Now Open to Experimenting

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Now that I am selling my computer and preparing to use older donated hardware that would otherwise not find useful life in the hands of another geek (that was a mouthful, bear with me), I'm now open to experimenting with something more optimized for older hardware. The prime candidate would be any of the Slackware-based distros.

Slackware is recognized as the world's oldest surviving Linux distribution. It's also reputed to be the leanest of them all, owing to the fact that they have maintained a heritage of not customizing packages to a point that weighs down a distro a certain way. It's a preferred development distro in that respect because Slackware developers build and install packages using tar.gz (instead of custom packages like RPM's or Deb's). Tar packages can be installed and used by most *nix systems without modifications, sans custom interfaces.

I have a few choices. There's Slackware itself which just released version 12.1. PuppyLinux is another one, the choice of people wanting to run a fairly recent version of Linux on older hardware. PuppyLinux just released 4.0, by the way. VectorLinux is something I've used recently and I think I might go that way. They released 5.9 a few months back. A mini-review of mine was even featured in their reviews page. I haven't tried Zenwalk in a while and it'd be interesting to see what they've done in the intervening years from the last time I tried it. Zenwalk 5.0 is fairly new, having been released last January. An updated version of their live CD, Zenwalk Live 5.0.1, was recently posted as well.

With these choices, who would say with confidence that running older hardware is passe?

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