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Thread: Installing Ubuntu on Dell with No Linux Experience

  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Question Installing Ubuntu on Dell with No Linux Experience

    Hello Everyone,

    I have a Dell Dimension 2350 that I would like to install Linux on. I have no experience with Linux or messing around with computers too much.

    Dell Dimension 2350 Specs:
    256MB of RAM
    2GHZ Intel Celeron
    Windows XP

    http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...2350/specs.htm

    The HD has about 10GB being used out of 60GB. I would like to do dual boot on this Dell, but I am not sure if this is possible. If not, what is the best way to wipe the HD of Windows for installing Ubuntu? Can I still keep Word, Excel, PowerPoint on Ubuntu?

    I have seen a some people have had issues installing Ubuntu with this particular Dell. I was wondering if it would be better to consider using an older Ubuntu version?

    Any advice or help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Lubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Installing Ubuntu on Dell with No Linux Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by pcfast View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I have a Dell Dimension 2350 that I would like to install Linux on. I have no experience with Linux or messing around with computers too much.

    Dell Dimension 2350 Specs:
    256MB of RAM
    2GHZ Intel Celeron
    Windows XP

    http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...2350/specs.htm

    The HD has about 10GB being used out of 60GB. I would like to do dual boot on this Dell, but I am not sure if this is possible. If not, what is the best way to wipe the HD of Windows for installing Ubuntu? Can I still keep Word, Excel, PowerPoint on Ubuntu?

    I have seen a some people have had issues installing Ubuntu with this particular Dell. I was wondering if it would be better to consider using an older Ubuntu version?

    Any advice or help is appreciated.
    Windows programs will not run in Ubuntu, with a few exceptions. Office very likely will not. Ubuntu comes with a free alternative- LibreOffice- which is every bit as good IMHO.
    Installing a dual boot is very easy. BUT- before you do anything:

    Back up your data.

    I can't stress this enough- unless you are able to back up, you should not try to install Ubuntu.
    First you should go into Windows and resize the partition- DON'T resize a Windows partition with Ubuntu- WIndows is very finicky about this. The tools to do this are in the Control Panel>Computer Management or something like that- a quick Google search will find you instructions on that.
    When the partition is resized, boot from the Ubuntu disk and tell the installer to install "alongside" Windows XP. If you don't get this "install alongside" option, something isn't holding out; abort the installer and report back.
    Good luck!
    GNU/Linux Notes || Linux Command Line Learning Resources

    Copy.com offers 15 GB free cloud storage plus 5 GB for both of us when you follow this referral link.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Installing Ubuntu on Dell with No Linux Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by pcfast View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I have a Dell Dimension 2350 that I would like to install Linux on. I have no experience with Linux or messing around with computers too much.

    Dell Dimension 2350 Specs:
    256MB of RAM
    2GHZ Intel Celeron
    Windows XP

    http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...2350/specs.htm

    The HD has about 10GB being used out of 60GB. I would like to do dual boot on this Dell, but I am not sure if this is possible. If not, what is the best way to wipe the HD of Windows for installing Ubuntu? Can I still keep Word, Excel, PowerPoint on Ubuntu?

    I have seen a some people have had issues installing Ubuntu with this particular Dell. I was wondering if it would be better to consider using an older Ubuntu version?

    Any advice or help is appreciated.
    With your "tiny" RAM memory, IMO, it's better to don't install Ubuntu. Ubuntu require ~512 MB to run and ~1 GB for optimal experience. It's better to install Bodhi Linux (which based on Ubuntu) or Lubuntu.

  4. #4
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu on Dell with No Linux Experience

    The computer was given to me and does not have any files that I care about. So I don't need to worry about getting files off of it or backing it up really. Perfect for playing around with a new OS in my opinion!

    I don't have MS Office on my current laptop (windows) and sort of refuse to buy it. (I guess I don't like giving MS money!) Having Word would be useful for when people send me files. I usually will just use GoogleDocs now but sometimes that can be limiting for sending people files when they don't have a Google account.

    Can I dual boot Lubuntu or Bodhi Linux? I was just reading about LinuxMint, could I make that run on this Dell?
    Last edited by pcfast; July 29th, 2012 at 03:28 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu on Dell with No Linux Experience

    What about PuppyLinux?

  6. #6
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu on Dell with No Linux Experience

    Puppy is good.

    I didn't pay attention to your RAM; you definitely want a lighter system than straight Ubuntu. I use Bodhi Linux on my netbook about every day and it's one of my favorite OS's- looks absolutely fantastic and is super lightweight. Definitely give Bodhi a whirl- they have a great support community as well.
    Bodhi doesn't come with any programs beyond a web browser, text editor, and terminal- so you'll be able to put exactly what you want on it.
    GNU/Linux Notes || Linux Command Line Learning Resources

    Copy.com offers 15 GB free cloud storage plus 5 GB for both of us when you follow this referral link.

  7. #7
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Installing Ubuntu on Dell with No Linux Experience

    +1 for Lubuntu. I've got it running on an older system myself, and it seems pretty snappy.

    As far as office suites go, you might be satisfied with LibreOffice (http://www.libreoffice.org/). It's a free full office suite, forked off of OpenOffice.org back when Oracle bought out Sun.

    It should be able to handle most day-to-day situations where you'd find yourself using MS Office, with a nice price tag (free).

    Edit: I would also recommend throwing some more RAM in there if you can get your hands on there. There's no such thing as 'too much' RAM, so long as the computer still boots.
    Last edited by Kelvari; July 29th, 2012 at 08:25 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu on Dell with No Linux Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by pcfast View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I have a Dell Dimension 2350 that I would like to install Linux on. I have no experience with Linux or messing around with computers too much.

    Dell Dimension 2350 Specs:
    256MB of RAM
    2GHZ Intel Celeron
    Windows XP

    http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...2350/specs.htm

    The HD has about 10GB being used out of 60GB. I would like to do dual boot on this Dell, but I am not sure if this is possible. If not, what is the best way to wipe the HD of Windows for installing Ubuntu? Can I still keep Word, Excel, PowerPoint on Ubuntu?

    I have seen a some people have had issues installing Ubuntu with this particular Dell. I was wondering if it would be better to consider using an older Ubuntu version?

    Any advice or help is appreciated.
    I'm gonna agree with everyone else and say Ubuntu is a no go with that amount of RAM. I've had good experiences with puppy linux on older dells.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu on Dell with No Linux Experience

    there is libre office available. older versions of MS office work with wine.

    install in side by side dual boot is is preety much straight forward. you need to cretae an emtpy unformatted partition and during install just say to install to install into largest empy disk space. if you plan to format. it's even easier. just tell it to overwrite the disk.

    you can test is firts using live CD/USB and boto form it and choose try it on boot screen. it will take long time to load since all OS loads into ram. also it won't work as fast as install (especially since you have low ram) but it gives you some idea what to expect.

    a few easy to use and install light distributions :
    Lubuntu
    Bodhi linux
    peppermint OS
    mint LXDE
    chrunchbang (based on debian stable)
    puppy linux
    slitaz
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    User friendly disk backup: Redobackup

  10. #10
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu on Dell with No Linux Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by pcfast View Post
    The computer was given to me and does not have any files that I care about. So I don't need to worry about getting files off of it or backing it up really. Perfect for playing around with a new OS in my opinion!

    I don't have MS Office on my current laptop (windows) and sort of refuse to buy it. (I guess I don't like giving MS money!) Having Word would be useful for when people send me files. I usually will just use GoogleDocs now but sometimes that can be limiting for sending people files when they don't have a Google account.

    Can I dual boot Lubuntu or Bodhi Linux? I was just reading about LinuxMint, could I make that run on this Dell?
    Bodhi And Lubuntu can dualboot too. It's basic feature on all Linux.

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