Hello from an absolute "newbie". Over the last two years (on a 1Ghz, 512Mb RAM clunker) I have tried "Linux" in many flavours. With Ubuntu and some other "name" variants reducing swappiness to 1 has given at least a stable OS. I did find that Ubuntu 10.04.4 (installed with Wubi" and tweaked a little did run quite well. An upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 simply failed. Linux variants from "the little doggie", the "sauce for roast lamb", Debian, just did not quite do the job. I am not naming or aiming any critical comments at other Linux systems. Each, in their own way is a good OS. After two years trying/testing I found Ubuntu 10.04.4 worked best on the old "clunker" and Wubi is there, just use ZIP or Izarc to extract it - restart the PC - and install. This may help some "newbies" like me who started with Dartmouth Basic, CP/M, DOS in all it's versions and Windows 2 (yes, there was a Windows 2), Win 3, 95, 98SE11, XP, and now a brand new lightning fast AMD system with more processing power and RAM than I know what to do with just yet (running Win 7). But, for all that, if anyone has an "old clunker" with limited CPU power and not much RAM, I found Ubuntu 10.04.4 better than Xubuntu after tweaking the swappiness and disabling quite a few of the start up apps. Anyway, enough from me. If my comment helps a new Ubuntu user with and old PC, great. Otherwise, just read and go to the next posted comment.
Olde Gorilla. (yep, 65 and still vitally interested in anything "techie").