Fun projects using an old Desktop PC

I have a few old computers lying around, and have gotten really interested in taking them apart and learning how it all connects! But I’m lacking some kind of purpose…

Does anyone have any cool ideas for some fun projects I could do with them?

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Hi Assynj, nice to find a fellow brain interested in computer tinkering. I am an IT engineer and I have a lot of projects for you to do with an old PC, Raspery PI or even Arduino, but that all depend on your level of experience. The first thing I would recommend is experimenting with Linux OS on this old computers. If you don’t know linux, it is a free and opensource operating system and it is really good, even though I have been using it for almost 20 years, it still keeps me occupied in my sleepless nights :smiley:

So with an old computer and Linux you can do some of the following:

1 - Gaming station - Of course depending on how old is the PC (5 to 8 years old) With a 1 or 2gb GPU Linux and the Steam engine you can have a pretty decent gaming station as Steam offers some free or very cheap games that works great on Linux.

2 - Internet and WIFI router - for this project it does not matter how old the computer is, my only advice is to have at least 512mb of ram, you can use some pre-build OS’s such as Zeroshell, Pfsense etc or build your own from scratch with ubuntu/centos/arch linux.

3 - Media Center - Again using Linux LinHES you can install your own set-top box solution, although they recommend modern or semi-modern computers, some people have been reporting to get it working on much older computer AMD Athlon (800 MHz)/nforce2 CPU/MB.

Anyway there are more, much more projects you can do with an old computer, it all depend on you. I am currently working on a streaming server, that will allow me to make live streaming over the internet. No particular reason just my passion for computers and the Linux OS and somethings to do in this time of confinement.

Hope this will be useful to you, but if you need any help feel free to send me a message. at distrowatch.com you can check out the different Linux project that would best suits you I am an LFS guy for tinkering purpose, and an Ubuntu user for my 3D modelling, if you have no experience I would suggest a Debian or Ubuntu based OS, although ubuntu is based on Debian :smiley:

Well happy learning…

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Hey there! Thanks for your reply - there’s a lot of useful stuff in here. I really like the idea of getting familiar with linux as a starting point, so I think I’ll get to work researching!

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