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Old 04-25-2009, 11:01 PM   #1
MontyV
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Registered: Apr 2009
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Linux distro for my old laptop?


I've tried to run Ubuntu and Xubuntu and my laptop still runs slow. Slow as in lag when opening menu drop downs to even lag while typing. My laptop is old and only use it for internet browsing and with some basic browser plugins such as flash, reader etc... I don't use it any office or game apps. I does need to work with my wireless though.

Can I get some recommendations for my hardware specs? Thank you in advance.

Code:
monty-laptop
    description: Computer
    width: 32 bits
  *-core
       description: Motherboard
       physical id: 0
     *-memory
          description: System memory
          physical id: 1
          size: 255MiB
     *-cpu
          product: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Mobile CPU 1.70GHz
          vendor: Intel Corp.
          physical id: 2
          bus info: cpu@0
          version: 15.2.4
          size: 1200MHz
          capacity: 1200MHz
          width: 32 bits
          capabilities: fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm up pebs bts cpufreq
          configuration: id=0
        *-cache:0
             description: L1 cache
             physical id: 0
             size: 8KiB
        *-cache:1
             description: L2 cache
             physical id: 1
             size: 512KiB
     *-pci
          description: Host bridge
          product: 82845 845 [Brookdale] Chipset Host Bridge
          vendor: Intel Corporation
          physical id: 100
          bus info: pci@0000:00:00.0
          version: 04
          width: 32 bits
          clock: 33MHz
          configuration: driver=agpgart-intel module=intel_agp
        *-pci:0
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 82845 845 [Brookdale] Chipset AGP Bridge
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1
             bus info: pci@0000:00:01.0
             version: 04
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 66MHz
             capabilities: pci bus_master
           *-display UNCLAIMED
                description: VGA compatible controller
                product: Radeon Mobility M7 LW [Radeon Mobility 7500]
                vendor: ATI Technologies Inc
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
                version: 00
                width: 32 bits
                clock: 66MHz
                capabilities: bus_master vga_palette cap_list
                configuration: latency=32 mingnt=8
        *-usb
             description: USB Controller
             product: 82801CA/CAM USB Controller #1
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1d
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1d.0
             version: 02
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: bus_master
             configuration: driver=uhci_hcd latency=0 module=uhci_hcd
        *-pci:1
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1e
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1e.0
             version: 42
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci bus_master
           *-network
                description: Ethernet interface
                product: 3c905C-TX/TX-M [Tornado]
                vendor: 3Com Corporation
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0
                logical name: eth0
                version: 78
                serial: 00:08:74:4a:0b:cc
                width: 32 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: bus_master cap_list ethernet physical
                configuration: broadcast=yes driver=3c59x latency=32 maxlatency=10 mingnt=10 module=3c59x multicast=yes
           *-pcmcia:0
                description: CardBus bridge
                product: PCI1420 PC card Cardbus Controller
                vendor: Texas Instruments
                physical id: 1
                bus info: pci@0000:02:01.0
                version: 00
                width: 32 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pcmcia bus_master cap_list
                configuration: driver=yenta_cardbus latency=176 maxlatency=5 mingnt=192 module=yenta_socket
           *-pcmcia:1
                description: CardBus bridge
                product: PCI1420 PC card Cardbus Controller
                vendor: Texas Instruments
                physical id: 1.1
                bus info: pci@0000:02:01.1
                version: 00
                width: 32 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pcmcia bus_master cap_list
                configuration: driver=yenta_cardbus latency=176 maxlatency=5 module=yenta_socket
        *-isa
             description: ISA bridge
             product: 82801CAM ISA Bridge (LPC)
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1f
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.0
             version: 02
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: isa bus_master
             configuration: latency=0
        *-ide
             description: IDE interface
             product: 82801CAM IDE U100 Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1f.1
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.1
             version: 02
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: ide bus_master
             configuration: driver=ata_piix latency=0
        *-multimedia
             description: Multimedia audio controller
             product: 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Audio Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1f.5
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.5
             version: 02
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: bus_master
             configuration: driver=Intel ICH latency=0 module=snd_intel8x0
        *-communication UNCLAIMED
             description: Modem
             product: 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Modem Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1f.6
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.6
             version: 02
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             configuration: latency=0
     *-network
          description: Wireless interface
          product: Atheros AR5001X+ Wireless Network Adapter
          vendor: Atheros Communications Inc.
          physical id: 0
          bus info: pci@0000:07:00.0
          logical name: wmaster0
          version: 01
          serial: 00:0f:3d:52:44:1c
          width: 32 bits
          clock: 33MHz
          capabilities: bus_master cap_list logical ethernet physical wireless
          configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ath5k_pci ip=192.168.1.122 latency=168 maxlatency=28 mingnt=10 module=ath5k multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bg
  *-network DISABLED
       description: Ethernet interface
       physical id: 1
       logical name: pan0
       serial: 46:b1:66:e6:b1:03
       capabilities: ethernet physical
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=bridge driverversion=2.3 firmware=N/A multicast=yes
 
Old 04-25-2009, 11:29 PM   #2
elliott678
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You need more memory, even an extra 256mb would be a decent improvement and Xubuntu would run much better. That is still a very capable system, with 1gb of RAM, you could run any distro out there effortlessly.

If you really can't do that, something like Wolvix, Puppy or Zenwalk would work decently on what you have.
 
Old 04-25-2009, 11:33 PM   #3
linus72
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Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,087

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There's also DSL/Feather/Slitaz/Tinycore
among others...
 
Old 04-25-2009, 11:56 PM   #4
MontyV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elliott678 View Post
You need more memory, even an extra 256mb would be a decent improvement and Xubuntu would run much better. That is still a very capable system, with 1gb of RAM, you could run any distro out there effortlessly.

If you really can't do that, something like Wolvix, Puppy or Zenwalk would work decently on what you have.
I'll try out distros you recommended if all else fails I guess I'll have to drop the extra $40 to max out my laptop to 1GB of memory. Thanks for the info.
 
Old 04-26-2009, 12:45 AM   #5
joseph2020
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512 meg might do the trick

MontyV:

I am running Ubuntu 8.1 on an old desktop 1.7 Ghz and only 384 meg ram (one 256 and one 128), and it does pretty good.

I agree, 1 Gb would be best, but if you're tight on cash (like most of us nowadays) I would try to go with 512 meg total and see how that works. I am no expert by any means, but from what I heard, Linux is not as much of a memory hog as other OS. good luck!
 
Old 04-26-2009, 12:56 AM   #6
j1alu
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if you allready got an installation on it just install a small windowmanager
like -for example- icewm or fluxbox in addition.
i got a pc with much less of horse-power and it`s working very well with fluxbox, i even ran it with well speed on an 64MB-laptop.

Last edited by j1alu; 04-26-2009 at 12:58 AM.
 
Old 04-26-2009, 02:15 AM   #7
ProtoformX
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Slackware + Blackbox
 
Old 04-26-2009, 10:53 AM   #8
CoffeeKing!!!
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If you want to use Ubuntu, I would suggest doing the minimal install

Code:
http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty/main/installer-i386/current/images/netboot/mini.iso
and then
Code:
sudo apt-get install xorg menu fluxbox
After that you may need to install synaptic. Fluxbox is a great window manager. You most likely won't get any laggy visuals when using it.

You could also install abiword instead of openoffice.

Code:
http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/minimal
edit:
I think the minimal install of ubuntu gives you the choice of which flavor of ubuntu you want to install. You could install the new xubuntu. It's pretty lightweight. I'm using it on a p2 with 256 ram at the moment. I don't have any lag issues. (except for while playing videos, which is to be expect with such an old machine) I believe that the xfce desktop that xubuntu is based on uses less system resources.

Since you've already installed it you could use a package manager to install fluxbox. The next time you login at the xdm login screen, there should be a button that lets choose which window manager you want to use. Choose fluxbox and give it a whirl.

Last edited by CoffeeKing!!!; 04-26-2009 at 11:28 AM.
 
Old 04-26-2009, 01:34 PM   #9
MontyV
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Registered: Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeKing!!! View Post
Since you've already installed it you could use a package manager to install fluxbox. The next time you login at the xdm login screen, there should be a button that lets choose which window manager you want to use. Choose fluxbox and give it a whirl.
I've installed fluxbox through the package manager but currently I have the laptop to automatically login. I'd rather have it this way. How do i set up my laptop to use fluxbox instead now but still login automatically?
 
Old 04-26-2009, 01:54 PM   #10
MontyV
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Ok I logged off and changed session and it seems to be keeping fluxbox as the default when logging in. I like the simplicity of it and it does seem to be moving quicker. One thing though is that my wireless is no longer working which was working with GNOME. Do I need to reconfigure something to get fluxbox to working with my wireless again?
 
Old 04-26-2009, 02:39 PM   #11
CoffeeKing!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyV View Post
Ok I logged off and changed session and it seems to be keeping fluxbox as the default when logging in. I like the simplicity of it and it does seem to be moving quicker. One thing though is that my wireless is no longer working which was working with GNOME. Do I need to reconfigure something to get fluxbox to working with my wireless again?
Your wireless is working with fluxbox. You either need to find the network manager in the fluxbox menu or add the network manager to the fluxbox's autostart config. Are you using ubuntu 8.10 or 9.04?

you will also be able to switch back and forth between window managers. I'll tell you how to in a few.
 
Old 04-26-2009, 03:09 PM   #12
MontyV
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Registered: Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeKing!!! View Post
Your wireless is working with fluxbox. You either need to find the network manager in the fluxbox menu or add the network manager to the fluxbox's autostart config. Are you using ubuntu 8.10 or 9.04?

you will also be able to switch back and forth between window managers. I'll tell you how to in a few.
I'm using 9.04. In the menu I could not find network manager. Let me go back to find where to add items to the autostart config. Maybe there is an option to find Network Config there.
 
Old 04-26-2009, 03:23 PM   #13
CoffeeKing!!!
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to add the network manager applet to the fluxbox:

open up the terminal and type cut and paste this command:

Code:
echo 'nm-applet &' >> ~/.fluxbox/startup

This will append the program named "nm-applet" to fluxbox's startup file.
The dot before 'fluxbox' means it's a hidden directory or file. In this case it's the fluxbox directory in your home directory "~/" or /home/yourusername. There are many directories and files in your home directory that you can manipulate to get a program to behave the way you want it to for your account.

You should explore ~/.fluxbox because you may wish to edit the way fluxbox looks or the way the fluxbox menu works. I had to edit my menu to make it more navigable. There are plenty of tutorials to be found.

also:
Your login screen has an option called session, right? You can switch back and forth between window managers there.

Last edited by CoffeeKing!!!; 04-26-2009 at 03:25 PM.
 
Old 04-26-2009, 08:17 PM   #14
stevecollins
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Another distro to consider is one called antix. It is a lightweiht version of mepis 8. It is fairly full featured and is built on a very stable foundation. It is worth a look.
 
  


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