Ubuntu Hoary Hardware Requirements?

Stephen R Laniel steve at laniels.org
Mon Jun 6 14:33:49 UTC 2005

On Mon, Jun 06, 2005 at 04:15:09PM +0200, Andreas Schildbach wrote:
> Would Hoary run adequately on an Intel Celeron clocked at about 700 MHz, 
> equipped with 128 MB of RAM and using the i810 chipset?

Depends on what you run on it. I mean, I've run Debian
servers on much crappier hardware than that -- quite busy
websites running Apache. For years I ran GNOME on a 400-MHz
Pentium 3. It worked fine.

One of the big virtues of Linux is its ability to run on old
hardware [1]. If you run a totally stripped-down server
machine -- no desktop apps at all -- you'll get something
very speedy. Your machine might labor a bit with GNOME, but
it'll still be passable. It'll be no slower than Windows
2000, though it might be slower than NT 4 or Win95/98. But
then you're getting a lot more than you would get from old
Windows. What's the alternative to running Linux on that old
machine? Running no OS at all? Or running Windows?

[1] - See Clay Shirky,

"Free Software Creates New Value
Thinking about the recent conversations about Linux 'market
share', it occurred to me that some of us may be making the
same mistake (self included) that Thomas Watson made when he
predicted a worldwide market for 5 computers, or when Ken
Olsen said there would be no market for computers in the
home, i.e. assuming that the future will be much like the

Looking at Linux vs. NT in terms of present market share
hides that group of people for whom the choice is not Linux
vs. NT but Linux vs. nothing. Linux users don't just come
from the ranks of people who would otherswise use NT or
Win9[58] -- for people who only have access to 386 or 486
computers, and can't afford anything new, Linux offers them
the only possibility for running a modern OS, both because
it runs well on minimal hardware and because it is free.

Watching large corporations dance around the idea of running
Linux is interesting, but to switch to Linux from NT always
involves some short term cost that raises the barrier to
such a move. The real change in computing ecology could come
from another quarter altogether - that group of people who
either haven't owned computers in the past, or who have had
computers which have not been able to run web servers et al.
Linux's biggest growth in market share may come from places
inaccessible to for-profit companies at all."

Stephen R. Laniel
steve at laniels.org
+(617) 308-5571
PGP key: http://laniels.org/slaniel.key

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