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Old 02-10-2012, 10:58 AM   #1
mvickers
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Looking for distro for older laptop


Good Morning All,
Thanks to everyone that helps out newbies like myself!
I am looking for a distro for my HP ZD7000 P-4 3.0gb hyperthread
w/2gb ram installed. Reading some of the other posts, I'm leaning toward Mint, although I have played with Knoppix and Ubuntu before. I just want a stable, fast OS to learn on, and to eventually be able to use this machine as a backup/travel laptop. Oh yeah, I'd like to keep it dual boot w/Win7.
I appreciate any suggestions
Mike V
 
Old 02-10-2012, 11:41 AM   #2
Ion Silverbolt
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You should be able to run any Linux Distro with those specs. Some of the compositing might slow you down a bit, but that can be disabled. In Xfce, that's easy to do by cliicking a box.

There are 3 main desktops for Linux:
  • Kde - Kde is similar to Windows 7. It's very visually appealing, and has a decent amount of features.
  • Gnome - The latest Gnome is still kind of underdeveloped. I would avoid.
  • Xfce - My desktop of choice. It's much lighter than the other 2 desktop environments and easy to use. It's interface is more like Windows 2000 at default, but it can be spiffed up and supports transparency if you decide to keep compositing enabled.

My preference is for Xfce if you want the fastest desktop. I'll list a few which you can consider.
  • Xubuntu - Ubuntu with Xfce instead of Unity and Gnome. MUCH better.
  • Vector - Vector Linux standard has a very nice Xfce desktop. It's based on Slackware, and is much lighter than Xubuntu. It might not be as user friendly, but it's still easy to use. Worth it for the speed.
  • Salix - Also based on Slackware. Another nice-looking Xfce desktop.
 
Old 02-10-2012, 11:41 AM   #3
thund3rstruck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvickers View Post
Good Morning All,
Thanks to everyone that helps out newbies like myself!
I am looking for a distro for my HP ZD7000 P-4 3.0gb hyperthread
w/2gb ram installed. Reading some of the other posts, I'm leaning toward Mint, although I have played with Knoppix and Ubuntu before. I just want a stable, fast OS to learn on, and to eventually be able to use this machine as a backup/travel laptop. Oh yeah, I'd like to keep it dual boot w/Win7.
I appreciate any suggestions
Mike V
Oh how I have been down this road so many times. I have some really old laptops and they all get used for decades after they should have been retired because Linux is so great at functioning on old hardware.

At the moment, I'm using a locally installed version of Lucid Puppy Linux on an old ACER 3000 laptop and it runs great. Can have a bit of a learning curve but once its all setup, it is fantastic.
 
Old 02-10-2012, 11:43 AM   #4
TroN-0074
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You should be able to run any 32 bit Linux base OS. There are lots of advance to newbie friendly distros out there. you said you are leaning toward Mint which is a good choice however you should take advantage to the fact that these OS are free of charge and download a few and burn them to CD and try them out before you make a choice.
Run them from the CD without installing them at first and test that all your computer parts respond well to the OS.

Some of the 'friendly' distros to keep in mind would be:
Linux Mint
Ubuntu
Kubuntu
OpenSuSE
Fedora

They are all Free of cost and very intuitive for new users.
Have fun and good luck to you.

Last edited by TroN-0074; 02-10-2012 at 11:45 AM.
 
Old 02-10-2012, 12:43 PM   #5
Satyaveer Arya
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Checkout this thread also;

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ensuse-928494/
 
Old 02-10-2012, 01:02 PM   #6
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ion Silverbolt View Post
There are 3 main desktops for Linux:
  • Kde - Kde is similar to Windows 7. It's very visually appealing, and has a decent amount of features.
  • Gnome - The latest Gnome is still kind of underdeveloped. I would avoid.
  • Xfce - My desktop of choice. It's much lighter than the other 2 desktop environments and easy to use. It's interface is more like Windows 2000 at default, but it can be spiffed up and supports transparency if you decide to keep compositing enabled.
actually, I don't experience much of a difference between classical GNOME (not GNOME 3!) and Xfce. I had them on two machines with very similar hardware, and the difference felt like a mere nothing. The GNOME in standard Ubuntu 10.04 was even more agile and responsive than Xfce with Xubuntu 9.04 - the latter often feels a bit sluggish.
And concerning the look of it: I've just upgraded the Ubuntu 10.04 machine to Mint 12 using the Mate desktop, which is based on traditional GNOME (GNOME 2), and I'm very satisfied about having tweaked it to look almost exactly like Windows 98/2000. Functional, austere and convenient. :-)

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 02-10-2012, 01:44 PM   #7
mvickers
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Thanks everyone. I'll work on this over the weekend, and post how it comes out.
Mike V
 
Old 02-10-2012, 02:54 PM   #8
Ion Silverbolt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc CPU View Post
Hi there,



actually, I don't experience much of a difference between classical GNOME (not GNOME 3!) and Xfce. I had them on two machines with very similar hardware, and the difference felt like a mere nothing. The GNOME in standard Ubuntu 10.04 was even more agile and responsive than Xfce with Xubuntu 9.04 - the latter often feels a bit sluggish.
And concerning the look of it: I've just upgraded the Ubuntu 10.04 machine to Mint 12 using the Mate desktop, which is based on traditional GNOME (GNOME 2), and I'm very satisfied about having tweaked it to look almost exactly like Windows 98/2000. Functional, austere and convenient. :-)

[X] Doc CPU
Gnome 2 can be fairly light. I think many people assume differently because of how hefty Ubuntu is. Same with Xubuntu. While Xfce is normally very light, Xubuntu is way more plump than an Xfce desktop should be. Xfce on my netbook uses 80Mb's fully booted. That's with Conky, Tilda, and a few taskbar plugins loaded.

I wouldn't mind pointing to Gnome 2 distros if it had a future. Xfce is still being worked on unlike Gnome 2 though. Maybe MATE will get somwehere. We'll see.
 
Old 02-16-2012, 05:50 PM   #9
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ion Silverbolt View Post
Gnome 2 can be fairly light. I think many people assume differently because of how hefty Ubuntu is. Same with Xubuntu. While Xfce is normally very light, Xubuntu is way more plump than an Xfce desktop should be. Xfce on my netbook uses 80Mb's fully booted. That's with Conky, Tilda, and a few taskbar plugins loaded.
that explains a lot. I've only known GNOME and Xfce in conjuction with Ubuntu, not in their native incarnation. So you're implying that a bare GNOME or Xfce under Gentoo might be a nice experience in terms of efficiency? - I've used Gentoo only with no GUI so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ion Silverbolt View Post
I wouldn't mind pointing to Gnome 2 distros if it had a future. Xfce is still being worked on unlike Gnome 2 though. Maybe MATE will get somwehere. We'll see.
So far, I'm pretty happy with Mate in Mint 12. It's a good starting point, despite some bugs or deficiencies it may still have.

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 11-03-2013, 08:45 AM   #10
robert_marma
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Doc CPU and everyone else reading this:
It has been more than a year since I joined this forum and last posted to it. During that time I've forgotten just how welcoming and helpful your community is, especially to Linux "newbies".
I have found these recent posts informative and I'm somewhat comforted to learn that there are others who are in the same boat that I'm in. Unfortunately, I'm still having difficulty with finding the "ideal" Linux distro. Shortly after my last post to this forum I installed OpenSUSE 11.4 with the Gnome desktop GUI on my ancient Compaq Presario 3000 laptop, which is running a single core Pentium 4, 2.4-GHz CPU, a 60-gig HDD, a 1,280 x 1,024 pixel display, and [the worst part] only 512 MB of RAM. [It originally shipped with Windows XP home edition.] I would like to try a newer distro, but my experiments with liveCDs thus far have been disappointing. The system eventually slows down or ultimately freezes altogether, especially after connecting to the Internet. I suppose the fact that I was running from a relatively slow CD drive instead of a hard drive could have been a factor, but I'm not sure. Anyway, THE ONLY installation that appears to work fairly well is the one that I'm currently using, described above! This leads me to believe that I'm stuck with the earlier distros, which probably were more forgiving of older and slower computers.
I was wondering if anyone can recommend a distro OTHER THAN the OpenSUSE-Gnome combo that would suit this old machine, allowing it to run fast and reliably. My grandson, who incidentally has become intensely interested in hacking and penetration, recommended Ubuntu, which I would like to try [not for the same reason], but the newer liveCD versions that I've tried either don't appear to be stable or are stable, but don't recognize the local wireless networks using my NETGEAR W311 wireless network adapter [which, incidentally, works well with my current installation].
I would appreciate any advice [preferably with helpful links] that anyone can offer, especially regarding a liveCD that I can try out before committing myself to installing an OS. I'm now considering steering away from the Gnome desktop, since so many people appear to be disillusioned with it. I'm looking for an installation that will run smoothly on my old laptop and which offers an easy-to-use windowed GUI, yet still will allow me to begin following the various tutorials to learn writing scripts and programs in Linux and eventually integrating cross-platform languages, such as Python, Java, Perl, and Ruby.

Regards to all, and thanks again for your help in the past.

Robert Marma
 
Old 11-03-2013, 08:50 AM   #11
TobiSGD
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You won't have fun with Ubuntu on a machine with 512MB of RAM. You could go for something extremely lightweight, like antiX, but that might be a little extreme for that machine. I would give Debian XFCE, Salix XFCE or Slackware with XFCE a try.
 
Old 11-03-2013, 10:09 AM   #12
dansimon
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I can sympathies with your situation robert marma, there are so many choices out there! It has been said that the good thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from. Linux is certainly "standards" compliant As I understand it you want a user friendly and familiar distro that has good hardware detection, but is light and snappy. One good solution here is to go with a distro you are familiar with, but use a lighter desktop. For example LXDE is a very light but familiar and friendly desktop. An alternative to LXDE that has slightly more features but is still quite light, is the aforementioned Xfce.

For LXDE/Xfce with openSUSE see:
http://en.opensuse.org/LXDE
http://en.opensuse.org/Portal:Xfce

For LXDE/Xfce with Ubuntu see:
http://www.lubuntu.net/
http://xubuntu.org/

Mint with the Mate/Xfce desktop is also a very good choice here, see:
http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

Some of the respondents have suggested Slackware or one of its derivatives (like Vector or Salix), but I would caution you about these recommendations. Don't get me wrong, I love Slackware, and its the distro of choice for me personally. And although Slackware and Debian is absolutely ideal for older hardware, these distros can be slightly challenging to new users (especially when it comes to Slackware). They can also lack some of the polish and friendliness that you would expect from the big distros like Ubuntu, Mint and openSUSE.

If you want to tinker and experiment, and doubly so if you want to learn linux, then by all means give Debian or Slackware a go. But If you just want a nice friendly desktop on your laptop that takes 20 minutes to install and looks gorgeous, then my personal recommendation is one of the above links. In the end it comes down to personal taste, so if you don't like the look of these suggestions try out some of the other recommendations in this thread or go over to distrowatch.com and browse around.

Good luck
 
Old 11-03-2013, 10:32 AM   #13
dansimon
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Oh, and another thing! We have already covered a lot of ground here, so I though enlightenment deserves a mention. It is a really fast desktop (it can easily compete with LXDE and Xfce), but it looks absolutely stunning. Bodhi linux is an Ubuntu derivative with this desktop, it might suite your fancy (however, it is a bit unusual). Their homepage is:

http://www.bodhilinux.com/
 
Old 11-03-2013, 10:39 AM   #14
jmc1987
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I use Debian install, I start with Minimam install, and install my vidia drivres and XFCE and I take it from there. It starts out extremely light.
 
Old 11-03-2013, 11:55 AM   #15
TroN-0074
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OP mentioned the computer has 2GB of RAM though, so it should be fine to run any full desktop environment on a 32BIT architecture software.

I usually install Xfce or LXDE on computers with less than 1GB of RAM


Besides OP hasnt been around in a while so I assume the problem got solved by now

Last edited by TroN-0074; 11-03-2013 at 11:57 AM.
 
  


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