View Full Version : Linux distro for low-spec PC's needed

16-02-2003, 01:06 PM
Ive got a P166 with 32MB RAM.

What linux distro's are out there that will give me a GUI, and let me record from a mic to my HDD.

Those are the only two things that it needs.... Well, Network support too, but thats it.

Sound Recording software.
Networking support.



Graham L
16-02-2003, 01:45 PM
Any of them. :D The later ones seem to want lots of disk because they want lots of big scripting packages --- probably for the GUIs. But KDE and Gnome will be "a bit" slow in 32 MB. ;-) X Window runs OK, and there are smaller screen managers, which will run faster than the biggies.

When I wanted a small system: 486DX33, 16 MB, 330 MB disk to drive an 8mm backup tape, I finally went back to a 1996 Slackware distribution in disgust. But I don't have a GUI on that box--- or even a monitor or keyboard. I've still got that version running on a 386 with 6MB and a 40MB disk (I installed it in 1996). Slackware lets you decide what to install.

16-02-2003, 01:51 PM
Yeah, i realise that the ram is a little on the 'low' end.

Are there any other GUI's that I could install that would run better than KDE?
I guess I'll just go with RedHat 8, that or ive got mandrake 9 if it has any other GUI's I could use that might work a bit better, but i'd rather stick with Redhat as im familiar with it, unless it wouldnt be much of a change..

What are your thoughts?

Thanks Graham :-)


16-02-2003, 02:10 PM

XSolutions have a version of Mandrake specially optimised for 486s advertised on their site which might be perfect for what you've got, although I haven't tried it (yet).



Graham L
16-02-2003, 02:31 PM
Unfortunately, that one wion't necessarily be suited to small 486 systems. Mandrake 's distribution kernels are compiled for Pentium (and "above") processors only. xsolutions have probably compiled with the i386 or i486 option set. Th last RH I have loaded is 7.2, and that had kernels for a range of 386 up. (A version compiled for 386 will run on a 486 and Pentiums ... the Pentium ones will not work on the lower CPUs. They use the pentium-only things).

For Window managers, have a look at rpmfind. There are about 50 pacjakges in the X11_Window_Managers area. Have a look at enlightenment ... the fvwm, and Lesstif Motif ones might be worth a look. These "used" to be on the RedHat CDs. Explore those CDs. Read the Readmes.

16-02-2003, 05:14 PM
Have a look at
Dig around a bit and you will find some older versions with kde1 or enlightnment as window mangers.

16-02-2003, 09:57 PM
Mandrake did make an offical 486 distro a while ago. The last version was ~7.0.

Nigel Thomson
17-02-2003, 06:42 AM
You could take a look at vector linux (http://www.ibiblio.org/vectorlinux/index.htm) as that is written with 486s and low end Pentiums in mind, I can't tell you what it's like as i haven't successfully installed it yet, but it does have fairly low hardware requirements for RAM and Processor and does have a fairly up to date kernel etc

17-02-2003, 08:51 AM
Thanks guys.

Ive installed RedHat 8.0 with KDE and Window Maker

KDE runs so badly its not even funny :(

Window Maker on the other had is so much nicer.

I did a text-based install (32MB RAM isnt enough for graphical) and it was under "Install X-Window system", nice and easy :-)

Thanks guys


17-02-2003, 02:45 PM
Blackbox is popbably the most popular lightweight window manager (from what I've seen). It will be on the redhat disks.

17-02-2003, 02:46 PM
I forgot, XFCE is also popular.

17-02-2003, 04:56 PM
I think that Ive seen those in the Window Maker GUI somewhere.. must have a look ;-)

Thanks guys, his has turned out really well.

Now to see if I can get some software that'll record sounds from a mic/line in, and play MP3's on a 166Mhz with 32MB RAM ;-)