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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Derivatives
Which Puppy for this lo, lo, lo-spec PC?
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Joined: 23 May 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 23 May 2012, 21:47    Post subject:  Which Puppy for this lo, lo, lo-spec PC?
Subject description: For an elderly neighbor who wants to web-browse

Hey, gang!

I've got a very low-spec PC junker that a neighbor wants to use for basic web surfing. It is, specifically, a Compaq Presario 2286 with a Cyrix processor running at "an equivalent speed" of 333mHz (actual speed is slower than that; let's assume something akin to 250mHz). It has 256mB RAM--the max this board can handle--with 4mB robbed for video. It has integrated audio, an ISA board if I'm not mistaken.

Now here's the thing: It runs pretty good with Win98 which it came with, and not too bad with WinME. But I want the recipient to not have to deal with Windows crashes and out-of-date browser warnings.

I tried to install Puppy 5.25 and it installed, but runs terribly slow. The desktop flickers and redraws the icons whenever you open the menu or any applications. This surprises me because I had 4.12 installed and running several years ago, but the browser went out of date and I couldn't seem to get anything current installed.

There are now a million different forks and versions of Puppy. Based on the limitations imposed by the hardware specs above, and the stated goal (modern web browsing--understanding that we won't be viewing YouTube, but just some Flash-type graphics on USAToday, for instance) for the machine, please help me select a version or two to try out.

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Joined: 15 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Wed 23 May 2012, 22:41    Post subject:  


and here


so my advice wary and quirky
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Joined: 22 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 23 May 2012, 23:19    Post subject:  

I'm going to be really blunt here. That system is JUNK.

Cyrix was a company that made 486s and early generic "Pentium" processors -- the FIRST Pentiums! They went out of business because the math parts of their CPUs were so horrible that nobody bought their products.

Right now, I am sitting in front of two computers. One is modern (an ASUS netbook). The other is a Dell Latitude CPi laptop with an Intel Pentium II CPU -- which is miles ahead of the processing power you're dealing with. It can BARELY handle a stripped-to-the-minimum Puppy called TurboPup. It's a CPU problem -- I've got enough swap space to make up for the obvious RAM issues.

Your Compaq, being lower-spec even than that, is simply trash.

If you go on Craigslist (assuming that you're in the US) or eBay, you can get a much better system (a laptop, even) for less than $100. Craigslist systems I would expect to be full of viruses, but you're going to dump Windows for Linux anyways, so that doesn't matter.

Where are you located? If you're in the States, I may be able to help -- I've got a Pentium 3 Dell laptop that I can give you, cheaper than eBay. It's a lot better than what you're working with now, but it's certainly not state-of-the-art, if you get my drift...

EDIT: if you want the laptop, please send me a PM and we'll work out how to get it to you and all that good stuff Wink


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Colonel Panic

Joined: 16 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 24 May 2012, 06:27    Post subject:  

I once used a Pentium P100 with 32 MB of RAM to get online, using a distro called Basic Linux, which was derived from an early version of Slackware, and an old version of Opera. I even managed it on a a Dell 486 with 8MB of RAM, using DOS and a browser called Arachne. So it CAN be done

Nevertheless, I think I'd go with Starhawk's kind offer if I were in the States. A Pentium 3's going to be a lot better than what you have now.

Acer Aspire M1610 (Core 2 Duo, 2.3 GHz), 3 GB of RAM, 320 GB hard drive running Devuan 2.0.0 Beta, Slackel 7.0 Openbox, Debian 9.4.0, Slackware64 14.2, Salix 14.2, Ubuntu 16.04.3 Budgie, Stella 6.8 and Siduction 6.1.0.

Last edited by Colonel Panic on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 15:00; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu 24 May 2012, 07:37    Post subject:  

this article focuses on low ram, rather than low cpu speed - you may find some idea though-

helping Wiki for help
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PostPosted: Thu 24 May 2012, 08:32    Post subject:  

The reason Starhawk gave for Cyrix going out of business does not concur with the Wikipedia version of the story. I don't know who is right.

Before junking the kit I would try the latest Wary as that is the only thing that is likely to work reasonably. I run Wary on a 350MHz Pentium with 128MB RAM.

Don't bother with Quirky - that is just a line of experiments - it should not be recommended for general use.

If Wary does not work then follow Starhawk's advice if you want to run Puppy.
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PostPosted: Thu 24 May 2012, 11:47    Post subject:  

Starhawk, thank you very much. It is a kind offer and greatly appreciated. Primarily, though, I'm just trying to keep this thing going if possible--but you're right, it really is a junker. Hard to believe someone paid $900 for it at one time.

I'm going to try the advice posted here by Nilson and DarkCity (Hey, I love that movie!) and if nothing can be done, I'll snatch out the hard drive and RAM and transplant them into a better tower--I do have a couple laying around that were other people's throwaways. But she came to me asking if something could be done with her machine and I told her I'd try. Since she uses it for researching family history type stuff, I thought it could maybe be salvaged... but truthfully I don't know how likely that is, since even basic web pages are bogged down with media-rich advertisements that choke it up.

Friends, thanks again. You have shown this to be a very friendly forum indeed!
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PostPosted: Thu 24 May 2012, 14:21    Post subject:  

@ICPUG: trust Wiki. I am relying on my memories from a textbook I haven't looked at in 5+ years.

@BigOldCar: If you are within driving distance of me (ZIP 27344) PM me. While I do not have the correct parts to put a new motherboard in that system (I believe it is a special kind with a riser card, I have no motherboards like that) I do have spare parts that I can assemble into a wonderful working system for her.

If you want the laptop, that's great, but I have to retract a little of what I said before, because it needs a few parts -- specifically hard drive and "caddy" (hard drive holder) as well as a modem/LAN card... and a charger. I do have one charger here that will work, but I need it for a different system. If you wanted to pick it up, I can do what needs doing for $55. If you want it shipped, it will be $65. I can cut $10 off those prices if she is willing/able to squeeze into a 20gb drive instead of a 60gb drive. (I'd offer the 12gb drive I have right now, for free, but t's giving me occasional read errors, which means that it's dying.)

I should be able to "just build you a desktop" for free, but I would be very hesitant to ship it. I've never done that before, and it is almost impossible to ship a desktop (or a case) without either (a) original case/system packaging (which I don't have) or (b) incurring severe damage (which would of course be very bad). If you really need me to ship it, I can do that, but it will be $20+shipping.

EDIT: actually... I just remembered, I have an upgraded eMachines T2596 here that I can just GIVE you... $20+shipping still applies if you can't pick it up.


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Official Crustacean

Joined: 04 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu 24 May 2012, 23:59    Post subject:  

It runs pretty good with Win98

That may be as good as it gets.

I found a similar machine on the streets. It worked OK with Win 98.

I upped the memory and cleared the hard drive and put Puppy on it.
Partly it was an exercise to see if such an operation is possible or worthwhile. Sadly I could not even use the beautiful case and silent power supply with a new motherboard (it was all geared towards Windows and Compaq). I had to boot from floppy because of BIOS limitations. I got Puppy on it but it was not something I would recommend as an improvement. I tried early Puppys and smaller leaner OS. Slitaz I seem to remember and FreeDOS
with the arachne browser

Eventually I gave it away [shudder] Rolling Eyes

Here is a $49 motherboard - now that is fun. Smile

YinYana AI Buddhism
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PostPosted: Sun 27 May 2012, 21:09    Post subject: lo-spec puppy  

I would recommend wary NOP small. Specially because the computer owner was a windows user. This puppy uses XFCE as window manager and Thunar as file manager. Both are more windows-like than the used in official wary puppy.
Give it a try before giving up:
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PostPosted: Mon 28 May 2012, 03:34    Post subject:  

I second renatogui's recommendation of Puppy NOP, although I would probably recommend also trying the older version, NOP431, available here:
(You will need to enter a username of puppy and password of linux)

Before you throw the PC away I would also recommend you try these other two versions of puppy:

The first is MeanPuppy, an older Puppy, developed by John Murga who runs this forum. It is available here:
(the iso is called something like puppy-202-opera). It also contains a built-in self-installer for Opera browser, which still works well on most web sites)

The second is Puppy‭ ‬4.2.1-bbnobrowser. It has no default browser installed, but you can add a variety of browsers later to try. Download iso here:

Please note that many modern websites are infested with "flash" and javascript sections which may require the latest plugins to be added. This is what causes the problems with low-spec machines - not so much the operating system, but rather the cpu and ram requirements of the website contents.

It is definitely worth trialling the meanpup which includes the older Opera - just say no to any popup that asks if you want to upgrade to the latest Opera. At least till you have tried the older version to see if it works on your preferred websites or not.

Also, some versions of Seamonkey browser work well with the "flashblock" utility fitted. That way you get a choice about whether or not you allow a "flash" script to run on a webpage or not (most flash is wasteful adverts...)
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PostPosted: Mon 28 May 2012, 21:39    Post subject:  

for low spec machines, try puppy 2.16 - it works great on my old compaq laptop with only 64 MB of ram. just don't expect to use the latest firefox, chrome,..etc. you need to stick to lightweight applications.
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PostPosted: Mon 28 May 2012, 22:57    Post subject:  

PULP http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=40226
that one will be fast.

updated version of puppy 4

Puppy Linux 431JP http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=78073
Hardware requirements

CPU: Pentium 166MMX, RAM: 128MB, CDROM: 20x and up.

The system works at 128MB of RAM, but it will be more comfortable if you have more than 256MB of RAM. Puppy will use Swap partition if it exists.

3.01 Fat Free / Fire Hydrant featherweight/ TXZ_pup / 431JP2012
Peace and Justice are two sides of the same coin.
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Location: Imperial Warmongering Dystopia of Amerika

PostPosted: Wed 30 May 2012, 02:36    Post subject:  

I'm surprised that nobody has suggested using ttuuxxx's
Classic Pup 2.14X!

I'm using it on an old Toshiba Satellite Pro (PII, 233 MHz,
158 MB RAM) and it is surprisingly snappy.

Thankfully, there are several Pups that may work very
well on the older hardware.

I'm one of those who still uses old and slow (by todays'
standards anyway) and I'm grateful that Puppy developers
keep us in mind!!

Shuttle Spacewalker HOT-661/P Main Board:
PII-350MHz: 640MB RAM: First Puppy: 2.00
HDD Filesystem: FAT32/NTFS/ext3; Frugal Always
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PostPosted: Wed 30 May 2012, 11:54    Post subject:  

sc0ttman's Puplite5 is actually faster than ClassicPup in every system I can think of where I've used it... sc0ttman's (currently unfinished, IIRC) Akita is slightly slower.

These systems include my Latitude CPi (think I mentioned that), a couple of Pentium3 laptops I've played with, and a "thin client" with a Via 400MHz CPU and (at the time) 512mb RAM. On all systems, it was pathetically slow, compared to any other system running Puppy -- and even compared to my rarely-rebooted WinXP netbook!

I have no firm idea why ClassicPup would be outdone in speed, except that there's a lot of 'flashy stuff' in it... somewhat more than Puplite, even. I *suspect* (but cannot confirm) that ClassicPup also takes up more RAM.

If I can get off my butt and get things going, I will at some point release a remaster of TurboPup (named differently to avoid potential conflicts) that might work OK on that relic Compaq. Don't expect it to do that much, and expect it to be barely-usable slow. Pentium 1 CPUs rival a carburetor-clogged weedeater for power, if you get my drift.


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