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Hello! I have never seriously tried Linux - my only experience was OpenSUSE, but I had some networks problems and eventually gave up. Now I wanted to give Linux a try again and I'd like to use my very old laptop (which still has XP installed!) for this.
However, it seems every distro out there requires PAE for the installation, which my processor doesn't support. I can't install Mint and Ubuntu, so I tried with Xubuntu which is allegedly good for old computers, but even that asks for PAE support.
Lubuntu seems to be too stripped-down and I'd rather stick with XP than installing it.
So is there any somewhat popular distro that I can install without PAE? I don't want to install older versions either. I have:
- 1GB of RAM
- Pentium M 1.7GHz
- Graphics card: ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Series
Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, various VMs
On this page for Linux Mint Debian Edition it claims non-PAE support but I don't know whether it's still current: http://linuxmint.com/rel_debian.php
I am not sure whether LMDE lets you choose desktop environment on install but I know you will be able to install XFCE on it if the others are too heavy.
XP will probably be faster than most Linux distros on such old hardware. Is there no possibility/budget for a hardware upgrade? If you use fast, modern hardware with well-supported components, then you will have a much more pleasant introduction to Linux. For example you could purchase a computer from this list and have 100% guaranteed hassle-free Ubuntu compatibility: http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/desktop/
If you're stuck with the old Pentium M for whatever reason, my personal favorite distros for ancient hardware are: AntiX, CrunchBang, SliTaz. For modern, capable hardware, I choose Linux Mint (and would recommend it without hesitation to even a complete beginner).
Bottom line, if you prefer XP to Lubuntu, you are best off sticking with XP on that hardware, because Lubuntu is just about the most feature-rich, user-friendly distro you can expect to run on such an old machine. But start saving up for a new laptop, because XP reaches its "end of life" next April.
Bottom line, if you prefer XP to Lubuntu, you are best off sticking with XP on that hardware, because Lubuntu is just about the most feature-rich, user-friendly distro you can expect to run on such an old machine.
I don't think so. On a machine with 1.7GHz Pentium M (performance wise as fast as a Pentium 4 2.5-3GHz) and 1GB RAM any distribution that uses XFCE should run just fine, MATE should also be worth a try, also Enlightenment should fly on such a machine.
For a beginner I would recommend LMDE with XFCE or MATE for this machine.