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Thread: Need recommendation for an offical Ubuntu flavour for my machine config

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Need recommendation for an offical Ubuntu flavour for my machine config

    I have a 11.6 inch Asus laptop with following configuration

    Code:
        OS: Windows 10 Home
        Processor: Intel Celeron N4500 Processor 1.1 Ghz (4M Cache, upto 2.8 GHz, 2 cores)
        Memory: 4GB DDR4 onboard, Memory Max upto 4 GB
        Storage: 128 GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 2280 SSD (Supports upgrade upto  2 TB M.2 NVMe SSD)
    I want to install Ubuntu on it.

    Reading about latest (24.04) Ubuntu Desktop edition at https://ubuntu.com/download/desktop#system-requirements found that it is not suitable for my machine and exploring on web I found that for machines with lower configurations official Ubuntu flavours (https://ubuntu.com/desktop/flavours) should be used.

    Checking out the websites of Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Lubuntu it is only on xubuntu website I could find the system requirements page at https://xubuntu.org/requirements/ and looking at the recommended specs I came to conclusion it is not suitable for my machine.

    Checking the website of Kubuntu at https://kubuntu.org/ and Lubuntu at https://lubuntu.me/ I couldn't find the system requirements for installing them.

    So my first question is: Are there any official pages which mentions them so that one can go through them and decide whether they are suitable for a particular machine or not?

    Checking out website of Ubuntu Budgie at https://ubuntubudgie.org/downloads/ following is mentioned at the time of writing this

    Code:
    Ideal for computers with: 4GB or more of RAM, 64-bit capable Intel and
    AMD processors, UEFI PCs booting in CSM mode, Modern Intel-based Apple
    Macs
    Checking out Edubuntu at https://www.edubuntu.org no system requirements information available.

    Checking out Ubuntu Cinnamon at https://ubuntucinnamon.org/ no system requirements information available.

    Checking out Ubuntu Mate I could find System Requirements information at https://ubuntu-mate.org/about/requirements/.

    All that said and shared, my last question is which of the available flavours would one recommend for my machine config? I want to primarily use my machine for note-taking purpose and doing some scripting using a simple text-editor in Ruby language.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2024
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    Distro
    Ubuntu Cinnamon 24.04 Noble Numbat

    Re: Need recommendation for an offical Ubuntu flavour for my machine config

    I run Ubuntu Cinnamon on both of my machines. One is 2 years old with 8gb ram and the other at least 8 years old and on both machines it runs really fast

  3. #3
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    Jul 2011
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    19

    Re: Need recommendation for an offical Ubuntu flavour for my machine config

    @phatton1 Thanks for your response. Do you mind sharing whether your machines share similar configuration like mine? If you notice I have a Intel Celeron N4500 Processor 1.1 Ghz processor and max 4GB memory support.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Ubuntu 24.04 Noble Numbat

    Re: Need recommendation for an offical Ubuntu flavour for my machine config

    Quote Originally Posted by j.gohel View Post
    I have a 11.6 inch Asus laptop with following configuration
    Code:
        OS: Windows 10 Home
        Processor: Intel Celeron N4500 Processor 1.1 Ghz (4M Cache, upto 2.8 GHz, 2 cores)
        Memory: 4GB DDR4 onboard, Memory Max upto 4 GB
        Storage: 128 GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 2280 SSD (Supports upgrade upto  2 TB M.2 NVMe SSD)
    Checking out the websites of Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Lubuntu it is only on xubuntu website I could find the system requirements page at https://xubuntu.org/requirements/ and looking at the recommended specs I came to conclusion it is not suitable for my machine.
    I'm sure that your PC is more than capable of running Xubuntu.
    I use Xubuntu 24.04 daily on a Lenovo 11.6" Netbook (2021 vintage)
    It has a slightly older processer Intel Celeron 4020

    How did you conclude that Xubuntu was not suitable?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    melbourne, au
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    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: Need recommendation for an offical Ubuntu flavour for my machine config

    Lubuntu hasn't provided minimum specifications since 2018 (specifically Lubuntu 18.04 LTS).

    The Lubuntu team wrote the reason in this doc - https://lubuntu.me/taking-a-new-direction/

    I've already written about this on your prior question here, but I'll answer here so others don't see any need to.

    Whilst I wasn't part of Lubuntu team when they made that decision, I sure can understand it.

    I still use single-core/single-thread devices with 1 (& 1.5) GB of RAM, and what matters most is how the machine is used. Those old pentium M devices were used in QA of Lubuntu up to the 19.04 release (the last providing support for i386; they run Debian now), and still use core2duo machines with as little as 2GB of RAM running current releases in QA. Whilst the machines will run all software, I'm using such low resource hardware rather differently to this 2017 machine, or even my secondary 2008 core2quad machine.

    On a machine with LOW ram (and generally I see a device with <6GB of RAM low-ram, but it'll really depend what you use the machine for) you want to ensure the apps you'll use share RAM with your desktop, rather than needing different resources (ie. libraries or toolkits) that do the same thing differently... ie. I'd pick your apps first, then choose a desktop/WM that will share resources with the apps you'll run.

    You mentioned

    my primary goal with this machine is note-taking and secondary doing general Ruby scripting.
    which is generic, but not specific. How do you wish to take notes; do you want to use just a simple text editor? do you care what text editor? maybe you're happy with just using `vi` or `vim`, `nano` or `emacs` and using the same tools I used back in the mid-1980s.

    Likewise how to you do your ruby scripting?? No IDE but a simple text editor running in terminal that won't use resources... How will you run that code? These details do matter... as a text based TEXT EDITOR will be very light on resources.. but GUI Text editors will use more resources.... and they thus they impact the desktop choice!

    The lightest system will be just installing Ubuntu Server, if you want a GUI of sorts; then add a simple WINDOW MANAGER and forget a more complex (and thus resource intensive) desktop...

    The lightest flavor out of the box is Lubuntu... however as that desktop is Qt5 based (up to 24.04 anyway), if using GTK3/4 apps you'll do better with Xubuntu in my opinion, as apps will share resources with the Xfce desktop....

    FYI: On this machine (2017 optiplex), thru to a really old

    ibm thinkpad t43 (pentium m, 1.5gb ram, radeon x300)
    I have multiple desktops installed, and on that really old IBM THINKPAD with limited resources its most useful too! That box has at most a 60GB spinning rust drive, thus I can happily lose a few hundred MB of disk space by having multiple desktops installed.. and I select which I'll use based on what I'll do in that session, thus I may choose to use a WM alone, Xfce, MATE, LXDE, LXQt .. based on what I'll consider is most efficient with what I intend to do on the session... On that really ancient thing, its the 1.5GB of RAM that matters to me, not the extra bloat of maybe 450MB of having multiple desktops installed.... ie. I care about RUNTIME performance, and don't care about the larger footprint on disk, more bandwidth used by updates (as I get updates for all desktops/packages I have installed) etc...

    My point is I don't think the flavor choice is something to really concern yourself with.

    FYI: If you don't know what I mean by effect of flavors/libraries/toolkits... the old IBM Thinkpad I'm using as EXAMPLE will offer you many text editors... from VIM, NANO..., to PLUMA (MATE text editor), MOUSEPAD (Xfce text editor), FeatherPad (LXQt text editor), Leafpad (LXDE text editor).... ie. multiple tools that all do the same thing, but do so efficiently when running the desktop that they're intended for; as they'll share resources with that DE... On my current 16GB machine I don't worry about resources; but when using a low-resource machine I do consider that (and tend to ignore disk space unless the box has <32GB of disk).

    For note-taking... are you wanting to just type?? do you want/need formatting?? want to include pictures/diagrams etc?? ie. app or type of app & note-taking matters..

    For coding... text editor & runtime compile/interpret or execute just at terminal?? or a IDE/integrated development environment have rather different requirements... If you want an IDE, which IDE?? as that is a question that does matter on limited resource machines.

    Note: I know almost nothing about RUBY coding, so have no idea as to the resources required to develop & execute your code, nor know nothing about the datasets you'll process, and how many MB/GB of data you'll be using, thus what resources are required to execute the code etc..

    Does your device have touch screen?? I tend to prefer a different DE if the box has a touchscreen to not having it..

    I'd work out those details first...

    This doesn't answer your question though, but is my 2c (as someone who uses low-resource devices from 2008 & older on a daily basis) but you can likely get away with a number of choices..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    19

    Re: Need recommendation for an offical Ubuntu flavour for my machine config

    Quote Originally Posted by tea for one View Post
    I use Xubuntu 24.04 daily on a Lenovo 11.6" Netbook (2021 vintage)
    It has a slightly older processer Intel Celeron 4020

    How did you conclude that Xubuntu was not suitable?
    @tea for one It was based on following recommendation at https://xubuntu.org/requirements/

    To get a smooth experience when running multiple applications parallel on the desktop, it is recommended to have a 1.5Ghz Dual Core processor with at least 2 GB of memory.
    In my config I mentioned 1.1 Ghz Dual Core processor. So based on this I assumed that Xubuntu is not suitable for my machine.

    Do you mind sharing your use-cases with the machine? As I said

    I want to primarily use my machine for note-taking purpose and doing some scripting using a simple text-editor in Ruby language.
    Do you do use it for similar purpose or you can smoothly perform fairly advance tasks as well?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Ubuntu 24.04 Noble Numbat

    Re: Need recommendation for an offical Ubuntu flavour for my machine config

    Quote Originally Posted by j.gohel View Post
    I want to primarily use my machine for note-taking purpose and doing some scripting using a simple text-editor in Ruby language
    I have zero experience of Ruby, so I am unable to answer your question.

    Why not try a live session see if it is suitable for you?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    181

    Re: Need recommendation for an offical Ubuntu flavour for my machine config

    j.gohel, Hello.
    My daily driver is a 15 inch Lenovo laptop. When I got it,(upgraded a little since), it had a celeron, 1.1Ghz, 2 core 2 thread processor, and 4 GB of ddr3 memory, and a 1TB 5400rpm hdd. I run Lubuntu with zero issues. I always have 2 instances of Firefox, 1 google chrome, and Thunderbird email client running, many times with multiple tabs open. On top of that, I run vscodium to write code( bash scripts, python, html), listen to pandora in the chrome browser, and still have no hicups or lags. The integrated graphic work well. I use the laptop screen and a 43 inch 1080p tv, I stream video, etc., all with out issue. I believe Lubuntu would be a great choice for that machine. My advice is to make a live usb and test it out first, along with a couple of others, and find the desktop environment you like best. I prefer the lxqt, but you may be happier with kde plasma or cinnamon. That's the joy of linux, do what fits your style and taste. Best of luck to you.
    I'm a firm believer that the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.
    Lenovo ideapad320-15iap, 1.1G Intel processor with onboard graphics, x64, 1TB SSD, 8GB ram
    lubuntu 22.04.1, fully updated

  9. #9
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    Re: Need recommendation for an offical Ubuntu flavour for my machine config

    Quote Originally Posted by guiverc View Post
    On a machine with LOW ram (and generally I see a device with <6GB of RAM low-ram, but it'll really depend what you use the machine for) you want to ensure the apps you'll use share RAM with your desktop, rather than needing different resources (ie. libraries or toolkits) that do the same thing differently... ie. I'd pick your apps first, then choose a desktop/WM that will share resources with the apps you'll run.

    You mentioned

    Code:
    my primary goal with this machine is note-taking and secondary doing general Ruby scripting.
    which is generic, but not specific.
    How do you wish to take notes; do you want to use just a simple text editor? do you care what text editor? maybe you're happy with just using `vi` or `vim`, `nano` or `emacs` and using the same tools I used back in the mid-1980s.
    I regularly use Geany (https://www.geany.org/) on my Ubuntu Desktop machine and would prefer to use it on the current machine under discussion. But I have a thought for using a markdown editor also like Abricotine (https://github.com/brrd/abricotine).


    Likewise how to you do your ruby scripting?? No IDE but a simple text editor running in terminal that won't use resources...
    Using Geany for writing the code should be fine.

    How will you run that code?
    From terminal.

    These details do matter... as a text based TEXT EDITOR will be very light on resources.. but GUI Text editors will use more resources.... and they thus they impact the desktop choice!
    Agreed and thanks for sparing time to make me realize about the need for sharing such specific things because in my original question I took it for granted, so sorry about that.

    The lightest flavor out of the box is Lubuntu... however as that desktop is Qt5 based (up to 24.04 anyway), if using GTK3/4 apps you'll do better with Xubuntu in my opinion, as apps will share resources with the Xfce desktop....
    My point is I don't think the flavor choice is something to really concern yourself with.
    I am getting your point but since I haven't use any of the available flavours I really don't knew which one to start with and thus I sought the community's help. And also I am not a Linux expert so I don't know many of things/terminologies you mention about, for e.g. Qt5 based , GTK3/4 apps, etc.

    FYI: If you don't know what I mean by effect of flavors/libraries/toolkits... the old IBM Thinkpad I'm using as EXAMPLE will offer you many text editors... from VIM, NANO..., to PLUMA (MATE text editor), MOUSEPAD (Xfce text editor), FeatherPad (LXQt text editor), Leafpad (LXDE text editor).... ie. multiple tools that all do the same thing, but do so efficiently when running the desktop that they're intended for; as they'll share resources with that DE... On my current 16GB machine I don't worry about resources; but when using a low-resource machine I do consider that (and tend to ignore disk space unless the box has <32GB of disk).
    Thanks for being proactive on clarifying that. I am not an expert with Linux systems so I am unaware about all the text editors you have mentioned. I have got a chance to use only NANO. And whenever possible I prefer to work with GUI-based editors like I have mentioned that I regularly use Geany.

    For note-taking... are you wanting to just type?? do you want/need formatting?? want to include pictures/diagrams etc?? ie. app or type of app & note-taking matters..
    For now I just know that I want to type and probably in markdown syntax. As of now I am not sure whether I will need pictures/diagrams to be included with my notes but doing that would definitely be an advantage.

    For coding... text editor & runtime compile/interpret or execute just at terminal?? or a IDE/integrated development environment have rather different requirements... If you want an IDE, which IDE?? as that is a question that does matter on limited resource machines.
    For coding I would type the code in Geany and run it from terminal. On the Ubuntu Desktop I use on my PC I code using Eclipse editor but that should prove too heavy on the machine under discussion.

    Note: I know almost nothing about RUBY coding, so have no idea as to the resources required to develop & execute your code, nor know nothing about the datasets you'll process, and how many MB/GB of data you'll be using, thus what resources are required to execute the code etc..
    I will need to install Ruby and configure it to use its interpreter from the terminal. I don't have any plans to do complex programming tasks with this machine. The idea is to have the capability to use it for developing simple scripts as and when needed, and run them from terminal. I am not looking at using the machine for crunching/processing large-data sets.

    Does your device have touch screen?? I tend to prefer a different DE if the box has a touchscreen to not having it..
    Yes the device has touch screen and the pre-installed Windows works with touch gestures as well. As a matter of fact a stylus is also provided which works with Windows but with Windows the machine shows lags in processing within few mins of constant usage and anyways I have never been a fan of Windows. For my regular programming I prefer Ubuntu.

    Considering the fact that device support touch-screen is there any option to leverage the touch features?

    @guiverc I hope this time I have been elaborate and specific enough (and for that big Thanks to you for asking questions related to which things were actually supposed to be mentioned by me) to help you get into a position to help me kick-start with an appropriate flavour in my context.

    Thank you so much again.
    Last edited by j.gohel; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:33 PM.

  10. #10
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    Kubuntu

    Re: Need recommendation for an offical Ubuntu flavour for my machine config

    I use Kubuntu on my desktop from 2017 with Intel Core i5-6500 but have lots of RAM.
    I also installed Kubuntu on an external SSD and found it worked reasonably well with old 2006 retired laptop with 1.5GB of RAM.
    When using it from HDD I learned to only load one larger app and several small apps at once. Only a few Firefox tabs. When I loaded more it when to swap on HDD which was slow an up to 2 sec of grey screen.
    With external SSD I still tried to only load a few apps, but swap was so fast I barely noticed it.

    Or with your NVMe drives & 4GB of RAM, you can run any of the light weight flavors.

    I just loaded Zim, geany & have Firefox with 2 tabs. shows 3GB used with my Kubuntu 24.04.
    Code:
    fred@z170-noble:~$ free -h 
                   total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available 
    Mem:            15Gi       3.1Gi       9.4Gi       853Mi       4.2Gi        12Gi 
    Swap:          511Mi          0B       511Mi
    

    UEFI boot install & repair info - Regularly Updated :
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

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