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Installing Ubuntu Linux on a Low-RAM machine

The other day a friend of mine having zero experience in Linux asked me if I could make his printer and modem work in Linux.  At least for the modem, I thought, what the hell—I did this before.  So I went there to try.

He was running Fedora 6.  For some reason, it seemed to me quite old and after hacking it for a half an hour, I thought I should first try with a newer distro.  FC6 didn't detect any modem, and while it did detect a printer, it said there's no available driver for it.

Because I'm a Debian user for about 4 years, I chose to go with Ubuntu.  Ubuntu is a bleeding edge Debian distro.  Pretty good for Linux newbies.

I went home to download and burn the latest Ubuntu distro.  Back at my friend, I throw the CD in and restart.  It takes 15 minutes to boot Ubuntu.  That's because he has an old machine (AMD Athlon at 1GHz, which is OK, but with only 256MB RAM).  He also doesn't have a swap partition—because the one that installed FC6 was “an expert”.

Next, I try to start the installer.  I click on the "Install" icon on the desktop, then I literally wait for 10 minutes until a window appears.  The CD led was blinking during this time.

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