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Old 02-02-2012, 03:55 PM   #1
Offcenter
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Unhappy First Linux install - Sadly disappointed


Hello everyone. My first post here and my first Linux install.

Background: After much reading I took the plunge and installed
Linux Mint 11 on an older computer I have here:

HP Pavilion a255c
2.66 ghz Pentium 4
1 gig ram
120 gig hard drive
NIVDIA G Force 4 MX 440
AGP 8x graphics card with 64 meg

This machine WAS running XP and was smooth and fairly fast.
When I attempted to surf the net with Firefox in Mint I got
herky jerky page loading.
Sometimes when closing a page it takes FOREVER for the screen to be re-written
I end up with patches of the old screen or black boxes all over the screen.
It "seems" that if I wait long enough the screen will eventually stabilize.

It was my understanding that Linux was supposed to be smoother and
faster than windoze and able to run easily on older equipment.
This is not exactly a slow computer at 2.66 ghz.
(sigh)
Obviously I can't use it like this.
I'm open to any and all suggestions as to what to try next.
Another distribution? Changes to settings on Mint?

Oh....according to everthing I can find on the net, this
computer cannot take anymore ram. 1 gig is the limit.

Thanks everyone. And thanks to the admins for a great forum.
George in Jersey
 
Old 02-02-2012, 04:03 PM   #2
anomie
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I'm not very familiar with Linux Mint, so I can't make any intelligent suggestions on that.

If you have the time and patience, I do think it would be worth your while to try out a couple other distros. Start with Ubuntu and get a feel for its "snappiness" (or lack thereof). If it is still disappointing, there are some very lightweight* distros you can tinker with to see if the situation improves.

From the sounds of things, my WAG is a generic video driver was selected, so you're not benefiting from its capabilities. (I don't have hard evidence. Just thinking through the symptoms you described.)

-------

* By "lightweight" I mean: they use, by default, GUI environments (Desktop Environments and/or Window Managers) that eat up much less in the way of resources.
 
Old 02-02-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
snowpine
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Sounds like a graphics problem; have you installed the drivers for your video card yet?

Windows XP is 10 years old; it has lower minimum hardware requirements than Mint and will tend to run faster on old hardware. But hopefully the correct graphics driver will make a big difference.
 
Old 02-02-2012, 04:21 PM   #4
TobiSGD
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On newer distros you will have to use the open source nouveau drivers for that card, IIRC.
I also would not recommend Ubuntu "to feel the snappiness", Ubuntu is a resource hog, IMHO.
I would try something lighter first, like Debian with XFCE (or may be SalineOS), Bodhi, Slackware (of course, but may be hard to handle for a newbie), Salix, wattOS, Vector, ... .
 
Old 02-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #5
sycamorex
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It does look like problems with a video driver. Additionally, Linux Mint is not recommended on old hardware.




@Tobi - Have you noticed your reputation points? 1337!!!!! I think you should freeze it at this magic point
 
Old 02-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #6
TroN-0074
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I think you should open up a terminal and type

Code:
sudo apt-get update
type your password when prompted, hit enter and when all the text is done running type

Code:
 sudo apt-get upgrade
select yest and leave it running until text is done

then reboot

To install any missing drivers, like envidia driver and so, you can open up the hardware drivers tools which I dont know where is located in Cinamon ot Mate or whatever GUI Mint uses but you can google it

Good luck to you, and dont give up in Linux
 
Old 02-02-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
anomie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD
I also would not recommend Ubuntu "to feel the snappiness"
I mentioned it because Ubuntu seems to proactively offer options for installing proprietary blobs. (Again, that's assuming we have guessed his problem correctly.)
 
Old 02-02-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
@Tobi - Have you noticed your reputation points? 1337!!!!! I think you should freeze it at this magic point
Already too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anomie
I mentioned it because Ubuntu seems to proactively offer options for installing proprietary blobs. (Again, that's assuming we have guessed his problem correctly.)
You are right on this, but any Ubuntu derivative (also the lighter ones, like Bodhi) have that options.
 
Old 02-02-2012, 06:02 PM   #9
celthunder
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Try using a few different desktop environments or window managers without the entire DE crap thrown in. As for some of the issues as already mentioned, may be you don't have optimal graphic modules loaded.
 
Old 02-02-2012, 06:16 PM   #10
syg00
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I second Bodhi. I installed it as a test on a moderate notebook, and it worked much better/faster. Different interface, and browser, but these shouldn't be much of an issue for a new user. Firefox has always been a pig.
Rather than expect a new user strip out (potential) offenders - perhaps multile times - Bodhi would be a good option IMHO.
 
Old 02-02-2012, 07:08 PM   #11
cynwulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anomie View Post
I mentioned it because Ubuntu seems to proactively offer options for installing proprietary blobs. (Again, that's assuming we have guessed his problem correctly.)
No blobs are needed for nouveau or any of the proprietary drivers. As far as I'm aware the only video cards which need microcode are the Rages, Radeons and Matrox G200/G400s when using their respective FOSS drivers.

In this case the proprietary driver from the repositories is not going to be an option, but the legacy drivers from Nvidia are updated to run on newer xorg builds so they may be.
 
Old 02-02-2012, 07:52 PM   #12
John VV
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your problems stem from this
Quote:
NIVDIA G Force 4 MX 440
that is a 10+ year old piece of hardware that nvidia STOPPED supporting


Quote:
Sounds like a graphics problem; have you installed the drivers for your video card yet?
there is no driver for this with the current X11 ( not even nouveau)

as far as i know CentOS 5.7 will work with that 3d card and the UNSUPPORTED 96xx nvidia driver
and CentOS 6.2 with the nouveau driver

Debian stable will also but NOT ubuntu or mint
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-02-2012, 09:31 PM   #13
Ion Silverbolt
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Give Vector Linux a try. It's based on Slackare and has a pretty nice Xfce desktop. It will run miles better than any Ubuntu or Ubuntu based distro will like Mint.

http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/veclin...0-STD-GOLD.iso


Also, Firefox tends to run like crap in Linux. However, Chromium runs really well which is the open-source version of Google's Chrome browser.
 
Old 02-03-2012, 11:41 AM   #14
Offcenter
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Thank you all VERY much for your quick replies.
It seems the general opinion is that it is a graphics
problem. (maybe with a little bit of other contributing factors
thrown in.)
So.....
I've downloaded Vector Linux and I'll also download some of the other
distros you've mentioned and experiment.
Meanwhile.....
I opened the case and the graphics card is a separate pci card in that
computer. (no graphics on the motherboard that I can see)
So, since graphics cards are not all that expensive, how about if I
put a new graphics card in there? I don't want to spend a lot of money
on this old dinosaur, but if I can get it working and use it to learn
Linux I'll be a happy camper.

Question: What inexpensive currently available graphics card do you
think would work in that computer and work well with Linux,
Mint or otherwise. I buy many parts from Tiger Direct and trust them.
Do any of you see something there that will work?
It doesn't have to have fancy 3d graphics. It just has to work with my
27 inch hdmi flat screen monitor.

Thanks very much again, folks!!

George in Jersey

Last edited by Offcenter; 02-03-2012 at 11:44 AM.
 
Old 02-03-2012, 01:07 PM   #15
DavidMcCann
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If you don't need 3D, try the live disk with the graphics card removed: you may find you have graphics on the mother board. Isn't it covered by Northbridge?

It's silly to say 1GB and a 2.66 ghz Pentium 4 will limit your performance. This computer has 1GB and an AMD Sempron 2600, and it does fine.
 
  


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