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Thread: Lightweight OS

  1. #1
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    Lightweight OS

    I just installed Ubuntu 16.04 on my Acer 4339-2618, which has 2GB RAM and 2Ghz processor. The computer previously ran Windows 7 and was painfully slow, nearly inoperable, even after a system wipe and re-install of Win 7.

    Anyway, this is my 3rd or 4th string laptop, and has been relinquished as a "shop" computer and is only used in the garage. I stumbled upon Ubuntu in a search for a lightweight OS that my old laptop could handle.

    I have installed Ubuntu and have played around with it for a few days and am impressed with how much quicker it is! However, the only functionality I need out of this laptop is an internet browser (ordering auto parts, lumber, research, etc).

    I feel as if I could further lighten the load on this laptop by uninstalling any unnecessary features/apps/programs from Ubuntu. I have uninstalled a few things but am treading carefully here, as I don't want to break my new OS.

    Can someone shed some light on:


    • What apps/programs can safely be removed?
    • Any "minimalist" tips?
    • What unessential features can be turned off/removed to improve speed?
    • Any other tips/tricks?


    Again, this is an old laptop that I will only use in the garage, which I will only be using the internet browser on (currently using Firefox). I am looking to remove anything and everything that's unnecessary.

    I greatly appreciate any help!!

  2. #2
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    Re: Lightweight OS

    For old laptops (and if you don't mind a desktop with an oldish look&feel), an Ubuntu flavor called Lubuntu will work better, more fluid. This should be your concern instead of the attempt to bring that "Windows mentality" of trimming down stuff.

  3. #3
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    Re: Lightweight OS

    Removing apps will not save anything.
    But what flavor you use does make a difference. Did you install Ubuntu or a lightweight flavor.
    Light weight flavors
    Lubuntu, xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Budgie
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuFlavors

    One flavor/gui not often mentioned is gnome-panel/flashback. It is like the old gnome2 or now Mint, but is updated to gnome3.
    My 2006 laptop has 1.5GB of RAM. I could run Firefox and one or two other small apps like terminal or Zim, but if I accidentally clicked on something that opened a large app, screen would go gray. I knew it use using swap on slow 5400RPM drive. It last has 12.04. Just to experiment I installed 16.04 and it almost worked with full Ubuntu, but once gnome-panel was installed and chosen on sign-on screen it still worked well.

    Gnome-panel is not same as Gnome Classic as different underlying software. But somewhat similar.

    sudo apt install gnome-panel
    Reboot and on sign-on screen & gear icon, choose it.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  4. #4
    Topsiho's Avatar
    Topsiho is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Lightweight OS

    You could try and use Q4OS. It's lean, uses a desktop that resembles the old KDE3 desktop, and runs well on my Acer Aspire One netbook (2008), which has a SSD drive of only 8 GB (with about 2 GB available for use, which is only just enough. And 1.5 GB RAM. It runs FireFox well enough, for me.
    Topsiho

  5. #5
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    Re: Lightweight OS

    Xubuntu would be a little fancier than Lubuntu and would run fine on 2g.

  6. #6
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    Xubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

    Re: Lightweight OS

    Applications that don't run don't take resources, other than a few MB hard drive space. So there's just the OS, the desktop environment and the web browser. Several suggestions for lighter desktop environments have been made above. Keep in mind though that these flavours of Ubuntu are only supported for 3 years for the LTS releases, so 16.04 is not an option. Take 18.04, supported until 4-2021, or 19.10, supported until 7-2020, with an option to upgrade to 20.04.

    Instead of stripping down, you can start with a minimal system and build up. Look for the minimal net install and install just the packages you need.

    However, your web browser is probably the heaviest application on your computer already, heavier than the OS itself. Without removing the web browser, you won't be able to gain much.

  7. #7
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    Re: Lightweight OS

    if staying in the ubuntu family, check out Lubuntu/Xubuntu/Ubuntu-Mate. There are good reasons to use one of those ubuntu flavors.

    But, if you want something really lite, get TinyCore. Think it is about 100x lighter than any Ubuntu-desktop. The huge version of TinyCore is 106MB in size, called CorePlus. http://tinycorelinux.net/ The minimal GUi version is just 16MB. Both versions load into RAM and run that way. Extremely fast.

    Disabling Javascript would be a huge help to speed up any browser, assuming enough of the website is still useful. Generally, i disable javascript on all but trusted websites and block over 130K different advertising and tracking domains. This can make a huge difference in browser speed.
    Last edited by TheFu; March 31st, 2020 at 02:44 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Lightweight OS

    When using the internet the thing that slows things down are the web sites themselves. Web sites that are loaded with embedded images, videos and adverts require a fast internet connection and may be a faster network card as well. And then there is the matter of the video card. How much memory does it have? How fast is it Graphic Processor unit.

    Web sites are not so far behind games in requiring fast CPU's and GPU's as well plenty of system memory and video memory.

    An OS and User Interface that does not hog the CPU and the system memory is a step in the right direction but it is not the complete solution.

    Regards
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  9. #9
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    Re: Lightweight OS

    I like Linux Lite, especially for beginners on Linux. It uses the awesome Xfce desktop (like Xubuntu) but they've got it going leaner and faster.


    Learning American Sign Language - just for fun.


  10. #10
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    Lubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Lightweight OS

    With 2 GB RAM and a 2 GHz processor, Lubuntu will work perfectly.
    Then, for your application, remove Firefox completely and install Opera as browser. Firefox has unfortunately evolved into the most bloated browser around.

    Then you have your workshop machine.

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