Installing on old PC

Link to this post 18 Oct 09

I am not a total newbie, but would call myself a beginner. I am trying to install Linux (not picky which distro) on an old PC which does have a CD drive but will not boot from it. (Please don't tell me to get a newer PC-I have several already-I'm recycling) I finally found an old Slackware cd and managed to install it from floppy. I use LILO so I can boot dos or Slackware of the HD. My original goal was just to create a RS232 terminal to use in developing code for a microcontroller. (The ucontroller's output is RS232.) Anyway, I would like to install a newer distro, It seems that I should be able to do this since the existing linux can access the CD drive (as can the Slackware bootdisk). Can anybody walk me through this?

Link to this post 18 Oct 09

Well, one choice for an old pc would be Puppy Linux. Since you can't boot from the CD, I assume you can copy from it, or just download the .iso file right onto the box. OK, using the fromiso option, you can boot Puppy (or actually quite a few other Linux distros) right from the .iso file.

The download page for Puppy is at this link: (The link also has other installation instructions you may or may not be interested in looking at).

A good link for the instructions on how to setup and boot Puppy fromiso is here:
This thread is a few years old, but the instructions still work. Just remember that back then the name of the Puppy iso file was puppy-2.00-seamonkey.iso. If you follow the instructions, just remember to replace that with the name of the new Puppy iso, which is pup-431.iso.

FYI, Puppy Linux loads entirely into RAM, so, it runs fast, even on an old pc.

Hope this helps. If it's not what your looking for, let us know.

Link to this post 19 Oct 09

You can install slackware via usb or even by adding an entry to a preexisting grub bootloader, if you are interested in those then I can help.

Link to this post 20 Oct 09

I have a similar question about an old PC, model is Toshiba Satellite Pro 440 CDT laptop. This computer has a 133 MHz MMX pentium cpu, its pretty ancient with 64 mb of ram, 2 mb video, 3 gig HDD, cd-rom. Thats for the basics, it can run win xp (of all things :P ).

I would like to know what would be the best starter window based linux to use as I've never used it before.

Link to this post 20 Oct 09

If you manage to boot iso from lilo, I would recommend you try openSUSE-LXDE - live and can be installed if needed. I looked at it recently and is really nice.
The openSUSE wiki has some useful information.

Link to this post 23 Oct 09

Myself, I prefer Gentoo for older PC's. It allows you to configure the system for just about any hardware, and it will only install the software and drivers for the hardware you specify. However, it is a good idea to have a full listing of the hardware in your system to do this. It also requires a lot of time the first time you install it. However, it will result in a system that is highly tuned to your needs and environment. Not for the faint of heart, but a great linux learning environment.

Who we are ?

The Linux Foundation is a non-profit consortium dedicated to the growth of Linux.

More About the foundation...

Frequent Questions

Linux Training / Board