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Best Linux OS To Use

I have an old laptop with Win 95 OS on it. It has a Pentium 2 chip and somewhere around 196 RAM. I am passing it on to a friend to use strictly as an e-mail checker and document creator in locations with WiFi networks. The network card that has been suggested to use is a D-link which runs about $30. The card requires at least Win 2000 OS to run. It has been suggested to me that I go to a Linux OS instead and just use Google docs on G-mail to minimize the amount of memory that is being used for programs. Which Linux OS would work best to do this. I think my friend suggested either VectorLinux or PuppyLinux might work. Thnx for your help.

James D


  • Goineasy9Goineasy9 Posts: 1,116
    AntiX, slitaz and puppy are three distros that could handle a laptop with that small amount of memory. I have an old Thinkpad that had AntiX running on it, that laptop had a P2 and at the most, a half a gig of memory. Just some suggestions.
  • CrunchBang #! - Linux is worth to give it a try:


    I'm running it on an old IBM T40, from the year 2003 - and it does the job very fine!

    Have a nice day!

  • eggmaseggmas Posts: 3
    Hey Rainer and GoinEasy,
    Thnx for the thoughts. Not sure I am skilled enough to deal w/ the CrunchBang idiosyncracies and my system going Crunch, Bang, but maybe the other options will work. Of AntiX, Slitaz and Puppy, which one do you think is best to make sure it is compatible w/ the D-Link ethernet/wifi card? Thnx again for your help.
    James D
  • Goineasy9Goineasy9 Posts: 1,116
    Before giving an opinion on the D-Link card we wold have to know what wifi chip it is using. There are many D-Link cards and not all have the same wifi chip. Since you don't already have the D-Link card, is there a way of you doing some investigating and find out what wifi chip it uses?
  • vtel57vtel57 Posts: 164
    Once the determination is made regarding the compatibility of the Dlink card, wicd should be installed on whichever distro you choose. Allow it to do the heavy lifting when it comes to accessing the network. It's good app.


  • jabiralijabirali Posts: 157
    If you're thinking of mainly using the laptop against cloud services (Gmail, Google Docs, etc), you might also want to consider the distribution Jolicloud. It's quite polished and works out-of-the-box with most wireless cards - and I can't really imagine it being too hard on old computers, since the whole distribution is just built around the Chromium web browser. The interface is sort of like a laptop version of iPhone/Android; it's quite integrated with cloud services like e.g. Dropbox, and uses web pages as installable "apps".

    If you're looking to use a different distribution, I second Eric's suggestion of installing wicd. It's a quite neat network manager, and has a tendency to "just work" on almost every network configuration - assuming, of course, that the correct drivers have been installed. Go here to check which driver supports your wireless network card.
  • Hi James,

    I haven't any experience in Wireless, yet, but I've installed Slitaz and Puppy on older personal computers. Slitaz is very fast and has a small memory footprint. It runs on almost any old hardware. It uses a secure user management with separation into root and standard user. Puppy brings a large amount of software, and it is really eyecandy, but you interact the whole day as root. Not the part of IT-Security I prefer. Conclusion: Try the three OS to find the operation system according to your taste!


  • saqman2060saqman2060 Posts: 777

    I like antiX because it is very lightwieght and uses very little memory. You can also try puppy linux and some of the other. As a matter of fact, find a lightweight OS that uses the xfce desktop enviroment. It is very easy for new comers.

    As for as knowing if your d-link cards works for the OS, make sure to use the latest kernels. The latest ones or 2.6.38 and It is said that all hardware just works. Look on www.distrowatch.com, it will list all linux OSes and the kernel that they run on. Check out this compatibility list to see if your d-link card is support.

  • eggmaseggmas Posts: 3
    Thnx everybody for your suggestions. The only info I could gather on the D-Link card was that it is a Gold Series Range Booster G Notebook Adapter Wireless WNA -2330. Hope that helps in figuring out compatibility. Have a great one.
    James D
  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    eggmas wrote:
    Thnx everybody for your suggestions. The only info I could gather on the D-Link card was that it is a Gold Series Range Booster G Notebook Adapter Wireless WNA -2330. Hope that helps in figuring out compatibility. Have a great one.
    James D

    According to various sites your card uses a Atheros 5K chipset, which is has been natively supported in the base linux kernel fusing the ath5k module or many years.
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