of those systems.

Ignore those custom distros and go for the real thing. Also they support usb keyboard/mouse and you can have a pci usb 2 card in and hot swap usb thumb drives. WiFi connections are also possible with a pci network wifi card.

This thread may be of interest to the OP *nix software and systems

Last edited by Caluser2000 on 2020-05-22, 00:18. Edited 2 times in total.

There's a glitch in the matrix.

Reply 5 of 10, by gdjacobs

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I used to be pretty hard core into using Windowmaker. Good times.

I'd love if WM was updated with svg icons, anti aliased text, and the other goodies.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 7 of 10, by schmatzler

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Sacrilege! The best window manager is of course fvwm95!

(There's a bugfixed version of that here)

Fvwm95.png
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Reply 10 of 10, by Caluser2000

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schmatzler wrote on 2020-04-28, 12:54:

Sacrilege! The best window manager is of course fvwm95!

(There's a bugfixed version of that here)

Fvwm95.png

Thanks for I'll give it a shot. RedHat 5.2 had it as the default wm iirc.

There's a glitch in the matrix.