Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Want a fast system that runs well on old hardware?

If you are looking for a fast system that consumes few resources, so that it will run really fast on current or recent hardware and acceptably well, even on hardware that is a decade or more old, consider starting with either an installable Debian Live image, a small Debian netinst image, or the really nice, flexible antiX.

With antiX, you have three choices: a core system, which starts you out very similarly to Debian Live (bootable version).  Core doesn't have any application software at all; it simply includes a system kernel, a utility toolchest with a few conveniences to help you get started, no graphical user interface, just a command line interface, but with the tools provided, you can have a working system (if you are either quick or already familiar with antiX) in about fifteen minutes.  In any case, you can most certainly have a solid system, ready to go, in under an hour.  I have written a tutorial on it in the past, and it should be in the archives here.

I am using Debian Sid tonight, and it's an image that I put together, perhaps two years ago, using a Live image.  I had the basics working in about the same amount of time.  Even adding on some extras, I had at least a basic system in ten or fifteen minutes, a fairly functional system in under a half hour, and a fairly well customized system in under an hour.  When I indicate those metrics, I was actually using that system as I continued to configure it; the same was true with my antiX core systems (I've built three of them in the past two years).

Check out my other articles; if you cannot find my tutorial or HOWTO on antiX core, drop me a note and I will provide you a link to the work.

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