Still using antiX-16 in 2020

Forum Forums Orphaned Posts antiX-16 “Berta Cáceres” Still using antiX-16 in 2020

  • This topic has 45 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated Aug 12-7:00 am by Brian Masinick.
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  • #38173
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    antiX-16 is about to be off of support. One of my experiments in my computer lab is to see how useful an old computer can be, especially with an abandoned operating system. I have an old Pentium-III, 600Mhz with 384M of RAM. The previous operating systems have proven to be fairly useless for anything related to the internet. I removed Windows 2000 and I put antiX-16 on this machine a while ago, (I also have antiX-17 in CORE mode running as a dual boot with antiX-16).

    So, now that antiX-16 is going off of support, as a Debian Jessie derivative, can I still make use of this OS? How viable is antiX-16 now in 2020? I spent some time today on this experiment and here’s some of my conclusions.

    antiX-16 completed a “dist-upgrade” with no problems. I have one non-standard package source on my lists, from Stevo, for SMPlayer and SMTube. There was no problem updating from this repo today. Once the upgrade completed I tried out the various applications I use to find out how viable this old pc can be in the modern age.

    SeaMonkey browser. I have this package held back at version 2.49.4. It works but it is slow and has a tendency to peg the CPU at 100% at most sites. The antiX user forum seems to be one of the worst and the response is sluggish at best or simply becomes unusable, even with NoScript active. SeaMonkey barely works.

    NetSurf browser. This browser runs fine, but it does not handle most of the scripts on web pages these days. The antiX forum works as long as I don’t try to use the top menu. And the icons for editing and replying do not work. But I was able to login using the bottom of the screen and post messages and read new messages. NetSurf works, but not with full features of a typical GUI browser.

    Links2 browser. Links2 works in both text and graphics mode. But like NetSurf, it is not full featured and it takes some patience using it on the antiX forum. But I was able to both read and post messages. So, Links2 works.

    Audacious audio. This works great. No issues at all. I use it for streaming internet radio, mostly jazz stations I cannot get to in my area.

    Streamtuner2 audio. This also works. I used to use Streamtuner for internet streaming but have since switched over to Audacious, But Streamtuner2 still works fine.

    SMTube youtube viewer. This works, But on this system the video is barely viable. I can play 360p as along as it’s the only thing that is running. The search runs fine. But the viewing is not great. It works, but it’s not great.

    youtube-dl youtube viewer. This works better than SMTube because it takes less RAM but the viewing is about the same as with SMTube. As with SMTube, it works, but not great.

    So, I would say that antiX-16 is still usable. but just barely on this old P-III. I will keep antiX-16 on this machine for the rest of the year just to see what happens. But if I had a choice I would use antiX-19 for most of this stuff. I have antiX-19 on one of my other P-III’s (a 1000Mhz with 512M RAM) and that system is still quite usable in 2020. I will consider installing antiX-19 on this older machine in 2021 just to see if it works better than antiX-16 on the same equipment.

    Unlike Windows 2000, 98, or DOS-OS/2, or old OSX, antiX-16 is still usable. These other OS’s have become worthless. So that’s pretty cool. I wonder how long I can continue to use antiX-16? Only time will tell.

    Seaken64

    • This topic was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by seaken64.
    #38180
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    For Web browsers, two that I can think of that may be helpful –
    First the lighter of the two: Palemoon, based on Firefox, might work for the majority of sites.
    A derivative of Palemoon, Basilisk, might be a worthwhile alternative.
    Another Firefox alternative, Waterfox, rides a bit behind on some things, but still has a June 2020 update; perhaps it’s another browser alternative.

    In a different space, Flashpeak Slimjet seems to be a reasonable resource consumer; try it out and see if it doesn’t choke your system; I find it to use less memory than all except for Palemoon on this list.

    If any of these browsers work, adding them or substituting them for another browser might help.

    If you stick with Seamonkey, Version 2.53.2 is now current, and 2.53.3 will be out fairly soon (with Linux builds).
    Perhaps one of their newer builds will resolve the issues you have encountered.

    Brian Masinick

    #38183
    Member
    AvatarPPC

    …And for viewing video, read on-line how to configure mpv to perform on low end machines (skip frames, buffering, etc)… In my atom single core netbook I can even watch full hd video, so you can probably get your system to play 360p youtube videos (or even better, use 240p).

    P.

    #38191
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    @Brian, I will experiment with those browsers. I’ve used them all on other systems but not on this old antiX-16 system. I wonder if they will install current versions on antiX-16? I’ll check it out.

    @PPC, I will look into better settings for mpv. I’ve never really tried to optimize for older systems, I always just use the apps as they come. But it will be interesting to see if I can tweak settings to make video better on the old P-III 600. And I’ve used 240p on my P-III 450 with 256M RAM in the past.

    Seaken64

    #38193
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    I attempted to install PaleMoon-nonsse2 from Synaptic. It could not mark for installation because of unresolved dependencies.

    Depends: libdbus-1-3 (>=1.9.14) but 1.8.22-0+deb9u3 is to be installed
    Depends: fonts-symbola but it is not installable

    SlimJet does not show up at all
    Waterfox also does not show up
    Basilisk shows up only for Basilisk2, a 68k Mac emulator, not a browser.

    On the Meta Package installer palemoon-nonsse2 does not show up. Palemoon regular is on the list as well as SeaMonkey. None of the other browsers show up.

    I seem to remember I had this issue with antiX-15 where I could not install some packages and I ended up trashing my system by activating some repos and forgetting to turn them off before running an upgrade.

    I’m now spoiled with the Package Installer in antiX-19. I can’t remember how to handle installing packages that aren’t in the repos on these older versions. (Especially when the dependencies are not installed). I can figure it out but I don’t think I will bother. I don’t really need to get these browsers on antiX-16 since I have other options. But if it were really needed to figure out how to run antiX-16 instead of antiX-17 or antiX-19 I would figure it out.

    Seaken64

    #38312
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    I attempted to install PaleMoon-nonsse2 from Synaptic. It could not mark for installation because of unresolved dependencies.

    Depends: libdbus-1-3 (>=1.9.14) but 1.8.22-0+deb9u3 is to be installed
    Depends: fonts-symbola but it is not installable

    SlimJet does not show up at all
    Waterfox also does not show up
    Basilisk shows up only for Basilisk2, a 68k Mac emulator, not a browser.

    On the Meta Package installer palemoon-nonsse2 does not show up. Palemoon regular is on the list as well as SeaMonkey. None of the other browsers show up.

    I seem to remember I had this issue with antiX-15 where I could not install some packages and I ended up trashing my system by activating some repos and forgetting to turn them off before running an upgrade.

    I’m now spoiled with the Package Installer in antiX-19. I can’t remember how to handle installing packages that aren’t in the repos on these older versions. (Especially when the dependencies are not installed). I can figure it out but I don’t think I will bother. I don’t really need to get these browsers on antiX-16 since I have other options. But if it were really needed to figure out how to run antiX-16 instead of antiX-17 or antiX-19 I would figure it out.

    Seaken64

    I’m not sure what’s messed up in your configuration, but I have ALL of those browsers in my Internet category on many of my systems. At the moment I am using Palemoon on my MX Linux distribution.

    Brian Masinick

    #38313
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    This may call for an antiX 19.2.1 build (or the newest, latest available build and see if it helps.
    Be sure to have AT LEAST one backup system and backup media in case something else goes wrong. Best wishes!

    Brian Masinick

    #38318
    Member
    Avatarolsztyn

    antiX-16 is about to be off of support. One of my experiments in my computer lab is to see how useful an old computer can be, especially with an abandoned operating system.

    I expect to still use the current 2020 antiX 19 in year 2024, long after this system will have been abandoned as well…
    However I hope antiX 19 will not be the last one…

    #38323
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    @Brian,

    Yes, I don’t think there is anything unusual. antiX-16 simply did not get updated to the newer Package Installer and the standard repos from antix-16 do not seem to support those browsers. This is not an unusual event for me. The trick for me has always been to see how useful and older version of the OS can be. At some point it is too far removed and has to be abandoned in favor of of something more current.

    I have had some success installing packages that are currently setup for a later system on the older system. But it gets near impossible once the underlying repos change from say “Jessie” to “Stretch”. Sometimes the libraries get tangled up and things don’t work. And with my level of experience I rely on the packagers to support the software and set it up for whatever version I am using. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. For now, I was able to update SMTube and Streamtuner2 in antiX-16 because Stevo has the packages in his multi-media repo. But in the case of Palemoon-nonsee2 there is no support from the developer and unless someone packages it for antiX-16 I can’t get it to work due to my limited knowledge of how to fix the dependencies.

    This is why I asked rhetorically “I wonder how long I can keep antiX-16 viable.” I suspect that once the official support is over the number of packages that I can install on it successfully will go down. Unless there is a particular need no one will bother to package stuff for it eventually. That is fine with me. I don’t need antiX-16 really. It’s just and experiment and I’m okay with getting what I get. I probably could set up this antiX-16 system to have all those browsers and lots of other stuff. But I’m not willing to work that hard to get there since I have other options.

    Seaken64

    #38325
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    If you use the generic Debian repo names, such as stable, testing and unstable you will get packages updated when they charge.

    It may not be easy to do that if your system is 2-3 years out of date.

    Let’s explore that nevertheless.

    It could be an interesting learning experience as long as you have alternatives and the all-important back up!

    Brian Masinick

    #38491
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    If you use the generic Debian repo names, such as stable, testing and unstable you will get packages updated when they charge.

    It may not be easy to do that if your system is 2-3 years out of date.

    Let’s explore that nevertheless.

    It could be an interesting learning experience as long as you have alternatives and the all-important back up!

    Okay, I’m game. Are you saying I should change the repos temporarily to unstable? If you give me a little push in the right direction I’ll try it. I’ve done this before, but I screwed it up somehow. But like I said, I am not concerned about this system and am willing to experiment and learn.

    I would like to get palemoon-nonsse2 working. And Waterfox.

    Seaken64

    #38492
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    What I was suggesting is that the repo might currently be set to an old release name, for example Jessie. Bullseye is the current release and I am suggesting that if you say stable instead of Jessie or Bullseye you may be able to migrate each time the release changes.

    Since the release may have changed more than once it may be a rather delicate operation. If you have back up images and files you can take a chance. If it fails, try out a more current release. If that also fails then recover from the back up until you are able to get it resolved.

    Brian Masinick

    #38493
    Member
    AvatarKenzoG

    Waterfox is only available as 64-bit version, also the Waterfox minimum system requirements are too high for older computers: “AMD Athlon 64, Intel Pentium 4 or newer processor that supports SSE3”.

    You might want to consider giving Chromium a try. I use it every day on an i686 with 512 MB RAM, using AntiX Berta Cáceres.
    (Connecting Chromium to some Google account might however be better avoided. I have also unchecked (under Privacy) all options to use web services and prediction services to help browsing – in order to use less RAM.)

    #38500
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    Within the past 48 hours I have read that a future release of Google Chrome (and presumably Chromium too) will have much better memory management and it will release unused resources, keeping total memory use in check.

    A few things here are important:

    1. I think that the changes will be in Version 85 (in early testing).

    2. To reduce the amount of memory used you have to reduce the number of tabs and pages constantly accessed. There may be a feature to release resources not used within a period of time but until that’s widely available it’s unclear how much resources will be released and how much the memory usage will be reduced.

    Brian Masinick

    #38508
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    What I was suggesting is that the repo might currently be set to an old release name, for example Jessie. Bullseye is the current release and I am suggesting that if you say stable instead of Jessie or Bullseye you may be able to migrate each time the release changes.

    Since the release may have changed more than once it may be a rather delicate operation. If you have back up images and files you can take a chance. If it fails, try out a more current release. If that also fails then recover from the back up until you are able to get it resolved.

    What I do now is I just update the distro to the current version. That has worked for me on several old computers. It can be a challenge getting certain old hardware to work with the current distro and kernel. But it has proven effective for me.

    What I am considering doing with this older P-III 600 is to keep antiX-16 running. This is where it gets harder for me. But i would like to learn more about how to keep an older operating system functioning (in this case antiX-16) rather than simply upgrading. I will read up on your suggestion here and see what I can learn.

    Seaken64

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