Linux distro that works+no maintenence

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Mechcozmo, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Here is the deal: I have 2 Pentium II 350MHz boxes that are to be donated to a charity. They need a Linux distro because Windows 95/98 would be hell to run on them for extended periods of time.

    What distro is there for Linux that requires no or extremely little maintenance and will run decently on the computers?

    It needs to be able to read/write to the hard drive so that the kids getting them can save their homework, etc.

    And no suggestions like "If something breaks, ssh into their box and..."
    It has to be able to be fixed easily if it has an issue, which I hope they won't. No alpha builds... stable.

    How about it?
  2. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    Secret Moon base
    Ubuntu is supposed to be easy to use, but that's just hearsay, I've not tried it myself.
  3. Myradon macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2005
    I have used both suse and Lycoris with no problems.
  4. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    Legality issues I understand, but "Windows 95/98 would be hell" to run on these machines for an extended period of time? I run Windows 98 and XP on several 400 MHz Pentium IIs, and they run wonderfully.
    Another thing to think about is, are you actually performing a service by providing a distro that even you don't know to someone who doesn't know computers as well? Are they just going to call their friends and get Windows installed? Are they going to tear their hair out trying to figure out what Mozilla does, and where the web browser is?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm an open source fanatic, but everything has its place. And this might be Windows 98SE's place.
  5. thedoc1111 macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2003
  6. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    the problem your whole plan is that linux assume you are an intelligent user. mandrake is probably the best distro if you were a window user. i wouldn't hook up directly to broadband internet with a hardware firewall and you shouldn't need to do any security maintence. as to the regular things that go wrong, you can't really help that you might need to reinstall a program that might involve using a makefile. there is rpm's but not in all cases. linux doesn't sound like a good solution for your situation. most people that i know that install linux because they don't like windows, and don't know what they are really doing with linux almost always go back.
  7. Mechcozmo thread starter macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    They have 64MB of RAM and 4 GB hard drives (soon to be 10GB or 20GB).
    I can get XP free from Microsoft, and maybe even 2000, through their education plan. I have a copy of Win98SE, and I don't think that would be too hard to find a cheap serial key for.

    The computer is for kids who have none... so I doubt their friends would know what to do with it.

    The point that I had of using Linux was that it would be easy to get software for, as well as being better as a modern-OS on old hardware. I've played with Linux enough to get around some... but you are probably right-- not for someone that has no idea what to do with it.

    I'll see about getting Win98SE on there, and possibly Win2K. I'd prefer Win2K for the more-secure-and-less-BSOD-happy route....

    Vector Linux looks good though. I may play with that a bit on my Athlon 2500+ box and see if it is worthy.

    Thanks all!

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