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Consider using [[DebianOldStable|OldStable]] instead of [[DebianStable|Stable]]. Consider using [[LTS]] or [[DebianOldStable|OldStable]] instead of [[DebianStable|Stable]].

Debian on old or slow computer

Consider using LTS or OldStable instead of Stable. Debian 6.0 (squeeze) will get a special Long-Term-Support (LTS) for i386 and amd64 until February 2016. Some packages won't be supported like libwebkit* and its browsers. Add Backports to your repos to get more software. Links: LTS and CategoryLts.

Replace websites with special software

Use youtube-dl -f fmt (e.g. 36) to download videos from Youtube and play it with mplayer or vlc. The english Wikipedia article has a list of supported formats. youtube-dl is in the Backports.

If your computer is too slow for iceweasel showing OpenStreetMap, try foxtrotgps.

xbmc or xbmc-standalone (xbmc with X but without a window manager) with radio, youtube or Mediathek plugin may or may not be useful for old computers (xbmc requires 24bit colors).


In the Debian repositories

  • claws-mail (former sylpheed) is a small mail programm with the look'n'feel of thunderbird/icedove. It features pop3, imap, smtp, spam-filter, encryption and plugins. clawsker is an extra utility for configuration.

  • dradio is a terminal based frontend for mplayer. It plays the preconfigured danish radio and TV channels. You can configure your own channels in ~/.config/dradio/menu.xml . The config file format is described in dradio(5).

  • pinta is a small, but powerful paint. It doesn't print pictures.

  • ripit rips audio cds with the help of lame or other encoders and uses the cddb for naming. Usage example: nice -n19 ionice -c3 ripit -o /home/myuser/music -v new -S standard --eject --nointeraction --loop 1 --ripopt "-z 3"

  • streamripper rips audio streams into files.

dvtm dwm epdfview gscan2pdf iceweasel with plugins irssi lftp mosh (ssh for slow or unstable connections) pydf qalc rtorrent screen scrot w3m (with w3m-img )

Software that is not in the debian repos


If you can watch small videos only, recode videos with: nice -n19 ionice -c3 mencoder -oac lavc -ovc lavc -lavcopts acodec=mp2:vcodec=mpeg2video:abitrate=128:autoaspect -of mpeg -vf scale=360:-2 -o small.mpeg big-source.avi

Make use of ionice (package util-linux). The CFQ has to be the active io scheduler in kernel. Example: nice -n19 ionice -c3 aptitude update