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Thread: openSUSE 11.4 on Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM...

  1. #1

    Default openSUSE 11.4 on Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM...

    I'm posting this bit of info for people who are considering 11.4 on old machines...

    I installed openSUSE 11.4 on my old Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM boxen. Everything installed fine and everything was recognized out of the box. Usability, however wasn't fine. The machine went into constant swap. This behavior, was unlike 11.2, the previous installed version.

    I re-installed 11.2 and things are good again.

    I guess I'm reporting that 11.4 appears to be more resource intensive than 11.2.

    The 11.4 install was a clean install, formatting /, /boot, /usr partitions. I installed the KDE desktop, along NonOSS packages.

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    Default Re: openSUSE 11.4 on Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM...

    Quote Originally Posted by linuxvinh View Post
    The 11.4 install was a clean install, formatting /, /boot, /usr partitions. I installed the KDE desktop, along NonOSS packages.
    For a Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM:

    • If that PC has a DVD reader, I recommend you try openSUSE-11.4 LXDE from DVD (NOT KDE).
    • If that PC has only a CD reader you will be able to install openSUSE-11.3 LXDE from liveCD : Index of /repositories/X11:/lxde/images/iso


    LXDE is a light weight desktop and has superior performance on older PCs (with a slower CPU and less RAM) than the heavier KDE or Gnome.

    If you have difficult with the installation (due to only have 256 MB RAM) then you can install from a text mode: Text mode install from liveCD

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    Default Re: openSUSE 11.4 on Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM...

    On 2011-05-15 00:06, linuxvinh wrote:
    > Usability, however wasn't fine. The machine went into
    > constant swap.


    With that amount of memory, it is not surprising, specially with a modern
    desktop environment. Plus, you may be hit by the search engine running the
    indexing, or the preload problem that hits some people.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.2 x86_64 "Emerald" at Telcontar)

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    Default Re: openSUSE 11.4 on Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM...

    That amount of RAM I wouldn't even try to put KDE on. LXDE maybe.

    Also in general older CPUs are less energy efficient per unit of computation than newer ones. Unless you can't upgrade because it's a laptop or you can't afford it, or you simply enjoy using old hardware, I'd just go for something more up to date.

  5. #5

    Default Re: openSUSE 11.4 on Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM...

    Have a look at this post: Would like to confirm that problem is -- in fact -- a bug.

    * I think it was on 11.3.

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    Default Re: openSUSE 11.4 on Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM...

    I have 11.4/KDE on a machine with 768M of RAM, and that actually works pretty well for what I do on it. It has a slow older processor (not sure of the speed), and it was nearly unusable with KDE until I managed to turn off desktop effects. But, since then, it has been fine.
    Code:
    % free
                 total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:        765104     600724     164380          0      22944     526320
    -/+ buffers/cache:      51460     713644
    Swap:      1710916          0    1710916
    That's over an SSH connection. There's currently nobody logged in at the GUI.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: openSUSE 11.4 on Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM...

    Quote Originally Posted by nrickert View Post
    I have 11.4/KDE on a machine with 768M of RAM
    That's 3 times the amount of RAM as the OP. It makes a huge difference.

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    Default Re: openSUSE 11.4 on Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM...

    Quote Originally Posted by please_try_again View Post
    That's 3 times the amount of RAM as the OP. It makes a huge difference.
    Yes, I'm aware of that.

    My older laptop, now being phased out, came with 256M of RAM, but 64M of that was apparently part of the video so it was only 192M of available RAM. I used it for a while with SuSE 10.1 and gnome. It was mostly okay, but it was slow when the updater ran (I think it was call "zen" or something similar). I disabled the updater, and did manual updates from time to time. But I concluded that it wasn't worth trying to install opensuse 11.0 (the next version I used), unless I first added memory (which I did).

    Back in 1995, I was running slackware with 16M, and fvwm. I later upgraded that to 48M, which was as high as it would go. It ran very well, and I continued to use it as my main system until around 2001.

    Yes, there has been a lot of software bloat (feeping creaturism) on linux, though not nearly as much as with Windows.
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    Default Re: openSUSE 11.4 on Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM...

    Quote Originally Posted by nrickert View Post
    Back in 1995, I was running slackware with 16M, and fvwm. I later upgraded that to 48M, which was as high as it would go. It ran very well, and I continued to use it as my main system until around 2001.
    That's a bit before my time.

    While I knew of GNU/Linux since the early 1990's when GNU/Linux distributions first started appearing, it was not until 1998 that I finally got around to installing Red Hat on my computer (which was a Compaq LTE 5200) which had only 84MB of RAM. That 84MB was the maximum amount of RAM that PC would support and that was my first GNU/Linux distribution. In 2001 I attempted to install SuSE-Pro version 7.1 (as it was called then) on this laptop, but with 84MB of RAM it was too slow.

    I ended up getting my wife's agreement to let me install SuSE-7.1 on our newer desktop (which she used most of the time) which I vaguely recall had 256MB of RAM and that was successful with the extra RAM. Eventually we purchased more computers (a separate desktop for each of us) and things became easier.

  10. #10

    Default Re: openSUSE 11.4 on Pentium 2 350 Mhz, 256 MB RAM...

    As an experiment (a five hour one at that, with a 350 Mhz machine!), I re-installed 11.4 with LXDE as the desktop. The system did perform better in regards to swap, very little or practically none at all. Unfortunately, the install wasn't quite as nice. The sound card wasn't recognized, which is odd since the KDE desktop install worked fine. I started on the usual things to get sound but eventually decided to go back to 11.2 since there were so many other applications and utilities that weren't installed, that I got by default with KDE. Basically, I'd rather have an older full-featured install than a more bare-bones one. I'm in the midst of restoring 11.2 on the 350 Mhz boxen...

    @ken_yap: I do have a new i7, purchased last year, that's my primary computer now. The PII 350 Mhz is my old box, used for 11 years before I upgraded.

    @please_try_again: I didn't see your post until now so didn't try checking the memory footprint, but your results definitely show that with KDE, I'd go into swap.

    @nrickert: I used the 10.x series up to 10.3. The updater took 1+ hours to just build the list of packages on my 350 Mhz machine each time I wanted to update. I too, switched to manual updates. When I upgraded to 11.0, it was amazing. The updater was much, much improved!! It only took minutes and I left the updater to automatic notify and I updated whenever there was something new.

    11.2 is by far the best version for me. All the hardware in my 350 Mhz machine was recognized on the first try. 11.0 had issues with the sound card, which oldcpu had help me through. Barring the possible memory issue with 192 MB, 11.2 would be a great upgrade for you, especially with regards to updating.

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