[LAU] Lightweight Distro

Gabriel M. Beddingfield gabriel at teuton.org
Sun Mar 1 14:17:36 EST 2009

On Sun, March 1, 2009 12:48 pm, Viktor Mastoridis wrote:
> I've got a MacBook with 1.83 Ghz Intel Core Duo and 512 MB ram.
> I would like to install Linux on it (single or dualboot with Mac).
> I would like something lightweight, as I can't upgrade the memory.

I've used a few lightweight distros like DamnSmallLinux, Puppy Linux,
Vector Linux... and they're not bad.  Since they're not "main-stream,"
though, they don't get updated as quickly as I would prefer.  (...but
maybe I didn't give them a chance...)

In my experience, most main-stream distros can be made relatively
lightweight by:

  * Choosing a different Desktop environment.  Gnome and KDE
    are nicely fully-featured... but have a lot of extra
    fluff running in the background.  Switch to something
    like Fluxbox, IceWM, FVWM, or (if you're really hard-core)

  * Disable and uninstall extra stuff that you don't need.
    If you don't need a mail server, NFS, Samba, CUPS, Apache,
    HAL, dbus, etc. -- Disable or uninstall them.  If you only
    need them occasionally, enable them only when you need them.

  * Applications:  Instead of the huge OpenOffice... try Gnumeric
    (spreadsheet) and Abiword (word processor).

I run several desktops with 500 to 800Mhz processors and 192 to 384 MB of
RAM.  I use Debian-based OS's (Debian, Ubuntu, and 64 Studio) on them.  I
get good performace out of them, even with Gnome or KDE.  (But I usually
use blackbox and get better than good performance.)  I use one of the
machines for audio.


               G a b r i e l   M   B e d d i n g f i e l d

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