Linux choice, networking, speed help.

I have an old 200 Hz box and I want to make an message board reading machine out of it. ( as simple and clean as I can make it )

Needs to start-up fast as possible.

I’m on Wildblue satellite.

Needs to easily network with other Win-98se machines through a Linksys router.

Preferably just a store bought CD of something I can install on a clean hard drive. ( will consider a free off the net application if that would really be better and easier… easier is important

No bells or whistles.

Want to user Firefox as the browser.

Irfan View as the photo program.

Opinions please…

*I want to just hit the switch, after the BIOS starts, then "bing’ I’m ready to read the boards. If I find a picture I want to keep, I hit the network when I have another machine running and move any saved pictures etc.

Want it to be on a completely different machine as I don’t want to mess with dual boot or partitions etc. ( I don’t know how anyway )

Never messed with the big “L”.

Must be simple nuff for me… ( very simple )

… ???

Ubuntu seems to have become the default "install it and go’ Linux distro. Because it is based upon Debian GNU/Linux (with the superior deb package system and the more consistant Gnome-based graphical environment framework) it is more consistant throughout its standard suite of applications and functional behavior than some of the other distros and all essential configuration can be done from the GUI, though it’ll run just fine out of box. (It’s also supposed to have more up-to-date WiFi support than some other coughMandrivacough distributions.)

Dual boot isn’t actually all that tough these days, but you should be able to do pretty much anything except run Windows-specific applications. (Windows emulators are still pretty unreliable and mostly not worth the effort, IMHO.) And with Linux, you really shouldn’t have to hit the power button very often; I’ve had a G4 running Yellow Dog Linux for eight months continually before I recently embarked on my (still incomplete) effort to turn it back into an Apple.

I’m actually more of a fan of FreeBSD, which is a Unix-type OS that is developed in a somewhat more consistent fashion that Linux (and consquently is more logically configured under the hood) but for your purposes it probably doesn’t make much difference to you.


On that slow a machine, the window manager is going to make a big difference in the speed. (Linux can run on slow machines, but Gnome, KDE, Gentoo, etc. require almost as beefy a PC as Windows these days).

I have no experience with it myself, but this: might be more what you’re looking for.

Ubuntu is still a good option, taking in Nanoda’s recommendation about window managers - once the basic installation is complete, you can add whatever WM you want. I’ve had Ubuntu running very nicely on similarly-powered machines, for similar purposes.

Thanks folks… Will see what I can screw up now… Heeeeee

Irfanview is (as far as I know) only a Win32 program. You might still be able to run it on Linux using WINE, but it will be a pain in the arse.

Apart from that, I’ll repeat the recommendation for Ubuntu; it’s really very easy to set up and use, especially on a machine that has an internet connection via ethernet to a router. It just works.

If it’ll handle that speed of a machine, then by all means use Ubuntu. It’s powerful enough to run our production server here at work, super easy to install, and very friendly to maintain.

Irfanview is indeed Win32 only; the Linux guru here recommends you try fspot instead.

read up on fspot… proly work fine… need to clean up the rig and get it in from the garage…