Current Non-PAE Linux Distro's

I guess it doesn’t have to be current, but I’m looking for a linux to run on this laptop I got recently. Its basically going to get installed, updated maybe twice, and never really be fucked with. Its meant for literally libreoffice and a music player.

Specs of the machine:

Pentium M760 @2ghz
2gb ram @800mhz
40gb ultra ide3
Intel 910GML

Its basically going to run emulators, play music, and be a diary. Thats it, I don’t need fancy shit.

I’d like my pc to not get lagged by system d if possible.

I have a cd rw drive, and past attempts to boot usb failed. It can boot from cds cdrws and dvd’s, but no dvdrw’s. I have to figure this sorta stupid shit out with every damn pentium M. The only reason I’m bothering to fuck with this one is cuz its special to me.

Any suggestions, a+.

XP or 2000 will run the emulators the best, Linux emulators kinda perform like ass, should play everything up and including n64 and ps1
I know those aren’t Linux but that’s just my suggestion if emulators will be the primary target

I just want gba p1 and snes. I don’t need everything, just the games I wanna play.

I’d prefer to not have wisdovs on the system.

2000 will be my backup, good idea actually

Atm I’m looking at bodhi linux. Maybe could do bsd? If I could install what I wanted in obsd maybe…

Gba and SNES for sure, ps1 is a coin toss but should be doable

SNES 9X has a really nice scanline filter, pretty sure it’s on both windows and linux

I like zsnes. I’m a weeb.

The interface is just so much cleaner nad it has memory tools BUILT IN

Pretty sure snes9x has those too but ehh, I can’t remember which one you can actually completely speedy Gonzales on

Fun SNES sonic clone

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Something era appropriate for the device, like maybe Slackware?

I installed Void Linux on a Dell Latitude D410 that came with a Pentium M760, 1 GB of RAM and a 40gb spinning rust. Browsing the web was terrible, my Pi 2 (also running Void) was faster than it. And I was using Falkon, since in my experience, it is more lightweight.

If you avoid the Internet on it, then LibreOffice and a music player should work fine and you get the bonus of having a reliable up-to-date distro. The HDD was the real bottleneck for me, hope it works out for you. Also, I booted from USB no problem.

I otly intend to install the livecd and then download zsnes and thats it.

Don’t worry about PAE, your CPU supports PAE, according to Intel Ark.

If you want a distro without systemd, maybe try Devuan, aka. Debian without systemd.

Although systemd shouldn’t slow you down, it should do the opposite(It’s a monolithic application using config files, as opposed to a small init binary and a bunch of shell scripts).

You might want to try to reduce disk writes/reads, e.g. disable logging to disk, use tmpfs for cache directories, noatime, etc.

Honestly, if you can, replace the HDD with some flash-based solution. I think there are cheap IDE-to-CF adapters, and you might still be able to get some nice CF cards.

Do you want to be able to browse the web at all? Even just download files from the internet? Or will some of that music playback possibly be streaming? If so, old Linux distros and Windows 2000/XP should be completely ruled out.

Slackware 14.2 was recently released. It’s systemd-free. You’ll want to avoid GNOME/KDE and use a lighter desktop like XFce4.

@max1220’s advice is good as well.

As @max1220 said, you’re CPU does in fact support PAE. Pentium Ms (Banias and Dothan) simply don’t flag it in their CPUID information for some reason, you’ll need to use the forcepae boot option to get Linux booting.

It should be as simple as finding the boot options string on your install media as you’re about to install and appending forcepae -- forcepae to the end of it. At least, for common distros like Ubuntu and Mint.

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If software can init C0 stepping, which this laptop can’t do.

I’ve legit used pentium M’s my entire life.

I don’t really care about performance otherwise though.

Do ya’ll know what cd’s are lel

Honeshly, ipod management. Somewhere to back up music and not worry about losing it. Tbh I stream music to my phone, to a computer is a waste of my time I’m too upp and go.

Slackware 14.2 isn’t recent but slacko7 is on the table for me. Its a thought.

I’d always try that and shit wouldn,t boot. Tho that was on my HP hardware. I’ll try it see what happens, normally though a 20 minute boot on a dvd turns into an hour when I do that.

Again, if you want a modern distro w/o systemd, you can’t go wrong with Void, Alpine or Artix (I forgot to mention the last 2, since I was concentrating on talking about myself instead of a solutio, because I’m a self-centered narcissist :man_shrugging: ). There is also Obarun, but I have no idea what the difference between Obarun and Artix s6 is, outside the fact that Obarun has “66” for s6, a bunch of scripts that make s6 easier to manage.

Note: I have not tried Alpine as a desktop (I see no reason why it shouldn’t work, but keep in mind that Alpine is aimed more towards servers, whenever I tried to look for certain programs, I couldn’t find them in the main Alpine repo, while Void had it all and more. Artix is just Arch w/o systemd, it has OpenRC, Runit and s6 flavors and still benefits from the AUR. Pick your poison I guess, see what works out for you.

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What’s the appeal of that old Centrino machine (if you don’t mind me asking)?

(i.e. a $200-ish rk3399 based pinebook pro is a faster, more efficient device, and probably more capable device - other than the physical plastic spinner - is it just old hardware fetish or something else, I’m curious)

Bit of a story

So my grandpa ran a tool and die shop that was the first ewer to use cnc milling in full production, 10 years before it existed.

This laptop, artually the b120 version but I couldn’t find a 120, was my first laptop that was mine. Its the first real gift I had been given by my uncle who has now passed, and from my grampa, who has also passed. Both were innovators and pished their industries forward. I want to do the same, just with recycled compiters and stuff .

Aside from that. A lot actually. This laptop has the one gpu intel ever made that was actually worth something. I can play fable on this no problem. Its actually a really innovative little unit. Full copper server style cooling, cpu is placed so it can be swapped out asap, and you can do some stuff to have one ram slot just go to the 910 if I remember correctly, then give the gpu like 128 meg directly or something. Its a big boost. Either way.

Otherwise no I’d throw this thing in the trash with all the other pentium m garbage.

Edit: bonus here is while everyone is getting hacked with spectre, my machine’ll at least be operable.