Looking for a fast Linux Distro

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Looking for a fast Linux Distro

Postposted on Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:16 am

I have an older laptop (around 1.2Ghz, 256MB RAM, 80 gig HD) that I want to use in college. The main things I will be doing with it is using open office (or something equivalent), some internet browsing, and wireless printing. I want to find a Linux distro that is lightweight and fast. I have been using Ubuntu, but I want to try something different.

The only other option I see so far is Xubuntu, which looks like it would be faster. Any distro that can be installed from a USB drive is a plus since the laptop does not have a floppy or CD drive.
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Re: Looking for a fast Linux Distro

Postposted on Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:23 am

I believe gentoo should be able to handle what you need.
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Re: Looking for a fast Linux Distro

Postposted on Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:58 am

If you do Xubuntu you'll really want another 128MB of RAM, because with 256 you're still going to be hitting swap every time you run a program. Puppy Linux could probably do what you want, but by default there's /no/ security on it: you run as root without a password; possibly you can install a password and a user account.

Damn Small Linux has security by default, but it's more limited than Puppy. Don't know if it can do wireless printing, and since it uses the old 2.4 kernel series, it may not support your wireless card without ndiswrapper. I run it on my Pentium-90 with 64MB of RAM and it runs acceptably, so performance-wise it should be good for you.

Both DSL and Puppy are LiveCDs but I've heard of people running them from USB sticks, and so you can try them out before installing.

Slackware? It's pretty customizable without having to compile like Gentoo.

With a weaker box like that, I'd use Abiword and Gnumeric instead of OpenOffice. You'll still have to use OOo for presentations. Also make sure to install powertop and use its recommendations, to save power.
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Re: Looking for a fast Linux Distro

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:31 pm

Right now Puppy Linux looks like just what I want, but for some reason whenever I select a screen option the backlight goes out. I can just barely make out the background image, so I know that the screen isn't completely off. Any ideas on how to fix this?
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Re: Looking for a fast Linux Distro

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:25 pm

Dunno. Have you checked the Puppy forums?
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Re: Looking for a fast Linux Distro

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:07 pm

Have you tried a different distro..like...oh...I don't know... maybe Gentoo? You may be running into a problem specific to that distro.
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