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Old 02-27-2014, 01:39 PM   #1
Spudbynight
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Installing Linux to breathe life into an old machine.


I have been helping a friend out with his "IT issues".

He has an old desktop computer (circa 2007) which I have been looking at. I started it up and was amazed at just how slow it was. Currently it runs Vista in 1GB of RAM and straight away I knew that was going to be a problem. It runs on a 3.46Ghz Celeron - not sure if single core or double core.

The machine is used simply for some email, light word processing and that is about it. It has been having some issues connecting to the router my friend has (although it would connect to my phone as a WiFi hotspot).

I was going to stick Linux on a USB stick and let them try it out for a few days as I think it will be more useable on the machine. Any advice on the a nice light distro for that sort of machine? I want something that requires minimal management from the enduser and is easy to use.

Only things likely to be installed are Chrome as the browser and also LibreOffice or similar.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spudbynight View Post
Any advice on the a nice light distro for that sort of machine? I want something that requires minimal management from the enduser and is easy to use.

Only things likely to be installed are Chrome as the browser and also LibreOffice or similar.
That machine will run any of the main line Linux distributions quite nicely. For stability and ease of use I recommend Debian and Ubuntu in that order.

-------------------
Steve Stites
 
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:53 PM   #3
notKlaatu
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Slax runs pretty well on 1gb of RAM. It's only 216mb total, so it tends to be pretty fast. Sometimes I turn off compositing if it seems like the computer is very slow in the graphics area, but it runs KDE so it looks and feels like a "normal" OS. A lot more info on it is available on my own tutorial as well as, obviously, the Slax site itself.

PeppermintOS, last time I tried it, ran quite nicely on a 900mhz eeepC, so that would probably work. It's Debian-based so if you know Ubuntu then you know it.

There are others, some even lighter-weight, but imho they start to look pretty severely geeky. I think they might be a bit extreme if you're trying to convince someone that Linux is a valid and "normal" option. But that's just my opinion, and who knows, maybe your friend would actually enjoy something like Puppy Linux or SliTaZ or something like that.

All in all, 1gb isn't really too bad for a lot of Linux distros, and the CPU speed is certainly respectable.

You might want to try something lighter weight than Open Office. There's a nice word processor called Abiword and a Spreadsheet called Gnumeric, both of which are a bit quicker and have less of a memory footprint than *Office.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 02:59 PM   #4
Ryanms3030
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Crunchbang and Bodhi seem to be popular picks for older less powerful systems. With that said, I had run Mint and Ubuntu on computers with Atom processors in the past with no issues. From my personal experience, Ubuntu and Mint have been the most newb friendly but that's just my personal experience
 
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:28 PM   #5
Spudbynight
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What do people think about Zorin as a distro?

The person who is going to be using this computer is 60 so it really needs to be easy to use and manage.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 04:45 PM   #6
szboardstretcher
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Put XP on it.

And Ms BOB,

http://toastytech.com/guis/bobhome1p.png

Last edited by szboardstretcher; 02-27-2014 at 04:47 PM.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 04:49 PM   #7
Ryanms3030
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spudbynight View Post
What do people think about Zorin as a distro?

The person who is going to be using this computer is 60 so it really needs to be easy to use and manage.
Never heard of it, but I did just read up on it. It's aimed for people that are used to Windows which is good. From my perspective, I am nervous about some of these lesser known distributions because a lot of them come and go and if it disapears there will be no more support, security updates etc. I think Ubuntu and Mint are good for beginners because they will have long term support and have large communities which means it's easy to get help and to get answers to things just by googling them. There might be a small learning curve but I also assume you will be the support person for technical issues so it's in your best interest to use something that will be easy to support.

Ubuntu and Mint also have a lot of software easily available. Keep in mind most Windows software won't work so you'll need to find Linux equivalents. Zorin has Wine built in, but Wine is easy to install on any version of Linux and personally I haven't had much luck running most Windows programs on Linux with Wine. Best to find Linux native alternatives.

With that said, do you know what type of software they will need to use? Just web browser, email etc or will they need/want office applications, netflix etc?
 
Old 02-27-2014, 04:57 PM   #8
snowpine
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I think the Long Term Support (LTS) of Mint would be a good choice for an older person.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 05:08 PM   #9
rokytnji
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Code:
$ inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: biker Kernel: 3.13.3-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_64 (64 bit, gcc: 4.8.2) 
           Desktop: IceWM 1.3.7 Distro: antiX-13.2_x64-full Luddite 4 November 2013
Machine:   System: Acer product: Aspire T180 version: R01-B3
           Mobo: Acer model: EM61SM/EM61PM Bios: Phoenix version: R01-B3 date: 02/07/2007
CPU:       Single core AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (-UP-) cache: 512 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 svm) bmips: 2008.99 clocked at 1000.00 MHz 
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA C61 [GeForce 6100 nForce 405] bus-ID: 00:0d.0 
           X.Org: 1.12.4 driver: nvidia Resolution: 1920x1080@60.0hz 
           GLX Renderer: GeForce 6100 nForce 405/integrated/SSE2 GLX Version: 2.1.2 NVIDIA 304.119 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card: NVIDIA MCP61 High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:05.0 
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: k3.13.3-antix.1-amd64-smp
Network:   Card: Marvell 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller driver: sky2 ver: 1.30 port: ac00 bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 2160.4GB (0.8% used) 1: id: /dev/sda model: ST3160812AS size: 160.0GB 
           2: id: /dev/sdb model: ST2000DM001 size: 2000.4GB 
Partition: ID: / size: 48G used: 16G (35%) fs: ext4 ID: swap-1 size: 6.29GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 40.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 0.0: 
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A 
Info:      Processes: 94 Uptime: 1:30 Memory: 495.9/2761.8MB Runlevel: 5 
           Gcc sys: 4.8.2 Client: Shell (bash 4.2.45) inxi: 1.9.18
Pretty close to your specs. Same age group (in human years). I answer a lot of posts about Zorin. No Zorin members answer Zorin threads in this forum. Just my opinion of Zorin. I would not run it.

http://www.imagebam.com/image/4603cd310959304 If ya are interested in what mine looks like.

For a Beginner. Besides what I am showing. I would recommend SolydX. (not SolydK)
 
Old 02-27-2014, 05:08 PM   #10
dolphin_oracle
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I would seriously consider xubuntu. Its heavier, but 1gb of ram isn't going to be a problem. I've heard of strange crashes with zorin and its theme manager.

Linux Lite is nice too. based on ubuntu LTS.

Normally I would shout antiX! But it might not be right for a first try.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 05:13 PM   #11
cwizardone
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Slackware and pick the Xfce desktop and it should run fine. Packages for LibreOffice are available from one of the Slackware developers who goes by the name of Alien Bob.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 05:33 PM   #12
TroN-0074
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Go with Linux Mint Cinnamon version or Xfce version. You can also go with a Ubuntu flavor like Xubuntu or Lubuntu.
I would choose a distro that has good community help out there in case you need to research how to do something that you are not familiar with.

Sure there are lot of other good lightweight distros out there but there is very little community support and 'how to' guides are like next to nothing.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 05:47 PM   #13
szboardstretcher
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Bam. Delivered:

http://www.eldy.eu/

The linux distro specifically made for the elderly. You aren't going to get that kind of niche setup from Zorin, Slackware, or Mint.

Last edited by szboardstretcher; 02-27-2014 at 05:48 PM.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 05:49 PM   #14
273
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I, too, think Linux Mint XFCE version is a good idea. I've used it on this netbook "an EEE PC with a 1.6GHz Atom processor and 1GB of RAM) and it is both easy to install (with things like WiFi drivers being available) and not too slow when browsing the web and doing some basic word processing. Installing Google Chrome will mean downloading the .deb file from Google and installing it but that ought not to cause any issues.
 
Old 02-27-2014, 06:12 PM   #15
Spudbynight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
I, too, think Linux Mint XFCE version is a good idea. I've used it on this netbook "an EEE PC with a 1.6GHz Atom processor and 1GB of RAM) and it is both easy to install (with things like WiFi drivers being available) and not too slow when browsing the web and doing some basic word processing. Installing Google Chrome will mean downloading the .deb file from Google and installing it but that ought not to cause any issues.
Will Mint XFCE version use standard Ubuntu packages?

At the moment I am veering towards either Mint with XFCE or Xubuntu.

I am possibly going to be relocating in a few months so ideally I want something I can setup for this person and leave them with.

They are not a complete luddite - but configuring or tweaking a Linux install is going to be beyond them.

Last edited by Spudbynight; 02-27-2014 at 06:22 PM.
 
  


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