Old Guy Learning antiX

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  • This topic has 11 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated Mar 16-1:16 am by andyprough.
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    Had an old Dell Inspiron B130 laptop which developed hard drive problems and would not boot XP. Lost the recovery discs. Never had any experience with Linux but tried to boot Puppy from a flash drive and run it in RAM. Was able to run it OK but had problems with the WIFI dropping out after spending some time just to get it connected. That gave me enough confidence to try Antix and had no problems so I spent 9 bucks to double my memory to 2000MB. Since I am 81 years old I thought I might have problems getting used to a new OS. But am happy with how it runs as I kept the and it’s primary use was web surfing and Email.

    I also have an 20 some year old PC as a spare in my den that has an early version of XP on it but it does have a 64 bit processor. . Was thinking of turning it into a dual boot system but I can’t set it up to boot off the USB port. Any suggestions? I was never an IT person. Retired from the Navy as a shipfitter, had my own plumbing business, and retired again from a large school district as maintenance supervisor. Only learned enough about computers to keep someone younger to take my job.

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by ddc11.

    Hello, welcome and good luck.

    You may also provide more information about the old PC and what have you already tried.

    Usually, one gets to BIOS by repeatedly pressing one of the keys F1, F2, Delete etc. (depending on the PC manufacturer and model) immediately after turning the PC on.
    One can set boot (order of) preference there.
    If the PC is too old and does not support booting from USB, the logical choice is to burn a DVD.

    Since the PC is not equipped with a 64-bit processor and it is old, you should probably start with the older antiX 17.4.1 (supported until 2022), ‘antiX-17.4.1_386-full.iso’.
    If you go to https://antixlinux.com/download, select the closest mirror and click the link, it will show you antiX 19-series.
    Click the “Parent Directory” on the top of the page and select the latest antiX (currently 17.4 or if only a single antiX 17 directory available/present, then use this one).
    Download the file ‘antiX-17.4.1_386-full.iso’.
    If it does not work, search the forum; some people have created an ISO with older PCs in mind.


    Actually it has an AMD Athion 64×2 Dual-Core processor 3800. It is the BIOS that that does not give the option of bootup from USB. I use it mostly for back up of data. I am out in the boonies and have to rely on DSL but can use it with dial up for my e-mail if the DSL is down. I will try burning a DVD later when in am more comfortable with antiX.

    Thanks for the welcome and ideas.


    Hello and welcome!
    Some old machines don’t permit to boot from USB, but there is a trick to do so using plop in a floppy disk, or using a DVD/CD and select one of the boot menus for “from usb” boot.
    The easiest solution is, as sybok mentioned, using a CD/DVD. You can boot antiX 17.4.1 base from a CD (it fits inside it) if the machine can only read CDs.

    Welcome to the antiX!
    We will try to help as best we can when time permits.

    Some of PPC’s guides may interest you, to learn how to do some simple stuff in antiX:

    Short essential how-to list for the complete Linux newbie

    How-to install applications – 2020 version


    Yes, it sounds like you need to boot from a DVD. Maybe make the DVD, and boot the machine from it to see if everything is good. If problems, run inxi -Fxz and post the listing here along with the machine brand and model and an explanation of what problems you had.

    You probably will need to free up space on the drive. Its wise to make a backup before messing with it, if possible, and if worth backing up. Once you have enough space (I would want at least 10 gb but you might get by with less), you downsize the XP partition, leaving the space for an antiX partition, then shutdown XP and boot from the antiX DVD. I would run gparted (Control Centre, Disks, Partition a drive) to create the antiX Ext4 partition. If you don’t have much memory, create a Linux-swap partition if possible. Next install antiX. Make sure it uses your new partition and swap if you created that. Hopefully it will be a default install, and antiX will automatically setup your dual boot from the hard drive.


    I don’t think he needs the older 17.4.1 version, unless his graphics card is just too old.

    To burn the DVD from antiX go to the menu, Applications, Multimedia, then Xfburn.


    Hi ddc11 and welcome to antiX and the forum!
    I agree with BobC, there’s no need to take an older version of antiX.
    If the PC has a DVD-drive there will be no difficulty. You can boot from DVD or if you take the same download for the DVD as you took for the usb-stick you can try the ” from=usb ” trick.It’s one of the options under F3 or F4 on the live-boot menu.The boot first starts from the DVD and then magically continues from usb.

    For burning a bootable DVD with Xfburn you have to burn it as an iso.


    If you still have the .iso file you used to burn the USB for the Dell B130 laptop, you can burn that to the DVD for the other machine. That way you could run the same software on both. If it happens to have over 4 gb of memory (unlikely I think), you should use the 64 bit version instead.


    Hi ddc11, welcome to antiX.

    I have setup antiX as a dual boot with XP many times in the past. But I have also had trouble once in awhile. Please make sure you make a complete backup of your XP system. It could accidentally get damaged if something goes wrong. It won’t be linux/antiX fault if something does go wrong. Some manufacturer’s just do weird things and hard disks get old, etc. Be prepared.

    After your backup you will want to use a partition utility from WINDOWS to resize your partitions. You could also boot directly to the partition utility. The important thing is that it should be a program that is compatible with Windows XP. I have used Partition Magic and Aeomi successfully – there are others. (Another option is to add a second hard drive and do not attempt to repartition XP at all. That may be safer if the XP installation is important. If you can risk the XP system then don’t worry about it).

    You will want at least 6GB of space available for antiX. More is better. 20GB or more if you have the space. AFTER freeing up the space and rebooting into XP, shut down XP and boot into antiX (using some of the techniques already mentioned by others – I favor Plop). In the antiX Live session you will use Gparted to add the linux partitions to the drive. You will not touch XP at all (except to change the boot loader in the MBR to Grub, which will support booting to XP). Use Gparted to add an Extended Partition and then inside that Extended Partition create two Logical Partitions. One will be small, for the Swap partition, and the other will be larger, between 5GB and 20GB depending on what is left after creating the Swap.

    Something like this if you have 10GB of space:
    antiX, EXT4, 9GB
    linux swap, 1GB

    After using Gparted to create these two partitions you need to reboot and come back into the antiX Live session. Now you can go ahead and “install” antiX to the hard drive as a dual boot with XP. DO NOT choose to automatically install antiX. Select to add antiX using existing partitions. Select the new partition you made for antix (9GB in my example above) for the / partition. Then choose the smaller linuxswap partition for the Swap space. Leave the /home and /boot set to the / (root) partition.

    When asked to install Grub select MBR to have antiX create the boot loader files for both XP and antiX. After installation is done you should reboot. If all went well you will see a Grub menu with antiX and XP as choices for booting. I would choose XP first and make sure it loads up and runs any disk scans it needs to finish. Then shutdown XP and reboot and then choose to boot antiX. (Remember to take out your CD/DVD/USB for the Live antiX. If the menu for the Live antiX comes back because you forgot to remove the disk you can use the down arrow key to select Boot From Hard Drive).

    You should read up on this type of install before attempting it. It should work fine and I have done it successfully many times. But if the XP system is important you should take the XP drive out and use another drive to install antiX first. You should practice and read before you risk your XP drive. Once you have it all practiced you can do the dual boot setup as outlined above.

    Have fun with antiX,


    Actually it has an …

    My apologies for mis{l/r}eading; I read 20 years old and then misread the CPU info.


    Hello ddc11,

    Welcome to antiX Linux and the forum.

    Here you are in a very good place, with many excellent and extremely helpful people.

    When you start a topic or participate with a post, remember to check the option “Notify me of follow-up replies via email”.

    (Original text in Brazilian Portuguese)


    Olá ddc11,

    Seja bem-vindo ao antiX Linux e ao fórum.

    Aqui você está em um lugar muito bom, com muitas pessoas excelentes e extremamente prestativas.

    Quando você iniciar algum tópico ou participar com alguma postagem, lembre-se de marcar a opção “Notify me of follow-up replies via email”.

    (Texto original em Português do Brasil)


    If you still have the .iso file you used to burn the USB for the Dell B130 laptop, you can burn that to the DVD for the other machine. That way you could run the same software on both. If it happens to have over 4 gb of memory (unlikely I think), you should use the 64 bit version instead.

    This from=usb option saved my bacon today. I was trying to work from a 2007 Acer computer that wouldn’t boot from the USB and all I had available to burn were CD-R’s with 700mb max size – too small for a full or a base version of 32-bit antiX. So I burned the smaller antiX net install version to CD, copied the 32-bit base antiX to my USB, booted from the net install CD and chose the “from=usb” option from the F4 menu. Like magic it booted up the antiX base version on the USB.

    plop boot manager wouldn’t work on this machine for some reason (or I wasn’t smart enough to get it working), so using the antiX from=usb option was really the only way to get up and running with a live USB without resorting to something like Puppy Linux.

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