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Friday, December 2, 2011

Running Linux on old hardware configuration

Here's a basic link with various options. Choose the DVD with the full install, the CD is very basic and may cause you some frustration.
Informacion del equipo
Abre una terminal:
$ su - --------- root passwd 
# dmesg
# dmesg | less
# lshw -short
# lspci
# cat /proc/cpuinfo 
# cat /proc/meminfo
Here the output is in HTML and is redirected to a file which can be viewed in a web browser:
hardinfo -f html > hardwareinfo.html
Si la version del kernel usada no soporta el DMA del disco rigido, hay  problemas en la transferencia de datos entre disco y el resto de los componentes:
# hdparm -Tt /dev/hda 
The binaries are usually compiled for a specific CPU to gain increased performance by taking advantage of new architecture and instruction sets. Every new generation of CPU has some new features besides just increased clocks.
  • i386 - is the old 386/486 intel CPUS
  • i586 - intel Pentium/Pro and 100% AMD Compatibles like K5 or Cyrix
  • i686 - (Intel Pentium 4)  Started with the P II and then the P III and AMD Athlon, Duron
  • XPx86_x64 - AMD architecture of Athlon64, intel call it "Intel 64-bit with Extended Memory Technology"
As a general rule, use the one retated to your CPU. Older versions will run on newer CPUs but newer ones might not run on older CPUs.
To give a little more information on that, the X86 processors started with the Intel 8086 processor way back in 1978. They were incrementally improved (80186, 80286) and then Intel released the Intel 386 (i386) in 1980. That was then followed by the 486 (i486), the Pentium (i586), and the Pentium 3/4 (i686) and AMD's Athlon/Duron/T-bird (also i686).
Since all these processors were based on the same architecture (basically they read/wrote 1's and 0's in the same way), and their names all contained "86", the whole family was collectively called "X86". All the X86 processors were 32-bit.
The recent trend has been to move toward 64-bit processors, and several different architectures popped up. DEC's Alpha and Motorola's PPC chips have been 64-bit for a while, but Intel's Itanium and Xeon and AMD's Athlon64 are the new kids on the block.
The difference between the Itanium and PPC versus the Athlon64 is that the Itanium and PPC have completely different architectures (they speak different 1 and 0 languages), whereas the Athlon64 speaks the same language as the 32-bit x86 processors, but adds 64-bit registers. Therefore the name of the Athlon64 in generic terms is "x86_x64".
Intel, not to be outdone, has since redesigned its 64-bit Xeon processors to use the same kind of architecture as the Athlon64, calling it "Intel 64-bit with Extended Memory Technology". Basically they couldn't say they copied AMD without being laughed at in irony (since AMD got its start by simply copying Intel's chips).
The bewildering choice and the ever increasing number of Linux distributions can be confusing for those who are new to Linux. This is why this page was created. It lists 10 Linux distributions (plus an honourable mention of FreeBSD, by far the most popular of all of the BSDs), which are generally considered as most widely-used by Linux users around the world. There are no figures to back it up and there are many other distributions that might suit your particular purpose better, but as a general rule, all of these are popular and have very active forums or mailing lists where you can ask questions if you get stuck. Ubuntu, Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS are considered the easiest for new users who want to get productive in Linux as soon as possible without having to master all its complexities. On the other end of the spectrum, Slackware Linux, Arch Linux and FreeBSD are more advanced distributions that require plenty of learning before they can be used effectively. openSUSE, Fedora, Debian GNU/Linux and Mageia can be classified as good "middle-road" distributions. CentOS is an enterprise distribution, suitable for those who prefer stability, reliability and long-term support over cutting-edge features and software.  
  • Available editions: A "main" edition (with GNOME), a variety of "secondary" editions (with KDE, Xfce and Fluxbox), Linux Mint "Debian" edition (rolling-release with GNOME or Xfce)
  • Possible alternatives: Ubuntu, Pinguy OS, Zorin OS, SimplyMEPIS, Peppermint OS
  • Available editions: Fedora for 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (x86_64) processors; Red Hat Enterprise Linux for i386, IA64, PowerPC, s390x and x86_64 architectures; also live CD editions with GNOME, KDE, LXDE or Xfce desktops
  • Suggested Fedora-based alternatives: Kororaa (live DVD with GNOME or KDE), Fuduntu (live DVD with codecs and other user-friendly features), Fusion Linux (live DVD with Mint menu and other user-friendly features)
  • Suggested Red Hat-based alternatives: CentOS, Scientific Linux, PUIAS
  • Available editions: Installation CD/DVD and live CD images for 11 processor architectures, including all 32-bit and 64-bit processors from Intel, AMD, Power and others
    Debian has the 486 kernel on the same disk as the 686 kernel.
  • Suggested Debian-based alternatives: Ubuntu, MEPIS Linux (desktop with KDE), KNOPPIX (live CD with LXDE), CrunchBang Linux (desktop with Openbox), aptosid (desktop with KDE or Xfce), Saline OS (desktop with Xfce), Parsix GNU/Linux (desktop with GNOME)
  • Available editions: openSUSE for 32-bit (i386), 64-bit (x86_64) processors (also installable live CD edition); SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop/Server for i586, IA64, PowerPC, s390, s390x and x86_64 architectures
  • Available editions: Minimal installation CD and network installation CD images for 32-bit (i686) and 64-bit (x86_64) processors
  • Suggested Arch-based and Arch-like alternatives: ArchBang Linux (lightweight with Openbox), Chakra GNU/Linux (live CD with KDE), CTKArch (lightweight with Openbox), ConnochaetOS (for old computers)
  • Available editions: Installation DVDs and installable live CDs (with GNOME) for i386 and x86_64 processors; older versions (3.x and 4.x) also available for Alpha, IA64 and IBM z-series (s390, s390x) processors.
  • Other RHEL clones and CentOS-based distributions: Scientific Linux, PUIAS Linux, SME Server, Rocks Cluster Distribution, Oracle Enterprise Linux (commercial)
  • Available editions: Installation CDs and DVD for 32-bit (i486) and 64-bit (x86_64) processors
  • Suggested Slackware-based alternatives: Kongoni GNU/Linux (desktop, free software), Linvo GNU/Linux (desktop with GNOME), Porteus (live CD with KDE or LXDE), Salix OS (desktop, live CD), VectorLinux (desktop), Zenwalk Linux (desktop)
  • Other distributions with similar philosophies: Arch Linux, Frugalware Linux
FreeBSD (not GNU/Linux but GNU)
  • Available editions: Installation CDs for AMD64, ARM/ARMEL, i386, IA64, MIPS/MIPSEL, PC98 PowerPC, SPARC64 and Xbox processors
  • Suggested FreeBSD-based alternatives: PC-BSD (desktop), GhostBSD (live DVD with GNOME)
  • Other BSD alternatives: OpenBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly BSD
antiX is a fast, lightweight and easy-to-install linux live CD distribution based on MEPIS and Debian's testing branch for Intel/AMD x86-compatible systems. antiX offers users the "Magic of MEPIS" in an environment suitable for old computers. The goal of antiX is to provide a light, but fully functional and flexible free operating system for both newcomers and experienced users of Linux. It should run on most computers, ranging from 64 MB PII systems with a pre-configured 128 MB swap partition to the latest powerful boxes. 128 MB RAM is the recommended minimum for antiX while the installer needs a minimum of 2.2 GB hard disk space. antiX can also be used as a fast-booting rescue CD.
Distribución antiX
Página principal
Listas de correo --
Foros de usuario
Documentación --
Capturas Coding Studio
Mirrors de descarga
Bug Tracker --
Sitios web relacionados
Reviews 8.x: Desktop Linux ReviewsBlogspotIT Lure
7.x: Blogspot

ark linux, basada en mandriva, KDE 3.5. 
Pentium 233mhz con 128mb RAM
LXDE (32-bit)
Use the xfce edition or
if language support is needed, download the KDE edition
Ark Linux  
Ark Linux 2008.1 (Current Stable) Recommended for those with older computers who don't feel comfortable testing.
What OS for my old PC? Want to recycle your "old" i486?
Which operating system to install?
Windows XP and Vista: are too resource intensive,
Windows 95/98/ME: not recommended since these versions are no longer maintained and safety risks are too great,
GNU/Linux: excellent choice because you can choose not only the distribution but also the desktop manager.
 Here are some screenshots:
Damn Small Linux running on a machine with 64 MB of RAM ... and there is still room in memory despite Firefox launched:



Photos:courtesy of CCM
Choosing your Desktop manager 
 On Windows, this is not possible, but on the contrary GNU/Linux allows you to choose a desktop manager that is not too resource intensive. This is because, the GNU/Linux distributions all share the same basis, the actual difference in terms of resource consumption is the choice of the Desktop manager.
Desktop stands for the working interface of any user. This man-machine interface (HMI) uses a window manager, and sometimes an integrated graphical environment.
But note that desktop solutions in 3D (three dimensional) are unusable on i486 with 512 MB (at best) of memory (RAM).
If you want a "simple" window manager, turn to:
If you want a 2D graphics environments (more complete), turn to:
Choice of distribution
... .... 
Ready to use Distributions
Note that some distributions may have several desktop managers available:
Feather Linux: Fluxbox and IceWM,
VectorLinux 5.1: Fluxbox, IceWM and Xfce.
The given list considers only those having a desktop manager available by default, but it is always possible to install another thereafter.
No distribution with default Blackbox found.
No distribution with the default FVWM found.
  • Absolute
    • Requires a Pentium 200 with 64MB of RAM, a Pentium II with 128 MB of RAM would be better
  • DeLi Linux
    • Requires a 486, 16 MB RAM and 350 MB of hard disk
  • Feather Linux
    • Requires a 486, 24 MB RAM
  • Morphix
    • Requires an i386, 70 MB RAM and 210 MB of hard disk
  • Puppy Linux
    • Requires a Pentium 166MMX, 128 MB of RAM (but only 64 MB of RAM if there is already a Linux swap partition)
  • VectorLinux 5.1
    • Requires 32 MB of RAM and 950 MB of hard disk
  • ELive
    • Requires a i486 with 100 MHz, 64 MB RAM
  • Gentoo
    • Requires i486, 64 MB RAM and 1.5 GB hard drive
  • SaxenOS
    • Requires a Pentium II 350 MHz, 128 MB RAM and 2 GB hard disk
  • VectorLinux 5.1
    • Requires 32 MB of RAM and 950 MB of hard disk
  • Xubuntu
    • Requires 64 MB of RAM and 2 GB hard drive
  • Zenwalk
    • Requires a Pentium III, 128 MB RAM and 2 GB hard disk
Change desktop manager 
You installed a distribution with an office that does not allow a real graphical boot? If you can log in console mode and you're connected to the internet,then:
  • Log in as root.
  • Install one of the windows manager listed above (manipulation varies upon the distribution).
  • Enter the startx command 
Lucid Puppy (Ubuntu-Compatible Build)The latest Lucid Puppy version is named Finlandia. It uses kernel and has no standard browser (user installs it from the Internet at first boot).
Download version 5.2.8 from Get lupu-528.iso or explore the folder.
Download version 5.2.8 from Get lupu-528.iso or explore the folder.
MD5 Checksum: f04ec9ef3540be8e50d0a24c512e1309
ISO Size: 129MB
NOTE: Update 02 is available - click here to download, then click on the file to install it. Optional multimedia update is here.
desktop image of lupu 528

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