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i work for a computer recycling agency, and was wondering what would be the best or easiest install of linux on computers. we tend to donate these computers to organizations, most of the computers are Pentium 133 and higher, with 64meg RAM and mininum 2.1gig HDD space.
That is good for a Linux installation, it should even run X11 without any problem, just make sure that you're VGA card has at least 2-4MB Ram, but in console it should run quiet good.

I think the easiest Linux installation is Red Hat, Mandrake.
Suse is a bit harder, since it requires you to enter IRQ's, and I/O's for you're ethernet card manually[at least in my case, they didn't work till I set one].

Try Red Hat 9 or the Latest Mandrake [9?]. They are both easy to install, and detect most of the things automaticly.

Robert B
if at all possible, 128mb ram and 4-5gb hard drives would be better...
A Pentium 133 with just 64MB of RAM might not have enough resource to run X11. I have just installed Redhat 9.0 on my machine, Pentium 166 equvilant with 256MB of RAM and it is still very slow (or should I say retarded). It is extremely slow to response. You can still try Redhat X11, but if you can't tolerate the speed, then you might want to try the text based linux, it should be much better.
And you might have to use a different Display manager than Gnome or KDE ... something like:

XFce, whitebox, fluxbox, etc.

More RAM is definately better
A full blown linux will always run slow on pcs with the hardware you have available. If you use it without graphival interface it will run fine as other members have correctly stated.
But the are inumerous things you can do with linux on slow pcs.


FREESCO Simple routers to share your internet connection, firewall, route between 2 or more networks,etc (boots from a floppy runs from RAM, & is RAM FAST!!)

TRINUX Complete & personaly exelent security linux kit (mini distro to run security checks, log traffic, etc)

I came across these because I needed them.. you really should check google for something that may better satisfy your needs wink.gif

If you really what to run X graphical environment then you can take full advantage of linux's capacities by using those slow pcs as X terminals all connected to 1 powerfull RH9 (for example). This way all the heavy processing would be done by your fast pc and the terminals would run all the graphical APPs you want.
If your PC's are all identical you can even install turbo linux and put them all in a cluster. (note. havent had the oportunity to try it, but aparently that's what Turbo linux is good at)

Or install win 95, NT's and then change to linux when all goes wrong tongue.gif
The X-terminal is a great idea if there is one really good PC that has Linux on it that the slower PCs can connect to ... I have done that for a couple people using XFce and it wasn't to bad at all.
I hear ICEWM is quite good on physically retarded machines smile.gif
I'm a newbie (2 months now) running Slackware 9.1 with KDE 3.1, came on a CD with Linux Format magazine.

I installed on an IBM desktop with 64MB, a Pentium MMX processor at 233 mhz, with a 2.5GB hard drive. It is slower than my 500-mhz AMD K6 processor equipped Windows machine (4 years old), but I've been using the Linux computer for nearly everything for the last few weeks, it's not unbearable (but I am a patient person).

I don't have more than one large application running at once, and I do switch GUI's, I use KDE for system maintenance and setup, but otherwise I use Fluxbox for controlling apps, as it is much more compact.

Seems that Linux runs as fast as Windows on a faster machine. I almost have Linux running and setup to the point that I'm about ready to convert my 500mhz machine over to Linux, and leave the old/slow MMX to Windows 98 for applications that I can't switch over (my wife uses QuickBooks at home and at work).
I am running Red Hat 7.3 on an older pentium laptop which seems to work well. I have tried Red Hat 9 and it overwhelmed the processor and more than just slow. 7.3 while slow runs consistantly. Just don't expect to use it with a wireless connection.
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