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Old 10-27-2016, 07:27 PM   #1
mmroos
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Arrow Lightweight Linux capable of fluently running youtube.


Hello,

My little son has an old laptop (Acer Aspire 3000 ZL5 - https://www.cnet.com/products/acer-aspire-3000/specs/)

Only difference from specs is that it has 512MB ram.

It's currently running Windows XP and he likes to watch youtube vids. The laptop is too slow to handle it. In a lightweight browser they run properly but often stop playing all of a sudden or still become choppy even on lowest quality.

TL;DR
Is there a lightweight Linux available that can run youtube vids properly without any lagging on a Sempron 3000+ 512MBRAM?

8 years ago that laptop had no problems with youtube. :-).

Please remember that I am a Linux newbie when you give advice on which route to take. I have extreme in-depth Windows knowledge but Linux is not Windows. Still, I am a very fast learner.

Best regards,

Marco.
 
Old 10-29-2016, 04:44 AM   #2
Emerson
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The videos are not the same as 8 years ago. New more advanced encoding algorithms are used to reduce the bandwidth and/or improve the quality. New computers can decode these videos in graphics hardware, otherwise the CPU power is needed to decode in real-time. Your laptop is very unlikely to be able to decode in hardware, thus the CPU has to do the hard work. Sempron 3000+ may not be up to the task.
 
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:35 AM   #3
mmroos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson View Post
The videos are not the same as 8 years ago. New more advanced encoding algorithms are used to reduce the bandwidth and/or improve the quality. New computers can decode these videos in graphics hardware, otherwise the CPU power is needed to decode in real-time. Your laptop is very unlikely to be able to decode in hardware, thus the CPU has to do the hard work. Sempron 3000+ may not be up to the task.
Thanks for your reply. I thought maybe Linux was better than Windows at decoding those videos or maybe more CPU power would be left in a running system.

What is the best AMD compatible lightweight Youtube capable Linux? Just to try if there is any difference at all?

Last edited by mmroos; 10-29-2016 at 06:37 AM.
 
Old 10-29-2016, 07:24 AM   #4
IsaacKuo
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I have several desktop Sempron 3000+ computers; I'm not sure how the mobile Sempron compares to the desktop version, but my desktop machines have 333Mhz RAM just like that laptop. Most of them have 1GB or RAM, but I've run them with 512MB also.

They are able to play YouTube videos just fine, using Debian and XFCE4 desktop (Debian's installer gives you a choice of Desktop Environment). However, YouTube's automatic adjustment feature often steps down the quality to 720p or even lower, depending on the circumstances.

The main problem for my usage case is PBS Kids Video, and other sites where the only video streams available are 1080p. It struggles to keep up. PBS Kids Video is just about usable, but other sites can be pretty choppy and laggy at best.

My experience is that Windows XP can perform pretty well IF there is no virus scanning running. Windows XP is so full of holes that running a virus scanner may be a waste of time anyway. But if you have any sort of virus scanning running, you'll notice quite a boost from Debian/XFCE4.

When you install, you should be aware that by default Debian only installs open source (free) software. While YouTube works without the closed source (non-free) Flash plugin, videos on many web sites require Flash plugin. You'll have to install the non-free Flash plugin after the initial install, using these steps:

1) Edit /etc/apt/sources.list with the commands:
Code:
su -
nano /etc/apt/sources.list
2) Add "contrib non-free" to each source line, so the result looks something like this:
Code:
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free

# jessie-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ jessie-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ jessie-updates main contrib non-free
3) Install flashplugin-nonfree with:
Code:
apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree
Later on, you can update flashplugin-nonfree with:

Code:
update-flashplugin-nonfree --verbose --install
 
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:52 AM   #5
malekmustaq
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Quote:
Is there a lightweight Linux available that can run youtube vids properly without any lagging on a Sempron 3000+ 512MBRAM?
Still, in cases like this I recommend Absolute Linux; that link gives you v.12.2 (year 2009) nearer to your machine which was officially released on 2005, there is more chance it will run fast and strong in your machine. You may try version 14.2 but it might be heavy for the old machine. Thus, I suggest to install rather version 12.2. As a matter of experience I always succeeded by matching the year of the machine to the nearest version of Absolute Linux. There is an installation guide here.

Another strong contender for the job, Vector Linux.

Just experiment from those iso's.

Hope that helps. Good luck and enjoy!

m.m.
 
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:00 AM   #6
rokytnji
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I have the same experience as you on a 1.2 ghZ CPU with 1.2 gig of ram on a IBM T23
Laptop.

The CPU is the choke point. Not the ram. At least in my case. Your best option in my opinion. No matter what you run. is to install this for watching youtube outside
of your browser. Uses less cpu and ram.

http://www.smtube.org/

Good Luck with it.

This linux distro below comes with my above recommendation already included on the install cd.

http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

You meet the specs to install and run it.

Here are how to videos in case you get stuck

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFW...KlXW5uE9opXukQ

Happy Trails, Rok
 
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:37 AM   #7
Shadow_7
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The ADS are not the same as ten years ago. Animated GIFs versus flash videos that use more CPU than the actual video at 1/4 the size and to the side of the video. I was using a 2.8GHz P4 with 512MB ram for youtube, until january this year. The trickery just to watch a 360p video got to be too much. So I got a 2nd HP Stream 11. Sadly you could probably watch Hulu just fine on that old thing, but they don't have a free option anymore. Dual Core and 2GB ram seems to be the minimum these days. As I look at quad cores with 8GB ram because things are not getting less needy.

Just shy of a 3GB install base on the debian minimal install for my 2nd hp stream 11 running debian jessie, that mostly watches youtube. Less that 400MB ram being used in the +/- buffers/cache of free. But that's about 1GB extras in /home/ as part for the browser cache and upgrade extras for drivers and firmware on quirky hardware. Plus I'm also doing pulseaudio over jack with a calf 30 band eq plugin on that same machine. Which is the audio output for my 1st hp stream 11. One set of good speakers, plus the performance hit is on the auxiliary machine.
 
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:07 PM   #8
mmroos
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Thumbs up

Everyone, thanks so much for the abundant and very clearly explained replies. You are all really helpful, big thanks. I will try the SmTube with Linux mix first. If not satisfied I will just experiment with different Linuxes to see if they can do a better job than Windows XP. Safety wise they already do a better job, though the laptop has nothing important on it and no saved passwords. But it is connected to the network so dumping XP is mandatory.

What I still find strange; In VLC it has no problem with a full screen DVD. Youtube lowest quality cannot even run full screen.

A few years back I wanted to get to know Linux but got a lot of RTFM replies when I asked something, unfortunately the manual was not clear enough for me sometimes or I encountered an error not known to it. I am very glad that the people on this forum are so helpful.
 
Old 10-29-2016, 06:16 PM   #9
Emerson
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DVD is MPEG-2, your laptop probably can decode MPEG-2 in hardware. I even do not know what Youtube is using, V8 or AVC or HEVC maybe.
 
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:23 PM   #10
BW-userx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmroos View Post

8 years ago that laptop had no problems with youtube. :-).

Please remember that I am a Linux newbie when you give advice on which route to take. I have extreme in-depth Windows knowledge but Linux is not Windows. Still, I am a very fast learner.

Best regards,

Marco.
time to bury that puppy and go to the pet shop and get a new one, not necessarily a brand new one just an updated one.
 
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:32 PM   #11
rokytnji
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Yeah, kinda sad when my touchscreen atom single core n270 netbook with 2 gig of ram struggle with a browser and youtube, even with html.

But my phone does not even limp

Years ago. I used to mess around using this on my P3 systems

http://linternamagica.org/

But then. Smtube came around and made things easier. Also Puppy Linux has some neat tools also.

http://puppylinux.org/wikka/GtkYoutubeViewer<edit 02/Nov/2016. This app seems bro0ken now. Use the one below>

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=100401

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/...rFricks/yt.jpg

Last edited by rokytnji; 11-02-2016 at 12:43 PM.
 
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:13 PM   #12
mmroos
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Wink

I now have a few isos including PuppyLinux and LegacyOS. Will take the dive and try it tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BW-userx View Post
time to bury that puppy and go to the pet shop and get a new one, not necessarily a brand new one just an updated one.
My main rig is an i7 5820k. I already have a new puppy :-). I just had this old laptop laying around and figured my 4 years old son could use it. So nothing is lost when he accidentally trashes it and he can watch Youtube vids on it. That last part did not go as expected unfortunately, hence the thread.
 
Old 10-29-2016, 10:34 PM   #13
BW-userx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmroos View Post
I now have a few isos including PuppyLinux and LegacyOS. Will take the dive and try it tomorrow.


My main rig is an i7 5820k. I already have a new puppy :-). I just had this old laptop laying around and figured my 4 years old son could use it. So nothing is lost when he accidentally trashes it and he can watch Youtube vids on it. That last part did not go as expected unfortunately, hence the thread.
I've played with FATDOG64 but it is 64bit, puppy or look into dsl Damn Small Linux it is prob a atom CPU I had one on a netbook and I'd download videos and try to watch them, some worked some didn't . like that other said their is so much data in the file nowdays with all of that crap HD, and such it makes them hard to play on a slow / old CPU.

you got a new one for yourself, you could handbrake them - re sampling them to strip out a lot of it first. your i7 5820k 12 core should fly through re-sampling movies. if you try handbrake - select - web optimize that will cut down file size as well as clean it up removing a lot of 'extra' data - should make most if not all of them movies easier to play on it.

get a 32GB or larger USB for puppy or whatever with persistence, that way you'll have storage on your USB stick for movies.

it you are running windows with your toy then create it using ntfs or FAT32 that way you'll have no problem with transferring the files on to the USB via your system.

I dumped my netbook for a Intel Core i7-2760QM 2nd gen but it still has a lot of miles left on it.


in any case it should be fun and interesting for you to see what you can do with it.

good luck..

ok, just got a download the you tube videos .. easily done as well.
now good luck

Last edited by BW-userx; 10-29-2016 at 10:54 PM.
 
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:00 PM   #14
IsaacKuo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
Yeah, kinda sad when my touchscreen atom single core n270 netbook with 2 gig of ram struggle with a browser and youtube, even with html.
Older Atom processors have horrible performance. They're good for battery life, that's about it. The much older AMD Sempron 3000+ actually has better CPU performance than that Atom N270:

http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare...-/m2697vsm3648

About 117% performance edge over the N270.

I'd just try out Debian with XFCE4 and see how it goes. Unlike some other suggestions, I'm suggesting the current version of Debian, which means all of the latest security updates. All of the latest updates to Flash plugin and so on, so maximum compatibility with modern web sites.

My experience with Sempron 3000+ is that YouTube videos play just fine. PBS Kids Video is borderline usable. Various sites which are less efficient and only have 1080p streaming feeds...not so usable. But for the most part, it's quite usable.

Try out both Firefox and Chromium. Neither of these are the lightest, but they offer the best compatibility with web sites out there.
 
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:11 PM   #15
mmroos
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@BW-userx
Downloading and resampling (or even only downloading and playing in VLC) is an option that I did not think of yet. Thanks. When my son is asleep I have something to play with to learn Linux. It's also good for my job because when I know enough about Linux I am place-able on more departments.

@IsaacKuo
It's probably the SIS video-card that is more of a bottleneck than the CPU. Someone said before that if the VGA is bad, all will come to rely on the CPU. Since SIS is the worst of the worst, maybe even Windows relies on the CPU to draw the start menu :-).
 
  


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