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CrunchBang Linux - Best Linux for an old laptop?
crunchbanglinux ^

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 ...


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: jpb; linux
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1 posted on 01/02/2010 5:33:46 PM PST by JoeProBono
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To: JoeProBono

The Linux distros have much cooler names than Mac and Windows OSs.


2 posted on 01/02/2010 5:37:55 PM PST by smokingfrog (Don't mess with the mocking bird! - http://tiny.cc/freepthis)
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To: JoeProBono
XFCE and LXDE are good desktop environments for old computers and resource constrained netbooks.

3 posted on 01/02/2010 5:40:47 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: smokingfrog; JoeProBono; ShadowAce
> The Linux distros have much cooler names than Mac and Windows OSs.

Linux distro cool name *PING*!

4 posted on 01/02/2010 5:46:18 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: JoeProBono

Give Puppy a try. Basic functionality in a very small package. There are flavors that have a slightly larger footprint with more features.

Basic Puppy

http://www.puppylinux.com/

Some other versions linked to here:

http://www.puppylinux.com/other.htm


5 posted on 01/02/2010 5:49:03 PM PST by PAR35
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To: dayglored
The Linux distros have much cooler names than Mac and Windows OSs. Linux distro cool name *PING*!

d#mn small linux (DSL), puppy linux, linux from scratch, Mint (based on Ubuntu), slackware, just to keep this thread beating . . . .
6 posted on 01/02/2010 5:52:43 PM PST by bajabaja
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To: JoeProBono
See also Damn Small Linux
7 posted on 01/02/2010 5:53:04 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: JoeProBono

But after all this time they still won’t give me functionality with my Verizon air card without my having to stand on my head and wave my arms wildly around.


8 posted on 01/02/2010 5:54:46 PM PST by CarryaBigStick
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To: JoeProBono

Puppy works well with my old laptop. Much faster than WIN ME it came with.


9 posted on 01/02/2010 5:55:24 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: PAR35
Tried it thanks.


10 posted on 01/02/2010 5:56:54 PM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: CarryaBigStick

>>But after all this time they still won’t give me functionality with my Verizon air card without my having to stand on my head and wave my arms wildly around.<<

I think that is the entertainment pac.


11 posted on 01/02/2010 5:57:30 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: JoeProBono

The fastest Linux I’ve ever used is when I “rolled my own”, i.e., start with an Ubuntu minimal installation. It takes a little longer to get running, though.

First, you have to download the minimal installer, http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/karmic/main/installer-i386/current/images/netboot/mini.iso

When you boot the live CD, type, “cli” and follow the directions. It will take a long time, and you have to have an internet connection.

On the first boot, simply type, “sudo apt-get install lxde synaptic” That will install the Lightweight X11 Desktop System, which is very light, yet very usable. Reboot, then you can add programs point-and-click style as needed using Synaptic, choosing only what you need (CUPS printing, web browser, etc.)

You get an incredibly lightweight system that has no extra bloat.

I currently have this setup running on a 333 mHz computer with only 128 megs of ram. It is not super fast, but it is very usable.

I’ve never tried CrunchBang before. Might fire it up in VirtualBox and see what it’s all about.


12 posted on 01/02/2010 5:58:50 PM PST by FLAMING DEATH (Are you better off than you were $4 trillion ago?)
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To: martin_fierro
Tried it thanks


13 posted on 01/02/2010 6:00:22 PM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: PAR35

You beat me to it - Puppy is amazing for a small distro that will run like crazy on limited hardware.


14 posted on 01/02/2010 6:08:42 PM PST by bigbob
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To: PAR35

I like Puppy too. I bought my dad an old 700 mhz laptop with 128 mb of ram. Puppy runs on it like a champ. He uses it every day, mainly for getting on the Internet and light word processing. He can even share files with his Windows XP computer through the network.

I have just under $100 in the whole deal, including the wireless card.


15 posted on 01/02/2010 6:11:51 PM PST by FLAMING DEATH (Are you better off than you were $4 trillion ago?)
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To: FLAMING DEATH

I keep the CD in my laptop for when I need to get on the internet in seconds, rather than minutes, from turning it on. It’s a fairly new laptop, but Vista wants several minutes to load, and then it wants to download and install updates, and then it wants to reboot, and then it will think about letting me do what I want. Puppy - 75 seconds from hitting the on button to posting on FR.

When flying, the plane could be landing before I could get online with Vista.


16 posted on 01/02/2010 6:27:12 PM PST by PAR35
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To: goldstategop

Agree, my favorite is XFCE. Have been using it for a number of years. Fast, stable and friendly.


17 posted on 01/02/2010 6:32:05 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.)
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To: freedumb2003
I think that is the entertainment pac.

Yuck, yuck.

Seriously, can any of you Linux guys tell me how I can make my Verizon broadband card work with any of the Linux distros without having to jump through a dozen flaming hoops? I've got an old Dell that I'm forced to use on the road (no $ to buy a replacement right now) that may as well be a boat anchor without a functional broadband card...

18 posted on 01/02/2010 6:40:37 PM PST by CarryaBigStick
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To: CarryaBigStick

When I installed Ubuntu, it detected my external broadband card AND a USB wireless device I had.

Try installing Linux with the card installed.


19 posted on 01/02/2010 6:50:46 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: freedumb2003

I’ll give it a try. The first time I installed Ubuntu and it didn’t work I went onto the net looking for a package for it, but all I could find were command line work-arounds and I couldn’t get any of those to work.


20 posted on 01/02/2010 7:07:06 PM PST by CarryaBigStick
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To: CarryaBigStick

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...


21 posted on 01/02/2010 7:44:54 PM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: PAR35

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.


22 posted on 01/02/2010 8:12:15 PM PST by Nateman
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To: Nateman

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.


23 posted on 01/02/2010 8:19:40 PM PST by PAR35
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To: CarryaBigStick
Try using PCLinux. I've had to tweek things to get Ubuntu to work with wireless but PCLinux worked without any trouble.
24 posted on 01/02/2010 8:22:59 PM PST by Nateman
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To: PAR35

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 )


25 posted on 01/02/2010 8:30:40 PM PST by Nateman
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To: PAR35
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.

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.

26 posted on 01/02/2010 8:54:55 PM PST by ThunderSleeps (obama out now! I'll keep my money, my guns, and my freedom - you can keep the change.)
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To: JoeProBono
The CrunchBang distro sounds interesting, will check it out.

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.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Super-OS-9-10-Karmic-Koala-with-Muscles-130795.shtml

27 posted on 01/02/2010 9:00:23 PM PST by msnpatriot
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To: goldstategop
XFCE and LXDE are good desktop environments for old computers and resource constrained netbooks.

I'll give another vote for XFCE, though I haven't tried it in Linux. Works well in OpenBSD.

28 posted on 01/02/2010 10:56:32 PM PST by TChad
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To: PAR35

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...


29 posted on 01/03/2010 7:11:29 AM PST by FLAMING DEATH (Are you better off than you were $4 trillion ago?)
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To: ThunderSleeps

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.


30 posted on 01/03/2010 7:20:36 AM PST by FLAMING DEATH (Are you better off than you were $4 trillion ago?)
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To: TChad

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.


31 posted on 01/03/2010 7:23:18 AM PST by FLAMING DEATH (Are you better off than you were $4 trillion ago?)
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To: FLAMING DEATH

No, but I can see its uses. I use it mainly on a new laptop with plenty of hard drive space.


32 posted on 01/03/2010 8:20:06 AM PST by PAR35
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To: ThunderSleeps

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.)


33 posted on 01/03/2010 8:24:42 AM PST by PAR35
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

34 posted on 01/04/2010 5:13:31 AM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: FLAMING DEATH
I have several distros of Linux, I have three different distros running in the shop. DSL has been running for over a year with out a shut down on a very old desk top that was headed for the trash.

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.

35 posted on 01/04/2010 6:01:50 AM PST by DYngbld (I have read the back of the Book and we WIN!!!!)
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To: CarryaBigStick
Seriously, can any of you Linux guys tell me how I can make my Verizon broadband card work with any of the Linux distros without having to jump through a dozen flaming hoops? I've got an old Dell that I'm forced to use on the road (no $ to buy a replacement right now) that may as well be a boat anchor without a functional broadband card...

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.

36 posted on 01/04/2010 7:39:51 AM PST by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: CarryaBigStick

Well...did Broadcom choose to write any drivers that will work with any variety of LINUX?


37 posted on 01/04/2010 11:34:16 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: CarryaBigStick; JoeProBono; ShadowAce
Just found this:

802.11 Linux STA driver

*************************EXCERPT********************************

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 linux-wlan-client-support-list@broadcom.com.

802.11 Linux STA

********************************************

I didn't think they were supplying any drivers so this is good...sounds like some work is needed...no idea how much.

38 posted on 01/04/2010 11:39:54 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: martin_fierro; CarryaBigStick; JoeProBono; ShadowAce
See #38....

Note they reference 4 distict pieces of their hardware...suspect those are the newest...but I haven't looked...

39 posted on 01/04/2010 11:42:08 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: All
Regarding when Broadcom FINALLY started supplying Linux drivers...found this:

October 7, 2008 - 7:05 P.M.
New Linux Broadcom Wi-Fi drivers arrive....(Finally)

***************************EXCERPT***************************

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.

40 posted on 01/04/2010 11:50:25 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: msnpatriot

Linux Mint does all that too,...and I think has a better update process than Ubuntu and Super OS.


41 posted on 01/04/2010 12:00:41 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Have a BELKIN N Wireless USB Adaptor (Windows only) and am running Super Unbuntu on an old Dell Thinkpad. Found a complex workaround using Wine et al that I've been fooling around with to no avail as yet. Any Linux package you think might work?
42 posted on 01/04/2010 12:11:38 PM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

That’s an IBM Thinkpad of course.


43 posted on 01/04/2010 12:15:57 PM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

If you want the simplest solution for desktop WiFi, buy an Edimax PCI card from Newegg for $19.99. Linux has built-in driver support for that card’s chipset. It is literal plug and play, no drivers to install. I have installed several of them. The card is also Windows XP compatible on dual-boot machines. If I can do it, even a caveman could.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833315041


44 posted on 01/04/2010 12:16:33 PM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: JoeProBono
All I know is what I can search out using the internet....( Sounds like they don't supply linux drivers either ) did find this:

Using the Belkin USB Wireless G key under Linux

Not sure if that is what you have.

45 posted on 01/04/2010 12:30:30 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

'bout freakin' time.

46 posted on 01/04/2010 12:33:57 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: TexasRepublic

MAN,...that has almost 1500 reviews....they must have sold a bunch of those.


47 posted on 01/04/2010 12:36:43 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: TexasRepublic
That's funny,...you have to download specific drivers for Windows 7...but Linux Mint kicks it right into gear!

....no download needed...

48 posted on 01/04/2010 12:40:10 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: martin_fierro
I thought I remembered you doing battle with a laptop and a Broadcom wireless chip...right?
49 posted on 01/04/2010 12:42:02 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

You are CORRECT, sir!

Will have to noodle around with those downloads when I get a minute.


50 posted on 01/04/2010 12:43:13 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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