Linux on a laptop with Pentium 2 processor

10 pts.
I recently aquired a Gateway solo 9300 laptop with a 6 GB hard drive 128 ram and a pentium2 in it and it has no operating system on it I am fairly new to lynux and I was wondering what the best version of linuw would be to put on it and were to find it at

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Linux Online is a good source of information for obtaining linux. You can probably find some help on choosing the right version there as well.


Martin Gilbert.


If you want to beef up storage space or space for the OS, you can always buy an external harddrive and boot from it.


Another great source to find linux distros is Distrowatch.

You MAY be able to purchase an external hard drive. If your laptop has USB ports, which is pretty unlikely. Even then, you would most likely need an external hard drive that supports USB1.1, even on an old, slow system that will CRAWL.

With regards to distributions, I would go with Xubuntu or Puppy Linux. Those are the only two lightweight distros I have experience with, and they were both noteworthy.

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  • Rhomp2002
    I would try Wolvix out. Slackware-based and works very well. Excellent response time and good hardware detection. Includes a lot in just a little space and also has the capability of being installed on a flash drive. Uses the XFCE or Fluxbox desktop. Has a frugal install, a full install or a very minimal install. PCLinuxOS also has their new Mine Me version which is worth checking out as well.
    10 pointsBadges:
  • Tuxebi
    In general Ubuntu might be worth a try. I am using Xubuntu on a PII/192MB/6GB. It works, but honestly it is a torture to use nowadays. So as your gateway has only 128Megs, you might consider upgrading this to 256MB or possibly more. Then Xubuntu will do the job acceptably. If you stay with 128MB, I would think that more drastic things need to be done. You might install ubuntu server (purely textual). Then add openbox with a decent set of lightweight applications on top of it. This will be ideal for textual (i.e. shell) work and some smal gui tasks. The current ubuntu release is a LTS (long term support) version which makes it even more attractive for the task. If you are ready to do something aside the mainstream, you might consider using Windows 98. Ok, not actually Linux, but very snappy on such an old horse. In order to beat the Win98 speed with Linux, there is DSL (damnsmallinux) around. This works greatly from CD or when installed to harddisk. But the greatest thing with this is the not widely known boot option "dsl toram" at boot. This causes all of DSL to be loaded into memory (128MB or more are needed for this to work). In consequence, after a few minutes of boot and copy, you are getting a Linux which is way faster!!! than anything else that runs from harddisk. It is very easy to install. The drawback is that you are limited to the lightweight set of applications that come with dsl, but on a PII/128MB, you really should not think of using OpenOffice...;-)) kind regards and have some fun with your gateway PII Eberhard Following my own advice, my old PII Laptop now runs DSL, permanently installed to harddisk and started with "toram". And boy, it's fun, once again!
    20 pointsBadges:
  • Xjlittle
    I have a laptop similar to yours. I put TinyMe linux on and it runs like a champ. TinyMe is designed for old machines and laptops. hth -j
    265 pointsBadges:

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