What OS would be best for an old Laptop

  kjrider 16:15 10 Nov 07
Locked

Hi there

I have an old IBM Laptop, 333Mhz P11 chip, 160Mb Ram, that I have just got a bigger, 20Gb HD for.

What OS would be the best for WP, Internet, and playing the odd DVD? Linux or Windows or what.

Suggestion please.

KJR

  woodchip 16:24 10 Nov 07

Win 98se if you can get it

  dms05 16:28 10 Nov 07

Linux - provided it recognises all your hardware. I have SLAX running on a Toshiba with 299MHz Celeron, 192Mb RAM and a 4GB HDD. It runs smoothly and doesn't crash. Lots of other Linux distributions will run on older hardware.

Have a look at click here which is a list of LiveCD versions. Burn the iso image of your choice to a CD, make sure your laptop is set to boot from CD and then run the Linux version. It will show you how well your laptop will handle the version (allow for the CD which will be much slower than a HDD). You can normally install directly from the LiveCD to your HDD (Slax is an exception and needs more work).

  woodchip 16:41 10 Nov 07

Don't forget you need all Hardware drivers for the Laptop

  DieSse 16:50 10 Nov 07

Linux will include all the hardware drivers you need - except those that are not available. In this respect Linux is often far easier to install then Windows.

  DieSse 17:05 10 Nov 07

Look for Linux versions that are specially configured for older hardware. I've used Puppy Linux on systems lesser than yours - it can run entirely from RAM on a system with 128MB and is very fast indeed. click here

In fact with Puppy you can run the whole thing from a CD or memory stick, and never install it on the hard drive (no chance of malware there). It can still save your data and configuration setup to a file on the hard drive though (or back onto a memory stick).

There's even some superb desktop eye-candy for Puppy which makes it all look super-up-to-date! click here

The other well-known version for elderly hardware is DSL.

  LastChip 17:56 10 Nov 07

As already suggested, Puppy Linux or Damn Small Linux (DSL) will run fast and reliably.

These distro's bring a new lease of life to older computers.

If your laptop will configure to boot from a CD, both can be tried out (albeit at a slower speed) straight from the CD's (live CD).

  kjrider 18:18 13 Nov 07

Hi there,

Have been using Slax and it seems OK on the live disc, but it won't find my wifi card. apart from that its OK.

Cheers

KJR

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