Installing OpenSuse On Old Laptop

OK, I am a newbie here. I have a dell Latitude CS 400XT with BIOS Revision A13. It has one usb port and a wireless lan card-bus. (There is no option to boot from USB in BIOS.) I do not have a cd-rom or floppy drive compatible with the laptop but, I have an adapter so I can connect the HDD via USB to another PC. I am hoping to install openSuse on it but not sure how. Thanks for any replies in advance.

Regards,
Phabbits

On my older laptop, there is no BIOS support for booting from USB, and the CD drive is broken.

It turns out that PLOP boot manager can boot from USB. In my case, after starting PLOP, I had to use SHIFT-U to boot from the USB in USB1.1 compatibility mode. This has worked well, though booting from USB is slow.

I have no operating system currently installed, will it still work?

On Mon, 18 Feb 2013 18:16:02 +0000, Phabbits wrote:

> OK, I am a newbie here. I have a dell Latitude CS 400XT with BIOS
> Revision A13. It has one usb port and a wireless lan card-bus. (There is
> no option to boot from USB in BIOS.) I do not have a cd-rom or floppy
> drive compatible with the laptop but, I have an adapter so I can connect
> the HDD via USB to another PC. I am hoping to install openSuse on it but
> not sure how. Thanks for any replies in advance.

What are the specs on the system? The default memory IIRC (and according
to what I’ve found online) is 64 MB, and the CPU is a P-II processor.

If you haven’t upgraded the memory, this isn’t going to be a sufficiently
powerful enough system to run openSUSE. Even if you have upgraded the
memory to the max 320 MB of memory, it’s going to be a tight fit, and
probably isn’t going to perform well if it runs at all - I had an older
Latitude D610 with a gig of memory and that was barely sufficient to get
decent performance running straight Linux apps (forget virtualizing
anything - which I needed).

You won’t get GNOME or KDE running well in that amount of memory. LXDE
or XFCE are going to be about the best you can do (E17 might run, hard to
say without more info on the hardware).

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

Here are the specs
Mobile Pentium II-400 MHz processor
128MB System Memory
Video and Audio Controller: NeoMagic 2360
4.3GB Hard Drive
4MB Video Memory

I am planning to buy more memory.

> I am planning to buy more memory.

suggest you forget about openSUSE and instead install either Puppy
http://puppylinux.org/ or DSM
http://tinyurl.com/5md7t

believe me, you will save a LOT of time and disappointment…

well, try installing Win8 on that machine, the result and level of
smiles would be about the same, because while openSUSE 12.2 is
somewhat smaller and less resource demanding it is far advanced
when compared to Win8, so !!!


dd

OK, I can change my linux distubution but how do I install it? I have no Cd-Rom or Floppy Drive.

You need to have something running to get started.

Back to your old plan - as far as I know, it should be possible to install on a USB drive (using a different system). You will have to be careful about the booting, since the USB drive will become the installed hard drive after putting back in the laptop. Still, it should be doable.

I agree with the other suggestions - try puppy linux or **** small linux rather than opensuse.

On 02/18/2013 08:56 PM, Phabbits wrote:
> I have no Cd-Rom

buy or borrow one.


dd

If you actually want to use the laptop, forget about openSUSE. If you expect some performance, forget about the laptop anyway. The only reason I could think of to try this, is the idea that it should be possible. If that’s your game, follow the suggestions the others made.

I managed to get openSUSE + LXDE running on a 256MB RAM laptop, it works, but even compared to netbooks it’s slow.

Do you mean to install linux on the hardrive with the adapter then put the HDD back in the laptop? Can you explain this a little more?

Yes, that should be doable.

I have never done that, so there isn’t much more that I can explain. You should be able to find web pages about installing linux on a USB drive. Here’s such a page for opensuse, though you will want to use something smaller.

But, how do I install linux when I can not boot from USB?

Now I am lost.

I had thought that you were talking about temporarily making the hard disk a USB drive, then installing with the use of a different computer that can access that USB drive. And then, finally, reinstalling the hard drive on the laptop of concern.

I am unable to relate your most recent question to that scenario.

Thank you for all your replies! I believe I will try puppy linux. With it frugal install I should not need a cd rom and it should run fast on the old thing. Sorry Nrickert I was going to use a qoute to help explain it but forgot. Thank you all again!

**Hi
**I just thought I’d intrude because coincidently I installed OpenSuse 12.2 with KDE onto my old EeePC 1000 netbook yesterday. It boots okay but once the GUI loads it runs slower than a week in the jail (not that I know what that is like). Previously it had OpenSuse 11.4 Gnome, and it was okay.

The EeePC 1000 netbook has Intel Atom N270 (@ 1.6GHz), 1GB RAM, and i think about 30GB SSD.

I used network install, it was a bit fiddly because I had to write the CD image to USB stick, then after install phase, the reboot is from USB again so BIOS change mid installation was required to boot from SSD.

I am now going to try puppy on it booting from USB, but I will probably in the end re-install OpenSuse and use a lighter GUI.

Best Regards
Michael

I agree with others that your system is best suited to something like Puppy or DSL.

I believe I will try puppy linux. With it frugal install I should not need a cd rom and it should run fast on the old thing.

Remove the hard disk, put it in another PC install Puppy on it, refit the HD to your laptop, you should then have all drivers needed to run Puppy on most systems.

I have just installed Puppy as a VM in VirtualBox, with 128 MB of ram, I installed http://slacko-5.4-firefox-4g.iso (the Slackware compatible version).

I found it quite good, but when installing to HD it does want to use the GRUB- for- DOS boot loader, don’t allow it to install this, instead, after the OS install, right click on the desktop, choose System ->Devices -> Grub Legacy Bootloader Config, and install a proper GRUB, the prompts are minimal and simple.

It seems my link above is, for some reason not working, but this one is probably more useful to some,** Download latest Puppy Linux release** as it includes Debian/Ubuntu compatible downloads.

I have 12.3 RC1 on my older laptop, with probably a slower processor.

If I boot into icewm, that goes pretty well.

If I boot into KDE, then I can go take a coffee break waiting for KDE to start up. But, once KDE has completed its slow startup, it seems almost as snappy as icewm. I’ll give some credit to the KDE folk for that. They have managed to do things in a way so that the costs are paid at startup, rather than continuously. I guess that’s a kind of optimization (moving slow code out of the main loop).

On 2013-02-23 17:36, nrickert wrote:

> If I boot into KDE, then I can go take a coffee break waiting for KDE
> to start up. But, once KDE has completed its slow startup, it seems
> almost as snappy as icewm. I’ll give some credit to the KDE folk for
> that. They have managed to do things in a way so that the costs are
> paid at startup, rather than continuously. I guess that’s a kind of
> optimization (moving slow code out of the main loop).

That’s typically because those things get swapped out and are not needed
again.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 12.1 x86_64 “Asparagus” at Telcontar)