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32-bit LINUX Distributions

SolEX01

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I recently took possession of a laptop with a Celeron M 1.4 Ghz Processor and 1 GB of RAM.  I'd like to put LINUX on the laptop except 32-bit distributions are becoming an endangered species.  I tried Arch LINUX except I don't consider myself an expert in system administration.  I'm a Fedora fan except Fedora stopped supporting 32-bit architectures.

Does anyone have recent success with installing a 32-bit LINUX distribution on old hardware?
 

LivenotoneviL

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I use Fedora so...

I know Ubuntu still supports 32 bit, you just have to look for it.
http://releases.ubuntu.com/17.10/

Also there are the lightweight derivatives, like Xubuntu.
 

SolEX01

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I considered Xubuntu and Lubuntu.  There's also Mint 18.3, Peppermint and Zorin.  I'll have to go to the library where I can download the ISO files for these distributions.  I'll have to learn a new vocabulary with system updates, etc.

The laptop still runs Windows XP.  It's a good laptop.  Too bad Microsoft released 5 operating systems after XP (Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10).
 

LivenotoneviL

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I don't know if I would recommend Zorin - it is a very resource heavy distro from recollection (and isn't too visually appealing).

Peppermint OS is just Linux Mint, except the desktop environment is different along with an emphasis on web apps.

Debian is pretty easy to learn.

I know computers ain't cheap, but consider buying a new computer; programs are becoming more resource heavy - obviously as you would know, wanting to run Linux, and you can do much more with a newer computer.

 

SolEX01

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LivenotoneviL said:
I don't know if I would recommend Zorin - it is a very resource heavy distro from recollection (and isn't too visually appealing).
32-bit Zorin looks interesting.

LivenotoneviL said:
Peppermint OS is just Linux Mint, except the desktop environment is different along with an emphasis on web apps.

Debian is pretty easy to learn.
I could try the XFCE spin of Debian except the laptop comes with a Broadcom wireless card that requires additional firmware.

LivenotoneviL said:
I know computers ain't cheap, but consider buying a new computer; programs are becoming more resource heavy - obviously as you would know, wanting to run Linux, and you can do much more with a newer computer.
I think I'll e-cycle the laptop if I can't install a modern operating system.
 

LivenotoneviL

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SolEX01 said:
The laptop still runs Windows XP.  It's a good laptop.  Too bad Microsoft released 5 operating systems after XP (Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10).
I think there are two things I miss about Windows XP.

The first of which is the Solitaire effect when the computer starts lagging



The second of which are the terrible YouTube notepad tutorials with 009 Sound System.

 

Avdima

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I ran Debian Sid on my Celeron M and my two Atom Netbooks, works like a charm but on the thing were Atoms much slower.
 

Alpha60

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SolEX01 said:
I recently took possession of a laptop with a Celeron M 1.4 Ghz Processor and 1 GB of RAM.  I'd like to put LINUX on the laptop except 32-bit distributions are becoming an endangered species.  I tried Arch LINUX except I don't consider myself an expert in system administration.  I'm a Fedora fan except Fedora stopped supporting 32-bit architectures.

Does anyone have recent success with installing a 32-bit LINUX distribution on old hardware?
Why not use CentOS 6 or Scientific Linux 6?  They still support IA-32, and are basically like Fedora, only more stable.

I really dislike Fedora due to the lack of stability and consistency, which for me is the sole advantge of the Red Hat based architecture.  To the extent that they were at one point very easy to administer, everything has been overgrown with weeds since Systemd, Gnome 3 and so on, so CentOS 6 and other RHEL 6 derivatives are among the last honest to goodness systems available right now.

Debian is a good option if you must have something modern.

If I were you, I would probably go with FreeBSD, which continues to support IA-32 and can easily be bootstrapped into a nice desktop, or you can use PC BSD if setting up FreeBSD as a desktop strikes you as being too hard (I prefer using FreeBSD as a base as I dislike the design of the PC BSD desktop, the use of KDE, et cetrra; with FreeBSD you get a much better experience).

Also, the Illumos derivatives of OpenIndiana continue to provide a surprisingly posh desktop environment; you get the awesomeness of a Solaris core system with the excellent ZFS, virtualization and network virtualization capabilities this entails, but without the miserable Sys V userland that Solaris 10 and earlier were beset with.  Illumos et cetera provide a modern GNU userland, so working with them is basically like working with a cleaner, faster, more reliable build of Linux*.

* With one possible exception: I am not sure where the Illumos team is in terms of addressing Meltdown and Spectre; they are working on it, and if you’re running Solaris on SPARC or apply microcode updates to your cpus (do this before you install Solaris), its less of an issue.  Meltdown and Spectre have caused a lot of problems for the non-Linux UNIX flavors, because developers in the Linux community had been surreptitiously adding patches to the Linux kernel like KAISER, whose real purpose was to mitigate the side-channel attack on virtual memory and predictive execution which led to this mess, whereas the smaller communities like BSD and Illumos (OpenSolaris) were left in the dark, although at present the developers on these communities are making heroic efforts to patch the bug, and OpenBSD’s Theo de Raadt in particular is taking a leading role for his users.
 

WPM

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Linux programming APP is installed in Windows? ...
 

arnI

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I run Ubuntu MATE on a old iMac, and it works well. http://ubuntu-mate.org/

"Ubuntu MATE makes modern computers fast and old computers usable."

 

SolEX01

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arnI said:
I run Ubuntu MATE on a old iMac, and it works well. http://ubuntu-mate.org/

"Ubuntu MATE makes modern computers fast and old computers usable."
The laptop successfully boots the Ubuntu MATE DVD except there's no support for the Broadcom Wireless Network adapter.

Looks like I'm stuck with a glorified paper weight.  :(
 

Alpha60

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arnI said:
I run Ubuntu MATE on a old iMac, and it works well. http://ubuntu-mate.org/

"Ubuntu MATE makes modern computers fast and old computers usable."
I would go with LinuxMint for Mate.  Mate is just GNOME 2.0; Linux Mint also developed Cinammon, which unlike Gnome 3 is actually usable.

Gnome 2.x was decent, unlike KDE 3, KDE 4 or XFCE, even though KDE used a better toolkit (Qt).

I really passionately dislike XFCE.

Really though, the worst part of modern Linux is systemd.  Any distro which is devoid of systemd is worth using.  I always preferred the BSDs, and this really sets it in stone.
 

SolEX01

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Update:

I downloaded the 32-bit version of MX Linux 18.1.  I was able to boot into the live system and enabled the Broadcom Wi-Fi.  The next step would be to install the system.  There's no guarantee how long will MX Linux continue to support 32-bit hardware; however, I was glad that I could connect to my wireless hotspot.  :)
 

SolEX01

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Update 2:

I was unable to shut down the laptop in live mode.  I used the power button to turn the laptop off.  I think MX Linux would be an excellent option if the laptop had at least 2 GB of RAM given that MX Linux is a middle weight distribution.
 

Alpha60

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Dude just use OpenBSD or FreeBSD or NetBSD.  The idea of a BSD dropping support for an arch is inconceivable.  Especially NetBSD.
 

Avdima

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Alpha60

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Avdima said:
Slackware!
Slackware is also cool.  My friend Adam uses a Slackware system he first installed in like 2005 and continually upgraded organically.  A true UNIX man can do this.
 
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arnI said:
I run Ubuntu MATE on a old iMac, and it works well. http://ubuntu-mate.org/

"Ubuntu MATE makes modern computers fast and old computers usable."
I installed Ubuntu MATE on an old Thinkpad. It runs like a well oiled machine ... or computer in this case.  :laugh:
 

hecma925

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I installed Skynet.  Super secure.
 

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Justinian of Narnia said:
arnI said:
I run Ubuntu MATE on a old iMac, and it works well. http://ubuntu-mate.org/

"Ubuntu MATE makes modern computers fast and old computers usable."
I installed Ubuntu MATE on an old Thinkpad. It runs like a well oiled machine ... or computer in this case.  :laugh:
Nice
 

SolEX01

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Update 3:

I tried Fedora 29 32-bit Workstation live DVD.  The laptop booted into GNOME 3 without trackpad support.  Since I had no mouse, I couldn't tell if the Broadcom card was recognized.  I used the power button to turn off the laptop.

I might try BSD to see if one of them will cause the laptop to boot with functioning trackpad and wi-fi.
 

Alpha60

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SolEX01 said:
Update 3:
I might try BSD to see if one of them will cause the laptop to boot with functioning trackpad and wi-fi.
LOL good luck with that...  :p

Dude just use Windows 7 on a 32 bit laptop.  BSD works well on some of them (try PC BSD, which is easy to install), and at BSD conferences everyone is using it, but half the people there are also wearing fake devil horns, so there is a limit to how much of the first two letters of these UNIX derivatives one is willing to put up with.

For servers though, and firewalls, and especially network management functions like BGP route reflectors, I love that OS family.
 

SolEX01

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Alpha60 said:
SolEX01 said:
Update 3:
I might try BSD to see if one of them will cause the laptop to boot with functioning trackpad and wi-fi.
LOL good luck with that...  :p

Dude just use Windows 7 on a 32 bit laptop. 
I would, except Microsoft is ending extended support for Windows 7 in January 2020.  On my regular rig, I could either upgrade to Windows 10 64-bit or buy a brand new rig (I could use 8 GB of RAM just for running Firefox).

Alpha60 said:
BSD works well on some of them (try PC BSD, which is easy to install), and at BSD conferences everyone is using it, but half the people there are also wearing fake devil horns, so there is a limit to how much of the first two letters of these UNIX derivatives one is willing to put up with.

For servers though, and firewalls, and especially network management functions like BGP route reflectors, I love that OS family.
BSD is geared towards the server; however, there are distributions like TrueOS (new name of PC BSD).
 

Alpha60

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SolEX01 said:
Alpha60 said:
SolEX01 said:
Update 3:
I might try BSD to see if one of them will cause the laptop to boot with functioning trackpad and wi-fi.
LOL good luck with that...  :p

Dude just use Windows 7 on a 32 bit laptop. 
I would, except Microsoft is ending extended support for Windows 7 in January 2020.  On my regular rig, I could either upgrade to Windows 10 64-bit or buy a brand new rig (I could use 8 GB of RAM just for running Firefox).

Alpha60 said:
BSD works well on some of them (try PC BSD, which is easy to install), and at BSD conferences everyone is using it, but half the people there are also wearing fake devil horns, so there is a limit to how much of the first two letters of these UNIX derivatives one is willing to put up with.

For servers though, and firewalls, and especially network management functions like BGP route reflectors, I love that OS family.
BSD is geared towards the server; however, there are distributions like TrueOS (new name of PC BSD).
Oh yes I forgot they rebranded it.  Back in the day Matt and Kris at iX Systems were close friends of mine; i should reach out to them.
 

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SolEX01 said:
Santo Chavez said:
Install Gentoo
Too complicated.
"Install Gentoo" is a long running meme.
It is used whenever someone asks about which distro to use.

Check this video out; I think it will help you. Plus, the memes are real in this video.

(How to choose a Linux distro: Stop Thinking!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zpgQpdy_fI

 

SolEX01

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Santo Chavez said:
SolEX01 said:
Santo Chavez said:
Install Gentoo
Too complicated.
"Install Gentoo" is a long running meme.
It is used whenever someone asks about which distro to use.

Check this video out; I think it will help you. Plus, the memes are real in this video.

(How to choose a Linux distro: Stop Thinking!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zpgQpdy_fI
Thanks for the link.  I found it very helpful.  :)
 

Alpha60

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Actually there are two good ways to find a Linux distro: one is to find one that is actively maintained, has MATE or Cinammon if you need it as a desktop, follows a standard UNIX hier, supports btrfs and XFS, doesn’t do weird non-UNiXy things, and is entirely devoid of the pure evil that is systemd.

The other, preferrable approach is to run BSD, Illumos, Solaris or another UNIX OS.  Bonus points for any system (mainly the BSDs) with a modern userland that is not GNU.  That way you at least get proper man pages.
 

SolEX01

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Christ is Risen!

I succeeded in installing MX Linux 18.1 32-bit on the old laptop with functional Wi-Fi.  The system is using 214 MB of RAM with 111 MB free and 559 MB available.

SolEX01 said:
Update:

I downloaded the 32-bit version of MX Linux 18.1.  I was able to boot into the live system and enabled the Broadcom Wi-Fi.  The next step would be to install the system.  There's no guarantee how long will MX Linux continue to support 32-bit hardware; however, I was glad that I could connect to my wireless hotspot.  :)
 

Alpha60

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SolEX01 said:
Christ is Risen!

I succeeded in installing MX Linux 18.1 32-bit on the old laptop with functional Wi-Fi.  The system is using 214 MB of RAM with 111 MB free and 559 MB available.

SolEX01 said:
Update:

I downloaded the 32-bit version of MX Linux 18.1.  I was able to boot into the live system and enabled the Broadcom Wi-Fi.  The next step would be to install the system.  There's no guarantee how long will MX Linux continue to support 32-bit hardware; however, I was glad that I could connect to my wireless hotspot.  :)
Yay!  You lucked out given Broadcom drivers.  But dude, you have a lot of memory.  You could have done CentOS 6, which is supported until the end of the year, for example, or FreeBSD.

My first FreeBSD box, and any BSD would still run on it today, was an IBM NetVista desktop with a Pentium III CPU and a 40 GB hard disk, with 256 MB of RAM.  It worked brilliantly as a headless server and was my first NAS, before I started running jailbroken Buffalo NASes.

And I installed full-featured Linux on several laptops and desktops with 512MB or less memory.  It worked splendidly on all of them.

Where things get tight is if you have an Pentium II or older (these distros want i686, i586, i486 or i386 CPUs) with memory dropping down to 4 MB.  Most newer Linux kernels that support IA-32 require a Pentium III or newer instruction set (i786).
 
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