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Author Topic: What is the minimal RAM required for Peppermint OS to work acceptably? >SOLVED<  (Read 16155 times)

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Offline paulus

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Hi all,

I have a very old desktop, an ASUS, with only 256 MB RAM. It has a CD drive for reading only, from which it can start. It cannot start from an USB device, like a pen drive. I checked that in the BIOS, and there is no option for that.

I want to install Peppermint OS on it, and tried to install Peppermint OS 6, but it took for ages to load, in fact it didn't, so that is not an option.

It has now Windows XP Pro installed, that works with "...at least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)...", so that is possible, but hasn't my preference.

I also tried Simplicity Linux, a derivative of Puppy Linux, but even that is too heavy for 256 MB RAM.

I really like to have Peppermint OS installed on it, even if it has to be Peppermint OS 1! Would that be possible?

Or is there another way to remove Windows XP and install Peppermint OS on it, in such a way, that it runs normally?

Thanks for replying!

paulus
« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 01:06:45 pm by paulus »

Offline AndyInMokum

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2015, 01:39:06 pm »
Hi Paulus, how's it going?  256 MiB RAM is really the rock bottom you're going to be able to use with Peppermint Six.  It's still going to struggle.  One open web page and all or your memory is used up.  That's just the way thing are these days: http://peppermintos.com/guide/downloading/

I offer a word of EXTREME CAUTION if you're using your XP machine while connected to the internet.  Windows XP has not been supported for over a year.  Its dead in the water - kapot and poses a serious security threat to both your data and other people's.  If it hasn't already been exploited, it will be exploited sooner or later. 
This is a fact.  Now's the time to backup any critical data and get rid of XP once and for all  ;).
Backup! Backup! Backup! If you're missing any of these -  you ain't Backed Up!
For my system info please L/click HERE.

Offline paulus

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2015, 01:42:22 pm »
Hi AndyInMokum,

I know! That's the reason I really want to get rid of XP!

But what if I throw it away, without a working alternative? :(

Therefor my question, as I really, really want to install anything but XP on that computer! ;)

paulus

Offline scifidude79

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2015, 01:44:08 pm »
You need more than 256 RAM to run a Live session, which is necessary to install the system.  The installed system will use less RAM than a Live one will, but that point is moot if you can't run the Live session to install.  Honestly, if Puppy won't run on the computer, not much will.  Puppy is by far one of the lightest Linux distros on the planet.

Edit:  According to Puppy's forum, their current release requires 768MB RAM.  I don't know how that compares to Peppermint, but I don't see why Peppermint would require any less.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 01:48:29 pm by scifidude79 »

Offline AndyInMokum

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2015, 01:58:27 pm »
Hi AndyInMokum,

I know! That's the reason I really want to get rid of XP!

But what if I throw it away, without a working alternative? :(

Therefor my question, as I really, really want to install anything but XP on that computer! ;)

paulus
You could give antiX a go.  It looks like it about as light as you can get with a GUI: antix.mepis.org.  It can't hurt to give it a try  ;).
Backup! Backup! Backup! If you're missing any of these -  you ain't Backed Up!
For my system info please L/click HERE.

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2015, 02:40:57 pm »
Really any lightweight Ubuntu based distro is going to struggle in less that 512MB .. and even with that you're liable to start swapping out as soon as you fire up a modern web browser.

I'd say minimum useful spec is 1GB .. you migh get away with less if you're going to use a lightweight web browser lie Midori, but I think you're pushing even getting it to install/run in 256MB
(same goes for XP .. it'll run, but as soon as you load any apps it'll start to use the swapfile, and slow to a crawl)

something like DSL or Slitaz wll work in that amount of RAM, but again don't be expecting to run a modern web browser.
(and expect them to be a PITA to configure/use .. there's a penalty for  being that light ;) )
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 02:45:35 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2015, 02:57:05 pm »
Idle, my system uses over 400MB. (no desktop effects) With Firefox up, it jumps to over 800MB.

I ran XP (ages ago) on 128MB.  NOT recommended, I don't care what M$ claims the "minimum" is.  (I think it's 64MB for XP)

1.  They underrate those things. 

2.  That's the bare minimum required to boot the OS, not to do anything else.

I hate to say this, but you do eventually have to let old hardware go.  That or just keep it and leave XP on it but don't let it even remotely near a network.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 03:03:08 pm by scifidude79 »

Offline paulus

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2015, 03:27:17 pm »
Hi AndyInMokum,

I know! That's the reason I really want to get rid of XP!

But what if I throw it away, without a working alternative? :(

Therefor my question, as I really, really want to install anything but XP on that computer! ;)

paulus
You could give antiX a go.  It looks like it about as light as you can get with a GUI: antix.mepis.org.  It can't hurt to give it a try  ;).


@AndyInMokum: I am trying now to load AntiX; I happened to have a CD around, and it's loading now. I'll let you know if/how this works.

@all: thank you all, but if I understand well I probably have to except that this old computer isn't workable any longer.

I have to admit that I find it hard to believe that XP wins on the realm of lightest OS(, although support is officially halted). >:(

I would have expected that Peppermint, or at least a distribution of Linux would have that honor! :-\

If there still is any idea of a solution, I would appreciate that very much!

paulus

Offline scifidude79

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2015, 03:44:32 pm »
Windows XP came out in 2001.  Compare that to a Linux distribution from 2001 and I'm willing to bet XP wins nothing.  However, compare it to just about any OS from 2015 and, yeah, it will probably win.  Computers are a lot different than they were back then.  In 2005, you could still get computers with under 1GB RAM.  However, nowadays, you can't even buy a computer without at least 3GB.  (NOT counting tablets)  And that's a low end system.

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2015, 03:51:22 pm »
As I said .. XP is the same (particularly after service pack 3) .. it aint gonna run a modern web browser without swapping in less than 1GB.

and it doesn't WIN

IIRC, slitaz loads the whole OS into RAM and still only uses sommat like 80MB .. but there's a tradeoff between modern software/ease of use/lightness .. Peppermint attempts to be light but user friendly, we're not aiming for "as light as possible, but a b*tch to use, and no modern software".

There is ZERO chance of you getting XP to run in 256MB with service pack 3 and without it swapping like crazy (just like Peppermint will as soon as you open an application)) .. and even then its security is outdated.
Peppermint is modern, easy to use,secure, and up to date .. XP isn't.

I could say AmigaOS kicks XP's teeth in when it comes to size (entire multitasking GUI OS on a single 880k floppy disk) .. but its a pointless comparison as it's a lot older so doesn't have a lot of the libraries/api hooks required to run modern hardware and software ;)

[EDIT]

And what scifidude said :)
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 03:54:47 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline paulus

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2015, 03:54:05 pm »
Windows XP came out in 2001.  Compare that to a Linux distribution from 2001 and I'm willing to bet XP wins nothing.  However, compare it to just about any OS from 2015 and, yeah, it will probably win.  Computers are a lot different than they were back then.  In 2005, you could still get computers with under 1GB RAM.  However, nowadays, you can't even buy a computer without at least 3GB.  (NOT counting tablets)  And that's a low end system.

scifidude79, that brings me to the following idea!

Would it be possible to get this old computer running with an also old version of a Linux distribution? From about the same age? Which Linux distribution would be the best to try out, if it is still around/downloadable?

Maybe we should turn to your way of thinking, and find out which (very) old Linux distribution would fit to this old computer. I guess it would fit on the area of hardware requirements for sure, as they together would be a fine old couple! :D

paulus

Offline aagimob

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2015, 04:15:17 pm »
Try Tiny Core...

Offline paulus

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2015, 04:37:59 pm »
I will definitely try TinyCore. At the moment I am trying an old version of Asturix, version 3 Lite.

After that I will try TinyCore, and let you know.

AntiX was not a succes: though it loaded, it took very long to get anything to work, so that is not an workable option.

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2015, 04:42:34 pm »
You're not listening .. there are distros that will easily load n 256MB of RAM

But they're still going to be useless as soon as you open a modern web browser, which in itself with flash and a couple of other plugins, and a single modern website open in a single tab is going to weigh in around that size, leaving the OS no option but to use the swap partition/file.

It's simple .. 256MB is not enough any more for modern GUI OS and software (including XP SP2/3), and older software (particularly web browsers) won't cut it any more.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 04:45:10 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline Slim.Fatz

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Re: What is the minimum RAM required for Peppermint OS?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2015, 04:56:37 pm »
Hi paulus,

I agree with aagimob ("try Tiny Core") and PCNetSpec ("Slitaz") as about the smallest you can use with a GUI. That said, I think that you need to know Linux fairly well to install and configure either of them.

I have never tried Tiny Core but have read about it in several reviews.

Slitaz is a distro that I used for quite a while and it was really quite nice.

If you can get Peppermint Five or Six to install, then I would suggest turning immediately to the JWM window manager. I use it regularly and when it is configured properly, you can get logged in and have the GUI using only about 85 MB of RAM. It is fast and really easy to configure too. It looks somewhat like maybe Windoze 95 ?? I really don't remember Windoze 95 very well though.

An alternate to the JWM window manager is i3wm, which I also regularly use. Configuration is relatively easy, it is fast and about as light weight on RAM use as JWM. However, i3wm is a what is referred to as a dynamic tiling window manager. If you do not know what this is, it is not easy to describe. But there are YouTube videos out there demonstrating it. But NOTE: not everyone can get comfortable with a tiling window manager! Still, when set up (configured) properly, it can look pretty much like a primitive Windoze or Openbox WM.

So it looks like your main problem is going to be getting through the installation process -- and with only 256 MB RAM that is probably most likely possible only with Tiny Core or Slitaz. After that, there are definitely several ways to go.
And as for light weight web browsers: try dwb. I like it, but then I am rather weird too ...  :-X

Good luck!

Regards,

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