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Kubuntox
October 22nd, 2008, 07:42 AM
Hi, recently I've been getting interested in Ubuntu cuz at the mo i'm running xp on a really old pc with 256mb ram. as you can imagine, this is very slowly and crashes all the time :( so i was wondering would it be worth it to install ubuntu on this to make it faster and freshen it up a bit? :???:

if yes, then should i choose ubuntu or kubuntu, after doin some research i have been told that kubuntu uses a different interface for the desktop or something? so which one do u think is better?

Thanks =]

-Kubuntox

scragar
October 22nd, 2008, 07:51 AM
While ubuntu is more polished than other variations for an old computer I would install Xubuntu, which is far more lightweight and will run faster while still keeping the gnome applications that ubuntu uses(or, rather a fair number of them, not all, but enough).

If you do decide to go for ubuntu or kubuntu please note that you will likely need more ram unless you are willing to use the text based alternate CD for the installer(the liveCD will need to preload too much to run with so little ram)

metalicarrow
October 22nd, 2008, 07:56 AM
I agree with scragar. Xubuntu is a better fit for you 256mb of ram.

Frenske
October 22nd, 2008, 07:56 AM
Install Xubuntu or get a bit more RAM; a total of 512MB or more makes your computer run a lot smoother. Memory sticks are reasonable cheap nowadays and certainly the 256MB. To run Ubuntu smoothly I think it requires a computer with 368MB of memory (a guess).

Greyed
October 22nd, 2008, 07:58 AM
Install Xubuntu or get a bit more RAM; a total of 512MB or more makes your computer run a lot smoother. To run Ubuntu smoothly I think it requires a computer with 368MB of memory (a guess).

256Mb is adequate for KUbuntu. Just need to install using the OEM ISO.

scragar
October 22nd, 2008, 08:07 AM
Install Xubuntu or get a bit more RAM; a total of 512MB or more makes your computer run a lot smoother. Memory sticks are reasonable cheap nowadays and certainly the 256MB. To run Ubuntu smoothly I think it requires a computer with 368MB of memory (a guess).

386, not 368, but all the right numbers where there :p (that's either 3 sticks of 128, or a stick of 128 and one of 256(which I used to have when I first got ubuntu) -- I know the maths doesn't add up, but try it, it's right).

namegame
October 22nd, 2008, 08:08 AM
256Mb is adequate for KUbuntu. Just need to install using the OEM ISO.

I find this hard to believe. On my Desktop, with Kubuntu installed. The top command returns roughly 300 MB of ram usage, with no applications running.

Kubuntu is just too shiny and decorated to be usable with only 256 MB of RAM.

Xubuntu would be a far better option.

ModdTaco
October 22nd, 2008, 08:09 AM
I thought KUbuntu required a little more juice...

sparvik
October 22nd, 2008, 08:26 AM
Ubuntu 8.04 works just fine on my 256mb (well less with the shared video memory) as long as I used a knoppix cd to make a swap drive before attempting the Ubuntu live-cd install. I did about 730mb swap space to sim a gig of mem.


You can always try and if it hurts, try harder

billgoldberg
October 22nd, 2008, 08:30 AM
Hi, recently I've been getting interested in Ubuntu cuz at the mo i'm running xp on a really old pc with 256mb ram. as you can imagine, this is very slowly and crashes all the time :( so i was wondering would it be worth it to install ubuntu on this to make it faster and freshen it up a bit? :???:

if yes, then should i choose ubuntu or kubuntu, after doin some research i have been told that kubuntu uses a different interface for the desktop or something? so which one do u think is better?

Thanks =]

-Kubuntox

Just plain Ubuntu.

But your specs are a bit lighweight.

You could run Xubuntu, but I have found that Xubuntu isn't that lightweight compared to Ubuntu.

I would install fluxbuntu, but it's not as user friendly as ubuntu, kubuntu, xubuntu.

Fluxbuntu only needs 64mb of ram, so 256mb will make it ultra fast.

I have a fluxbox guide in my signature should you be interested.

northern lights
October 22nd, 2008, 08:40 AM
256Mb is adequate for KUbuntu. Just need to install using the OEM ISO.

I find this hard to believe. On my Desktop, with Kubuntu installed. The top command returns roughly 300 MB of ram usage, with no applications running. [...]
Xubuntu would be a far better option.
It's not only hard to believe but factually wrong.
Especially since KDE4.

I have to say that, opposed to Bill, my experience with XFCE is that it is substantially more lightweight than gnome.

Anyhow, of all the Ubuntu distribution you'd definitely be worst off with Kubuntu.

An Ubuntu with metacity and without flashy-flashy compiz will work. Xubuntu would too. In the end, it's your machine and you also know what functionality you want.

So I'd say try both. If either feel comfortable dare to try Fluxbox as desktop environment also. After giving each the time it deserves, pick your favorite.

Greyed
October 22nd, 2008, 09:12 AM
I find this hard to believe. On my Desktop, with Kubuntu installed. The top command returns roughly 300 MB of ram usage, with no applications running.

Kubuntu is just too shiny and decorated to be usable with only 256 MB of RAM.


It's not only hard to believe but factually wrong.
Especially since KDE4.

Uhm, please explain that to my laptop. I've got several posts with its specs. Relevant stats:
PIII-667Mhz, 256Mb RAM. KUbuntu 8.04 installed from OEM disc running KDE 3.5.10.

Do you honestly think that I would recommend something I haven't already done? I use that laptop as a media player for my TV but prior to that role it spent years on my desk happily running TBird, Firefox, Pidgin and OOo. It still would be there but I migrated my productivity work to a VBox real partition install on my main machine.

Furthermore, here's from my current machine which is a KUbuntu 8.04 VM install limited to 384Mb of RAM running KDE4.1.2.



{grey@igbuntu:~} free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 376 367 9 0 10 132
-/+ buffers/cache: 223 152
Swap: 391 144 247

Granted, it is limited to 384Mb free but if you look at the used memory, 223Mb. Hm, that's a tad less than 256Mb. That's with Firefox (for this posting) and Thunderbird running. The 144Mb that's swapped is stuff that is rarely used. I've not tweaked this setup. For example, Neopomuk. What the hell is that and why is it taking up about 60Mb doing nothing? However it runs well enough. One might say adequate.

Huh, isn't that the word I used? Yes, yes, it is. 256Mb is adequeate to run KUbuntu. Will it be super-sniny with compiz running and load everything in 0.2 seconds flat? Nope. Will it allow a person to browse the web, check email, view movies, IM, write letters/papers/book and in general be productive. Yes. So please, don't call it factually wrong when I've done it for years. Want to know why?

http://www.google.com/search?q=XFCE+memory+leak&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.ubuntu:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-a

XFCE memory leaks cause many XFCE apps/plugins to take up more memory than all of KDE after a few hours of usage. For a while my laptop was brought to a screeching halt because XFCE apps/plugins would take up all avaiable memory and swap. I've been loosely following the state of XFCE but so far it hasn't gotten to a point where I would consider trusting it again. So there is a reason why XUbuntu can get to a point where GNome feels smaller and more responsive.

lisati
October 22nd, 2008, 09:24 AM
<$0.02 worth>
I use Ubuntu Feisty (7.04) on a laptop with 256 Mb ram (will consider upgrading to a later version when Intrepid is officially released): my initial experience was that the install process was easier with the "alternate" install disk rather than the Live CD.
For regular non-resource-intensive use (web browsing, email, ....), it seems to work well enough.
</$0.02 worth>

EDIT: <another $0.005>
Setting up the partitions was a breeze and more intuitive for a "behind the scenes noob" from a Live CD
</another $0.005>

northern lights
October 22nd, 2008, 09:27 AM
{grey@igbuntu:~} free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 376 367 9 0 10 132
-/+ buffers/cache: 223 152
Swap: 391 144 247

Granted, it is limited to 384Mb free but if you look at the used memory, 223Mb. Hm, that's a tad less than 256Mb.
You're clearly neglecting disk buffering and cached data. If you didn't have the 142 extra megs buffered and cached, you're hdd activity would skyrocket. Really, of those 376 megs only 9 (!) are free.


Huh, isn't that the word I used? Yes, yes, it is. 256Mb is adequeate to run KUbuntu. Will it be super-sniny with compiz running and load everything in 0.2 seconds flat? Nope. Will it allow a person to browse the web, check email, view movies, IM, write letters/papers/book and in general be productive. Yes. So please, don't call it factually wrong when I've done it for years. Thanks.
I did not mean to say that I know your laptop better than you do. And obviously the possible adequacy of 256 megs of memory for smooth KDE usage depends both on the definition of "smooth" and "adequate".

To conclude, it's certainly not wrong that this setup is running on your laptop. Out of my scope to even judge.
Should it have been your impression that I was doubting the truthfulness of your story there, I sincerely apologize.

Have you convinced me to recommend KDE as a desktop environment to anybody else with memory as low as 256 MB? Not in the least.
Do I consider that bad advice? Still do.

Back to topic: Have you (the OP) considered buying another stick of 256MB? It's really not that spendy anymore...

Greyed
October 22nd, 2008, 09:47 AM
You're clearly neglecting disk buffering and cached data. If you didn't have the 142 extra megs buffered and cached, you're hdd activity would skyrocket. Really, of those 376 megs only 9 (!) are free.

... That's what you're supposed to do when reporting free memory on Linux. It's one of the FAQs every distribution has to answer!

http://www.google.com/search?q=linux+memory+usage+free

Pick almost anything of the top 20-30 hits and the pages will tell you the same thing, you discount buffered/cached when determining how much you have free because Linux buffers/caches aggressively. In fact that is why the free display has the +/- buffers/cache line in it.

And no, my HDD activity would not skyrocket. Cache hit rates are not linear. After a certain threshold larger caches suffer deminishing returns. Anyone who has had to hand-tune caches in the world of DOS and 1-8Mb of RAM knows.


Have you convinced me to recommend KDE as a desktop environment to anybody else with memory as low as 256 MB? Not in the least.
Do I consider that bad advice? Still do.

Then test it for yourself. Grab VBox, limit it to 256MB and run a KUbuntu 8.04 image in it. Given how simple it is to test i think it is irresponsible for you to contradict someone without at least trying it so you can discuss the matter based on anything more than uninformed bias.

I guarantee that given the alternatives mentioned in the title (Ubuntu, XP) it will fair no worse than one and do far better than the other. Given the other alternatives you're either fighting memory leaks which are worse than having to swap out little used cruft or having to hand-config everything that makes a full DE a joy to work with. Neither of which I consider viable given the options given up front.

northern lights
October 22nd, 2008, 10:10 AM
I guarantee that given the alternatives mentioned in the title (Ubuntu, XP) it will fair no worse than one and do far better than the other.
D'accord - 100% agreed.

It's just that there are several further alternatives. Do you consider Kubuntu w/ KDE4 the best suiting choice or simply one of the two decent picks of the three offered alternatives? In the latter case, I'd be with you.

As an aside: I'm aware of buffering mechanism and certainly Linux memory management tends to use all physical memory available, i.e. buffer aggressively. I'm not too certain that limiting the cache to around 20MB (as would be the case if you went down to 256 megs total) would not substantially increase disk activity.

But you're certainly right, that things ought to be tested and/or personally experienced. I'm running Xubuntu on a 1998 machine with 128 megs, but have indeed never exactly used a setup comparable to yours.
I don't think labeling my input uniformed bias fair either, but anyhow, given that my semester hasn't really kicked off yet and I'm quite bored these days, I'll adhere to your suggestion, limit my VBox and actually try this.

Laters.

Greyed
October 22nd, 2008, 10:17 AM
It's just that there are several further alternatives. Do you consider Kubuntu w/ KDE4 the best suiting choice or simply one of the two decent picks of the three offered alternatives? In the latter case, I'd be with you.

One of two decent picks of the three offered. The other being GNome. ;) I was merely pointing out that it is an alternative along with the caveat of what it takes to get it installed. If pressed I would say an excellent Linux distro for 256Mb would be Puppy Linux. Specifically the Boxpup Puplet.

http://www.puppylinux.org/downloads/puplets/boxpup-revision-1

I don't use it personally but did try it out and if I ever went the Linux-on-a-(usb)Stick route that is what I would use.


I'm not too certain that limiting the cache to around 20MB (as would be the case if you went down to 256 megs total) would not substantially increase disk activity.That is dependent on usage. Here my main two applications are TBird and FFox. TBird is pulling mail via IMAP and FFox is viewing pages. Both are remote dynamic content which is ill suited for local caching . Most of my cache is used caching FFox and TBird's executables. I load them once a day and would not miss the caching of those. The major exception is the local caching of common web elements; the smilies for example. Even so the local loading of those elements beats the network loading and the overall page display time probably would not increase dramatically. At least I don't really notice a difference when I am on my laptop vs. this VM.


I don't think labeling my input uniformed bias fair either, but anyhow, given that my semester hasn't really kicked off yet and I'm quite bored these days, I'll adhere to your suggestion, limit my VBox and actually try this.You're probably right. I was still grumpy over my experience being called not factual. I apologize. Let me know how the test goes?

Helios1276
October 22nd, 2008, 11:03 AM
while ubuntu is more polished than other variations for an old computer i would install xubuntu, which is far more lightweight and will run faster while still keeping the gnome applications that ubuntu uses(or, rather a fair number of them, not all, but enough).

If you do decide to go for ubuntu or kubuntu please note that you will likely need more ram unless you are willing to use the text based alternate cd for the installer(the livecd will need to preload too much to run with so little ram)

+1

Paqman
October 22nd, 2008, 11:38 AM
Don't worry too much about the exact version you install. It's fairly easy to change the desktop environment once you're installed anyway. You could install Xubuntu, then add Kubuntu's KDE desktop and/or Ubuntu's Gnome desktop if you want. Just pick which one to use when you log in and see what works best, then remove whichever ones you don't want.

Xubuntu/Kubuntu/Ubuntu, it's all interchangeable.

There's some details on how it's done on Psychocats (http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/) in the "Playing Around" section.

Kubuntox
October 22nd, 2008, 04:50 PM
Thanks for your replies :)

I guess its Xubuntu then? But with the PuppyLinux and the Flox thing, apparently its less user friendly - so does that mean i have to know how to program linux and all, cuz i'm pretty good with pcs but im not like mega amazingg...

And with Xubuntu, will it hav enough stuff to do homework etc. cuz thats the main thing I use this pc for? O yeah and will photoshop run on it or is it only for windows/mac?

thanks =]

scragar
October 22nd, 2008, 04:57 PM
Thanks for your replies :)

I guess its Xubuntu then? But with the PuppyLinux and the Flox thing, apparently its less user friendly - so does that mean i have to know how to program linux and all, cuz i'm pretty good with pcs but im not like mega amazingg...

And with Xubuntu, will it hav enough stuff to do homework etc. cuz thats the main thing I use this pc for? O yeah and will photoshop run on it or is it only for windows/mac?

thanks =]

I do belive some basic office applications come with Xubuntu, so that won't be a problem(and if you need anything else they are usualy a couple of clicks away thanks to the package manager(s? Question for other members -- would you consider synaptic a graphic version of apt, or completely different?).

No, you won't need to know any skills to get started, Xubuntu is the same as ubuntu for the most part, it's just using less demanding programs for older computers(they are often a little bit less popular or functional as a result, but they get the results done on some pretty slow hardware, so no big).

And photoshop is windows/mac only, I'm not sure of the sucess rate for running it in wine, but I would try playing with GIMP in linux, it's not got as many features, but it is a good enough graphics tool for most users needs.

eternalnewbee
October 22nd, 2008, 05:01 PM
There's been a lot of technical stuff mentioned here. Read my name! I've tried Ubuntu, Xubuntu, and Kubuntu. After having read what Greyed and northern lights said, I'd say if you don't overload your system with applications, they can all do the job.
My choice is Ubuntu Gnome, but you can't argue about taste. Try them out and decide for yourself.
Good luck.

halitech
October 22nd, 2008, 05:03 PM
If you are considering XFCE, I would recommend going with Debian and XFCE from a netinstall

install and setup
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?t=26566

optimizing
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?t=14129

multimedia
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?t=6935

I used the above steps on a P 266 with 96meg of ram and the machine does everything I need it to. Use things like Abiword and gnumeric for word processing and spreadsheets instead of open office and you'll be fine.

Duck2006
October 22nd, 2008, 05:05 PM
ubuntu will run very well on 256Mb of RAM.

Kubuntox
October 24th, 2008, 05:53 PM
Once again, thanks for your replies :D

I'll start by giving Xubuntu a go then. One more thing, will it be able to run Microsoft Office stuff, cuz that's one thing I do need to have...

thanks =]

eternalnewbee
October 24th, 2008, 05:56 PM
If you want to run microoffice, you'll need to install a program called "wine".

snowpine
October 24th, 2008, 06:00 PM
Once again, thanks for your replies :D

I'll start by giving Xubuntu a go then. One more thing, will it be able to run Microsoft Office stuff, cuz that's one thing I do need to have...

thanks =]

You should definitely check out OpenOffice, which is included as part of Ubuntu (and is easy to install in Xubuntu). It is the "native" Linux office suite, and can do just about everything MS Office can.

MS Office will not run natively in Linux, but you may be able to run it using Wine (never tried it personally; never needed to).

Duck2006
October 24th, 2008, 06:02 PM
MS Office will not run natively in Linux, but you may be able to run it using Wine

Not all ver's of microsoft office will run on wine, Go to wine's web site, and see if the one you want to run will run on wine.

Ganonspike
October 24th, 2008, 06:51 PM
Well you might actually want to consider installing Damn Small linux "DSL" it one of the OS that might suit your specs better.

northern lights
October 24th, 2008, 07:59 PM
While DSL is an adorable distro, I'd say it's even more lightweight than necessary.

Anyhow, all - DSL, Puppy or Xubuntu are very viable options.

However, much to my surprise, I have to admit that so would be Kubuntu with KDE3.

@Greyed:
Apparently, you are absolutely right.
I setup a virtual machine with 256MB of memory and 32MB graphical memory today, installed Kubuntu 8.04 w/ KDE3.5.10, removed compiz and some other useless stuff, installed FF3. Opened a firefow with 3 tabs, an instance of thunderbird, OpenOffice Writer and viewed a pdf with kpdf. This was the result:

http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/9696/screenshot1ia2.th.png (http://img147.imageshack.us/my.php?image=screenshot1ia2.png)

Running amarok in addition added a good 30 more megs, but things still worked fairly ok. Granted it's nowhere near fast, but it does deserve being called functional.
Conlusively, if you don't frequently use the GIMP, edit large video or do anything else that tends to hog lots of memory, 256MB suffice to run Kubuntu.

Tipping my hat and acknowledging having been mistaken.

sparvik
October 26th, 2008, 06:24 AM
Xubuntu/Kubuntu/Ubuntu, it's all interchangeable.


I would agree that Kubuntu does run alright on 256mb. After reading the earlier post I installed Xubuntu-desktop and Kubuntu-desktop on my 256mb laptop along with the Ubuntu I had on there and Kubuntu still ran better then my XP partition. But sadly after a day or so the three desktops must have decided they didn't want to play any more and I had to uninstall everything KDE in order to get it to stop freezeing for a second about every 20 seconds.

:( KDE was pretty to, but the menu's are not as friendly as ubuntu ):