Skip to comments.CrunchBang Linux - Best Linux for an old laptop?
Posted on 01/02/2010 5:33:44 PM PST by JoeProBono
CrunchBang Linux is an Ubuntu based distribution featuring the lightweight Openbox window manager and GTK+ applications. The distribution has been built and customised from a minimal Ubuntu install. The distribution has been designed to offer a good balance of speed and functionality. CrunchBang Linux is currently available as a LiveCD; however, best performance is achieved by installing CrunchBang Linux to your hard disk - CrunchBang Linux comes with the ability to play most popular media formats, including but not limited to MP3, DVD playback & Adobe Flash. CrunchBang Linux also comes with many popular applications installed by default, including but not limited to Firefox 3 web browser, VLC media player, Skype and Transmission BitTorrent Client......
CrunchBang Linux has been reported to be a A Faster Ubuntu. While CrunchBang Linux is not primarily designed for old systems, it has been reported to operate very well where system resources are limited. Once installed, should boot-up and operate much faster than a regular Ubuntu installation.....
(Excerpt) Read more at crunchbanglinux.org ...
I hear ya. I’ve gone through the same thing on several distro’s hoping they would get their stuff together. Actually, that’s why I checked out this thread...
Puppy Linux is great for the old machines. I use to boot up with a CD and save stuff on a memory stick. That way the computer I used was unaffected but still set up just the way I liked it.
You can actually set up a save file on your hard drive without messing up your Windows install.
Come to think of it, if your machine will boot from a thumb drive, you can use the same stick for both the operating system and the files.
The save file for Puppy can get pretty big. I was using old machines with 6 Gigabyte drives so I just saved everything on the stick. Besides that it makes it super portable. I can go up to almost any computer with my CD and/or memory stick and everything comes up with my personal settings. When I done using it the computer is left untouched. (For the REALLY old ones I have a floppy disc to get it all started )
If you've got a minute, just how do you do that? I made a bootable Ubuntu stick on a 2 GB SanDisk and cannot get at the remaining space. Given that a live CD has only 700 MB to work with, I was expecting something on the order of a little over a gig of free space to fool with but no luck.
Also ran across another useful one called Super Ubuntu. Which is Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic with all the extra audio, dvd, and video codecs preinstalled including many extra programs. Saves alot of post installation time setting up. Install is over 1gb in size, real quick with USB drive.
I'll give another vote for XFCE, though I haven't tried it in Linux. Works well in OpenBSD.
Yes. It is very fast. Boots on my dad’s old 700 mHz laptop in under a minute.
And no “automatic update” crap.
Have you ever burned a Puppy multisession CD? That’s pretty slick, too. Nice being able to actually configure the setup on your live CD and save data...
When you say that you can’t get at the remaining space, what exactly do you mean?
Because you can’t write to the filesystem directly while using the USB, because the filesystem still believes it is on a read-only CD rom.
Or, do you mean that the disk is now full? If so, you made your persistence file (the place where you store your changes) so large that it takes up all of the remaining space.
2GB isn’t a lot for a USB startup disk. I’ve run out of space on a 4gb before. Depends on how much you want to install.
Do you have persistence working? In other words, if you save a file on your USB stick’s desktop, is it still there the next time you boot with it?
Also, when you make a live USB boot disk using Ubuntu, you are given the option of how large you want to make your persistence file, or whether or not you even have one.
If you give me more information, I can help you. Freepmail me if you want.
I currently have a 32gb pen drive with a 6 GB Ubuntu partition and a 26 GB storage partition. Pretty cool.
XFCE is very nice, but unfortunately, Xubuntu, the XFCE version of Ubuntu, is so bloated that some report that it actually runs SLOWER than regular Ubuntu. A shame.
I’ve thought of doing a custom build of base Ubuntu + XFCE to get the maximum speed out of my laptop, but it takes a LOT of time to do that, unfortunately.
No, but I can see its uses. I use it mainly on a new laptop with plenty of hard drive space.
I was speaking of Puppy, which was designed for such things. Don’t know about Ubuntu. My one experience with it indicated I’d have to install it to save my settings, and I didn’t want to mess with the existing Windows install. (Also trashed an old computer trying to upgrade the bios to run Ubuntu - it’s not as sympathetic to old machines.)
I have a distro of SUSE11 on a 500Gb portable drive, I love it, I can literally take my computer any place and run it. Just plug the drive into a usb port and turn on the machine. Most computers are set to boot from the usb port before the hard drive.
By broadband card, I assume you mean a WiFi adapter in a PC card format to fit in a laptop? If that's the case and Linux doesn't like the one you have, it's the adapter's, not the laptop that would need to be changed to get it to work, and those are $15-20. Much cheaper than replacing your laptop. Also, I always get my laptops used off Ebay. They're a lot cheaper if you don't need the latest bleeding edge hardware.
Well...did Broadcom choose to write any drivers that will work with any variety of LINUX?
These packages contain Broadcom's IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n hybrid Linux® device driver for use with Broadcom's BCM4311-, BCM4312-, BCM4321-, and BCM4322-based hardware. There are different tars for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 CPU architectures. Make sure that you download the appropriate tar because the hybrid binary file must be of the appropriate architecture type. The hybrid binary file is agnostic to the specific version of the Linux kernel because it is designed to perform all interactions with the operating system through operating-system-specific files and an operating system abstraction layer file. All Linux operating-system-specific code is provided in source form, making it possible to retarget to different kernel versions and fix operating system related issues.
NOTE: You must read the LICENSE.TXT file in the lib directory before using this software.
Support questions for the latest version of these drivers may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I didn't think they were supplying any drivers so this is good...sounds like some work is needed...no idea how much.
Note they reference 4 distict pieces of their hardware...suspect those are the newest...but I haven't looked...
One of the most annoying experiences for any desktop Linux user is installing a Linux on a laptop, switching it on, and... discovering that the Wi-Fi chipset doesn't support Linux. That used to be a commonplace experience, but over the years it's gotten much better. Unless, of course, you were using a laptop with a Broadcom chipset; then, chances were, you were in for some trouble.
Other Wi-Fi chipset companies like Intel and Atheros have gotten with the program and do a reasonable job of supporting Linux. Atheros even recently went the extra mile and released the Atheros HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) for its 802.11abg chipsets under the ISC license. In July, Atheros had open-sourced its 802.11n driver under the same liberal license.
Broadcom, on the other hand, well Broadcom continues to be a pain. In all fairness, Broadcom has made some progress. In February 2007, Broadcom engineers showed up at the Linux Wireless Summit. Then, in the summer of 2007, Broadcom finally gave Linux some driver support for its NetXtreme, NetXtreme II, NetLink and 4401 product lines. In July of this year, Broadcom engineers at the Linux Foundation Summit told me that they'd be giving Linux more support.
Well, I'm still waiting for more direct support from Broadcom. In the meantime, though, some championship reverse-engineering has given us support for the Broadcom B43 chipsets starting in the Linux 2.6.24 kernel.
Now Dell, with some help from Broadcom and Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has just released a Linux friendly Broadcom Wi-Fi driver for both 32 and 64-bit Linuxes. According to John Hull, Dell's Manager of Linux OS Engineering, "updated Linux wireless drivers that support cards based on the Broadcom 4311, 4312, 4321, and 4322 chipsets" are now available.
For Dell users, this means that they now have Wi-Fi support for the Dell 1490, 1395, 1397, 1505, and 1510 Wireless cards. Specifically, Hull wrote that, "We're currently offering the Dell 1397 card with the Studio 15 system with Ubuntu 8.04 and the 1395 card is supported on our new Inspiron Mini 9." But, this isn't a Dell or Ubuntu only deal. The drivers should work with any Broadcom card using one of the supported chipsets on any modern Linux.