Minimum System requirement of SUSE

Hi, I’m a windows developer & also a firmware developer and I earn almost all of my money from MS-Windows. while I believe that MS-Windows is a great OS but deep in my heart I do not like Microsoft because of its arrogance and being ego driven. I like to learn more about linux and I believe sooner or later linux will grow to a size that can beat MS-Windows. unsuccessful launch of Vista just reaffirmed my belief. Now, I know that before I can earn money from desktop versions of linux I have to wait for some years but even now embedded linux can spell commercial success. so I decided to learn about embedded versions of linux. I’ve been told that embedded versions of linux are not much different from desktop versions and it is a good idea to install a desktop version of linux and become familiar with it.
I have an old K6 pentium 400MHz with 128M RAM that is too slow for todays windows application and has no use and I hope that I can install a version of linux on it.

I can afford to buy a modern computer for linux or install linux on one of my other new computers that run Vista or XP as the second OS but I only want to do this if it is necessary for my purpose which is learning embedded linux.

I took a survey to choose a linux distribution and it suggested SUSE to me.
Dose the old Pentium II 400MHz with 128M RAM(I can increase RAM if it is the only problem)is enough to run linux? should I buy a modern computer to run SUSE(I mean dose it worth for my purpose which is learning embedded linux)? should I try other distributions?


increase your ram to at least 512mb & you should be fine for SuSE. The lowest specs i have put SuSE 103 on is : p2 350 & 256mb ram & 10gb hard drive.


In case you wanted the official hardware requirement: Sysreqs

thanks a lot guys,
I had seen the official SysReq before posting but first of all it says nothing about minimum speed and it was worrisome and second official requirement may be very different with the actual experiment. I certainly do not want to hold a mouse over a menu item for a few second to be opened. I don’t mind to wait for some more seconds for a program to be loaded but at least I expect good responsiveness.


Increasing RAM as much as you can will compensate for lower CPU speed; make sure the swap partition is at least one and a half times available RAM up to 512Mb or don’t install until you have increased RAM because the installer will create a swap partition based on what it finds.

Well, as deltaflyer44 already mentioned you should increase your ram significantly. I’d get a more powerful system for openSUSE anyway, at least for your everyday work. As a recommendation for that specific computer you’re talking about, I’d recommend trying out a leaner desktop environment like xfce as well. or simply run fluxbox as windowmanager. Anyway, from my perspective openSUSE will be too “resource hungry” for that machine.

Other distributions? Be sure to check out - Ever tried zen computing? for that specific machine, it has all common devtools installed by default and has pretty low hardware requirements - but to make that clear, that distribution will never be able to compete with openSUSE!

I’ve had Open SuSE 10.3 running on a P2 266 MHz with 220 MB ram, but it was noticeably slow. It was usable, but barely. I wouldn’t recommend anything under 500 MHz.

The lowest-spec machine I got SuSE (9.1) installed on was a Pentium I w/MMX Technology at 233MHz(?) maxed out with 128MB of Ram.

You definatly would not mistake it for something new :wink:

Installable? Yes. Usable? Questionable.

Although I did have Edubuntu running on a P3 500MHz with 256MB Ram and it ran pretty good.

From my experience, though, the more Ram the better (even moreso than tossing Ram at Windows).

deltaflyer44 wrote:
> increase your ram to at least 512mb & you should be fine for SuSE. The
> lowest specs i have put SuSE 103 on is : p2 350 & 256mb ram & 10gb
> hard drive.
> Andy
Lowest I’ve gone was 10.3 P1 233MHz with 128MB ram. I installed CLI only
and ran it headless anyway. The minimum system requirements are to use
KDE or Gnome with the bells and whistles.

You’ll have to incresase your RAM to 1 GB to be comfortable, 512 is the minimum increment.

Hm, 512 can run suse just fine, 256 will be a bit slow, but usable

I have 1GB, and hardly run more than 512MB

i would say 512 is comfortable. depends what you do. if encoding video etc then yeh, but normal desktop use, 512 is plenty. if you want linux on that machine… **** small linux will run on there easy.

If you want to run a graphical system on a PII / 128MB RAM just use Xfce or some other lightweight window manager. Gnome or KDE would not really be useable. And if you are interested in embedded linux you will need to get used to Linux without all the frills anyway :slight_smile: Upgrading the RAM, especially since its probably pretty expensive SDRAM, is just not worth it for such an old machine. 1GB paired with a 400MHz processor? You must be joking. The mobo probably won’t even support it.
The openSuSE 11.0 DVD lets you install a Xfce desktop AFAIK.

The guy is looking to put Linux on an old computer if possible. I doubt he plans to encode video.

512 MB would be lots of RAM for his needs 256 is usable.

When I used older computers for Suse I generally found that you could do it with 256 MB of RAM and it wasn’t bad if it wasn’t your primary computer.

You wouldn’t want to run too many programs at a time, and if you went to start a program it may take 15 or 20 seconds to load in the case of something like Open Office, but once it was running it would be decent for responsiveness.

It is all the multitask use that would slow it down.

Also if you want to go with KDE or Gnome don’t have a lot of bells and whistles running on the desktop or go with a lightweight environment like others suggested

Once you have OpenSUSE or whichever distro you choose to go with installed, you should have a look at this How to created by broch, this helped me improve speed on a mates old P3 with low memory.

I have a Dell PC, running openSUSE10.3, with a Intel P4 clocked at 1.8 GHz and 768 MB of RDRAM. The PC will run the applications, but it is still slow. I think a lot of it comes down to system BUS speed. My PC is 6+ years old and I find it lags on many features I want to use with openSUSE.

I think a PC running a P4 2.5 GHZ with 1 GB of RAM on with a 800 MHz FSB and hard drives spinning at 7200 RPM would be a good fit.

Maybe I can tweak openSUSE 10.3 to run faster, but you can only get so much from a PC before you shove it onto the highway at 75 mph to ease your stress. :slight_smile:

i said this because a member who i quoted said 512 was useable, and 1gb was comfortable, i was saying there is nothing wrong with 512 at all; was not suggesting he would be doing encoding, i was saying 512 would be fine unless…

Since we are swapping stories, … :slight_smile: … I once tried to put 7.3 on a PI (old Compaq LTE5200 laptop) with 84mB of RAM. … That was painful, and I quickly gave up on that. :rolleyes:

I did successfully install 10.2. on an Intel 866MHz with 128 MB of RAM, with xfce. It ran too slow for me, and I eventually quadrupled the RAM to 512MB and put KDE on it, which ran acceptably with the 512MB.

I agree with the previous posts, … when one has a slower processor, extra RAM definitely makes a difference.

The minimum of RAM is to my knowledge 252 MB
because at this point you have to install the ADD on after the main install.