LinuxQuestions.org
Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 06-23-2013, 03:11 PM   #1
mayim
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2013
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Linux and Netbooks. Perfect combination?


I have a Toshiba nb505 running a 1.67 GHz Atom processor with 2 GB Ram (maxed out as it was upgraded from 1 GB and not supporting of 4 GB). Seeing as how any further upgrades are limited (new motherboard perhaps) I am curious to find a Distro that would work well with the limitations of my machine.

I love Ubuntu, when I ran it on my desktop. However, it has not run well on my netbook. The Netbook Remix constantly crashed, while the regular LTS version made it slower than when I was running Windows 7.

The only other distro I had a bit of success was Mint. However it still dragged a bit especially with media (videos, online streaming).

Anyone have a good experience running a Linux distro on their netbook? Perhaps something that requires fewer resources without removing necessary features. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 03:31 PM   #2
Timothy Miller
Moderator
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Arizona, USA
Distribution: Debian & Fedora mostly
Posts: 2,038

Rep: Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551
You're going to want to use something that has a light desktop or even just a Window Manager. No KDE, Gnome, Mate, Cinnamon, etc. You'll want XFCE, LXDE, *box, Enlightenment, Sawfish, or something like that. The lighter, the better your performance. Nothing is going to be truly amazing on it though, it's still an Atom.

Also, most of your videos are going to be forced to be done in software decode (the graphics on those simply isn't powerful enough to do hardware), and that's why your videos are going to be sluggish no matter what. Atoms are very much a "barely acceptable" solution for anything more than simple internet access. The performance is simply not going to be amazing.

Which Atom is this though? Something like an n570 won't be TOOOO horrible (dual-core 1.67), but the earlier n455 is going to be very sluggish.

EDIT - just looked it up, n455. Yeah, go with a lightweight window manager, keep your 3d effects off, and you should have an acceptable performance, but it's never going to be stellar.

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 06-23-2013 at 03:36 PM.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 03:43 PM   #3
Doc CPU
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2011
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Distribution: Mint, Debian, Gentoo, Win 2k/XP
Posts: 1,099

Rep: Reputation: 343Reputation: 343Reputation: 343Reputation: 343
Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayim View Post
I have a Toshiba nb505 running a 1.67 GHz Atom processor with 2 GB Ram (maxed out as it was upgraded from 1 GB and not supporting of 4 GB). Seeing as how any further upgrades are limited (new motherboard perhaps) I am curious to find a Distro that would work well with the limitations of my machine.

I love Ubuntu, when I ran it on my desktop. However, it has not run well on my netbook. The Netbook Remix constantly crashed, while the regular LTS version made it slower than when I was running Windows 7.

The only other distro I had a bit of success was Mint. However it still dragged a bit especially with media (videos, online streaming).

Anyone have a good experience running a Linux distro on their netbook? Perhaps something that requires fewer resources without removing necessary features. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
to begin with, I don't like the term 'netbook' all that much - well, let's be honest, what does it actually mean? It's a perfectly normal notebook computer, slightly smaller in build than usual, the display a bit smaller, and usually without a CD-ROM. Apart from that, there's nothing special about these machines.

Well, anyway - I purchased such a small notebook in early 2009. In Germany, it was sold under the name "MEDION akoya 1210", but it's actually a brand-labeled MSI WIND 100. This computer is equipped with an Intel Atom N270 (1.60GHz), 1GB RAM and an 80GB HDD (which I replaced with a 250GB drive meanwhile). It shipped with Windows XP Home, which I discarded right away. At first I ran xubuntu 9.04 on that machine, and that worked like a charm. I didn't even try the Ubuntu Netbook Remix; it seemed too stripped-down for my liking.
Meanwhile I upgraded to Ubuntu 10.10, then Mint 12, then Mint 13. None of them really made any trouble, except for Mint 12 which wasn't quite mature in terms of power management.

I've never had the feeling that this small machine lacks anything. It's fairly fast, given the fact that you usually don't demand all that much from a notebook anyway. After all, it still plays videos in standard TV/DVD resolution without stuttering. The only thing that limits every-day-fitness is the small display resolution of only 1024x600 pixels. With an external 17" monitor attached, however, it runs fine. Still does. ;-)

By the way: It may be a coincidence, but the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS version always gave me headaches, even on regular PCs.
From version 11 on, I haven't used Ubuntu or its variants any more.

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 06-23-2013, 03:45 PM   #4
mayim
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2013
Posts: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Yea, it is an n455. I am very familiar with the Gnome and KDE interfaces, but never tried XFCE. I looked it up and I see its a very minimal desktop environment.

I'm going to try Xubuntu to see how it runs. Any other distros that run XFCE well?
 
Old 06-23-2013, 03:50 PM   #5
Timothy Miller
Moderator
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Arizona, USA
Distribution: Debian & Fedora mostly
Posts: 2,038

Rep: Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551Reputation: 551
Well, Arch is desktop-neutral, so it'll run it quite well if you can tolerate it's instability. Manjaro (based on Arch) has a version that comes with XFCE. With a netinstall, Debian can have xfce installed instead of the default Gnome. Mageia has an XFCE version.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 03:51 PM   #6
k3lt01
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2011
Location: Australia
Distribution: Debian Wheezy, Jessie, Sid/Experimental, playing with LFS.
Posts: 2,900

Rep: Reputation: 636Reputation: 636Reputation: 636Reputation: 636Reputation: 636Reputation: 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
You're going to want to use something that has a light desktop or even just a Window Manager. No KDE, Gnome, Mate, Cinnamon, etc. You'll want XFCE, LXDE, *box, Enlightenment, Sawfish, or something like that. The lighter, the better your performance. Nothing is going to be truly amazing on it though, it's still an Atom.
I agree the lighter the better but I don;t agree with no MATE. I have used Debian 7 with MATE as a LiveUSB on my mothers little eMachine with no problems and no performance issues at all. Gnome and KDE are to heavy LXDE, MATE, & XFCE are good alternatives.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #7
DavidMcCann
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: CentOS, Salix
Posts: 4,165

Rep: Reputation: 1223Reputation: 1223Reputation: 1223Reputation: 1223Reputation: 1223Reputation: 1223Reputation: 1223Reputation: 1223Reputation: 1223
I have a 10-year old IBM Thinkpad with a Pentium M and 2GB RAM. That's what I run Salix on, with Xfce. Looking at my records, I see

Salix Xfxe: 107 processes in 140MB, using 1% CPU
Salix Mate: 125 processes in 130MB, using 2% CPU
Mint Mate: 122 processes in 170MB, using 1% CPU

There's obviously not much in it. A rather lighter Xfce implementation is SalineOS. Mint, Zorin OS, and Salix do nice LXDE versions that are even less demanding.

If you don't mind a simple window manager, AntiX, Swift, and Vector Light are all very good.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 05:10 PM   #8
camorri
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Somewhere inside 9.9 million sq. km. Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.1, 14.2
Posts: 5,090

Rep: Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483
I run Slackware 14 on my N450 HP netbook. Slack has XFCE as part of the full install. It is more than good enough for my use. It is my traveling system. So I use it for e-mail, photo backups and general internet usage when traveling. I have a gig of ram, and a 120 gig hard drive. There are other, even lighter desktops that come with Slackware. XFCE works well for me.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 08:59 PM   #9
frankbell
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Debian, Mint, OpenBSD
Posts: 11,350
Blog Entries: 12

Rep: Reputation: 2731Reputation: 2731Reputation: 2731Reputation: 2731Reputation: 2731Reputation: 2731Reputation: 2731Reputation: 2731Reputation: 2731Reputation: 2731Reputation: 2731
I'm running Mint with E17 on my netbook right now and am quite happy with it, but I don't normally stream media to it. It's worked fine for the occasional YouTube video and definitely for audio.

I was quite happy with Salix and would recommend it without hesitation.

The only reason I replaced it was that an on-line version update went screwy (always a danger with on-line version updates); I needed to throw something on it quickly and I had the current Mint *.ISO handy.

Last edited by frankbell; 06-23-2013 at 09:00 PM.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 10:35 PM   #10
suicidaleggroll
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2010
Location: Colorado
Distribution: OpenSUSE, CentOS
Posts: 5,258

Rep: Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947Reputation: 1947
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayim View Post
Any other distros that run XFCE well?
My primary laptop (not a netbook but a rather powerful Lenovo T-series) runs OpenSUSE with XFCE, and it works well. I also have the same setup on my Asus EEE PC 1000 netbook and it works well.
 
Old 06-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #11
kooru
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,385

Rep: Reputation: 273Reputation: 273Reputation: 273
Hi and welcome to LQ!
Salix or Slackware are good solutions.
I always used them in old notebook without problems.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Linux-postgre combination balu6689 Linux - Server 1 05-11-2011 07:55 PM
LXer: Netbooks Are Little Notebooks, and Linux on Netbooks Rocks LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 07-07-2009 10:30 PM
LXer: Knoppix 6.0: Perfect Distro (also for Netbooks) LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 03-07-2009 05:10 PM
Bind Mouse Button Combination to Keyboard Key Combination? neoAKiRAz Linux - Desktop 0 05-04-2007 01:49 PM
What Is The Perfect Hardware For The Perfect Linux Box? petergh Linux - Hardware 7 12-15-2006 09:53 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:59 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration