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I want to install Linux on my old laptop from 2006 February. Primarily I want to use it for lightweight coding and browsing the internet.

Software needed:

python
some web design tools (i have some in mind)
dropbox

It's specs are:

Notebook: Acer Aspire 5003WLMi
RAM: 1GB
Processor: AMD Turion 64 ML-32
Graphics Adapter: SIS Mirage 2 M760 128 MB
Display: 15.4 inch, 16:10, 1280x800 pixels

I just took the Linux Distribution Chooser quiz and its recommendations are OpenSuse and Fedora. Linux Mint was in the additional recommendation. I was hoping that Lubuntu / ArchLinux would show up as I read that these are minimal distributions; please correct me if I am wrong about this.

One thing I definitely want is to install whatever software as and when I need and not get a lot of software preinstalled.

Please suggest your recommendations.

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If still want access to a nice package repository, I would consider something like CrunchBang linux. It's an Ubuntu fork so it can use traditional repos with apt-get. I've been running CrunchBang (#!) for some time now on an older EEEPC model with 1GB ram and its nice and smooth.

Here is a list of the software #! comes with (stable version). Of course, it wouldn't be too hard to just remove a couple of them right after installation.

I would also recommend using a window manager such as dwm. It would help you maximize your laptop's screen size (I even use it on my dual-screen desktop setup) and keep visuals to a minimum. Of course, this sort of jump from Gnome or KDE is not for everyone. It's easy to install/implement and the learning curve really as bad as they say.

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Thank you I will give CrunchBang Linux a try. –  Nanda Sep 9 '11 at 23:20
    
For what it's worth, Crunchbang moved away from Ubuntu to Debian (Squeeze) ever since the Statler release in early 2011. –  rahmu Jan 27 '12 at 15:49
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I have taken MaxMackie's advice and kept CrunchBang in my mind. After 3 months of asking this question, I finally tried out CrunchBang and I was not disappointed. This distro fit my needs perfectly. While it may not be for everyone, it is the perfect linux for people who want to be minimal and to experiment. –  Nanda Apr 8 '12 at 6:48
    
WOW, just threw it at an old Thinkpad tp40 with an belking wifi card and everything just worked ... wifi, sound, flash, everything! - thanks! –  hcris Aug 30 '13 at 7:03
    
No problem @hcris, glad to hear everything is smooth. –  MaxMackie Aug 30 '13 at 10:38
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I would recommend crunchbang too. I have it installed on an older thinkpad(x60) and it is fast enough. Using Openbox desktop seems to make a difference too. It also offers to install (or not) most common packages on initial installation.

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I'm typing this on a Compaq/HP nc8000, of about the same vintage. It appears to have 2Gb memory, though. It runs Slackware 13.1 very handily. I bet Slackware comes with most or all of the packages you have in mind, but don't specify. It certainly has python.

I think there's an even later and greater version of Slackware available.

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I will give this a shot too. Thanks. –  Nanda Sep 10 '11 at 0:08
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