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#1 2016-04-07 18:25:32

jimwg
Member
Registered: 2011-12-11
Posts: 67

Running XFCE on Older Computer - R31 Thinkpad

Greetings!

I want to revive a heirloom Thinkpad R31 with 764megs RAM and a 30 gig HD. I always liked XFCE and looking for the smallest footprint OS to run it with. I like Porteus XFCE's speed and compactness and would install it except it misses the drivers for the RealTek wifi dongle I'm using. I settled on the newest Xubuntu which is somewhat sluggish (far far more than Mint) but at least it does Realtek without any bother or question. I'm open to any speed-up tweaks missed by Google or any recommendations for XFCE-based OSes I might trial on my system.

Thanks for any recommendations!

Jim in NYC

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#2 2016-04-07 19:14:02

Jerry3904
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 558

Re: Running XFCE on Older Computer - R31 Thinkpad

I believe you already know about this:

http://mepiscommunity.org/mx

People are reporting excellent performance on older computers--just not on true relics!


MX-16 (based on Debian Stable) with Xfce 4.12.

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#3 2016-04-07 21:19:37

sixsixfive
Member
From: behind you
Registered: 2012-04-08
Posts: 557
Website

Re: Running XFCE on Older Computer - R31 Thinkpad

so my own little htpc experience:

Slackware based:

https://www.salixos.org
http://www.vectorlinux.com/
http://support.zenwalk.org/

all of them are stable, and minimal -  i really like SalixOS because of their one application per task concept

---------------------------------

Deb based:

https://www.linuxliteos.com/
http://sparkylinux.org/
http://mepiscommunity.org/mx
http://www.debian.org/

they are all similar, there isnt any big difference between them even the packages are mostly the same - debian is probably the safest just because of its size, users and developers.

Last edited by sixsixfive (2016-04-07 21:32:57)


$ aptitude why gnome   
Unable to find a reason to install gnome.

regards, ssf

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#4 2016-04-18 09:51:27

jimwg
Member
Registered: 2011-12-11
Posts: 67

Re: Running XFCE on Older Computer - R31 Thinkpad

Thanks all! Will try!

Jim in NYC

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#5 2016-07-17 16:51:43

pcdoctor01
Member
Registered: 2015-10-08
Posts: 11

Re: Running XFCE on Older Computer - R31 Thinkpad

Jerry3904 wrote:

I believe you already know about this:

http://mepiscommunity.org/mx

People are reporting excellent performance on older computers--just not on true relics!

Even better, try AntiX-16_386-base.iso
Fluxbox is slimmer than xfce.

http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title= … #Downloads
https://sourceforge.net/projects/antix- … o/download

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#6 2016-07-17 21:08:29

Sideburns
Member
From: Camarillo, CA
Registered: 2011-03-30
Posts: 420
Website

Re: Running XFCE on Older Computer - R31 Thinkpad

If you need a really lean Linux, try Puppy: http://puppylinux.org/main/Overview%20a … tarted.htm  I have it on a very old laptop maxed out at 96MB of RAM.  By default it uses a minimalist desktop, but I've seen reports on their forum of people using Xfce.  And, since it's so minimalist, it's a good choice for a Live CD/DVD/USB for emergency use.


Registered Linux user #470359
Permanently recovered BOFH
Any advice in this post is worth exactly what you paid for it.

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#7 2016-07-18 00:54:56

MountainDewManiac
Member
From: USA police-state welfare-state
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 858

Re: Running XFCE on Older Computer - R31 Thinkpad

Do these distros meant for relatively antiquated hardware come with modern web browsers (with current security updates)? Also, do they have decent support for the old graphics hardware that is generally found in those computers?

Regards,
MDM


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How to Ask for Help <=== Click on this link

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#8 2016-07-18 02:00:54

Sideburns
Member
From: Camarillo, CA
Registered: 2011-03-30
Posts: 420
Website

Re: Running XFCE on Older Computer - R31 Thinkpad

As far as what browsers are available, checking their Wiki gives this answer: http://puppylinux.org/wikka/SoftwareInternet  For the rest, you'd be better off checking their forum or asking there.  I haven't used it in several years because the laptop using it is just too old and slow for anything other than emergency use.  However, you might want to remember that current versions of most browsers need considerably more RAM than they did ten years ago, so you may be limited in how recent a version you can use.


Registered Linux user #470359
Permanently recovered BOFH
Any advice in this post is worth exactly what you paid for it.

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#9 2016-07-18 22:25:10

MountainDewManiac
Member
From: USA police-state welfare-state
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 858

Re: Running XFCE on Older Computer - R31 Thinkpad

Oh. Good point about the RAM requirement, Sideburns. The laptop I was thinking of only has 768 megabytes of memory. And a built-in graphics setup that hasn't been supported by AMD for a few years - so no "current" drivers work, and (IF I remember correctly) trying to install an old one causes dependency issues or some such.

Regards,
MDM


Mountain Dew Maniac

How to Ask for Help <=== Click on this link

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#10 2016-09-25 11:33:40

duncanbetts
Member
Registered: 2016-09-25
Posts: 3

Re: Running XFCE on Older Computer - R31 Thinkpad

Not sure it's a better option than any of the others mentioned, but since it hasn't been mentioned: Alpine Linux has a very small footprint. It's the distro Docker uses as the base image for Docklets, so it gets a lot of updates. I've no idea what it's support for older hardware would be like, but have always had the impression older hardware is very well supported by Linux distros across the board.
By default there's no display manager, so I'd take a look through this to check you're comfortable with the amount of configuration before proceeding:
https://wiki.alpinelinux.org/wiki/XFCE_Setup.
Being used by Docker as a base image, I imagine this also means it has pretty good application support.

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