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Old 08-04-2016, 07:21 PM   #1
Sculler
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Installing Linux on older Dell laptop


Appreciate the opportunity to post here. Was offering old laptop on Craiglist and had a change of heart; I want to try Linux. It was a speedy laptop back in 2003, especially when I maxed out RAM with 1GB. It's a Dell Inspiron 1100, 14.1 XGA,Celeron 2.3GHz, 20 GB ATA HD. It came with Windows XP, which over the years and many updates, became bloated and slow. I'm talking 5 min to boot up.

Recently reinstalled XP from the original install CD. It's now a speedy laptop again but there are two issues. First, display is stuck on 16 bit color and low resolution (640x480). No other options available in Control Panel. Second, I have Ethernet cable connected but can't establish connection to Internet.

If I install, for example, Ubunto, will the installation process take care of these issues?

Thanks
 
Old 08-05-2016, 09:26 AM   #2
hydrurga
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Why don't you try booting from a live Linux CD/DVD/USB media and see if it does?

With only 1GB to play with, you should search the web for something like "Linux distros limited memory" to find a suitable Linux distribution.

P.S. Welcome to Linux Questions.

Last edited by hydrurga; 08-05-2016 at 09:28 AM.
 
Old 08-05-2016, 09:43 AM   #3
syg00
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The 1100 was a piece of crap - my boss made me use one back in pre-history.

The biggest issue was the video - it allocated minimum RAM to the video card, and a Windows driver loaded at boot to re-allocate more. Screwed Linux to hell, but these days the i915 driver should handle it.
No 3D gaming for you though fella.

Lubuntu might work, but perhaps look at Bodhi - works well with low spec hardware and has all the Ubuntu repos.
 
Old 08-05-2016, 09:45 AM   #4
zk1234
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You have enough to run any Linux distribution. You should choose text mode installation. When your new Linux is installed to a hard disk drive, you will be able to run nearly everything (but you may expect problems with, for example, some of the newest games).

.
 
Old 08-05-2016, 10:03 AM   #5
beachboy2
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Sculler,

Welcome to LQ.

This sounds like a job for antiX-16:

http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?tit...Page#Downloads

https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=antix

https://distrowatch.com/?newsid=09456

Lots of details about antiX-16 here from member dolphin oracle:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ed-4175583168/

Attached is a screenshot of the earlier antiX-15.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

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3 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-05-2016, 10:20 AM   #6
onebuck
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Member response

Hi,

Welcome to LQ!

You could look at the sticky; Newbie alert: 50 Open Source Replacements for Windows XP

Listed you will find distributions with a brief description for each.

I agree that a LiveCD would be one way to test drive your hardware.

You could try SlackwareLive Links above will help you if you decide to dive in.

If you have any issues then post to the Official LQ forum Slackware

For future postings, I suggest that you look at; http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...#faq_lqwelcome
Hope this helps.
Have fun & enjoy!
 
Old 08-05-2016, 12:01 PM   #7
DavidMcCann
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On the video front, is the "control panel" a thing in Windows? If so, you should be able to increase the video memory from the BIOS.

I'd suggest trying AntiX or Salix. The fancier version of AntiX, MX, should be OK, but the plainer standard version will be rather faster. Salix is similar in requirements to MX. I have a laptop of similar vintage that runs Salix. It's not fast to boot, but it certainly doesn't take 5 minutes! Try the live CDs and see how they go, remembering that running of a CD is much slower than using a HD.

Do not bother with Ubuntu. The default versions are much too demanding for such an old computer, and the lighter community versions are very variable in quality.
 
Old 08-05-2016, 12:24 PM   #8
beachboy2
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Sculler,

It seems like you have not installed drivers for video and LAN etc.

You need to download these from the Intel Support site.

I think this is the correct one, but do double-check first:

Downloads for Intel® Desktop Board D845GLVA

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/pro...Board-D845GLVA

ALSO, look at the Dell Support site:
http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/...n-1100/drivers

Last edited by beachboy2; 08-05-2016 at 12:29 PM.
 
Old 08-05-2016, 02:14 PM   #9
petelq
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My wife has a Dell 'something' (D600?) which I think goes back to about 2003. It had XP so I put opensuse 13.2 on over a year ago and it runs well. She doesn't play games, there's no openGL and of course it's 32 bit but it does everything she wants without complaint.
I did have to tweak wifi for her at first but that's not so difficult.
 
Old 08-06-2016, 04:04 AM   #10
zk1234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petelq View Post
My wife has a Dell 'something' (D600?) which I think goes back to about 2003. It had XP so I put opensuse 13.2 on over a year ago and it runs well. She doesn't play games, there's no openGL and of course it's 32 bit but it does everything she wants without complaint.
I did have to tweak wifi for her at first but that's not so difficult.
And openSUSE is a general purpose distribution like Debian, Fedora or Ubuntu.

@Sculler
I develop 4MLinux, which requires only 128 MB of RAM to run, but I did not recommend it to you in my first post. Having 1GB of RAM and 2GHz processor, you can install any distribution like petelq did. You do not need 4MLinux, Puppy, Antix and the like.

Live CDs must load a lot of things to RAM. You will not be able to run some of them, and many of them will be veeeeery slow. For example, my 4MLinux requires 128 MB of RAM (when installed to a HDD) and 1024 MB of RAM (when run as a live CD). This is why I recommend a text mode installation, which will allow you to install any distro.

.

Last edited by zk1234; 08-06-2016 at 04:17 AM.
 
Old 08-06-2016, 12:26 PM   #11
seasons
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Quote:
Having 1GB of RAM and 2GHz processor, you can install any distribution like petelq did
The CPU/RAM is not terrible, but I think the intel 845 graphics will limit the choice of desktop a bit. I would not try to run anything based on (Ubuntu) Unity, GNOME Shell, KDE, (Mint) Cinnamon, etc.

Xubuntu 16.04 would be my first recommendation, especially for someone used to XP.
 
Old 08-06-2016, 05:05 PM   #12
Doug G
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For some years, I ran fedora v14 through v20 on an Inspiron 1200 laptop. Slow, but it worked fine.
 
Old 08-06-2016, 07:29 PM   #13
onebuck
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Member response

Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by zk1234 View Post
<snip>
Live CDs must load a lot of things to RAM. You will not be able to run some of them, and many of them will be veeeeery slow. For example, my 4MLinux requires 128 MB of RAM (when installed to a HDD) and 1024 MB of RAM (when run as a live CD). This is why I recommend a text mode installation, which will allow you to install any distro.

.
LiveCD do not need to load to RAM unless you request a toram parameter. Of course the kernel will be loaded to RAM but the size required is not that much since the kernel size can be minimized and use modules/drivers by compiled in but the size of the kernel will increase. Some Live Linux will use about 64MB for the kernel with the size dependent on compiled in driver support then the kernel size will increase.

Even the Knoppix LiveCD parameter toram will work in about 860MB of RAM when you use toram. If the system does not have that amount available then Knoppix will request a swap to be created and use the swap.

Most Live CD/DVD systems will allow setup to hard disk if you wish to speed things up.

As long as the system will boot a CD/DVD then a Live system is a good choice to test drive but you must expect latency when run from the CD/DVD. You need to remember that the use of CD/DVD is meant for user to experience/test the Live CD/DVD then hope that same test will result in the new user to select that Gnu/Linux.

Of course if you can increase the RAM available then you should use toram to experience the Live system in a real mode sense. One thing to remember is that a installed Gnu/Linux is not loaded to RAM, just the kernel & support modules/drivers will load to RAM.
Some Live systems will create a tmpfs within RAM but that size can be parameter controlled.

For most Gnu/Linux the system commands are within assigned structured directories on your HDD/SSD storage media with a PATH used for each user to have access to those commands. One reason to use a SSD instead of a HDD that is much slower than the SSD so a user experience is better.

Hope this helps.
Have fun & enjoy!

Last edited by onebuck; 08-06-2016 at 07:30 PM. Reason: typo
 
Old 08-06-2016, 07:35 PM   #14
boog321
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I would recommend something like Xubuntu, or Ubuntu Studio.
 
Old 08-07-2016, 07:21 PM   #15
Sculler
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installing on Dell Inspiron 1100

Thanks for all the helpful responses. Will install the video and LAN drivers (thanks beachboy2) and a yet to be determined distro.
 
  


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