Title says all, I got today this little big beauty:
ThinkPad 380XD (2635-8A0)
P 233MMX (512KB) 32MB RAM 3.2GB 12.1 SVGA HPA 24X Win95 (now OS-less)
I've burnt two CDs, one with a Slitaz Distro and another one with the latest D@mn Small Linux 4.4 (DSL)
Help will be much appreciated!
My main computer is a computer from Toshiba with the same hardware specifications as yours except for more ram. I use parabola GNU/linux, which is an arch linux based distribution, with the linux frame buffer enabled.https://wiki.parabolagnulinux.org/Main_Page
I'm able to see nearly all graphical and multimedia content in the framebuffer, so I haven't seen the need to run the X-Windows system during normal operations. For example, "links-g" is a capable graphical framebuffer browser, mplayer can use the framebuffer, and programs like fbi, fbdvi, fim or fimgs display PDF/PS/DVI and pictures.
Normal RAM usage for me is roughly 28MB without swapping.
However, if you need the X-Windows system, tinycore http://distro.ibiblio.org/tinycorelinux/welcome.html
, specifically "multicore" now "coreplus" works flawlessly on this hardware using its lighter
weight xvesa/busybox options. As far as I'm aware, tinycore is the best option for X Windows on this hardware with a modern linux kernel.
FreeBSD and OpenBSD both work, but there is more configuration than with the linux options (in FreeBSD I had to recompile the kernel to get a framebuffer, and OpenBSD doesn't have framebuffer support for x86) and their full xservers make the machine feel much less snappy than either parabola or tinycore. With tinycore, your machine will be almost as responsive as modern hardware. It should be able to fit comfortably into 64Mb of RAM, although you will need to enable a swap file for running larger applications, or many applications at once.
Let me know if you run into any difficulties.