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Thread: Need advice for a light flavor of Ubuntu for an old laptop

  1. #11
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    Re: Need advice for a light flavor of Ubuntu for an old laptop

    KDE is not heavier than Gnome. They're on fairly equal foot. There's a big step down to Xfce, and you can get even further with Fluxbox and other (compared to KDE/Gnome) way lighter environments memoryprint-wise.
    ...

  2. #12
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    Re: Need advice for a light flavor of Ubuntu for an old laptop

    To be honest, for old hardware, IMO, you are best off doing a minimal install and adding only what applications you need.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...tion/MinimalCD

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  3. #13
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    Re: Need advice for a light flavor of Ubuntu for an old laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorael View Post
    KDE is not heavier than Gnome. They're on fairly equal foot. There's a big step down to Xfce, and you can get even further with Fluxbox and other (compared to KDE/Gnome) way lighter environments memoryprint-wise.
    I agree. I found there was a bigger difference between Fluxbox and Xubuntu than between Xubuntu and Ubuntu.

    Another option is to install Xubuntu and then Fluxbox (not Fluxbuntu). You can choose between Xfce and Fluxbox sessions when you log in.

  4. #14
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    Re: Need advice for a light flavor of Ubuntu for an old laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
    ...
    Another option is to install Xubuntu and then Fluxbox (not Fluxbuntu). You can choose between Xfce and Fluxbox sessions when you log in.
    That's how I did it. XFCE is a bit peppier than Ubuntu (Gnome). KDE and Gnome (as mentioned earlier in the thread) are about on equal footing, when it comes to resources used. You aren't going to see significant differences on lower-end hardware; they will both be sluggish as they swap so much.

    I grew very fond of fluxbox when I was using lower-end hardware, myself. So when I got my new computer, I just threw in the Xubuntu CD I used for my wife's computer, installed it and did the sudo apt-get install fluxbox (and conky and the other little apps I like).

    If XFCE runs acceptably fast for you, then you might prefer to keep it - it is more friendly of a WM/DE to those not familiar with the *box way of using right-click and generally not having desktop icons.
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  5. #15
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    Re: Need advice for a light flavor of Ubuntu for an old laptop

    I found Fluxbuntu to be very speedy and useful for a decrepit old P2/450 laptop a co-worker gave me. It fits comfortably in 256MB of RAM and gave them enough free space in the 10GB drive it had. AbiWord and Kazehakase work very well for light documentation work.

    While Xubuntu is still pretty light and fast, IMHO Fluxbuntu works better on even older hardware.

  6. #16
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    Re: Need advice for a light flavor of Ubuntu for an old laptop

    Wow. I didn't know there were more replies here. I haven't checked for a couple days. Anyway here's the update.

    After reading the replies here, I decided I would give Xubuntu a try. However I could not get the laptop to boot off the Xubuntu CD for the life of me. I'm hoping I just burned a bad disk. I was visiting family at the moment and wasn't able to burn another. I will try another CD when I get home.

    I am at the airport as I type this. I've been here for a couple hours and got bored, so I tried a couple things mentioned after reading these several new replies. PDX offers free wireless, so I was able to install Fluxbox and xfce. I've tried both. I'm amazed at the difference when I tried out Fluxbox. It's like a whole new laptop. However it's a little too minimal, though I may be able to tweak it around, I'd like to be able to set up a few monitors for my wireless and battery which I see aren't set up by default. I was very impressed with xfce since it's very close to Gnome, but runs so much smoother, however not as peppy as Fluxbox. I'm running xfce as I type this.

    I'll play around with these some more and see which one I like best. I imagine I'll able to explore both environments better in a comfortable setting rather than sitting at an airport terminal with a furnace of a laptop cooking my legs.

    There has been a couple comments about my low memory and how I should upgrade. I agree since I know the 256MB is my biggest problem. However, this laptop only has room for a single memory module, and will only accept a max of 256MB per module, which is already used. So unfortunately I am unable to upgrade.

    Thanks for all the replies. I'll give another update once I have had some time with this in a more convenient setting. Suggestions and comments are still welcome!

  7. #17
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    Re: Need advice for a light flavor of Ubuntu for an old laptop

    Mate you are never going to get Xubuntu to run well on 256mb of ram.

    Try CrunchBang Linux 8.04.01 (an Ubuntu derivative with Openbox).

    Or, alternatively, try Debian with XFCE.
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  8. #18
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    Re: Need advice for a light flavor of Ubuntu for an old laptop

    @OP: As bodhi.zazen suggested above, if you want to stick with Ubuntu, a minimal installation would work reasonably well with your specs. Just pick a light window manager such as openbox, fluxbox, icewm, and then add the applications you want.

    Some more links:

    http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/minimal#barebones
    http://kmandla.wordpress.com/2008/05...rdy-for-speed/

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