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New to Linux; Looking to use it on an older PC.

Ok, so I've always been interested in using a Linux OS, but up until now, I never had a PC that I could use to just play around with; something I could use to get my feet wet, so to speak. Well my parents recently got a new PC and rather than allowing them to throw it out, I opted to inherit it. Since the issues that prompted them to get a new PC stemmed from a few nasty viruses, I'm just going to wipe the hard drive.

Now here's the problem. The computer is from 2000...I'm talking pre-Win2k 2000; the system was actually one of the few that came packaged with Win ME. Now we had upgraded to XP, but since the computer has a 1ghz Pentium III, combined with the fact that the XP was the Upgrade version, it performed...less than great.

So basically, since I have no real need to get the system online (the cheap Dynex USB wireless adapter doesn't have Win ME compatible drivers anyway), and the only real reason I wanted the system is so I can play my older PC games that don't work with Vista/7, I had planned on installing and running the system on just ME.

Then I remembered how much I wanted to try using a Linux OS when I was younger. Well I figured before I install ME, I should maybe find out if I can even find a Linux OS that I could actually install and use on my older PC.

Like I said before, it has a Pentium III 1ghz, has 512MB RAM (yes, this was upgraded; my father foolishly thought jacking up the RAM would somehow make it work faster), and if it's important, a NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64.

Now if you haven't already deduced, I've had no experience with any Linux OS at all, so I don't know a.) What OS I should use being a beginner and b.) if there even is an OS I can use with such an old PC. I'd really love to get into Linux, so I'm pretty much open to whatever suggestions people may have.

Comments

  • Goineasy9Goineasy9 Posts: 1,116
    AntiX, Slitaz and Puppy are 3 distros worth looking at that work well on old hardware. You can download live CD's for each of them and try them out to see if they support your hardware before installing. Links to recent versions of each can be obtained at Distrowatch.com.
  • For the combination - older hardware and new Linux user i would recommend Xubuntu. It should run smooth on your hardware, plus a lot of questions or problems you might encounter were (probably) already answered on some *buntu forum.

    btw a lot of older games are pretty playable on Linux too, using wine (PlayOnLinux, CrossOver Games, etc), but that's another story :)
  • Took a look and Xubuntu definitely seems like a pretty good option. I think I'm going to go ahead and try it out. My only question (and I know it might sound dumb) is if the "Desktop CD" can be burned to disc, and if so, will I be able to install it by booting it from my disc drive (I haven't installed Win ME yet).

    Games thing sounds pretty interesting; definitely going to get into that after I get Xubuntu installed :cheer:

    (EDIT: I'm a fool and didn't scroll down to where it says "Help with burning" )
  • The best linux OSs to tryout for a beginner are, ubuntu( any version), linux mint, Zorin OS 4, Fedora 14, Mandriva and openSUSE.

    Your system can run any flavor of linux. The key thing to pay attention to is the kernel and the particular window manager it is using. Recent Kernels have more hardware driver support. Since it sounds like you want a good user friendly GUI manager, there are multiple window managers with unique features and which go easy on the hardware. Check out this article to get an idea of the different types of window managers that are available:

    http://www.linux.com/component/content/article/174-tutorials/400461-five-best-alternative-window-managers-for-linux

    Also to get more info on the different flavors of Linux, check out www.distrowatch.com. This site lists all available Linux OSs and some good details of what they offer and the systems they can run on. This will be a good place to do some research.

    Hope this helps.
  • odlevakp wrote:
    For the combination - older hardware and new Linux user i would recommend Xubuntu. It should run smooth on your hardware, plus a lot of questions or problems you might encounter were (probably) already answered on some *buntu forum.

    btw a lot of older games are pretty playable on Linux too, using wine (PlayOnLinux, CrossOver Games, etc), but that's another story :)
    I have to agree the Xubuntu may be a good choice for New User on old Harward. You can also use the very lightweight distributions like Puppy Linux.
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