SliTaz and the Toshiba

So I’ve been laid up for a couple of weeks now post an op (ACDF) and have some spare time on my hands:-

SliTaz recently hit 3.0 and based on that, comments by K.Mandla in the post “Greetings from SliTaz 3.0” and some enthusiasm from a friend (Shouts to Liddy :D) I decided to give it a go.

As I’m want to do these days I fire up the ISO in VirtualBox to see how well it is put together and was pleased with the initial presentation. SliTaz bring a basic desktop that is light weight enough for the old Toshiba (PIII 500MHz, 192Mb RAM).

Doing a basic install to a spare partition I had left over from playing with Google OS (which aint ready yet 😦 ) I was up and running in no time. Pleased to see that X worked straight out the box which seems to fail on most other recent Distros out there.

Wireless is the first issue that needed to be resolved. Using the configuration dialogs seemed to scramble my WPA key and I had to manually edit the file /etc/network.conf to set the WPA key with some “special” characters esacped. e.g. “$l!T@z” would need to become “\$l\!T\@z” or some such.

Setting to fastboot in /etc/rcS.conf and installing Google Chrome via the package manager and the trusty old Toshiba boots to the desktop in 23 seconds (with me typing in the credentials) and runs Chrome like a charm.

I think I may have found the O/S for the Toshiba. Boots fast, has enough apps to make it very workable, they are all lightweight so it runs well on the old machine, Wireless works well now that I got the WPA key entered correctly and last but not least the included packages seem to be well thought out too.


3 Responses

  1. I have an IBM ThinkPad i1400: 433 MHz Celeron (Mendocino / Pentium II based) with 256 MB RAM, 4.5 GB hard drive, 800×600 LCD screen, even a built-in floppy drive.

    Installed SliTaz 3.0 on it — runs surprisingly well. Responsive enough to be a usable machine.. Good selection of apps, very workable.

    I have a PCMCIA Ethernet (10 Mb/s) card (3com), and it works. I think when 4.0 debuts (shortly), I’ll try a USB wireless card I recently purchased.

    Another distro that I just learned about, and will try in this machine, is Vector Linux (based on Slackware)…

    • Nice, good to heard you’ve had a good result on what by today’s standard is pretty old hardware.

      I’ve never looked at Vector or any other Slackware distro, I keep on getting drawn back to Debian and it’s apt package management. Sat with the simplicity of Ubuntu and it’s variants for a while, I’m floating between Mint (for ease of use, I.J.W. 😉 and straight Debian for flexibility.

      USB Wireless can be interesting in my experience, more like challenging. It is improving though. I’d be interested to hear of you post back the results of the USB WiFi dongle.



      • It was a combination of a challenge, something to do with a moldy old laptop that a friend gave me, and an opportunity to try out several ultra-light distros on hardware that would quickly reveal weaknesses.

        SliTaz was easily the best… But like you, I prefer Ubuntu on my daily users (including at work, where I also run RHEL 5/6 & Win7). I tried Mint 9 some time back, but didn’t see the point in switching… until GNOME 2 went the wayside. Now…? I like GNOME 3 so far, but I could live with Xfce. We’ll see what Unity evolves into…

        I just downloaded Vector to play with. (Slackware’s also new to me, too.) It’s supposed to run in 128MB of RAM and be fast enough on old hardware. I won’t switch there either, but I read a review that piqued my curiosity.

        I’ll post on this again in a couple of weeks after SliTaz 4 moves out of RC status & I can test-drive it & VL7 on the ThinkPad (and in a VM on an i7 box). That’ll include testing the USB WiFi dongles in both lightweights + Ubuntu.

        The dongle’s a TP-Link TL-WN722N (150 Mbps) I got mainly on the basis of buyer reviews that said it works out of the box with Ubuntu…


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