We’re not the only ones.
Linux on older hardware
Lots of other groups have come up with the idea of putting Linux on
older hardware. Here is a list of all the ones we know of. If you know
of a project not on this list, please contact us.
- RULE – Run
Up2date Linux Everywhere.
- This project is active and successful. Their design goals are slightly
different than ours (they don’t insist on Windows lookalikes, for
instance) but we cover similar ground. Check out their application
- TINY Linux
- ’Tis Independence ’N Yet
- From Italy comes this minimalistic Linux distribution suitable for old computers.
- Free Geek
- This Portland group runs a computer recycling and volunteer training operation
similar to ours. They distribute
- Computerbank NSW
Based in New South Wales, Australia.
Put together by the Canadian
Linux Users’ Exchange (CLUE) this distro is remarkably similar
to ours, but based on some obsolete version of Debian.
Perhaps we plagiarized off of them?
- Damn Small Linux
Designed to be run on business-card CDs, this distro fits in 50MB of space.
It features many lightweight applications that run on older hardware.
Related Debian-based distributions
As of a few years ago, very few distributions used Debian as a base,
and many of them failed. Now the situation has changed.
There are lots of Debian-based distros. A few of these distributions
are of particular interest to us:
Everybody loves Knoppix because of its autodetection routines, and
we do too. Unfortunately, Knoppix does not do a great job of
detecting older hardware (for example, our Trident ISA video cards).
Morphix is a spinoff of Knoppix geared towards customizability.
Its “Morphix-Lite” version is pretty exciting, but the bundled web
browser (Firebird) is totally inappropriate for our needs.
- Libranet Linux
This is a commercial variant of Debian. We find it interesting for
- Like us, they decided to use IceWM as their default window
manager/desktop, rather than using GNOME or KDE. (They actually offer
many alternatives now).
- Because they are commercial, they keep their latest release
proprietary. However, older versions of their
distribution are available for download.
The Debian website contains a
more comprehensive list of distributions based on Debian.
- The FreeDOS Project
PCs not capable of running Linux might try out FreeDOS, an MS-DOS rewrite. Some people have written SEAL, a GUI for FreeDOS as well.