Ubuntu 6.06.1 on 75Mhz Pentium, 64Mb, 1.5Gb and Openbox

Yesterday I managed to put an Openbox installation on an old Dell Dimension 8200 P75t — a 75Mhz Pentium with 64Mb of memory, a Western Digital Caviar 1.5Gb hard drive and onboard S3 graphics. Pictures and proof are here.

It went better than I thought it would. Banging away at Turbo had been a good learning experience. I knew what kinds of things would help and what would hold me down.

More importantly, I didn’t waste my time with “tweaks” that would have no effect at all on the overall performance. Nothing is going to improve a boot time of 3 1/2 minutes, no matter what I try. It’s best to just let it suffer in silence.

In the end I did get a 16-bit desktop at 1024×768, with XFE as the file manager, the XFCE terminal (transparent terminal windows!) and a few other tweaks and twitches. feh was on there, as was obconf and ObMenu. A few other things.

But no Web browser, since I had no working Internet connection. The original ISA network card wasn’t doing its job, and the backup that I keep on the shelf proved too twitchy to work with a machine this slow.

So everything went on there — kernel updates, stuff from universe and multiverse, even Python — without a Web connection. How did I do it? I’m just sneaky that way. 😉


2 thoughts on “Ubuntu 6.06.1 on 75Mhz Pentium, 64Mb, 1.5Gb and Openbox

  1. Steve Farber

    Please forgive me asking, but what is “Open Box” and why exactly do I want to take the time to look into it?

    I was under the impression that Xubuntu was the lightweight version of Ubuntu for older hardware. I’m running Xubuntu on an old 600 Mhz Celeron w/256 MB RAM and it is OK, but no speed demon.

    What’s the scoop?



  2. kmandla Post author

    Hi Steve. You’re right; Xubuntu is the lightest full Ubuntu distro you can get as a package. If you want to build up with something sparser, Openbox is an option.

    Openbox is a very lightweight desktop environment. In a way it looks a lot like Fluxbox or Blackbox. It uses a lot less resources than Gnome, KDE or even XFCE, but requires a little more effort to set up. A good place to look at nice Openbox setups is on Boxwhore.org.

    On a machine like that one, you’d probably see some real speed improvements. On the other hand, the time it takes to set it up — and it’s certainly not very noob-friendly — might not be worth it to you. Search the forums for Openbox and no doubt you’ll come up with some howtos for putting it together.



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