Recommendations for Linux on an old laptop.

Charles Curley charlescurley at
Fri Sep 9 16:53:00 MDT 2005

On Fri, Sep 09, 2005 at 04:29:31PM -0600, Walter Holladay wrote:
> Hey Pluggers,
> I have an old Dell Latitude CPi laptop. It has a Pentium II running at 
> 266 MHz with 128 MB RAM. What would be a good distro of Linux to install 
> on it? There is no CD ROM drive in it, so if this distro had an FTP 
> install option that would probably be best.

Well, I just set up a gateway/firewall on a 133 MHz PII w/ 68 MB of
physical memory on it. I used Fedora Core 4. You can install via NFS
or FTP. I recommend NFS, as it is faster and requires less memory when
you install.

However, 2.6.x kernels are so dang big you may not be able to make an
installation floppy. This is the case with Fedora Core 2, 3 and
4. Those come with an installation boot image you can write to a USB
stick, and there are other techniques for bypassing the floppy drive

You may also be able to install a 2.4 kernel disty (FC1), then upgrade
to the latest. See my web page for how I did this with FC1.

Will the target boot to a USB CD-ROM device? If so, you might want to
make up a USB DVD/CD burner and use that. My cost with some DVD+RWs
was about $110. See the recent thread on this.

You didn't mention anything about running X. I'd check to see if X has
a driver for your laptop before trying. Also read up on it at

Or just run tomsrtbt.


Charles Curley                  /"\    ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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