A Slimline Debian Install: It’s Easier Than You Might Think

“There are some superb desktop Linux distributions that are
designed to work with very old hardware. For example, Puppy Linux
is a great choice to quickly turn an old PC into a secure, easy to
use word processing, email and light web browsing workstation.
Puppy can work minor miracles on very old hardware, and I carry a
Puppy boot CD-ROM around with me as my emergency recovery

“However, there are a lot of machines floating around that are a
bit too good for something as limited as Puppy, yet not powerful
enough to run one of the major distributions. I’m taking about
machines with maybe 256MB-512MB of memory and a CPU around the
600MHz mark. My new thing in these situations is to deploy the
latest Debian in a slimmed down form. The advantage is that you end
up with a completely up to date Linux distribution and it’s still
standard Debian underneath it all. As it’s a real Debian install,
it gives you security along with something that can be upgraded
with standard software. It’s a great project if, for example,
you’ve got a structurally sound old laptop that you fancy giving
away to a relative.”

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