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Old 04-08-2013, 04:46 PM   #1
New.User!
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Lightweight Linux for netbook?


Hello

I have an old ASUS Eee-PC that I want to wipe and install Linux on. I have previously toyed a bit with Linux/Ubuntu, but I only know how to follow tutorials.

I am looking for a distribution with the following features:
-Good energy management / long battery life
-Ease of use
-Maintenance-free (i.e. no need for tonnes of updates)
-Stability
-Light on system resources (its got an old intel atom and a gma 950)
I have a beefy PC, so I will only be using the netbook for a very limited set of tasks:
-Writing notes/documents
-Emails / Light internet browsing (so it must be able to access wi-fi)
I won't be playing music or videos or anything else; I'll only be using it for uni.

Can anybody point me towards a distribution I should install? It would be nice if there is something that looks kind of nice out there, something "tablet-like", seeing that the netbook will be so limited in the tasks it will be used for anyways.

Thanks

Last edited by New.User!; 04-08-2013 at 04:47 PM.
 
Old 04-08-2013, 05:06 PM   #2
snowpine
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What are the hardware specs of your EEE?

I run Fuduntu on my EEE 900HA (atom CPU, 1gb RAM, 160gb HDD): http://fuduntu.org/

Mint and Ubuntu are also very popular with beginner Linux users (but you'll get better performance with a lightweight desktop environment such as LXDE or Xubuntu).
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 04-08-2013, 05:30 PM   #3
flshope
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I recently installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on an HP-2133 Mini-note PC, overwriting a vendor installation of SUSE Enterprise Desktop 10 (see link below for my blog entry).

The installation does recognize that it is on a laptop-type machine and monitors battery charge. It also sets itself to dim the screen automatically after a few minutes.

In terms of ease of use, I have found Ubuntu easy to use in the sense that most everyday tasks can be accomplished with the GUI and Nautilus; but I do use the terminal regularly, too. Once you configure the launcher with the applications you use, its simple to get a session up and running.

However, Ubuntu is not maintenance free. It is easy to maintain by first choosing the LTS version (long term support -- good for several years without a major upgrade). Then once a week or so, you can run the Update Manager to download and install any scheduled updates (this is all automatic after a few clicks). The Ubuntu Software Center (an installed program) makes it easy to install new software -- again usually with a few mouse clicks.

I have had no crashes with my HP 2133 under Ubuntu, but it crashed all the time under SUSE.

In terms of resource consumption, my HP is not a screamer or high-end machine, but it has adequate response with Ubuntu for my purposes. The disk has 120 GB, and the OS and all software takes up about 4% of that as installed.

One thing that you may have to worry about is whether your display card and driver will support Ubuntu's desktop Unity. I have installed Ubuntu on four machines so far (one laptop -- the HP 2133 -- and three desktops). Ubuntu never failed to install or provide some degree of support for all the display cards, but some don't have the full Unity desktop. One thing you can do is run Ubuntu from a live DVD without touching your existing OS installation. It may seem bog slow, but you can at least see if it will work at all before committing to an installation and OS overwrite.


http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...note-pc-35343/
 
Old 04-08-2013, 05:34 PM   #4
TobiSGD
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Normally I would second the recommendation of Fuduntu, but it is a rolling release distribution, which does not go quite well with your "no tons of updates" requirement. In this case I would go for plain old Debian with a lightweight DE, like LXDE, or with a distro aimed at low-spec hardware, like antiX, wattOS or Lubuntu.
 
Old 04-08-2013, 06:04 PM   #5
vigi
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I use a toshiba netbook with the same specifications. I use slackware with xfce desktop, and winxp when i must.
I have also tried and would recommend xubuntu, fuduntu, salix, slackel, vector. All easy to install.
Kde applications run fine, however the desktop is too demanding for a netbook.
If you are prepared to put the effort in slackware is excellent, however it is more difficult to install.
 
Old 04-08-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
allend
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I run Slackware with Windowmaker on my eMachines EM250 (Atom N270 1GB RAM GMA950). You can see a screenshot here http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...0&d=1353209869

Using Windowmaker needs some configuration though, which you may not be comfortable with. I also add some Windowmaker dockapps for the power monitor, clock and system tray (so that nm-applet can be used with NetworkManager for network connections).

I am not really recommending this for you at this time, but rather to point out that you can achieve a lightweight, customised environment that is very responsive on low end hardware.

I find the single biggest contributor to battery life is the screen brightness. I keep this at a low setting when running from battery, which achieves 2.5-3 hours before recharge.
 
Old 04-08-2013, 07:07 PM   #7
frankbell
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Salix offers a nice Fluxbox spin that I used quite happily on my Dell Mini9. They've customized the Fluxbox menu to include their update and configuration tools by default.
 
Old 04-08-2013, 07:10 PM   #8
jefro
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I played with WattOS a few weeks ago. Pretty fast. Might be worth a look at too. Opps, been mentioned.

Last edited by jefro; 04-09-2013 at 09:34 PM.
 
Old 04-08-2013, 07:20 PM   #9
rokytnji
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Quote:
but I only know how to follow tutorials,-Good energy management / long battery life
-Ease of use
-Maintenance-free (i.e. no need for tonnes of updates)
-Stability
-Light on system resources (its got an old intel atom and a gma 950)I have a beefy PC, so I will only be using the netbook for a very limited set of tasks:

-Writing notes/documents
-Emails / Light internet browsing (so it must be able to access wi-fi)
I run AntiX both of my eeepcs

Here is Android install I helped out on.
 
Old 04-08-2013, 10:27 PM   #10
tailinlinux
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i suggest lubuntu, peppermint or puppy linux
 
Old 04-09-2013, 07:50 AM   #11
New.User!
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It's got an Intel Atom N450 1.67 GHz processor, GMA 3150 gfx and 1 gig of ram. I had ubuntu on it before, but it broke itself (or rather, I think I might have installed 1 update and not taken the time to install everything needed and thereby breaking it).

I was thinking perhaps a distribution without a proper "desktop" as I'll solely be using it for 4-5 applications. I was thinking something "tile-like" with a limited menu of sorts that might also be even less taxing to run than a full desktop and at the same time saving me the hassle of using the postage stamp-sized touchpad on the Eee? Are such things out there?

Last edited by New.User!; 04-09-2013 at 07:51 AM.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 07:58 AM   #12
rokytnji
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Quote:
I was thinking perhaps a distribution without a proper "desktop" as I'll solely be using it for 4-5 applications.
Antix base covers that. Crunchbang and Semplice also. Browser Linux is pretty durn small also (smaller than the others I mentioned but based on Puppy Linux 4.31). Tinycore is another option.

I would go with Tiny Core instead of Browser Pup if it was me.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 08:26 AM   #13
cortman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New.User! View Post
Hello

I have an old ASUS Eee-PC that I want to wipe and install Linux on. I have previously toyed a bit with Linux/Ubuntu, but I only know how to follow tutorials.

I am looking for a distribution with the following features:
-Good energy management / long battery life
-Ease of use
-Maintenance-free (i.e. no need for tonnes of updates)
-Stability
-Light on system resources (its got an old intel atom and a gma 950)
I have a beefy PC, so I will only be using the netbook for a very limited set of tasks:
-Writing notes/documents
-Emails / Light internet browsing (so it must be able to access wi-fi)
I won't be playing music or videos or anything else; I'll only be using it for uni.

Can anybody point me towards a distribution I should install? It would be nice if there is something that looks kind of nice out there, something "tablet-like", seeing that the netbook will be so limited in the tasks it will be used for anyways.

Thanks
I use Crunchbang 11 on my netbook and my main PC. It uses Openbox and is configured to be very polished OOTB. I'd say it fills all your criteria, however "ease-of-use" is subjective and will vary from person to person. I'd say create a bootable USB and try it out live.
If Crunchbang isn't your cup of tea, I would recommend Lubuntu- traditional desktop, lightweight and fast, and very attractive.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 09:38 AM   #14
snowpine
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I think just about anything will be a performance improvement over Ubuntu on your hardware.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 11:47 AM   #15
New.User!
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Cool, looks like I have some research to do Thanks for the help.

Just to be clear, do all of these distro's come with a "menu style" GUI, i.e. not a desktop as we know if from OS X and Windows 7? What are the names of some such GUIs so I can research them?
 
  


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