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Thread: Wich distro would be better for my potato?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Wich distro would be better for my potato?

    Hey there, i need some help.
    I have this old notebook with an intel atom core (N270 1.60 GHz) and 1.48 gb of ram. It's super old, but its reliable and its still working. Currently i have it with Windows XP and Ubuntu 10.04 and the thing is is none of those OS can load properly some content on internet and they are all out of support. Im thinking about setting up a new installation with a more recent OS. I dont know wich distro would be better for it tho. I would appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Squidbilly-Land
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Wich distro would be better for my potato?

    I had an N270 600p notebook. TinyCore is the OS I'd run. No Ubuntu is lite enough.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: Wich distro would be better for my potato?

    I have a
    Code:
    asus eepc 1000HE (intel atom n270, 1gb, intel mobile 945gse integrated), wireless RT2790
    which I use in testing.

    It's x86 (i386 in Debian & Ubuntu terms; i686 in linux kernel terms) or 32-bit in somewhat normal human terms.

    It was last used in August-2020 in the testing of Lubuntu 18.04.5 LTS, so I know it runs pretty good on that (though it was also used to test releases up to and into the 19.04 cycle, but they're EOL now too)

    Lubuntu 18.04.5 LTS however has only 3 years of full support (from release in 2018-April, thus the 18.04) which ends next month. The Ubuntu base comes with 5 years of support yes, but that's the issue with Lubuntu 18.04 LTS.

    I still use it on rare occasion (the eepc has great battery life, portable etc), and I think mine has Debian on it (I test Debian too, and thus used it for testing Debian Buster (non-free anyway; i can't recall if I tested free using it).

    I'd opt for a light DM or WM personally; I know I have a number installed on mine (mine has 160GB of disk space so I've got a number of DEs, WMs installed and select what I use at login time, but it's usually a WM (window manager) directly or if I use a desktop it'll be LXDE usually (like Lubuntu offers) or LXQt (if I want to use Qt apps). With only 1GB of ram, I select the DE at login depending on what I'll do that session, ie. I worry less about the space used by multiple WM/DE's on disk, but opt for what runs fastest with my intention for the session.

    If you plan on using it for some time longer, Debian 10/Buster has more life than 18.04/bionic has.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    19th Hole
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Wich distro would be better for my potato?

    Welcome to the forums barni117,

    I'm going to depart a bit from the good advice you've been given by TheFu and guiverc.

    Depending in how comfortable you are with the command line: Have you considered running this old gem purely as a command line server of some sort?

    That is how I've revitalized some of my ancient laptops in the past and, once you eliminate the GUI, whole new avenues open up, mostly as servers and server-type services. Without a GUI, these old boxes get a new lease on life.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Beans
    6,157

    Re: Wich distro would be better for my potato?

    One of the best for older computers is AntiX, discussed at the link below, download at the second link. MXLinux is similar.

    https://www.technewsworld.com/story/86942.html

    https://antixlinux.com/download/

    https://mxlinux.org/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Beans
    13,157
    Distro
    Ubuntu Mate 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Wich distro would be better for my potato?

    While it is still easy to find a distro that runs well, nothing will make that machine suitable for the internet. It was underpowered in 2008, and now it is also old. There are very limited usage cases I can think of that it won't struggle with.
    A text editor could run slowly, but acceptably well, but forget about internet browsing or video streaming.

    PS: +1 for a server suggestion.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Beans
    7

    Re: Wich distro would be better for my potato?

    Quote Originally Posted by guiverc View Post
    I have a
    Code:
    asus eepc 1000HE (intel atom n270, 1gb, intel mobile 945gse integrated), wireless RT2790
    which I use in testing.

    It's x86 (i386 in Debian & Ubuntu terms; i686 in linux kernel terms) or 32-bit in somewhat normal human terms.

    It was last used in August-2020 in the testing of Lubuntu 18.04.5 LTS, so I know it runs pretty good on that (though it was also used to test releases up to and into the 19.04 cycle, but they're EOL now too)

    Lubuntu 18.04.5 LTS however has only 3 years of full support (from release in 2018-April, thus the 18.04) which ends next month. The Ubuntu base comes with 5 years of support yes, but that's the issue with Lubuntu 18.04 LTS.

    I still use it on rare occasion (the eepc has great battery life, portable etc), and I think mine has Debian on it (I test Debian too, and thus used it for testing Debian Buster (non-free anyway; i can't recall if I tested free using it).

    I'd opt for a light DM or WM personally; I know I have a number installed on mine (mine has 160GB of disk space so I've got a number of DEs, WMs installed and select what I use at login time, but it's usually a WM (window manager) directly or if I use a desktop it'll be LXDE usually (like Lubuntu offers) or LXQt (if I want to use Qt apps). With only 1GB of ram, I select the DE at login depending on what I'll do that session, ie. I worry less about the space used by multiple WM/DE's on disk, but opt for what runs fastest with my intention for the session.

    If you plan on using it for some time longer, Debian 10/Buster has more life than 18.04/bionic has.

    From an easy to use point of view, wich os would be better? Debian or Lubuntu??
    Last edited by barni117; March 28th, 2021 at 06:58 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Beans
    7

    Re: Wich distro would be better for my potato?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    I had an N270 600p notebook. TinyCore is the OS I'd run. No Ubuntu is lite enough.
    What about puppy? Is there any difference between tiny core and puppy when you go online and try to load some newer content (google drive, docs, youtube, dropbox,etc)??

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    I think I'm here! Maybe?
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Wich distro would be better for my potato?

    I would recommend Debian 10 Testing for that 32 bit machine, installed with the netinstall system from https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/b...86-netinst.iso which allows you to choose just about everything that is installed.
    I would also suggest you forget about using any full DE, even LXDE will be a bit heavy so if you can manage with just a window-manager add openbox or fvwm both of which can give you a useful but very low resource using system.

    This is what I use sometimes on a similarly specified clone machine with same CPU as yours but with merely 1G ram; it is fine for email, browsing using a browser such as epiphany, not chromium or forefox both being too big and heavy, and office type work but using abiword and gnumeric rather than libreoffice which is also far too cumbersome for that machine.

    Puppy, as suggested above is a posibility, but I could never get it installed and working, and did not wish to use it as a live system only so I gave up on that.
    Last edited by ajgreeny; March 28th, 2021 at 07:19 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Beans
    7

    Re: Wich distro would be better for my potato?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckHook View Post
    Welcome to the forums barni117,

    I'm going to depart a bit from the good advice you've been given by TheFu and guiverc.

    Depending in how comfortable you are with the command line: Have you considered running this old gem purely as a command line server of some sort?

    That is how I've revitalized some of my ancient laptops in the past and, once you eliminate the GUI, whole new avenues open up, mostly as servers and server-type services. Without a GUI, these old boxes get a new lease on life.
    I dont really know how to do that. I dont even know what is a command line server or what to do with one

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