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Thread: Ubuntu and old Socket A hardware compatibility?

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu and old Socket A hardware compatibility?

    Hi all,

    Last time I played with Ubuntu for some time was Hardy Heron. Which I gave up due to compatibility issues with PowerPC on old MAC's. A while back I had a short play on another set up with Ubuntu something or other. These can be seen under the user name sastusbulbas. For some reason this new Ubuntu 1 thing would not recognize my original account or associate my sastusbulbas user name with my email address? Probably me being daft somewhere?

    I am revisiting Ubuntu, 12.04 is what I was hoping to run, but I am having issues with this and the old PC I am tinkering with. Now as I have an IDE CD-Rom I cannot install newer Ubuntu directly, but have managed to install 11.10. But every time I do any updates the system hangs on rebooting. Just locks up with no mouse cursor moving and the LEDS on my memory freeze. I am currently writing this here on this system after another fresh install of 11.10 due to the 3rd failed 12.04 update attempt.

    This system was still running with Windows 98, but the OS was a dog to use and did not support my screens 1920x1080 resolution.

    The old hardware I am using.

    Asrock K7S41 MicroATX motherboard. Bios P1.20
    AMD Athlon XP 2000+ CPU.
    2GB (2x1) Corsair DDR 400 PC3500LL. (Was originally a 256mb single stick, but this was in my spares box)
    BenQ CD drive. IDE.
    Maxtor 20GB IDE HDD.
    CTK 400W ATX PSU.
    D-Link wireless USB stick.

    Any tips or pointers?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

    Re: Ubuntu and old Socket A hardware compatibility?

    A good first step is installing Lubuntu 13.04. Ubuntu is too heavy.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Re: Ubuntu and old Socket A hardware compatibility?

    Thankyou, I will look into that,

    I notice this though, "13.04 32 bit ISO require your CPU to have Physical Address Extensions, or PAE. "PAE is provided by Intel Pentium Pro and above CPUs, including all later Pentium-series processors (except several versions of the Pentium M, see here)." - If you have a NON-PAE CPU you can use 12.04 instead. " Would this affect an AMD Athlon 2000+ Socket A cpu?

    Will burn Lubuntu 13.04 and it's previous 12.04 try out.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu and old Socket A hardware compatibility?

    PAE is a concern, video is another. I'm not sure how that vintage ATI reacts to modern Ubuntu distros. I expect Xubuntu or Lubuntu may help if that's an issue, they're less graphically demanding.

  5. #5
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    Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

    Re: Ubuntu and old Socket A hardware compatibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt18947 View Post
    PAE is a concern
    No, all AMD processors younger than about 15 years support PAE. There's a lot of unneeded worries about PAE going on in the fora - please don't propagate.

    The video card could be a problem. @Steve, just try to install and tell us how it goes.
    Last edited by mrgs; August 30th, 2013 at 02:13 PM.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu and old Socket A hardware compatibility?

    On Ubuntu, It's reasonable with 11.10, hangs up with 12.04. That systems experience with Ubuntu 11.10 has been easier for web browsing and proper screen resolution than Windows 98 an XP were. But it's an old motherboard, that cannot load DVD's or newer Windows OS's. And I also found my Floppy is not working so cannot update bios at this time (tried in XP). A bootable USB won't allow me to update bios either, to utilize an old Athlon 3200+ that is sitting around somewhere.

    Been busy since this morning so not had time to try the Lubuntu, though an initial install of Lubuntu 13.4 left me with a grey screen.

    It only has on-board graphics.

    I am not too worried about the overall performance with graphics n such, I may buy a few second hand items if I can sort out my floppy, plenty of old GPU's that would improve it a bit for the price of a few pints. I just thought I would make a basic web and document system for something to do, the Corsair memory with LED's was a bit of nostalgia.

    It was also to get me used to Ubuntu a bit, as I plan to build a server using Amahi, with an old LGA775 system.
    Last edited by Steve M; August 31st, 2013 at 05:02 AM.

  7. #7
    squakie is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Ubuntu and old Socket A hardware compatibility?

    Please don't try getting ubutu itself working - do as has been recommended and use lubuntu or xubuntu only. Why? Ubuntu by default is going to use the unity desktop, and any on-board video on a motherboard that old will not run unity. lubuntu and xubuntu use different desktop managers that aren't so hungry.

    For your quick test with lubuntu, what are the specifics? Where you booting from a CD? Remember that the newer releases - I beleive 12.04 up - require a DVD, not a CD, to hold the image. Was this a livecd image? Did you get ANYTHING when you booted, or just immediately the gray screen? It's important to know anything that may have showed on your screen before the gray screen.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu and old Socket A hardware compatibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by squakie View Post
    Remember that the newer releases - I beleive 12.04 up - require a DVD, not a CD, to hold the image.
    Only for Xubuntu and Ubuntu. Lubuntu fits to a CD.

    If the standard 13.04 does not work then the alternate ISO is worth trying. The integrated SiS graphics might give problems, but still it's worth trying.
    Last edited by mrgs; August 31st, 2013 at 10:58 AM.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu and old Socket A hardware compatibility?

    I can boot a computer with an AMD Athlon XP from a USB pendrive. But it has another motherboard. USB might be an alternative for you if you want to boot an iso file that it too big for the CD drive.

    Another alternative is to boot with a Plop CD boot manager, let it install a USB driver and continue booting from the USB drive.

    If you can boot from USB (with or without Plop), you might also try the One Button Installer, that is designed to be easy to use and work also with old computers and small RAM. Start reading the documents at this link

    One button installer

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu and old Socket A hardware compatibility?

    I think the ability to boot from a USB pendrive is a function of the BIOS not the processor. There probably is a 'generational' correlation though, e.g. mobos with newer processors probably support more recent BIOS functions.

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