Posted by Deliverator on April 18th, 2006
I have been playing around with Debian and a number of other Linux distros on an old P150 laptop, in preparation for installing Linux on my J728. In particular, I have been trying to gain a renewed sense of how to build a viable operating environment up from a very basic install. Debian makes building an environment from scratch fairly easy. There are a lot of precompiled APT package repositories, even for the ARM architecture, and the tools do a great job of resolving dependency issues. Debian makes setting up a system a breeze, at least when compared to some of my “traumatized for life” memories of the early days of Slackware. In addition to Debian, I have been playing around with Knoppix, Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux. DSL is particularly impressive, given the ammount of software it crams into 50 MB (the capacity of a business card shaped CD-R). If you are looking to run Linux on old hardware, I heartily recommend Puppy and DSL. They are both very lean and can run from CD, but have the ability to be installed onto a HDD and be expanded into more full fledged distros. One really begins to understand the degree of bloat in modern windows software, when you see a robust, modern Linux distro with tons of useful apps crammed into 50 MB and running quickly on 8 year old hardware.