Linux for low-end HW, pseudo-scientific study(1)

OS Choices Indeed (for most!)

I myself am currently engaging in a pseudo-scientific self-study on optimizing some very low-end PCs with Linux.

Hardware that I obtained f or negligible cost

Pentium I MMX 200MHz
64MB 60ns EDO RAM
1 x 1GB hd, 1 x 2GB hdd
The pre-existing MS-Windows 98(FE) is still required for a minimal number of applications….. boo/hiss 😦

Pentium I MMX 200MHz
160MB 60ns EDO RAM
1 x 8GB hd
The pre-existing MS-Windows ME is still required for a minimal number of applications….. boo/hiss 😦

Pentium III 500MHz Celeron
256MB PC100 SDRAM
1 x 10GB hd
Pre-existing MS-Windows 2000 wiped clean off after BIOS updated — yay 🙂

Pentium III 600MHz-E (Energy-saving)
256MB PC100 SDRAM
1 x 10GB hd
Pre-existing MS-Windows 2000 wiped clean off after BIOS updated — yay 🙂
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Routine questions I did ask and still ask myself on these:
– Do these low-end PCs power on, boot up and otherwise function at operable base-levels (motherboard, BIOS, CMOS, RAM… etc.) ???
– Are BIOS revisions as up-to-date as possible for these old PC’s ??
– What purpose can these low-end PC’s be BEST used for (e.g., “starter” office productivity workstations, simple multimedia workstations, router/firewall appliances, … etc.) ???

No DVD or USB-booting, no wireless setup, no CD-burning capabilities
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My own groundrules RE: distros used

NO K/Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” Linux, NO Fedora 11 Linux, NO OpenSUSE 11.x Linux, NO Mandriva 2009.x Linux

YES low-weight floppy and CD-R installable Linux distros having minimalistic X-Windows

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Distros used

Basic Linux 3.50 ftp://ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/baslinux/index.html
Damn Small Linux (DSL) http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=damnsmall
– DSL 3.4.12 Syslinux
– DSL 4.4.10 Syslinux
Slackware Linux 13.0 http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=slackware
Absolute Linux 13.0.3 http://www.absolutelinux.org/
Zenwalk Linux 6.2 Standard http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=zenwalk (c’mon for goodness sakes, this is Berkeley!)
Debian GNU/Linux “lenny”/stable 5.0.3 XFCE+LXDE http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=debian
Debian GNU/Linux “squeeze”/testing 5.0.2 XFCE+LXDE  http://www.debian.org/News/2009/20090730
Knoppix EN[glish] 5.1.1CD http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=03956
Eventually(maybe!), Puppy Linux 4.3.x, MEPIS 8.x.x, and/or Xubuntu/Lubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” installation CDs

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Used solely as testing LiveCD’s, and for distro-downloading/CD-burning on another PC :
Knoppix ENglish 6.0.1CD http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=05299
Lubuntu 9.10 Lyxis Beta 23 https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu and http://download.lxde.org/lubuntu-9.10/
TinyCore Linux 2.4.1 http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=tinycore


Used as low-spec routers/firewalls
FREESCO http://www.freesco.info/index.php
floppyfw http://www.zelow.no/floppyfw/
Devil-Linux http://www.devil-linux.org/home/index.php

I’ve done all the ISO/img downloads and burning, and am more  than halfway finished performing Linux installs on all four low-end PCs.

I absolutely (not the above distro;-)  STILL NEED TO perform extensive diagnoses and troubleshooting with these older PC both BEFORE and DURING their Linux installations.

Results of this pseudo-scientific study soon to follow — maybe within about two months ??

-Aaron / GoOSBears