Monday, December 22, 2008

GNU/Linux on old hardware
Saturday, 13 August 2005, michuk

Is Linux a good choice for your old PC? In this article I’m going to examine the main issues connected with using GNU/Linux on some very old hardware. I will also cover choosing a distro, a desktop and the key applications for such a configuration.

Author: Borys Musielak
What are the minimal hardware requirements for Linux?

In theory, a computer with 386 processor and some 8MB of RAM is good enough to run GNU/Linux. There are a few specialized distros (still supported!) that allow you to install Linux on such a PC. Of course you won’t be able to run most of the modern apps on such a system, but it should be enough to do simple office tasks and play some old-school games.

If you have a Pentium I with some 32/64MB RAM, you can, with just a little bit of effort, make an outstanding desktop computer out of it, running GNU/Linux of course. You will still need a special distro for that, though.

However, if you get a Pentium II 455Mhz with a 10GB hard drive (it can be purchased for less than $50 nowadays), you can install any modern GNU/Linux distribution on it and with thoughtful selection of applications, it can make a great home Internet and multimedia center for next couple of years.


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