What's the best Linux distro for a Pentium 4 1.4 HP Laptop?

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MaxTek's picture
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I want to format and install a version of Linux on my HP Pavilion laptop. After reading tons of stuff on the net TinyMe was recommended a lot. What do you guys recommend? One important part is to have use of my Linksys WPC54GS vers 2 PC Card.

Thanks.

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Jon's picture
Jon
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With Linux it's not quite so

With Linux it's not quite so important that a distro comes with the drivers for your card, so long as it's not stupidly hard to get them installed. Nearly any distro should support using NDIS Wrapper, which will take Windows drivers and help them work under Linux. The driver you need appreas to be for the TI AXC111. I do understand that an out-of-the-box solution is best, but if it doesn't have a native driver you're going to have to install something to get it to work under nearly any distro. It's just a matter of how easy the distro makes it.

The big issue should be is if your video chipset is supported or not. With out a model number for your laptop, we can't tell. Video, ACPI (power system) and WiFi are about the biggest issues on laptops with Linux.

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MaxTek's picture
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Thanks Jon. The model numb

Thanks Jon.

The model number is Hp Pavilion zt1175.

I just installed kubuntu and my card works fine but kubuntu seems too bloated and possibly slow or it just might be me.

I was hoping to find a nice version of Linux that is very small. All I want to do is internet, email, office apps and burn cds thats about it.

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Well...

If Kubuntu seems sluggish make sure you have at least 512MB of RAM, and honestly I'd suggest a gig. I personally find with at least that much RAM KDE performs better then the GNOME-based distributions.

I did do a search and it looks like those particular models of HP were inflicted with an S3 Savage4 graphics chipset, which looks to have "issues" under Linux. Here's the manpage for the S3 driver. I would suggest looking in your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and seeing if your system is actually using the Savage driver or if it defaulted to VESA. (Which should be stable, but sluggish.) If it *is* running VESA you could try changing it and seeing if things seems peppier. Back up your xorg.conf file first, by all means.

As for switching distributions, since you already have kubuntu installed and working, try installing the xubuntu-desktop package and giving XFCE a spin. Your KDE desktop will still be there and you can revert back to it just by changing selections at the login screen. I've run XFCE on some seriously wimpy machines (Pentium MMX/96MB RAM) and it's been "fine".

--Peace

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I just downloaded a version o

I just downloaded a version of Puppy Linux called MacPup:
http://macpup.org/macpup411.php

It's very OS X in appearance, though I know you can do this on your own with most distros.

Someone does have Puppy working with the WPC54GS:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=14005

I've installed it to a USB stick, and it's got pep. I'd been using Damn Small Linux on and off, and have to say Puppy's got it beat for easy configuration - especially video. That said, Puppy isn't trying to stay under DSL's 50MB size limit.

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MaxTek's picture
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Such great help

Thanks everyone for all the great suggestions. I plan on trying them all.

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Be sure to check out Fedora a

Be sure to check out Fedora as well, it has a similar "feel" to Ubuntu, but comes with more/different packages.

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MaxTek's picture
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MacPup on a Dell Latitude CPI Pentium II

Wow MacPup was easy install and fast. Aside from a few icon problems in the menu bar, I like it. Wish I could figure out how to remove activity monitor from the menu bar and adjust the clock font size.

I am posting this from a Pentium II with 128 megs of ram and a 6 gig hard drive. It is a Dell Latitude CPI.

oh and I am using a Netgear wireless card.