Linux For Older PC Hardware
Phoronix: Linux For Older PC Hardware
At Phoronix we are constantly running Linux benchmarks with quad-core and even octal-core systems with more than enough RAM and all of the latest and greatest hardware from the chipsets to the graphics cards. However, with an increasing number of new Linux users trying out Linux for the first time on their old computers, we have been asked to conduct some benchmarks using popular desktop Linux distributions on older hardware. We have done just that as we try out Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, and SimplyMEPIS with an old Intel Northwood system.
Re Linux For Older PC Hardware
lol indeed! I agree totally with sc3252's comments. I currently run Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn on a P3 700MHz notebook (Sony Vaio PCG-F680) with only 256MB of RAM. That's maxed out. Others might blanch, but I ran earlier versions of Ubuntu with 128MB Ram with great success. I've also run versions of SuSE with equal success.
The only limitation I've found is regards Open GL since I only have a Rage Mobility P/M AGP 2x graphics card in the beast. Can't run Compiz/Beryl or anything else that uses Open GL. Feisty defaults back for me.
Performance is faster than XP for the most part, and boot time is quite acceptable to me, though I can't quote numbers. I'm configured with a verbose Grub boot, yet it still boots at half XP's time. If anyone is interested I'll time the boot and several other things and post the numbers.
Why do I run on this old beast? Besides being free, this Vaio has sentimental value for me; I lugged it all over China when I was a tech rep there.
Just set up an oldie machine at work
Hi! I liked very much your article about running Linux on older machines.
We should stop the "arms race" for ever resource-hungrier software and hardware and Linux is an excelent tool to get out of the neverending nonsensical upgrade cycle, opting for a wiser,more efficient and environment-friendlier approach to computing instead.
A week ago, at work, I just changed an aging clonic computer of a worker. It is an AMD (sempron) **duron** 750 with 128MB PC133 SDRAM and a Seagate 40GB IDE disk. It had windows 2000pro+Antivirus+Several applications installed and it crawled, so I installed a newer computer with a clean image for the worker and took the old one to the IT department.
By the time I was trying Drupal on windows 2000 with xampp in another machine, that shared this task with regular user tasks in order to test a small intranet for the office colleagues, both the user tasks and the website performance was not satisfactory at all on a DELL P-IV 1800 with windows 2000pro and 256MB DDR.(theoretically twice as powerful as the "old" computer I had just sustituted)
So I formatted the aging AMD (sempron) **duron**, added another 128 MB from RAM of another unused computer and installed Debian 4.0 on it. Now the intranet flies, I can run the whole system plus the KDE desktop at less than 190MB ram usage. Although the graphic desktop is fully usable, I dont need it. Without starting the X server -which saves some 100MB of RAM-, I can fully administer the machine with encrypted secure access from any web browser with webmin or open a ssh session with putty and I can transfer any files from a windows machine with WinSCP, and of course, make backup copies of the Drupal database with phpmyadmin.
I believe I could get even a smaller memory footprint using Slackware, but I feel more comfortable with the apt package system (I know, I should try slapt-get).
P-IV 1800, 256MB DDR RAM, Windows2000pro: Expensive software licences, antivirus compulsory, 10 user connections limit, no remote secure access, not administrable remotely, big memory footprint, energy hungrier, hotter and noisier, abysmal performance.
AMD (sempron) **duron** 750, 256MB SDRAM, Debian 4.0: Cheaper hardware, (heaps of) free software available, light and capable, less energy consumption and noise, unlimited user and connectivity options, no need for antivirus, secure (following some easy "hardening debian" howto), high performance.
Everything without spending a dime of the IT budget on new hardware or sw.licences, adding value for my employer and re-using a perfectly valid piece of hardware that the forced-obsolescemce market policy of some Software/Hardware oligopolies would have contributed to contaminate some 3rd world landfill of toxic/electronic waste instead.;)
**edited to correct "sempron" by "duron"-explanation 2 messages below-**