Help choosing linux distro (for Toshiba Satellite 2505CDS)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by iMaccore2, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. iMaccore2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    Well, I need some help,

    This is not about a macintosh though, I thought I would just go to where I always go for computing help please don't be mad.

    I got an old laptop for free. A Toshiba Satellite 2505cds. I believe it to have about a 160 mhz pentium processor, and 32 MB of ram. I plan on upgrading the ram to 128. What linux distro should I run, it only has a 2 gig hard drive so nothing too large, im just not sure what to run on this old hardware. Oh and the resolution is 800 by 600 if that helps

    Thanks in Advance,

    S.W.
     
  2. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502

    reclusivemonkey

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
    #2
    You could try out pretty much any distro that has a live CD, although you will struggle with only 32Mb of RAM. If you're familiar with Linux it would be doable but if you aren't you'll want one of the more friendly distros. You could try the Ubuntu alternate install and use something like fluxbox or xfce as your window manager. What do you plan on using the laptop for?
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    I'd go straight to DamnSmallLinux or Puppy Linux or something like that -- they're both very capable of doing a number of things on such limited resources. I think the experience would be significantly better that way.
     
  4. mrwizardno2 macrumors 6502a

    mrwizardno2

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #4
    I completely agree with mkrishnan here. DSL (DamnSmallLinux) is great. I use it on a 166MHz system that has 64 megs of ram as an internet appliance, and it practically flies. You'd never expect such a slow system to perform as it does. Granted, loading web pages with flash can be a bit hairy, but it is quite useful.

    A lot of newer distros require much more ram (even to just install) than what you have available. You'll definitely want to be looking at lighter, less "bloated" installations. DSL would be perfect :)
     
  5. iMaccore2 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    Thanks for the reply, I have installed Ubuntu on my iMac, and on my other windows laptop, but I recently uninstalled Ubuntu because it would not recognize my wireless network. Anyway I read that Ubuntu requires a 400 mhz processor for Gnome and at least 200 for a text interface. Im not sure about the alternate install though, Ill look into that,


    Thanks for the help,

    S.W.
     
  6. iMaccore2 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #6

    If I get Damn Small Linux, will I be able to use xfce as my window manager? I really want to avoid using fluxbox. Fluxbox is ugly, and I was thinking slax, that only takes about 200 mb, and it has a module manager so a persdon new to linux can add modules easily, and It has a few window managers for dl on their website, Ill look into puppy, dsl, and slax,

    Thank Youd,

    Any other suggestions are welcome
     
  7. iMaccore2 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 2, 2008
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    Boston, MA
    #7
    Thanks to the mod that put the laptop model in the thread title
     
  8. italiano40 macrumors 65816

    italiano40

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    NY
    #8
    I would recommend slax linux
    slax.org

    it is small and can be install very easy and has addons to support all your hardware
     
  9. iMaccore2 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #9

    Thanks, I think im going to try puppy first, but I read that It automatically puts the os into the ram, so im going to need a ram upgrade to run it, and ram for old machines is expensive, so I think ill try to find a way around it, because I found this cool version of puppy that looks like osx. It is called Macpup


    Thanks

    S.W.
     
  10. humboldtkid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #10
    Revisitation of Toshiba Satelite 2505CDS

    S.W.,

    At last comment I see you were going to try to not upgrade the RAM and install puppy. I'm currently about to start the exact same project (Linux on my 2505CDS) was wondering what you ended up doing after it was all said and done? Did you update the RAM? Which linux distro worked for you?

    Thanks,
    Dusty
     
  11. iMaccore2 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #11
    I ended up sticking to windows 98, because the ram is soldered to the motherboard with no way to upgrade. I am happy with windows because It came with microsoft office and a bunch of other software. Puppy was not easy for me to get working, i would suggest damnsmalllinux. If u are using this for internet, you definintly need linux so its really up to you.
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    I put slackware on an even older Toshiba notebook. This one was RAM maxed out at all of 80MB and only a couple hundred MB on the disk. It works. I used the machine back when it was new for software development to port fro Solaris to Linux. But mostly I'd only have a bunch of xterms running

    Old notebooks actually make nice home servrers. They use little AC power and have built-in battery backup. For this kind of usage you don't need to install X11. But I do install in but just don't ever run X11. That way I can run the graphical text editors and such on a remote X-server
     
  13. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #13
    That's a good idea ChrisA, but you'd want to be careful that the battery doesn't catch fire being left on 24/7 :)

    I've got a similar model, haven't really found a good use for it, as Virtual PC emulates 98 at similar speed on my G5 (but still can't play old games :()
     
  14. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC

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