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Thread: ubuntu desktop on an old WinXP machine - performance expectations?

  1. #1
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    ubuntu desktop on an old WinXP machine - performance expectations?

    I'm going to have to send in my Win8 laptop for warranty repair. This'll take up to two weeks and leave me without a computer - unless I use my old WinXP desktop in the mean time. The problem: that desktop is agonizingly slow - it takes a minute or two just to launch firefox. I think some of it is old hardware, but most of it is caused by windows registry breakdown. So I'm thinking about using Ubuntu desktop and these installation instructions: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/deskt...u-with-windows

    This makes it look like the machine can booted into Ubuntu -- and that Ubuntu won't be running on some sort of virtual machine on top of the slow as sin Windows operating system. Is that a correct assumption? And if so, should I expect a computer that'll run at a reasonable speed?

  2. #2
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    Re: ubuntu desktop on an old WinXP machine - performance expectations?

    Hello and Welcome

    The Wubi / Windows installer is for temporary trial use and creates a root disk folder inside the windows partition and uses the windows boot loader . If you have no need for XP consider a full installation of Lubuntu for a low spec machine . I started with Wubi back during the 9.10 release on a Win 7 machine, but never tried with XP. Prior to that I was running XP Pro which was usable with 256 Mb of memory . If you wrote more about the CPU and Memory we would have a better what might work the best. Lubuntu has 128 Mb memory minimum which is low for a modern operating system.

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  3. #3
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    Re: ubuntu desktop on an old WinXP machine - performance expectations?

    For an older machine I would go with 12.04 LTS it's less demanding and more compatible with older hardware. If you have sufficient hard drive space I would install Ubuntu alongside windows! If you boot from the Ubuntu cd and start the install from there the installer will walk you through partitioning ith hard drive. A basic Ubuntu install will run on 10 gig but I recommend at least 20 gig if you have the space the installer will give you the opportunity to import your windows account settings if you have the space available. Even if you don't do that you can still access the windows files from Ubuntu. I would suggest you try running Ubuntu in live mode first to make sure everything works! And cheers!

  4. #4
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    Re: ubuntu desktop on an old WinXP machine - performance expectations?

    it takes a minute or two just to launch firefox. I think some of it is old hardware, but most of it is caused by windows registry breakdown.
    That's unlikely the cause, since the registry is really a collection of files that operates much like a database.

    That's agonizingly slow ... and I wouldn't expect Ubuntu (or even Lubuntu) to run any faster than that.

    Also, I don't think any recent versions will fit on a CD (although, I could be wrong with Lubuntu), and that would require you to boot from a USB stick -- something your old PC most probably will not support.
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  5. #5
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    Re: ubuntu desktop on an old WinXP machine - performance expectations?

    Yes, Lubuntu 13.10 boots from a CD. This one is always a good first attempt when dealing with old hardware.
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  6. #6
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    Re: ubuntu desktop on an old WinXP machine - performance expectations?

    ...I even installed a 11.something Version on a ASUS eeePC Netbook with an Intel Atom with 1.6 GHz and it ran much faster than XP...
    And as a Win7 Starter expanded the RAM usage of a Sony Vaio 13-inch Netbook up to 3/4 of RAM due to the latest updates, I even installed it there parallely. (You cannot even start ans use Firefox proberly!!) There it runs at least twice as fast as Win7.
    So try it and it will speed up the old bucket!

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    Re: ubuntu desktop on an old WinXP machine - performance expectations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogs Hair View Post
    Hello and Welcome

    The Wubi / Windows installer is for temporary trial use and creates a root disk folder inside the windows partition and uses the windows boot loader . If you have no need for XP consider a full installation of Lubuntu for a low spec machine . I started with Wubi back during the 9.10 release on a Win 7 machine, but never tried with XP. Prior to that I was running XP Pro which was usable with 256 Mb of memory . If you wrote more about the CPU and Memory we would have a better what might work the best. Lubuntu has 128 Mb memory minimum which is low for a modern operating system.

    http://www.lubuntu.net/
    +1

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Forums alexzendel

    I would also suggest Lubuntu, but if you post your computer specfications, it will be possible to give more relevant advice.

    - Brand name and model
    - CPU, RAM (size), graphics card/chip

  8. #8
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    Re: ubuntu desktop on an old WinXP machine - performance expectations?

    I agree with the suggestion of Lubuntu.

    XP machines run on large array of hardware.
    From pentium3's to multi-core systems.

    Lubuntu can normally do the same.
    Not so much with Ubuntu.

    +1 to posting your hardware specs.
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  9. #9
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    Re: ubuntu desktop on an old WinXP machine - performance expectations?

    All my computers are old single core XP machines ranging from 1Ghz AMD to 3.8 GHz dual threading Pentium 4s and I've had no problems with Ubuntu 12.04 as long as sufficient RAM is installed. However, if you have under 1 GIG RAM I would recommend Lubuntu or even Puppy Linux as a good lightweight alternative.
    Last edited by Petro Dawg; November 10th, 2013 at 07:41 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: ubuntu desktop on an old WinXP machine - performance expectations?

    I'm using 3 old machines a.) P4 w/ 4gb RAM, b.) Toshiba Satellite Core 2 Duo w/ 4 gb RAM and a HP DC5700 Core 2 Duo w/ 2.5 gb RAM all using 13.10.
    The HP is dul booted w/ XP SP2 and screams fast. Toshiba does as well. P4 somewhat slower.
    Toshiba and HP are 64 bit

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