Which Linux distro should I use?
Q I got a Pentium II computer recently from the London Freecycle group (www.freecycle.org), which I want to set up for my dear mother to use for the internet, instant messaging and OpenOffice.org. I also want it to be part of my planned wireless network. My question is, which easy-to-use distribution should I go for? I'm thinking Fedora or Gentoo because I heard that Fedora has excellent support for wireless cards, and Gentoo because it's optimised for your hardware. Although Gentoo is more difficult to install, Pentium IIs are supported, according to www.gentoo.org, and I could not find official Fedora system requirements anywhere. The hard disk capacity is 6GB, but this is upgradeable, and I imagine I'll be able to get the RAM up to at least 128MB from 32MB.
A Gentoo is going to be horrible on a slow box, especially with such a small amount of memory, as compiling anything is going to take an age. I would actually suggest Debian. It's a great distribution for low-end systems, and it will run happily on the hardware you mentioned. You can either download a Debian netinst disc, which will download the required packages from the internet, or obtain the full set of discs and install it. www.debian.org has links to the various ISO images, as well as sites where you can buy a CD set.
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