Which Distro for my old Dell Latitude D810 (32 bit) Laptop?

atcii

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I am looking for a linux distro which is free, lightweight, up-to-date, has a wide repository for my old D810 laptop. I am a programmer and my main laptop has only a 128 gb ssd. Therefore, my main purpose is to use some programming tools on the old laptop.
I have tried:

Lubuntu:
It was booted without any problem, however it wasn't smooth enough. I have experienced many crashes, and decided to uninstall.

Kali Linux Light:
It was smoother than Lubuntu and I have used it for one month. However its repo is not up to date. I have tried using python, and it wasn't compatible with many useful modules. I have tried installing JDK, JDE, Android Gradle etc. All of them were present in the repo but outdated.

Debian 8:
It says there is nonfree free software required to connect to wifi during the installation.

Slitaz
Puppy Linux
These ones were running on ram, not what I'm looking for.

Android x86:
Tried 4.0, 4.4.
Not compatible at all. Its GUI doesn't initialize at the start, I am left with the terminal of android.

Bodhi & LXLE
Incompatible.

My Laptop specs:

1 gb RAM
60 gb hdd
1.7 ghz cpu (Pentium M)
 


Tolkem

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I am looking for a linux distro which is free, lightweight, up-to-date, has a wide repository for my old D810 laptop. I am a programmer and my main laptop has only a 128 gb ssd. Therefore, my main purpose is to use some programming tools on the old laptop.
Hi @atcii and welcome to the forum. I second poorguy's recommendation, only thing I'm adding is that you try antiX net.iso so you build your system up and install as many or as few programs as you want/need. You can download it from here https://sourceforge.net/projects/antix-linux/files/Final/antiX-19/antiX-19.1_386-net.iso/download this is a nice tutorial explaining how to https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTRkAa6x1htUfJURh_cs-F8kteDlUBwCC If for whatever reason you find that the net.iso may not be for you, then I think, for your purposes the next best thing is the core.iso https://sourceforge.net/projects/antix-linux/files/Final/antiX-19/antiX-19.1_386-core.iso/download

Hope this helps! :)
 

Vrai

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I am looking for a linux distro which is free, lightweight, up-to-date, has a wide repository for my old D810 laptop. I am a programmer and my main laptop has only a 128 gb ssd. Therefore, my main purpose is to use some programming tools on the old laptop.
I have tried:

Lubuntu:
It was booted without any problem, however it wasn't smooth enough. I have experienced many crashes, and decided to uninstall.

Kali Linux Light:
It was smoother than Lubuntu and I have used it for one month. However its repo is not up to date. I have tried using python, and it wasn't compatible with many useful modules. I have tried installing JDK, JDE, Android Gradle etc. All of them were present in the repo but outdated.

Debian 8:
It says there is nonfree free software required to connect to wifi during the installation.

Slitaz
Puppy Linux
These ones were running on ram, not what I'm looking for.

Android x86:
Tried 4.0, 4.4.
Not compatible at all. Its GUI doesn't initialize at the start, I am left with the terminal of android.

Bodhi & LXLE
Incompatible.

My Laptop specs:

1 gb RAM
60 gb hdd
1.7 ghz cpu (Pentium M)
Several weeks ago I installed Linux Lite (32bit) on an old Dell laptop. I was very favorably impressed with the completeness and polish of this distro. I have installed many, many Linux distros in the past, including many "light-weight" distros, and this Linux Lite may be the most impressive of all. I wasn't even aware of it until I read about it here on Linux.org !

Give it a try and let us know what you think of it.
 

Tolkem

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Several weeks ago I installed Linux Lite (32bit) on an old Dell laptop.
Did you install 3.x series? Linux Lite has dropped 32bit support starting from series 4.x as stated on their download page
There will be no 32bit ISO from Series 4.x onwards. If you still need to run a 32bit operating system, our Series 3.x is supported until April, 2021. Download it from here.
Last 32bit one was Linux Lite 3.8. Otherwise I agree with you that it is indeed a very nice distro. :)
 

jglen490

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I am looking for a linux distro which is free, lightweight, up-to-date, has a wide repository for my old D810 laptop. I am a programmer and my main laptop has only a 128 gb ssd. Therefore, my main purpose is to use some programming tools on the old laptop.
I have tried:

Lubuntu:
It was booted without any problem, however it wasn't smooth enough. I have experienced many crashes, and decided to uninstall.

Kali Linux Light:
It was smoother than Lubuntu and I have used it for one month. However its repo is not up to date. I have tried using python, and it wasn't compatible with many useful modules. I have tried installing JDK, JDE, Android Gradle etc. All of them were present in the repo but outdated.

Debian 8:
It says there is nonfree free software required to connect to wifi during the installation.

Slitaz
Puppy Linux
These ones were running on ram, not what I'm looking for.

Android x86:
Tried 4.0, 4.4.
Not compatible at all. Its GUI doesn't initialize at the start, I am left with the terminal of android.

Bodhi & LXLE
Incompatible.

My Laptop specs:

1 gb RAM
60 gb hdd
1.7 ghz cpu (Pentium M)
I'm surprised about Bodhi, it's one of the most compatible and flexible distros available in the 32 bit department. You can install it as a very lightweight Linux with very few appliactions initially. then because it is built on Ubuntu, it has all the Ubuntu repos available for you to install anything you would like to install.

Which 32 bit package did you download and try? There are three variants. I currently have Bodhi on my old Toshiba "playground" laptop, and it runs beautifully out of the box, plus I was able to install whatever I wanted from Ubuntu.
 

atcii

New Member
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14
I'm surprised about Bodhi, it's one of the most compatible and flexible distros available in the 32 bit department. You can install it as a very lightweight Linux with very few appliactions initially. then because it is built on Ubuntu, it has all the Ubuntu repos available for you to install anything you would like to install.

Which 32 bit package did you download and try? There are three variants. I currently have Bodhi on my old Toshiba "playground" laptop, and it runs beautifully out of the box, plus I was able to install whatever I wanted from Ubuntu.
I tried "legacy release". On the website is says
"The Legacy 5.1 image utilizes the older 4.9.0-6-686 Linux kernel that is optimized for old (15+ years old) hardware. This kernel also does not include the PAE extension which is not supported on many older systems.

If your computer does not support a 64 bit operating then this is the right image for you."

Yes, I have read many positive comments about Bodhi. However, it just didn't work.
 

atcii

New Member
Credits
14
Several weeks ago I installed Linux Lite (32bit) on an old Dell laptop. I was very favorably impressed with the completeness and polish of this distro. I have installed many, many Linux distros in the past, including many "light-weight" distros, and this Linux Lite may be the most impressive of all. I wasn't even aware of it until I read about it here on Linux.org !

Give it a try and let us know what you think of it.
Thanks! I will give it a try.
 

sp331yi

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4,614
OP may have to append kernel line at boot
Code:
forcepae
to see if the Pentium M is one that supports PAE or not
 

HAL_2000

Member
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OP may have to append kernel line at boot
Code:
forcepae
to see if the Pentium M is one that supports PAE or not
I've had some experience with Pentium-M / Centrino based machines. These are processors meant for laptop and netbook machines and often require the initial command FORCEPAE.

I've done this on older laptops and netbooks, such as the Dell Inspiron 700m (which has an issue with it trying to repeatedly hibernate) and the 300x.

HOW TO FORCEPAE:

1) Make sure your BIOS setup is rigged so that in BOOT, that the CD drive or the USB will be the first thing the machine looks at when booting up.

2) On some older machines, there is no choice in BIOS setup for booting from a USB flash drive. You can work around this by finding HIREN's ULTIMATE BOOT UTILITIES and making sure it has the app called PLOP!

3) If you take your Linux ISO and put it on USB drive using YUMI or other USB installer, have that in your USB port. Have your HIREN's ULTIMATE BOOT UTILITIES in your CD drive.

4) When you reboot your machine, HIREN's BOOT menu should come up. Tab down to the PLOP! utility. PLOP! now gives you the option to boot from your flash drive.

5) Now that your LINUX install page first comes up, if it's like most Linux install menus, it will give you a choice to install or just run off the USB drive. But you need to hit TAB right away.

6) Hitting TAB should open up a small terminal dialog at the bottom of the screen.

7) Hit the space bar to create a single space at the end of that dialog and in lower case text, type forcepae and then hit enter.

8) The install should run through a dialog of it forcing your machine to have PAE and THEN the normal install dialog will follow.

Hope that helps.

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

Like the OP poster, I've tried Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Linux Lite, Zorin, Mint (Mate and Xfce), Porteus, Q4OS and a couple others. I've liked Linux Lite because of its early recognition of devices like wifi cards, audio and webcams, but, as noted above, they've quit supporting 32-bit systems. I can say the same things, good and bad, about Lubuntu.

I really do love the look and feel of Q4OS in its XPQ4 theme package, but, alas, what makes Q4 so fast and zippy is that it does not offer good driver support (or at least any I can find).

I have tried Mint and Zorin, and unfortunately they are much slower on the very same hardware that Lubuntu, Lite and Q4 can zip around on.

It is encouraging to read about AntiX, and I am in the process tonight to downloading an ISO or two and trying it out on an older machine (a Sony Vaio PCG-FRV, with a 2.8 GHz P4, but oddly enough, limited to 1 gig of Ram ???? !!!).
 
D

Deleted member 58530

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I really do love the look and feel of Q4OS in its XPQ4 theme package, but, alas, what makes Q4 so fast and zippy is that it does not offer good driver support (or at least any I can find).
What makes them so fast and zippy is the lightweight Window Manager.

it does not offer good driver support (or at least any I can find).
As for lack of driver support, that isn't a fault of Linux that is the fault of the hardware manufactures lack of interest in creating any driver support fot Linux.

It is encouraging to read about AntiX, and I am in the process tonight to downloading an ISO or two and trying it out on an older machine (a Sony Vaio PCG-FRV, with a 2.8 GHz P4, but oddly enough, limited to 1 gig of Ram ???? !!!).
Best advice I can give about Antix is install it and use it as it comes OOTB.

Antix is a very hands on distro so some prior Linux experience is a must.

An Antix user must learn the Antix ways as nothing is automatic and everything is handled manually.

As for changing themes I have no idea , I install and use OOTB and with default settings.

One thing to consider about lightweight small footprint distros they are designed to be used as they come OOTB so as not to defeat the purpose of being lightweight.
 

HAL_2000

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@poorguy

Thank you, BTW for the information on AnitX. So as not to hijack this thread I started a new one, asking about the merits of it, versus MX, but for a specific purpose.


With respect to driver support as between distros: if Lubuntu, Linux Lite and LXLE all recognize both Wifi cards and webcams OOTB, but the fast and light Q4OS does not, how is that a failing of the hardware manufacturer? According to Distrowatch, both recent releases of Q4OS include KDE Plasma, Trinity as default desktops. Would that, or some other reason, account for Q4OS not recognizing so many devices OOTB?

I ask this not to be argumentative, but because I would like to fix it. Of all the distros, I like Q4OS's speed and looks the best. If I can get it to recognize devices, my work here is done.

Thanks in advance.
 
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dos2unix

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With respect to driver support as between distros: if Lubuntu, Linux Lite and LXLE all recognize both Wifi cards and webcams OOTB, but the fast and light Q4OS does not, how is that a failing of the hardware manufacturer? According to Distrowatch, both recent releases of Q4OS include KDE Plasma, Trinity as default desktops. Would that, or some other reason, account for Q4OS not recognizing so many devices OOTB?

I ask this not to be argumentative, but because I would like to fix it. Of all the distros, I like Q4OS's speed and looks the best. If I can get it to recognize devices, my work here is done.
I think you're on to something here. Everything has a trade off. Sometimes we have to compromise.

If you need 'light-weight' low resouce, but all means use Anti-X or Linux lite.
If you want a distro that supports just about every NIC, Wifi, Video-card, Bluetooth, Webcam, Audio chipset, UEFI, netBoot, in place rolling updates, and has tons of software.... then you need a "heavy-weight" distro like Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, or openSuSE.

The other trade off is new features, new functionality, new drivers... vs old and stable.
Reliability is a good thing, unless it doesn't support your hardware.. then what good is it?
 

HAL_2000

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@dos2unix

Can't I have my wife and my girlfriend? [LOL]

Actually, Q4OS is very interesting. They are a German distro and have a website that indicates that they want to be also considered for business use. On their website they have a section for requested apps.

If I can remedy this one glitch in Q4OS then I will be good to go.

I have seen other apps have a device driver manager, of various names, that as I understand it, detects needed device drivers and will direct you to the proper repositories for download and installation.

I requested that they try to automate that process as much as possible.

We'll see if they respond.

On a separate thread, I am looking at alternative distros (AntiX and MX, which seem to be closely related) and asking, which, between the better two, is better suited for a specific task. Essentially, reviving old 32-bit / x86 based hardware with good hardware recognition.
 
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D

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@poorguy
With respect to driver support as between distros: if Lubuntu, Linux Lite and LXLE all recognize both Wifi cards and webcams OOTB, but the fast and light Q4OS does not, how is that a failing of the hardware manufacturer?
OK perhaps I'm wrong about lack of support from manufacture been on another forum about Nvidia lack of driver support and getting confused.

OK if Lubuntu, Linux Lite and LXLE all recognize both Wifi cards and webcams OOTB, but the fast and light Q4OS does not,

It's likely due to Lubuntu, Linux Lite and LXLE use a Ubuntu kernel and Q4OS uses a Debian Kernel since it is based on Debian Buster from my understanding.

I could be wrong but it's the only thing I can think of that would be any different.

Someone correct me if I am wrong.



A wife and a girlfriend Hmm sounds like a double PITA. :p:D
 
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HAL_2000

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WIFE / GIRLFRIEND DE's.

Chances are if Wife 1.0 is operating at the same time as Girlfriend 1.0, it could be that Wife 1.0 is malfunctioning, and one can only interface with and download data to Girlfriend 1.0.

This must be done carefully because oftentimes, uninstalling Wife 1.0 comes at a substantial cost. ;-0


DRIVER, DRIVER, WHO'S GOT THE DRIVER?

With respect to the saga of unrecognized devices in Q4OS, I suspect that you are right, since Q4 is a 'fork' or 'respun' distro of Debian (?) All the rest were of the Ubuntu tribe.

In another forum, which has had no response as yet, I recognized the problem was a missing driver for the device in question (a Logitech webcam). I did find two third-party websites with tarballed drivers, did download them, and did click on one, but it was the last stage that left me stumped, since I am relatively new at Linux.

The question, still unanswered, was how to 'compile' a driver from the now-uncompressed driver.

I am hopeful that Q4OS actually addresses that issue, since it will really help the usefulness of the install to so many people, not just me. Or, in the interim, there is something like a package manager that makes the process much, much simpler for a Windoze migrant.
 
D

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I am hopeful that Q4OS actually addresses that issue, since it will really help the usefulness of the install to so many people, not just me.
Q4OS is Debian base and uses Debian Kernel and drivers are part of the Kernel.

If you haven't looked at Linux Bodhi you should as it is Ubuntu base and very light on resources.

 

HAL_2000

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Q4OS is Debian base and uses Debian Kernel and drivers are part of the Kernel.

If you haven't looked at Linux Bodhi you should as it is Ubuntu base and very light on resources.

Hmmm. Good to know. I have the luxury of having lots of older, but in excellent condition, hardware to test an install on.

Thank you.
 


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