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Hi,

I have an old Dell computer and I am wondering which distro would be best for FAMILY use that has the following specs...

500mhz P3
288mb ram
10gb HD
Integrated Intel Graphics

(Currently Windows 98SE - something not to brag about in a linux forum)

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Last Post by jbennet
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its the ram that counts mostly

Im currently using a pentium 3M 699mhz, 256mb RAM laptop and it runs just fine

take a look at:

Ubuntu ("Edgy 6.10" Version) . Modern and easy to get mulltimedia etc... set up and you can run it off the cd first to see if you like it before installing - (dont worry if its slow, its always slow when its running off the cd)

It has lots of music, picture organising etc.... apps (perfect for a family pc) as well as a full office suite compatible with any microsoft office documents you may already have.

One thing to note is that linux in general is a pain in the ass to set up dialup internet on.

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As I mentioned earlier, I want it to be as user-friendly as possible, because I want the family to be able to use it.

Thanks for the response!

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yes ubuntu would be right up your street. You may want to look into a service called shipit who deliver free cds (if you dont have broadband thats a good idea as the download is about 699mb)

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288Mb of ram is barely enough but you might be able to run MEPIS and if you couldn't run MEPIS then I would say to try damn small linux. DSL will run on most any computer and doesn't need as much ram. Of all the MEPIS versions 3.3 was the best at booting with a very old system. This is a partial description of DSL. This is the link if you want to read more.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=damnsmall

Damn Small Linux is a business card size (50MB) Live CD Linux distribution. Despite its minuscule size it strives to have a functional and easy to use desktop. Damn Small Linux has a nearly complete desktop, including XMMS (MP3, and MPEG), FTP client, links-hacked web browser, spreadsheet, email, spellcheck (US English), a word-processor, three editors (Nedit, nVi, Zile [emacs clone]), Xpdf, Worker (file manager), Naim (AIM, ICQ, IRC), VNCviwer, SSH/SCP server and client, DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE, a web server, calculator, Fluxbox window manager.......Follow the link to get the rest. If you want to get dsl by torrent it is at linuxtracker. This link might take you there. http://linuxtracker.org/torrents-details.php?id=3602 I am seeding this one after I finish downloading it.:D

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Probably MEPIS will run on that computer too. MEPIS uses ubuntu sources for repos so I guess it may. I just haven't tried any of the new MEPIS versions on an older p3 set up. My son (5 1/2) dual boots xp and 3.4.3 MEPIS and it works awesome. He has 512 Mb of ram though. Actually his first computer was a dell gx1 with 256 Mb of ram on a 550 Mhz p3 but the version of MEPIS was 3.3. 3.3 would boot on older systems when the newer ones wouldn't or if they did they ran slow. So it is always worth a try.

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Most common distros will run on 256MB though they may be slow. Ubuntu is probably one of your better bets for a quick setup and easy to use system. You might want to look at Kubuntu as well, which is simply Ubuntu with KDE as the desktop manager (this way the default appearance is "more like windows").

I've not used DSL, but the footprint for it isn't a feature in this case; you should be fine with a full distro, just minus the extra eye candy. I don't know how difficult it is to setup, but I'm willing to bet it takes a lot more effort than Ubuntu....

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>Most common distros will run on 256MB though they may be slow.
Most common distros will run on 64MB though they may be slow. :twisted:

(Believe me, I know!)

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yeah i mean i run a server happily on 64
and my tweaked out debian etch system uses 58mb when idle and running gnome

but for a full desktop system where you want to be able to have gnome, firefox and openoffice open at the same time you need 256+

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but for a full desktop system where you want to be able to have gnome, firefox and openoffice open at the same time you need 256+

Or you can have a full desktop system with 64 MB running KDE, OpenOffice, and multiple other apps. All that is required is tons of swap space and patience. (Perhaps that's why Ubuntu didn't appeal to me very much. ;) )

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yes ubuntu would be right up your street. You may want to look into a service called shipit who deliver free cds (if you dont have broadband thats a good idea as the download is about 699mb)

You're smoking crack!

Ubuntu wouldn't be the easiest. At least recommend Mint Linux so all the codecs and being able to play DVDs are taken care of for crying out loud. This is a FAMILY PC. That means that people from all experience levels will be using it. Plus, if this guy is asking about this...he doesn't know about easyubuntu or any other tool and probably fears the command line.

Ubuntu doesn't have YAST or anything close to it...I'd recommend OpenSuse 10.X over Ubuntu any day.

http://www.opensuse.org/

For that matter, Mandriva free might be right up there where this guy needs to go as well.

http://www.mandriva.com/download

Remember that all of these installations can be stripped down during the installation process (just choose fewer options).

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Read the post TKS. He only has 256mb RAM, meaning OpenSuse would run insanely slow

Also OpenSuses dvds playback facilities are crippled

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I still say MEPIS over ubuntu, vector linux, PClinuxOS, sidux, kanotix, knoppix 5.1.1, dsl, kubuntu, xubuntu, fedora, sabyon, last weeks version of debiab etch with kde, debian etch with gnome, aLinux, slackware. I've used all of these.
I'm sure that I am forgetting a few but of all of them MEPIS is the easiest to use and the easiest to set up to play store bought dvds. MEPIS is rock solid and if you don't think so then you must not have even tried MEPIS. And if you haven't tried MEPIS lately then how can you even seem credible when you don't say that MEPIS is the best. My opinion. From my own tests. Not from hearsay or rumors or forums. MEPIS rocks. Rock on.

Oh one more thing. Here is a link to a wikpedia page that lists most of the linux's and what type of linux that they are based on.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distributions

The link above is where I got this description of MEPIS

MEPIS
An easy-to-use Debian-based distribution which also runs as a LiveCD, allowing you to try out MEPIS before you decide to install it on your hard drive. There are several flavors to choose from.
MEPIS Lite - An entry level version of desktop MEPIS designed for home users with smaller hardware requirements (Pentium II/128MB/2G install).
SimplyMEPIS - The official name for the "MEPIS" distribution.
MEPIS SoHoServer - A general purpose server based on the recent release of Debian. Includes preconfigured Apache, PHP, Perl, MySql, Proftpd, Bind, DHCPd, Postfix, Dovecot, Shorewall, Squid, DansGuardian, Webmin, Usermin etc.

So I still say MEPIS. I would say use the new SimplyMEPIS 6.5 Rc1 or the 6.5 final, it's great. Unless there is a distro that I haven't tried that is better but I doubt it. Just my opinion, based on factual use and not gossip. :)

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That description can easialy be applied to ubuntu:

Ubuntu
An easy-to-use Debian-based distribution which also runs as a LiveCD, allowing you to try it out before you decide to install it on your hard drive. There are several flavors to choose from.
Ubuntu - The standard version
XUbuntu - system designed for home users with smaller hardware requirements
Ubuntu server- A general purpose server based on the recent release of Debian. Includes preconfigured Apache, PHP, Perl, MySql, Proftpd, Bind, DHCPd, Postfix, Dovecot, Shorewall, Squid, DansGuardian, Webmin, Usermin etc.


and i have tried MEPIS . PCLinux OS is better

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You're right on in that one for sure. The description does fit both pretty well.

I have the new PClinuxOS cds in my hand as we speak. Downloaded it due to so much PClinuxOS supporters at this site.
The one thing that is stopping me from installing it is that I have about ten other operating systems installed. All booting with grub.
My questions are but a few.
1) Does PClinuxOS use grub or lilo ?
2) Can the bootloader in PClinuxOS have the option to load the bootloader to the root partition ?
3)Or does it automatically load itself to the Mbr of hda ?
When i used PClinuxOS last time (A couple of years ago)I installed it as the only system so I forget what it uses. Grub or lilo.

PClinuxOS in distrowatch has climbed up to # 2 right behing ubuntu. And it is climbing every day. :)

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dont know but i think its based on the installer that mandriva one (the installable livecd) has. If you do expert mode i think you ought to be able to choose.

cds? it should be one disk?

theres the old (stable version) then there is the new 2007 release candidate one - thats the one most people are on (but its buggy so take my advice and take the older version as apt-get dist-upgrade ought to be able to upgrade it later)

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dont know but i think its based on the installer that mandriva one (the installable livecd) has. If you do expert mode i think you ought to be able to choose.

cds? it should be one disk?

Oops. Cds was a type error. They should never have put d and s so darn close together. LOL. My fingers are too big and I sometimes, or usually hit two dang keys at a time. I need to dial a phone using a pencil or forget it (is it still considered dialing when the dial has been gone for so long?). Anyway I might just play with the live cd a bit later today. I can wait for the final release and install that.
Thanks for the suggestion to use expert mode.
I would still like to hear if anyone has chainloaded an operating system in later with PClinuxOS.
And if it is like editing, or adding to, grub or not.
Thanks again.

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if you get it installed, have a play around with remastering. you can use remasterme to build a livdcd copy of the current system

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I will and thanks a lot for your help. I didn't think of googling with exactly what you wrote. I was searching every forum that I could. My mistake but thanks a lot. Really
And I will definately try re-mastering a cd. That is something else that I have been interested in. I googled for the re-mastering info a while back but it didn't quite get through my thick skull when I read it. It looked a lot more complex than a single command. Wish my os would do that. :)

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