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Thread: New to Linux, Old Computer, Which Distro

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Beans
    9

    Question New to Linux, Old Computer, Which Distro

    I've been using only Windows and have attempted to use Ubuntu a few times, but it wasn't as nice as my familiar Windows 7 box last year, although very snappy and fast.
    But when it comes to Linux, I just don't know.

    My main rig's video card broke, so I'm stuck with a an old laptop.

    I have a Galaxy Nexus, and I also plan to start the slow process of learning how to build my own custom ROM for my phone. I figured Linux would help me with the speed of the old laptop, and get my started on my Android development.

    I have

    Sony Vaio
    PCG-V505E
    January 2004
    Pentium M 1.5 GHz,
    ATI Mobility
    Radeon 9200 32 MB
    1GB of RAM (Upgraded myself)
    137 IDE HDD
    Wireless g/b
    (Super thoroughly cleaned and thermal paste reapplied)

    It's going to be plugged into an external 1680x1050 monitor.

    So.. which distro do I use?

    I installed Lubuntu with the Wubi installer, but I found it just a little faster than my n-lite super stripped version of XP.
    But what are your suggestions for those specs? What do you use?
    I know that this topic has probably been posted quite a lot, but I want your current info. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Beans
    5,003

    Re: New to Linux, Old Computer, Which Distro

    Xubuntu would be a good choice for that processor.

    http://xubuntu.org/screenshots/


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Beans
    592

    Re: New to Linux, Old Computer, Which Distro

    As always I will be giving shout for Lubuntu. Its my choice for older hardware (unless its really old - then I go DSL).

    If you have problems with the Lubuntu installer (I did with the last Lubuntu I tried) then its likely the Ubiquity slideshow. It can be removed from a live session then the install will go fine. Not sure if they have fixed this on the ISO yet.

    Cheers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Groningen, Holland
    Beans
    109
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: New to Linux, Old Computer, Which Distro

    Lubuntu and Xubuntu will both work well with that hardware.

    Debian with LXDE/XFCE might be slightly lighter. However you might find it slightly harder to set up.

    Either Ubuntu or Debian with a lightweight WM like awesome WM will be even lighter, but again harder to set up.

    As a newcommer to the linux world I'd recommend going with Lubuntu. I ran it for a while on my 512 mb ram / 1.4 ghz old laptop and it worked pretty well.
    Currently running Debian with awesome.

    PS: I wouldn't use the wubi installer. Just install from CD/USB.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Beans
    9

    Re: New to Linux, Old Computer, Which Distro

    Lubuntu with the Wubi installer was quick but still choppy and could've been faster, should I use a livecd?

    Maybe it just needed drivers and stuff, I didn't run it long enough to find out however, as I wanted to learn from the Ubuntu community before I set all my time into it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Groningen, Holland
    Beans
    109
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: New to Linux, Old Computer, Which Distro

    wubi slows down drive access and has other limitations:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wubi_(U...r)#Limitations

    I would just install lubuntu natively to get a real feel for the performance. (for example run the installer from the live cd/usb)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Beans
    9

    Re: New to Linux, Old Computer, Which Distro

    Alright.

    So I'll try both Xubuntu and Lubuntu via live cd, and see how they differ with performance.

    About UI's, which one would be easier to use?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Beans
    15

    Re: New to Linux, Old Computer, Which Distro

    For something with that hardware, I recommend using Lubuntu 12.04 LTS.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    LOCATION=/dev/random
    Beans
    5,767
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: New to Linux, Old Computer, Which Distro

    My go to distro for low-spec machines is always #! (CrunchBang).

    I find it much quicker than Xubuntu or Lubuntu.

    So I'll try both Xubuntu and Lubuntu via live cd, and see how they differ with performance.
    Running any OS from a Live CD wont give you a proper indication of its speed. You really need to do a full installation of your short-listed distos before you can make an informed choice. This shouldn't really take that long, you should be able to install any distro in under 20 minutes even on old hardware.
    Cheesemill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Beans
    9

    Re: New to Linux, Old Computer, Which Distro

    I'll install them both and post back my results

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