Ten more Linux discussion forums

My series of listings of Linux discussion forums continues with ten more discussion forums. This time the forums are for more or less specialized or esoteric distributions.

See also the first two parts of the listing if you are looking for discussion regarding some other distribution (here and here).
  1. Crunchbang
  2. gOS
  3. Midnight BSD
  4. Wolvix
  5. Clonezilla
  6. GParted
  7. Geexbox
  8. Slax
  9. Foresight
  10. Crux for PPC

Linux on P100 with 16 Mb

K. Mandla has succeeded in something I thought would be impossible: he has installed Crux on a P100 with 16 Mb RAM. Read his Success! IceWM 1.2.36 and Xorg 7.3 at 100Mhz/16Mb and the later Some minor improvents if you want to boldly install Linux where no Penguin has lived before.

When I bought my Toshiba laptop in 1997 it came with 8 Mb of RAM but late I upgraded it to the maximum of 40 Mb. 8 Mb were just not enough for Netscape and Windows95. I have not used the computer for some time, but I might return to it some day. I think the last OS I ínstalled on it was Minix3. Or maybe Slackware 11.0? When I get back to Helsinki, I just have to try something new with my trustworthy laptop.

How to find Linux applications

Not only newbies have often difficulties in finding the right application for a certain task. I usually browse in several different software catalogues to find some interesting application for something I need to get done.

Here are my favourite Linux software catalogues:
After I find something of interest, I install the software using the package management of the distribution. I compile the software only when there is no package available for the distro I happen to be using. If you are using one of the more popular distributions, there should be no need to compile anything from sources.

A good rule to remember is: if you don't know how to compile some application from sources, you probably should not even try to compile it.

Dillo 2.0 released!

Dillo is one of the lightest web browsers and especially useful if you have to - or want to - use Linux with an old computer. For some time, it seemed like the project was forgotten or at least there seemed to be no progress in the form of new releases. Quite surprisingly, I noticed that new Dillo 2.0 is available in the download section of the project.

As there was no package available for Vector Linux or Slackware, I first installed fltk2 after which installing Dillo from the source code presented no problems. The magical words ./configure, make, su, make install were needed for compiling and installing the browser.

Dillo is not the fanciest web browser available but it is really lightweight and good enough for simple web pages. I'm looking forward to the next release!

New edition 6.4 of Linux From Scratch

The project Linux From Scratch has released a new version of the book that helps you to build your own Linux using only sources. From the release notes:

The Linux From Scratch community is pleased to announce the release of LFS Version 6.4. This release includes numerous changes to LFS-6.3 (including update to Linux-, GCC-4.3.2, Glibc-2.8) and security fixes. It also includes a large amount of editorial work on the explanatory material throughout the book, improving both the clarity and accuracy of the text.
You can read the book online or download the current stable version here.

Ttylinux is a distribution for 486s with 8 mb

Quite accidentally, I found the homepage for ttylinux. Ttylinux is a minimalistic Linux distribution that should run on just about any old computer you still have somewhere. Once the system is installed, the memory requirement is reduced to about 8-10 Mb. This can be reduced by installing a minimalistic custom kernel by hand. With a minimal 2.4.x kernel configuration, for example, the memory usage can be cut to about 5-6 Mb.

The minimal requirements are really low:
  • 486SX processor or better
  • 5 MB of RAM
  • 8 MB for hard disk installation
  • modem or ISDN card for Internet dial-out)
The download presents no problems even for those who still use dial-up connection as the size of the ISO image is only 4.3 Mb.

Ttylinux is not meant for novice users, but if you are an experienced user you might like to try building a custom system based on this minimalistic distribution.

Lighter Blog From Now On

I decided to get rid of Digg, Bloggapedia, Blogcatalog and Reddit. It seems my readers do not use those services, at least I rarely got any visitors through them. They only made downloading Lightweight Linux slower and probably did not create any value for my readers. After all, this blog should be readable also with old computers - so it was only logical to trim down some clutter.

Linux From Scratch

Linux From Scratch is a "distribution" I've always wanted to try but never had time to build a system of my own. A couple of years ago, I used Gentoo for a few months as my main desktop. At that time it was a bit too much for my skills and I had difficulties in keeping a usable system together.

Linux From Scratch would be even more hard core solution. But the documentation is excellent and I think I might have enough time some weekend to build my own minimal system from the sources. But it is another thing to have a minimal system and a usable system installed in an old computer I would have for this experiment. A usable desktop would take some more evenings and a couple of weeks reading Beyond Linux from Scratch.

You can read the documentation for building your own system online. There is also a LiveCD available to be used as the host system when building LFS.

More (Mostly) Linux Discussion Forums

And here follow ten more discussion forums for mostly different Linux distributions but also for OpenSolaris and BSDs. As a general rule, I would say that if the forum for a certain distribution is not active, I would not recommend the distribution for a complete newbie.

Newbies should probably choose some of the more mainstream distributions even when installing Linux on an old computer. After some experience with installing and using Linux, it is much easier to solve to possible problems presented by some niche distributions.
  1. Sabayon
  2. TinyME
  3. Absolute
  4. Frugalware
  5. Fluxbuntu
  6. LinuxConsole
  7. Ultimate Edition
  8. OpenSolaris
  9. OpenGEU
  10. BSDnexus (all BSDs)
See also my previous posting that lists 27 different Linux and BSD discussion forums. If I missed your distribution's discussion forum, just send a comment in the comment box.

Linux (and BSD) Discussion Forums - Right Forum for Right Distribution

Linux discussion forums exist for practically every distribution. They are a useful source of information both for newbies and more experienced users.

Many newbies don't realize they should probably send their questions to the relevant discussion forum instead of posting only to the Ubuntu Forum's discussions for other distributions. Usually the more knowledgeable users can be found in the right forum.

The following is a pretty random selection of the discussion forums for the most important distributions.
  1. Linuxquestions.org for general Linux discussion.
  2. Ubuntu
  3. Debian
  4. openSUSE
  5. Mint
  6. Fedora
  7. PCLinuxOS
  8. Mandriva
  9. CentOS
  10. Damn Small Linux
  11. Slackware (Linuxpackages.net)
  12. Slackware
  13. Zenwalk
  14. Vector Linux
  15. Dreamlinux
  16. Mepis
  17. Elive
  18. Arch
  19. Gentoo
  20. Foresight
  21. DeLi
  22. Slitaz
  23. Sidux
  24. Daemonforums.org (BSD)
  25. PC-BSD
  26. DesktopBSD
  27. Puppy Linux
Edit: Because of popular demand, I added the forum for Puppy Linux!

Elive Development Release

Elive is another interesting distribution that has just released an unstable development release you can download and try without installing it on a hard drive. If you are interested in trying Enlightenment without installing it, this is a natural choice for you.

Elive is based on Debian. Its minimal requirements are very minimal: a 100 Mhz CPU and 64 MB of RAM. To be honest, the minimum recommended hardware is 300 Mhz and 128 Mb of RAM. Still, nothing fancy is needed for running Elive.

TinyMe 2008.1 Beta Release

TinyMe is a lightweight remaster of PCLinuxOS. The project has just released a beta version of the forthcoming stable release 2008.1. Now you have a great chance to help building a lightweight Linux distribution that is extremely well suited for old computers. See the release announcement for more information.

An Enlightened Experience: E17

It's been some time since I've used Enlightenment on a regular basis. I used some months E16 as my main desktop and was very happy with it. For some reason I cannot anymore remember I moved to some other desktop or some window manager in my continuing search for the perfect desktop experience.

For the first time I installed E17 that still is in development. But what an experience it is! It looks nicer than ever, the eye candy is not disturbing but adds value to the user experience. I even like the way Enlightenment is configured when first run. After I learned how to turn off the desktop icons I was extremely happy with Enlightenment.

One of the features I like is the way users can download and install new themes and wallpapers. Even the animated wallpapers don't disturb me, the just look great. At the moment Enlightenment seems to be the prettiest desktop available. Furthermore, it is usable and it's got all the functionality I want my desktop environment to have. And it is lightweight enough for my 1.99 GHz CPU.

If you like KDE4's looks but otherwise it is not up to your standards, you might like this one. It is still prerelease, but it seems to be a lot more stable and usable than KDE4 is at the moment. Of course window managers like Openbox can be tweaked to look great, too, but Enlightenment looks perfect out of the box. You don't need to spend hours looking for pretty themes and installing third party panels and other plugins to make a lightweight window manager as usable as Enlightenment is.

It's good to be back!

About Blogging

I started this blog in the early summer 2008. I have not been able to post anything worth reading every day, not even every week. I suppose it happens to most bloggers who blog as a hobby, not as professional authors. In addition, my studies of economics and business are even more time consuming I imagined.

During the last week, I have noticed I can move most of my short notices about interesting new distributions or sites to Delicious. It certainly is a better platform for this kind of short notes. I warmly recommend you to subscribe my notes in Delicious, if you are a registered user. You'll find the necessary links in the column to the right.

Now that I decided to post in this blog, I might as well remind you of another blog worth reading if you are interested in using Linux on old computers: Linux Distribution testing - on old computers.

New Puppy Release

Puppy Linux 4.1.1 has been released. It is a bugfix release of 4.1 See the release notes for more information regarding this distro that fits under a 95 MB file.

Lightweight Linux in Delicious

I decided to start blogging my links in Delicious. My latest additions to Delicious can be found in the column to the right. You might like to add me to your network if you are interested in lightweight Linux distributions, lightweight applications or using Linux with old computers.

Openbox is a Lightweight Window Manager

Openbox is one of the more popular lightweight window managers. It can be used as a standalone solution or as a component of the LXDE, the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. The default look of Openbox is rather minimalistic, but it is a good basis for building a custom desktop.

The default look of openSUSE's openbox

Fortunately, the internet is full of resources and tutorials for customizing the look and feel of Openbox. Here are some of the more informative pages I've found:

Themes for Openbox can of course be found in the usual sources. See, for example, the following:

Can you recommend some other sites?