I would like to try Linux

  beynac 09:32 01 Aug 2006

I have an old PC with Windows 98 and would like to try Linux on it. The PC Advisor cover disk for May had the following full programs on it:

Damn Small Linux
Knoppix 3.9
Ubuntu 5.04
Gentoo Linux 2005.0

The stated system requirements for all of these is 64MB RAM, which is what I have on the PC. The modern versions all seem to need more. I am reasonably computer literate with Windows. Which of these programs would be the best one to give me a taste of what Linux can do?

Any other tips would be welcome.

  phillipchandler 10:49 01 Aug 2006


Ive used all the above plus more, Ive got a PC P3 tripple booting with Win XP, Ubuntu 6 & Linspire. Plus a laptop dual booting with WinXP and Ubuntu 6. Plus an old P2 233mhz with 133 megs ram.

With old PC's you will find that you can only run the bare bone linux distros. I installed mepis lite ver 2.4 on the P2 which runs OK, but you will find that with any of the mainstream distros, they need something like a 600mhz to run well. Linspire reckons it needs a minimum of 800mhz, the P3 I have is only 700mhz and Linspire is slow to load, but once its loaded, its slightly slow but works great.

DSL, Puppy Linux etc would work fantastic for you. You can install a 200mb version of DSL which would work with your amount of ram. But try insalling Mepislite 2.4 it may work with less than 100mb ram.

  vinnyT 10:52 01 Aug 2006

Try one (or many) of these live distros, so long as your pc can boot from a cd/dvd drive.

Bear in mind that the live distros will be considerably slower as they are booting , and used , from your cd.

The advantage with this is that you can find a distro that works on your pc, recognising all your hardware (not all will) and that you like, wether it be gnome or kde.

When, if, you decide on a distro that is right for you, go to the distos homepage to dl a version that installs to hdisk.

Also, Tux is worth a look, it is a free (for now, a fee is being introduced next year) online linux mag, written so the new user can understand it. You can dl all the back issues as well. click here

Hope this helps.

  vinnyT 10:53 01 Aug 2006

Sorry, live distor page click here

  beynac 17:42 01 Aug 2006

Thank you both for your help. I have tried Ubunto and DSL on my laptop (128mb of RAM). Ubunto didn't do anything - very slow. DSL worked fine so I'll experiment with that for a while.

At the moment I am still a Windows fan. ;)

  beynac 11:47 02 Aug 2006

I've tried Knoppix on my main PC (1GB RAM). This is my favourite so far, but I'm still not impressed with Linux as an alternative to Windows 98 - let alone XP.

I think I'll stick with W98 on the old PC.

P.S. I'm not trying to fan the old Linux/Windows debate - I'm just giving my conclusion prior to ticking the tread.

  >steve< 17:28 02 Aug 2006

iv tryed a few of the live distro's suse 10 ubuntu linspire knopix i find the best for me was linspire as i was new to linux,it is based on windows so it is quite simmiler.but i have know changed from linspire to ubuntu but it is down to what you want to do with it but to come from windows to lunux it is best to start with linspire and when you try the live cd's dont forget they are alot slower then the install version's.

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