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Which One?

Maneesh Godbole
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Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 10426
    
    8

Ok,
I finally managed to backup all the data and stuff I want to keep from my old desktop to the external HD.
Now I want to install Linux (only, no dual boot) and start playing with it.

I got two goals
1) Learn about Linux as a desktop
2) Use it as a development platform.

I googled around and found out there are lots of "flavors" around and I am confused.
My desktop is a PII with 512MB Ram.

What would you guys recommend?


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Sagar Rohankar
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Joined: Feb 19, 2008
Posts: 2902
    
    1


I asked the very much same question.. and my fellow mates provided some good inputs..
I'm "bored-windows" user and want to learn a Linux as a novice ..

So, this dicusssion might helps..


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Freddy Wong
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Joined: Sep 11, 2006
Posts: 959

You should try Ubuntu. With that spec, you shouldn't use Ubuntu with Gnome. Try a more lightweight window manager, such as xfce. Xubuntu is the one that should be looking at.

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Tim Holloway
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Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16101
    
  21

Sad, isn't it. Half a GIGAbyte of RAM and people are recommending you downscale your install.

You probably CAN run Ubuntu/Gnome on a 512MB system. You just won't enjoy it.

Then again, Gnome is just the start of the trouble. I think at last count, the basic Gnome desktop + core applets was running me about 128MB, but Evolution was chomping 512MB, Firefox another 200 or so, and Eclipse wants at least 512MB to do a decent job. Then if you wanted to develop webapps, Tomcat would be another 200MB or so.

And to think that one of the initial selling points of Linux was that it wasn't as RAM/CPU hungry as Windows....


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Joe Ess
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Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8915
    
    8

Tim Holloway wrote:Sad, isn't it. Half a GIGAbyte of RAM and people are recommending you downscale your install.


I don't think it's the RAM so much as the processor. A PII is pretty wimpy compared to modern processors. I bought a Via C3 (about as powerful as a P3) recently to build a home file/torrent/web "appliance". I put 512 Mb RAM on it and it would barely run Xubuntu. Browsing plain web pages was tolerable. Apps took forever to load. Right now it's running Ubuntu Server headless and doing a great job.
I'm pretty sure the last PII I ran Linux on had a bare-bones window manager like FVWM and I sure didn't try to use it as a development platform (it was a web server/firewall).


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Maneesh Godbole
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Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 10426
    
    8

You mean I will have to upgrade the CPU???
RAM is OK. I don't have any issues with it.
I was under the impression Linux, like Tim mentioned, was not a resource hogger.
Joe Ess
Bartender

Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8915
    
    8

Maneesh Godbole wrote:
I was under the impression Linux, like Tim mentioned, was not a resource hogger.


First, Linux is way more flexible than the Windows platform when it comes to configuration. It has a variety of window managers available, from the bare-bones like FVWM to KDE and Gnome, which are platforms in their own right. You also have the option to run without Xwindows (or many other services). THAT is the Linux advantage. It can be configured to be light. The default install of Ubuntu (and Fedora and Suse and so on) comes with everything turned on because most users prefer pretty to performance.
Second, Eye candy is expensive, processor and memory wise. I think it's crazy to expect a latest-generation operating system to run with all the bells and whistles on hardware that is ten years old.
As I mentioned above, I have a machine which is a dog when running X, but without it, it hums along. One could use it for development. VI and Emacs have been used for development for ages. I wouldn't expect to run an IDE or expect the compiler to be quick.
My advice would be to try Fluxbuntu or Puppy Linux (they both have Live CD's, so you can "try before you buy"). Both distributions are targeted to lower-power systems.
I've also built up a custom low-power install starting with Ubuntu Server and installing X and a light window manager. There's an out-of-date How-To available.
As you work with Linux on your old desktop, keep in mind that you aren't really getting a good experience because your hardware is holding it back. If you really want to experience what Linux has to offer, install it on modern hardware.
Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 10426
    
    8

Thanks guys for all the priceless inputs.
Considering everything, the "puppy linux" looks most suitable for dummies like me
It says ~94Mb.

So I
1) Download the iso to my pendrive
2) Change boot sequence of my windoze to look at the USB drive first
3) Plugin the pendrive
4) Reboot.

Is that the correct procedure?
Joe Ess
Bartender

Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8915
    
    8

I believe the ISO is for creating a LiveCD.
Creating a bootable USB drive takes a little more work. I can't find instructions on the Puppy Linux site.

Aha! found it. The installer has an option to install to a USB drive. You have to boot from a Live CD first to get to the installer.
Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 10426
    
    8

Thanks for the link Joe.
Downloaded the iso file. Need to hit the sack. Its 0100 hours here.
Will try setting up the pen drive tomorrow.
Thanks once again.
 
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