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Purposes and Aims

If you decided to install a Linux system on your computer you have the choice of several hundred distributions with several versions and variations. Most people are looking for some help for the decission which one to try/use in forums, chatrooms or other Linux related web sites. Unfortunatelly, the information you can receive there is often incomplete, out-of-date or just wrong. This section is intended to help you to jugde the suitability of DeLi for you needs.


DeLi is designed to turn really old crappy computer hardware into something usable – consider it as a kind of computer recycling. Usable means, the system should be able to

  • connect to the internet and use the basic communication methods (browsing, email, file transfer)
  • connect to a local network and exchange files with the other network computers
  • provide the basic office applications
  • fill some of a bored users time with entertainment apps

The aimed platform is a simple desktop PC equipped with a wireline network connection. The fact, that many people have DeLi successfully running on their laptops is a most welcome side effect, but laptops and especially their wireless connection to the internet are not the main focus of DeLi. The implementation of DeLi as a server OS was and is not intended, although it is used sometimes for this purpose surprisingly.


DeLi is indeed a distribution for old and therefore limited hardware.The available RAM is the component with the most serious impact on the usability of your installation.

minimum reqirements

to run DeLi (of course you can go lower, but then you should concider other distros) with some sense are :

  • CPU >= 486 (better with MMX support)
  • RAM >= 12 MB for a very basic GUI system
  • RAM >= 4 MB for a console system
  • HD space > 140 MB for a GUI, 800 MB for a full installation
  • HD space > 80 MB for a console-only installation
RAM and DeLi

this is my personal view of the useful applicaton of DeLi depending on the PC's RAM

  • =< 16 MB : DeLi is the distro of choice if you want a GUI
  • 16 MB < RAM =< 32 MB : DeLi is the choice if you want a fast and stable system
  • 32 MB <RAM =< 64 MB : DeLi is the choice of a fast, stable office system
  • 64 MB < RAM =< 128 MB : DeLi is an option, but other distros with less restrictions and/or other features can be used; the choice depends on your personal preferences
  • RAM > 128 MB : you must have a special reason/application to install DeLi; e.g. as a backup system on your HDD, as a 2nd and isolated web browsing system for sensitive web sites/applications, as the tiny Linux part of a Linux/Windows dual boot system etc.

DeLi is not a multimedia distro, but comes with the standard drivers of the 2.4 kernel; this should be enough for running the basic applications (CD player, MPEG3 player, low-resolution videos) on old hardware

Network connection
  • analogue modems and LAN are well supported and all the 2.4 kernel drivers are included
  • WLAN is possible with old equipment and basic security/encryption demands
  • more up-to-date hardware requiring the 2.6 kernels WIRELESS_EXTENSION is NOT supported
Hard disk drives and server hardware

DeLi is a desktop not a server distribution; drives and other hardware components usually found in servers (RAID disk drives etc.) have limited/no support


As DeLi is a general purpose distribution and specialized for the targeted platform and not the application field, the selection of the provided software programs is choosen regarding

  • the experience level of a Linux amateur (but not a noob)
  • the needs of a PC user with low-to-medium experience level (not IT professionals ;-) )
  • main-streams demands (internet, office, simple entertainment)
  • low footprint on the PC ressources (especially RAM)
  • compatibility with old hardware

DeLi's core system provides the programs you need for the setup and the maintainence of your PC including the periferial hardware – as long as it fits into the target scheme and is not too exotic. Let's say, if you want to use hardware that could be regarded as main-stream component some years ago, you should be able to find the appropiate system software in DeLi. For other components and new harware it is more-or-less a trial-and-error thing.


DeLi offers serveral browsers from text-mode-only to a clone of Firefox v2.0. Of course, there is also an e-mail client, a ftp client, a chat program and the usual testing tools. The security aspect is considered by the regular updates of the SSL and SSH programs and by providing specific application such as iptables, encryption software and virus scanner. The implementation of the newest versions of the applications and/or the security fixes is not intented.


The aim is to provide those applications you need for your every-day work : word processing, spreadsheet, editor, calculator, database, finance organisation etc. . For most categories you have a choice between two or even more programs and/or GUI and console versions. You should be able to find the appropriate applications as long as your demands are suited to the hardware you are running with DeLi. That means : if you need more sophisticated programs especially for professional usage (e.g. project management etc.) you are using with DeLi the wrong OS on the wrong hardware.


DeLi is neither a gaming nor a multimedia distribution. However, you can “waste” some time with several simple games as well as with some audio/video programs. You should be able to setup the sound system of most of the ancient computers and listen to audio CDs as well as audio files on the hard disk. There is also a video player, but my personal experience is, that watching the nowadays video file format with the old hardware DeLi is made for is problematic. Test it, but don't be surprised if there are more problems than fun. DeLi is not focused on multimedia, so it is your own decision if you use it for your home entertainment theatre.

deli/purpose.txt · Last modified: 2010/09/02 14:38 (external edit)