Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: Sorry for the Noob Question, but I have 20.04 LTS, and it's.... heavy? What to do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Anderson, SC, U.S., Earth
    Beans
    45
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Sorry for the Noob Question, but I have 20.04 LTS, and it's.... heavy? What to do?

    I have a desktop from 2012, and a laptop from 2008. I'm looking at some lightweight Linux, maybe Peppermint, Stax, Q4OS, Lubuntu, Kubuntu, or something, for the Laptop.

    But now, I'm wondering if I wouldn't benefit from swapping my Desktop from Ubuntu 20.04 to some other, lighter weight, distro.

    Anyone here do the distro swapping often, and can tell me: 1) is it worth swapping just for the learning? 2) Will I miss anything going to a minimal distro or lighter weight distro?

    I use "Document Scan", "Libre Calc", VS CODE and G++ compiler, Google Chrome, Blender/Gimp, "Screenshot" utility, and *very importantly* I can hook up my iPhone 5 (or maybe it's a 6?) and my Ubuntu 20.04 just works and I can almost seamlessly upload iPhone pictures/videos to my Desktop.

    Can I get all of these programs/functionality from something like Q4os or Lubuntu or Peppermint or Parrot? Is Parrot a distro? Idk. "16 Best Lightweight Linux Distributions for Older Computers" : https://itsfoss.com/lightweight-linux-beginners/
    Any insight, input is appreciated.

    PS. I live with an untreated brain injury, and "just google it" is not easy for me to do due to serious cognitive issues, hence this post to get relatively simple questions answered. Thank you in advance in case I forget
    Last edited by Swan_DB; March 12th, 2021 at 06:49 AM. Reason: added link to "16 best lightweight distros"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    melbourne, au
    Beans
    926
    Distro
    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: Sorry for the Noob Question, but I have 20.04 LTS, and it's.... heavy? What to

    I'm on a 2009 dell desktop, and whilst I'd love something newer/faster, the largest hassle I've had is with disk size (it's a 160GB hard disk that I've split into two, containing my two systems)
    - 18.04 LTS (my stable release if I ever stuff up my primary used
    - hirsute (or what will be 21.04 when it's released next month; this system stays on the development cycle, is upgraded every six months and is next due to jump next month)

    I'm currently using the hirsute and using Lubuntu/LXQt (my default). But I can logout & login again using either Xubuntu/XFCE or Ubuntu/GNOME. They'll all run, my preference is LXQt or XFCE really (GNOME is good on occasion).

    The 18.04 system likewise has those three (Lubuntu/LXDE, Xubuntu/XFCE, Ubuntu/GNOME & also Ubuntu-MATE/MATE as I removed that from hirsute awhile back due disk space issues). Note RAM does matter, you didn't say how much. I like this old desktop as it has 8GB ram (a newer laptop only has 4GB & even though it's an i5-m520 [this box pre-dates i-series CPUs] it's slower due to less ram]

    I still use on occasion, a 2005 IBM Thinkpad T43, and it likewise has many desktops (running 18.04). That old thinkpad has only 1.5GB of RAM, but I still don't care about the extra desktops, but I'm careful with what programs are being used at the same time (even more so on 2x older thinkpads that only have 1GB of RAM)

    Having multiple desktops uses more disk space, it'll only use more resources if you have programs that use different libraries/toolkits running (ie. in memory) at the same time (ie. as user that's completely under your control).

    All Ubuntu flavors can use programs from other Ubuntu flavors. The only drawback is if they're designed for a different desktop, they'll require different libraries/toolkits to share RAM, why different desktops provide programs that do the same thing

    e.g. text editor

    Lubuntu/LXDE = leafpad
    Lubuntu/LXQt = featherpad
    Xubuntu/XFCE = mousepad
    Ubuntu/GNOME = gedit
    Ubuntu-MATE/MATE = pluma

    All programs do the same thing really, but are written to use different libraries etc thus are lightest when used with the Desktop they are designed for.

    I don't consider Lubuntu a minimal distro; it's lighter yes than other desktops (it's a goal of Lubuntu & the LXQt desktop now being used), but it's not minimal or really lightweight.

    Note: sorry this probably isn't written as the easiest to understand... pre-brain injury my job reviews all said I "didn't waste words" "frugal with words" "didn't mince words" etc.. but I struggled since ABI

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Beans
    13,136
    Distro
    Ubuntu Mate 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Sorry for the Noob Question, but I have 20.04 LTS, and it's.... heavy? What to

    1) ...depends on what you want to learn. In case it is to learn about other distros, then yes.
    2) That is an impossible question to answer. Who can know what and if will be missed?

    PS: It is generally recommended to use Ubuntu Mate, Xubuntu or Lubuntu on old hardware. Ubuntu with Gnome3 is a more RAM and CPU intensive distro.
    Last edited by mikewhatever; March 12th, 2021 at 07:51 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sunny Southend-on-Sea
    Beans
    8,313
    Distro
    Kubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Sorry for the Noob Question, but I have 20.04 LTS, and it's.... heavy? What to

    Quote Originally Posted by Swan_DB View Post
    But now, I'm wondering if I wouldn't benefit from swapping my Desktop from Ubuntu 20.04 to some other, lighter weight, distro.
    You don't need to change distro, but you might prefer a different desktop environment. They aren't remotely the same thing, but websites need clicks.

    If you want to try different distros for the learning - something Debian-based like Ubuntu, something Red Hat-based, something Arch-based for the bleeding edge, and something that builds everything from source like Gentoo - then go for it. You'll probably find that running them in a VM is an easier way to check out a bunch than having to reinstall on bare metal all the time.

    Independently of your distro choice you can pick a desktop environment like Gnome, KDE Plasma, LXQt, Xfce, Mate, Budgie, and so on. Or no desktop environment at all, and just use a window manager to manage your windows.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Anderson, SC, U.S., Earth
    Beans
    45
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Sorry for the Noob Question, but I have 20.04 LTS, and it's.... heavy? What to

    Oof, I opened the can of worms, lol.

    I didn't realize the differences between Linux versions was more than just "distro".

    I guess each distro has multiple desktop environments I can choose from? I'm gonna do some more reading and figure this out, and will look into setting up a VM to start trying out different installs. Thank you all for the input.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sunny Southend-on-Sea
    Beans
    8,313
    Distro
    Kubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Sorry for the Noob Question, but I have 20.04 LTS, and it's.... heavy? What to

    Quote Originally Posted by Swan_DB View Post
    I guess each distro has multiple desktop environments I can choose from?
    There may well be a particular distro and a particular desktop environment that are developed entirely hand-in-glove so that you can't use one without using the other, but for the most part desktop environments (which, for the sake of a rough concept are a collection of utilities, libraries, and applications that together will provide the functions you'd expect from a desktop computer) can be replaced wholesale with another.

    You can use applications that would be included with one desktop environment with a completely different desktop environment with no problem other than having a slightly higher RAM usage (if the libraries used by the application are different to those used by everything else, you need both loaded into RAM). And they might look different, because one desktop environment's way of decorating windows (GTK) can work differently to another desktop environment's way of decorating windows (Qt). KDE does a better job of making applications fit in visually than Gnome does.

    At the end of the day, the desktop environment is just a collection of software that you can use or not. The distro, though, determines things like packaging format, release schedule, support policy, and so on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sunny Southend-on-Sea
    Beans
    8,313
    Distro
    Kubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Sorry for the Noob Question, but I have 20.04 LTS, and it's.... heavy? What to

    For a concrete example, let's consider Debian, Ubuntu, and Pop OS. They're very closely related distros.

    Debian is a distro that's been around for a long time. They have a stable branch that (deliberately) hardly ever changes, a testing branch that has packages that will eventually go into stable, and an unstable branch that tracks the upstream projects. You can install whatever desktop environment that you want. I have no idea if there's a default.

    Ubuntu takes packages from Debian's unstable branch every six months and polishes them up for release. Every fourth release (the first release of even years) is a Long Term Support release, which gets 5 years of support instead of nine months. Some patches from Ubuntu go upstream to Debian (if they want them) and some are just maintained by Ubuntu.

    There are teams that polish up a particular desktop environment to work with a particular Ubuntu release, which become the flavours. The default Ubuntu flavour comes with Gnome, with heavy patching from upstream Gnome to make it behave more like Ubuntu's prior Unity desktop environment. Gnome used to be Ubuntu's only flavour, and the six month release schedule was to synchronise with Gnome's release schedule. You can start with any flavour and install the desktop environment (or any other application) from a different flavour. You can even remove the DE from the original flavour and just use the new one (I've done this before). It all uses the same software repositories.

    Pop OS (made by a company that sells Linux computers) takes the Ubuntu LTS base (rather than the most recent release) and applies their own patches to Gnome (which are different to Ubuntu's). Again, you can install a different desktop environment from Pop OS's repositories if you want to.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Squidbilly-Land
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Sorry for the Noob Question, but I have 20.04 LTS, and it's.... heavy? What to

    Changing DEs will be a never-ending effort to re-re-relearn things because every few years, the DE makers feel they need "new". I suppose if you are GUI-centric, that's in your nature.

    OTOH, if you truly learn the OS and ignore the GUI, things don't change nearly as much. The shell commands are relatively stable. They don't change. Things from 20+ yrs ago work exactly the same today as they did in the 1990s.

    I would use virtual machines to try out different distros. Then here is little risk to a properly working install on the real hardware. Any Core2 Duo or better CPU with 4GB RAM or more can easily handle running 1 or a few VMs with desktop Linuxen. I ran 8 VMs on multiple first-gen Core2 Duo CPUs with 8G of RAM in 2010. Most were servers, without any bloated GUIs, but 1 bloated GUI should work fine.
    Last edited by TheFu; March 13th, 2021 at 03:32 AM.

  9. #9
    O)9(yo&# is offline Gee! These Aren't Roasted!
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Sorry for the Noob Question, but I have 20.04 LTS, and it's.... heavy? What to

    Linux Lite would be a good choice for the desktop. It is based on Ubuntu, and uses the XFCE desktop. It's considered a very user-friendly distro. I have used it a lot, but even it is too heavy for my 2009 desktop. but a 2012 machine should be fine with it.

    for the laptop you might need an ultra-lite system, such as Puppy, Bodhi, Peppermint etc. although a lot depends on the machine's graphics capability. On a machine that old, Nvidia drivers would not work as they are no longer supported for such old equipment. That means open-source drivers, and in my experience only the lightest distros work on computers that old. that's largely what they are for, to extend the life of old computers.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    London, England
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Sorry for the Noob Question, but I have 20.04 LTS, and it's.... heavy? What to

    can tell me: 1) is it worth swapping just for the learning?
    I would not swap. I would dual boot or triple boot. We would need something like 30GB hard disk space for each distribution. I suggest having a main installation of whatever distribution uses your favourite desktop environment. And then not mess with it. In this way you can continue using the installation for whatever you use the installation for.

    I presently have Ubuntu 20.04; Ubuntu 20.10; Ubuntu 21.04 (development version); LXLE; Ubuntu web; Ubuntu unity; and Devan, which is a fork of Debian.

    A distribution that allows you to select the desktop environment and applications during installation makes the install process more complicated. Ubuntu used to provide something called a mini iso that did just that. If not careful you could end up with a command line Linux or a desktop environment with just a few system utilities and then have to use the terminal to install any application you want. I know. I tried it out of curiosity. Ubuntu seems to have stopped providing the mini iso after 18.04. What you get now is a server installation.

    Debian offers individual iso images each with a different desktop environment. Cinnamon; Gnome; KDE; LXDE; LXqt; Mate; xfce. I think they also offer a mini iso. Also known as netboot install. I have not tested this out. So, I cannot say for sure what we can do with it. You will find that the Debian installer is a lot different from the Ubuntu installer. Can be a bit of a surprise to someone used to installing Ubuntu and its flavours.

    https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd...d64/bt-hybrid/

    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


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •