Need distro for old PC

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Cool G5

Conversation Architect
My PC specs are as follows:
P4 2.0GHZ
MSI PM8M-V Motherboard
Onboard Via P4M800 Graphic Chip
512MB DDR RAM

I need a distro for the above machine. I tried Ubuntu 9.10, Fedora 12 LXDE but both of them feel slow. I went to install Arch but it failed to boot giving a GRUB error i.e. Grub hanging at stage 2. My optical drives are most reason for not able to install the GRUB properly. What should I try next? Gentoo? I'll need the distro for basic work since given my config it won't allow me to do other heavy stuff. I personally favor KDE but then again due to low on resources I need to settle on other light weight DE. Which one do you suggest? Also how can I check whether my computer supports booting via USB or not?
 

Krow

Crowman
Sabayon 5 ?

Linux Mint 7 Gloria? Helena is based on Karmic, so I assume it would be slower.
 
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Cool G5

Cool G5

Conversation Architect
Sabayon 5, no way. It will crawl.
Linux Mint 7 won't be a good choice either since based on GNOME its sure to hog 170MB RAM when idle since that's the amount of ram which Ubuntu 9.04 & Ubuntu 9.10 hogs on my system. I need something really light. Tried Fedora 12 LXDE but it too seems to take 160MB of RAM when idle. Not much improvement considering the LXDE environment. I would anyday move over to GNOME then.
 

Rahim

Married!
Why dont you go with XFCE/LXDE on Arch? If you don't like configuration Arch, then install Debian and use a WM rather than a whole DE. This would reduce the resource hogging.

I have the same system as yours and it runs KDE4 in Debian & Arch very well. I don't know why you think GNOME is the only resort for your system?
 

sakumar79

Technomancer
Perhaps Puppy Linux or Damn Small Linux will be suitable? If you press F8 during bootup, do you get option for choosing boot device? If so, you can insert USB bootable device like bootable pendrive and see if it is recognised... If not, you may have to search the BIOS menus for seeing if usb boot is supported...

Arun
 
OP
Cool G5

Cool G5

Conversation Architect
Why dont you go with XFCE/LXDE on Arch? If you don't like configuration Arch, then install Debian and use a WM rather than a whole DE. This would reduce the resource hogging.

Thinking of the same. Arch + LXDE.

a_rahim said:
I have the same system as yours and it runs KDE4 in Debian & Arch very well. I don't know why you think GNOME is the only resort for your system?

So what do you suggest Arch + LXDE or Arch + KDE?
 

FilledVoid

Who stole my Alpaca!
Arch is my choice. However there are dozens of other options. Ive been using an OS called NimbleX for sometime now on two low end systems its got some problems but it does its job as intended at a small memory cost. Puppy seems to be a fine choice also btw.

If you really want to go Hardcore check out articles on trimming Ubuntu by loads. Search for Kmandla .
 
OP
Cool G5

Cool G5

Conversation Architect
@Filledvoid - I have already thought of trimming some distro. First thing I do today will be to try installing some distro on my PC. The optical drives are giving problems & I'm not sure whether it supports usb booting. If it doesn't work then, I would be installing Fedora 12 LXDE or Ubuntu 9.10 & think of trimming them up like you pointed out.

BTW I installed Arch yesterday but after I rebooted the PC hangs at GRUB Stage 2. WHile installing the GRUB the PC threw some Buffer I/O Errors(Mostly since my optical drive has aged or I suspect bad sectors on my HDD). WHat can I do to clear it out? I'm not even able to boot via Arch CD anymore. :(
 

FilledVoid

Who stole my Alpaca!
See if you can boot anything at all. If you can just wipe the disk clean and try again would be my suggestion but wait for others opinion also . They might have a better idea.
 

Rahim

Married!
I dont see any slowdown with KDE4 both in Debian and Arch. Infact its quite steady and speedy; of course it cant match the speed of other light DEs.
 
OP
Cool G5

Cool G5

Conversation Architect
Ok, I purchased a new DVD writer & now I have successfully installed Arch Linux.

But when I tried connecting to web I got;

failed to init transaction (unable to lock database)
if you're sure a package manager is not already running, you can remove var/lib/pacman/db.lck

I'll try removing the file mentioned in the error & report back.
 

Rahim

Married!
^Sometimes a background application keeps running, like Update Notifier which locks access to packages database. So deleting that file and then using pacman will solve the problem.

If you are installing Arch then use irrsi for irc chat in the konsole itself. This way you can get help on freenode and us along with your installation process :)
Much better way then rebooting to other distro to get help.
 
OP
Cool G5

Cool G5

Conversation Architect
^Sometimes a background application keeps running, like Update Notifier which locks access to packages database. So deleting that file and then using pacman will solve the problem.

If you are installing Arch then use irrsi for irc chat in the konsole itself. This way you can get help on freenode and us along with your installation process :)
Much better way then rebooting to other distro to get help.

But I'm not sure whether network works or its the pacman issue. Also never used irc via konsole. WIll have to read up on it.
 

Rahim

Married!
^irssi is simple. Just start it with 'irssi' and then enter '/server irc.freenode.net' to connect.

Do you use BSNL Dataone? If yes then its very simple. Use pppoeconf to configure your ADSL network. Then you have to execute this command to connect.
/etc/rc.d/adsl start and /etc/rc/d/adsl stop to disconnect. You have to be 'root' to do that.
 

Rahim

Married!
^I can help you if you come on irc.freenode.net #krow
Use irssi .

This is my /etc/rc.conf
#
# /etc/rc.conf - Main Configuration for Arch Linux
#

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# LOCALIZATION
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# LOCALE: available languages can be listed with the 'locale -a' command
# HARDWARECLOCK: set to "UTC" or "localtime"
# USEDIRECTISA: use direct I/O requests instead of /dev/rtc for hwclock
# TIMEZONE: timezones are found in /usr/share/zoneinfo
# KEYMAP: keymaps are found in /usr/share/kbd/keymaps
# CONSOLEFONT: found in /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts (only needed for non-US)
# CONSOLEMAP: found in /usr/share/kbd/consoletrans
# USECOLOR: use ANSI color sequences in startup messages
#
LOCALE="en_US.utf8"
HARDWARECLOCK="localtime"
USEDIRECTISA="no"
TIMEZONE="Asia/Kolkata"
KEYMAP="us"
CONSOLEFONT=
CONSOLEMAP=
USECOLOR="yes"

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# HARDWARE
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# MOD_AUTOLOAD: Allow autoloading of modules at boot and when needed
# MOD_BLACKLIST: Prevent udev from loading these modules
# MODULES: Modules to load at boot-up. Prefix with a ! to blacklist.
#
# NOTE: Use of 'MOD_BLACKLIST' is deprecated. Please use ! in the MODULES array.
#
MOD_AUTOLOAD="yes"
#MOD_BLACKLIST=() #deprecated
MODULES=(!usblp)

# Scan for LVM volume groups at startup, required if you use LVM
USELVM="no"

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# NETWORKING
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# HOSTNAME: Hostname of machine. Should also be put in /etc/hosts
#
HOSTNAME="localhost"

# Use 'ifconfig -a' or 'ls /sys/class/net/' to see all available interfaces.
#
# Interfaces to start at boot-up (in this order)
# Declare each interface then list in INTERFACES
# - prefix an entry in INTERFACES with a ! to disable it
# - no hyphens in your interface names - Bash doesn't like it
#
# DHCP: Set your interface to "dhcp" (eth0="dhcp")
# Wireless: See network profiles below
#
eth0="eth0 192.168.1.2 netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 192.168.0.255"
#eth0-"dhcp"
INTERFACES=(eth0)

# Routes to start at boot-up (in this order)
# Declare each route then list in ROUTES
# - prefix an entry in ROUTES with a ! to disable it
#
gateway="default gw 192.168.1.1"
ROUTES=(!gateway)

# Enable these network profiles at boot-up. These are only useful
# if you happen to need multiple network configurations (ie, laptop users)
# - set to 'menu' to present a menu during boot-up (dialog package required)
# - prefix an entry with a ! to disable it
#
# Network profiles are found in /etc/network.d
#
# This now requires the netcfg package
#
#NETWORKS=(main)

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# DAEMONS
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# Daemons to start at boot-up (in this order)
# - prefix a daemon with a ! to disable it
# - prefix a daemon with a @ to start it up in the background
#
DAEMONS=(syslog-ng hal fam alsa @network kdm netfs @crond )

So you might use Static IP and check the Gateway and then configure your DSL with pppoeconf
 
OP
Cool G5

Cool G5

Conversation Architect
I have uncommented the gateway by removing the !.

Now look at the output of "route" command,

 
OP
Cool G5

Cool G5

Conversation Architect
I get the following when Arch is booting up.

img1904e.jpg


And here is the content of my /etc/rc.conf;

Code:
    [FONT=&quot]#
# /etc/rc.conf - Main Configuration for Arch Linux
#

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# LOCALIZATION
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# LOCALE: available languages can be listed with the 'locale -a' command
# HARDWARECLOCK: set to "UTC" or "localtime"
# USEDIRECTISA: use direct I/O requests instead of /dev/rtc for hwclock
# TIMEZONE: timezones are found in /usr/share/zoneinfo
# KEYMAP: keymaps are found in /usr/share/kbd/keymaps
# CONSOLEFONT: found in /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts (only needed for non-US)
# CONSOLEMAP: found in /usr/share/kbd/consoletrans
# USECOLOR: use ANSI color sequences in startup messages
#
LOCALE="en_US.utf8"
HARDWARECLOCK="UTC"
USEDIRECTISA="no"
TIMEZONE="Asia/Kolkata"
KEYMAP="us"
CONSOLEFONT=
CONSOLEMAP=
USECOLOR="yes"

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# HARDWARE
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# MOD_AUTOLOAD: Allow autoloading of modules at boot and when needed
# MOD_BLACKLIST: Prevent udev from loading these modules
# MODULES: Modules to load at boot-up. Prefix with a ! to blacklist.
#
# NOTE: Use of 'MOD_BLACKLIST' is deprecated. Please use ! in the MODULES array.
#
MOD_AUTOLOAD="yes"
#MOD_BLACKLIST=() #deprecated
MODULES=()

# Scan for LVM volume groups at startup, required if you use LVM
USELVM="no"

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# NETWORKING
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# HOSTNAME: Hostname of machine. Should also be put in /etc/hosts
#
HOSTNAME="CoolG5"

# Use 'ifconfig -a' or 'ls /sys/class/net/' to see all available interfaces.
#
# Interfaces to start at boot-up (in this order)
# Declare each interface then list in INTERFACES
#   - prefix an entry in INTERFACES with a ! to disable it
#   - no hyphens in your interface names - Bash doesn't like it
# 
# DHCP:     Set your interface to "dhcp" (eth0="dhcp")
# Wireless: See network profiles below
#

#Static IP example
#eth0="eth0 192.168.0.2 netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 192.168.0.255"
eth0="dhcp"
INTERFACES=(eth0)

# Routes to start at boot-up (in this order)
# Declare each route then list in ROUTES
#   - prefix an entry in ROUTES with a ! to disable it
#
gateway="default gw 192.168.1.1"
ROUTES=(!gateway)
 
# Enable these network profiles at boot-up.  These are only useful
# if you happen to need multiple network configurations (ie, laptop users)
#   - set to 'menu' to present a menu during boot-up (dialog package required)
#   - prefix an entry with a ! to disable it
#
# Network profiles are found in /etc/network.d
#
# This now requires the netcfg package
#
NETWORKS=(main)

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# DAEMONS
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# Daemons to start at boot-up (in this order)
#   - prefix a daemon with a ! to disable it
#   - prefix a daemon with a @ to start it up in the background
#
DAEMONS=(syslog-ng network netfs crond portmap fam dbus hal !avahi-daemon)
 [/FONT]
 
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