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Thread: Ubuntu on older system

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Denver, Colorado
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    12

    Ubuntu on older system

    Hello,

    I have heard many good thing about Ubuntu and would like to install on an older computer. My system specs Pentium 4 2.8 GHZ (northwood), 2GB RAM (rambus) and ATI X800 PRO AGP 4X. Would Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS be the best option or could I go with an older version for better performance? I also heard Unity can slow down older computers big time. Many thanks for any help the community can provide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    19th Hole
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    1,273
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    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: Ubuntu on older system

    Ubuntu would choke on a system with your specs. I doubt that you could even get compiz to run on that video card. You have enough RAM though, which gives you lots of options.

    You can try Lubuntu, which has no 3D effects and is quite plain, but should work smoothly and relatively responsively with the equipment you have. You can also try Bodhi which will run nicely as well. However, you would have to get used to the rather different Enlightenment desktop. Bodhi uses the Ubuntu repositories, which is a big plus for new users.

    You can also leave the Ubuntu universe altogether and try CrunchBang, Puppy, SliTaz, Tiny Core or Damn Small Linux. If you decide to do so, my recommendation would be CrunchBang.

    Make sure you install only the 32-bit OS. I highly encourage you to burn all of these to CD/DVD and take them for a test drive. Linux is amazing not least because you can try out so many alternatives for the price of a CD.
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just tell me.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    California
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    67
    Distro
    Lubuntu

    Re: Ubuntu on older system

    Lubuntu will run on that not sure about unity. Older version don't get security updates which is a problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Ubuntu on older system

    I just worked with a system similar - P4 w/ 1 GB RAM & ATI AGP video. I sent along a Mint13 32 bit DVD for use when (not if) Windows craps again. The DVD seemed to run pretty well in somewhat limited testing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Planet earth, for now.
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu

    Re: Ubuntu on older system

    Xubuntu or Lubuntu will be fine. There are lots of other lightweight distros but try those two first as they are part of the Ubuntu family and easy to get help for (download 32bit ISO, burn disk, boot from disk and 'Try *buntu' to see how it rolls. If you like, install).

    The other option is a mini.iso install, but a bit involved for a beginner. It basically installs the ubuntu kernel only and you install the rest. You make that as light as you like (lightweight desktop environment and only the apps you need).

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...tion/MinimalCD

    As you learn more about it you'll get it more fine tuned. It is really all about the desktop environment (Ubuntu uses 'Unity', a hog, Xubuntu and Lubuntu use xfce4 and lxde, respectively ... lighter on resources). And let's face it, if all you do is surf the web, send some emails, watch a vid and listen to some music, you don't need or want a full install of anything (which is where the mini.iso is great).

    Incidentally, I have a P4, 3gHz, 1Gb RAM running Xubuntu without issue.

    PS: As mentioned, don't go for anything older than 12.04 LTS (no support). 12.04 LTS of anything you do go for is perfect place for a beginner to start, though. Stable, a known entity and supported until April 2017. 13.04 and 13.10 have nine months support and '13.04' = 2013, April, if you get the syntax.

    13.10 has just been released so wouldn't advise if for starters.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; November 1st, 2013 at 07:20 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Nelspruit, South Africa
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Ubuntu on older system

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckHook View Post
    Ubuntu would choke on a system with your specs. I doubt that you could even get compiz to run on that video card. You have enough RAM though, which gives you lots of options.
    He may not get compiz but I think Ubuntu would run great.. . I ran Ubuntu on 1.8GHz CPU with 1Gig of ram and an old ATI gfx but it ran well except Compiz
    Monitor: LG flatron w1954s 22", mobo: G31-m7 series, CPU: Intel LGA 775 Intel core duo 2 2,66GHZ, RAM: 3GB, GPU: ATI Radeom HD 2400, Storage: 500GB SATA and 80GB IDE, Windows 7 ultimate and Ubuntu

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Planet earth, for now.
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    Xubuntu

    Re: Ubuntu on older system

    Yea, agreed. Don't think Compiz is really an issue or of any concern here. (Not everybody uses it and I, for one, never have.)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    50

    Re: Ubuntu on older system

    You can run Ubuntu 12.04 without unity I believe... I forgot how to do that, but I know it IS possible to have the robust GNOME-style interface without the resource intensive Unity bar.

    That said, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and LXLE are all Unity-less Ubuntu installs and all work very well on even a Pentium III. (You could install Gnome afterwards, I suppose, but that's an extra step.) You have 2 GB of RAM which makes things even better for you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Reykjavík, Ísland
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    9,267
    Distro
    Lubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Ubuntu on older system

    Quote Originally Posted by anthonypineiro View Post
    ... or could I go with an older version for better performance?
    No, the latest Lubuntu (13.10) is by far the best performing, also on old or semi-old (like yours) hardware.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Beans
    12

    Re: Ubuntu on older system

    Wow a lot of responses. What a great community! Time to get some testing done. What's the performance difference running off CD versus installed on hard drive? Thanks everyone.

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