Linux On Old HP Vectra VL600

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by CliCon357, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. CliCon357

    CliCon357 New Member

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    A friend was looking to bin his old Pentium 3 800MHz because of "lots of issues". Pretty low spec by today's standards, Maxtor IDE 20GB HDD formatted FAT 32 (+ another old 6GB one lying in there loose), 128MB RAM running Windows XP Home. I suggested putting LINUX on it, this would I get the feeling make best use of the low spec? He reckons he wants it for nothing more than a pc for browsing the net etc. (Plus I get to play with Linux a bit more!)

    Have read maybe the RAM a bit light for this idea?

    To start with it was cover off, a vacuum inside and noted that it booted up into XP ok. I considered Ubuntu (which I have and love on my own modern laptop). Someone though suggested Lubuntu initially had trouble installing it so tried DSL, NOT too impressed by DSL tbh, graphics looked a bit well DOS'ish to me.

    So back to trying Lubuntu. With Lubuntu 13.04 I ended up with an unuseable screen like this:


    [​IMG]

    Then someone suggested a minimal install so I downloaded the mini.iso for 13.04 Raring Ringtail. Seemed to install without major issue AND got the option for a Lubuntu Minimal install. So seemingly all good until the boot screen below. Asked for username and password, duly put them in seemingly but then "nothing":



    [​IMG]

    The text just ended in "~$". I "discovered" the command "startx" so tried typing that in and hitting enter.............lots of on screen action of scrolling Selecting/Unpacking/Installing coming up. At the end of all this tried Startx "again" and now the "Desktop " is WORSE than before:

    [​IMG]

    Any help appreciated!
  2. arochester

    arochester Super Moderator Staff Member

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  3. SLW210

    SLW210 Member

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    I think you need more RAM for those distros.

    What Graphics card does it have?

    Give Puppy and AntiX a try.
  4. CliCon357

    CliCon357 New Member

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    Cheers for the browserlinux link. I think it has either a Matrox MGA G250 or G400. Just can't believe Linux is more graphics hungry than Windoze!
  5. SLW210

    SLW210 Member

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    I think it is more a driver issue than being hungry. Research the driver you need or find a distro that has a suitable driver already installed OOTB.
  6. CliCon357

    CliCon357 New Member

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  7. Primit1v3

    Primit1v3 Member

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    Try using a little older distro than 13.04, like LUbuntu 10.0.4 or Crunchbang !0 Statler. Both are great for an old laptop (2004 IBM T41 Thinkpad) that I have.
  8. CliCon357

    CliCon357 New Member

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    Just downloaded that browserlinux cheers. Used Infrarecorder to burn the bin file to CD..............presume that's right?
  9. CliCon357

    CliCon357 New Member

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    Cheers. Tried Puppy but didn't seem to work. With this AntiX, what one do I want, full, base or core-libre?
  10. Codypy1

    Codypy1 Member

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    Yeah just give crunchbang a try. It doesn't use that much ram.
    It may be the solution to your needs.
  11. CliCon357

    CliCon357 New Member

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    Ta. Went to crunchbang.org but that only seems to offer torrents and I'm not familiar with using them at all......is it available as an ISO?
  12. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    It will be slow, but:
    http://mirror.aibor.de/crunchbang/iso/

    You will need to learn how to download Torrents if you are going to use Linux. All you have to do is open the torrent file with a torrent client like utorrent, bittorrent, qbittorrent. This will download the .iso file.
  13. SLW210

    SLW210 Member

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    Download the Full version.
  14. CliCon357

    CliCon357 New Member

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    Thanks for this. The link gives me several possibilities. Obviously NOT the "amd64" as I have a Pentium 3 so I guess the 700MB 'ish ISO files, but i486 or i686?

    Incidentally what in the list are the ".........iso.sig" files? Assume the ".....iso.torrent" is the torrent "link" if that makes sense!

    Incidentally I tried loading DSL on earlier and though it seemed to work fine from CD (still don't like the graphics) I got into a state when trying to do a "frugal" install. As I say a mate's OLD pc which he's happy to let me play on after showing how good Ubuntu is on my laptop. Little did I know the grief I'd have! Anyway, I'm going to bring the PC home to work on rather than at his place.

    Btw, the RAM in this seems a bit of an oddity/expensive..........called RAMBUS. He's not looking to spend out on it either!

    Thanks again for answering what are no doubt complete newbie questions!
  15. CliCon357

    CliCon357 New Member

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    All this keep trying out different distros (and tbh failing) is killing me in terms of buying CDs to burn (done about £15 so far). The pc doesn't support booting from USB which is a pain.................not sure if there is a BIOS update for it, will have to look.

    BUT.........is an option to say use a CD or DVD-RW and just keep wiping it and putting the new distro on?

    Thanks
  16. Codypy1

    Codypy1 Member

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    Just thought of this. I haven't used it in a while. But you could give Slax a try. The later version was based off Slackware where the name "Slax" Comes from. But now it's more debian based like.

    So it's more user friendly. It comes with kde 4 I think.
    It's very light weight it's suppose to be a pocket os.

    Also Yes you should get a dvd-rw that's logical.
    It'd save you some money.

    Slax.org or slax.com can't remember which one it is.
    But good luck yet again. I know how much pain this can be.
  17. CliCon357

    CliCon357 New Member

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    Well I've tried Slax. Burnt the 220MB or so ISO to a CD-RW and tried that. Seemed to be loading OK, scrolling dark screen with white text on etc. Then this screen with the mouse arrow on, the outline of some lettering?

    [​IMG]

    Moving the mouse just fills the screen with "snow":

    [​IMG]
  18. CliCon357

    CliCon357 New Member

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    Just got 512MB of the special RAM from the States so maybe more options as to what OS!
  19. pane-free

    pane-free Active Member

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    In 2009, all I had were old PCs with PIII processors. The best performance on these old beasts, using GNU/Linux distros installed onto hard drives, was had at that time from:

    PCLinuxOS LXDE
    AntiX Base ( now, antiX-13.1_386-base.iso )
    MD5sum = ada8c15b693102ff (sourceforge download only)​


    The former used the Light X-windows Desktop Environment, while the latter has no DE -- just a choice of Windows Managers; hence, the better performance on low-resource PCs.

    For an explanation and examples of the differences between a DE and a WM, see this link.

    DownThemAll is an add-on for Firefox; it allows the MD5sum to be included in the download window (just choose MD5 from the Checksum pull-down menu) as an integrity check; it is a good download manager. I recommend using it. Copy the MD5sum from the downloaded text file corresponding to the ISO desired and place it in the Checksum window.

    With a Base install of AntiX, the apps are up to you. It comes with only the basics, including a browser. SMXI is a script that allows easy post-install tweaking in Debian-based distros. Check it out!

    +1 on 512MB RAM!
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
    CliCon357 likes this.
  20. CliCon357

    CliCon357 New Member

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    Well, BEFORE I'd read Post #19:

    I fitted the tenner's worth of 512MB of RAMBUS RAM (Samsung make) from the States. All in, recognized aok etc.

    Tried Ubuntu 12 again (as I like it on my laptop, thought I'd take a chance)............still got the "snowy" effect screens like shown above, a bit better/clearer than before but still God awful!

    Had a go then with Slitaz.......workable though graphics look a bit antiquated and blocky IMHO. Appreciate the graphics card etc is old but tbh XP Pro looked better. Only ran from the DVD - didn't appear to have an option to install to the HDD??? BUT at least NO SNOW EFFECTS!

    So, onto Lubuntu 12.04 Alternate. Weird in that it all seemed to load MUCH FASTER, guess it's the RAM doing that? A proper rapid install with nothing hanging and v.little waiting time. But at the end of was still rubbish graphics with an unusable desktop!

    Decided to try Mint! To start with thought we'd cracked it!. Really good looking with clear graphics during the install. Hellishly SLOW to install though compared with Lubuntu - both tried with the extra RAM . Got as far as a nice new clear, crisp "desktop" and told to restart. Fingers crossed I did........................same cr@ppy fuzzy/snowy desktop when it rebooted! Did get a window come up mentioning graphics/cpu performance before restarting but didn't take a photo.

    A comment from someone wonders whether its trying to "run 3rd acceleration", which the graphics card probably can't handle. Also said that on the start up screen of Ubuntu you can actually start in 2D with effects disabled, He didn't know off the top of his head how to do it with any other flavour of distro though, but thinks its doable.

    Been doing this at my mates place as and when. But, fingers crossed tomorrow I'll have the pc at home and will be able to play to my hearts content.

    Think I need to burn a multiboot DVD to try different distros..............

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