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Old 09-26-2013, 05:19 PM   #1
darkkblack
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Seeking advice on a Linux Distro that fits my older hardware


My laptop is older but I have been using Windows XP SP3 for over a year now and was playing the game League of Legends everyday for hours just fine. I am hoping to find a suitable Linux distro for my hardware. And hopefully continue playing League of Legends but with better resources and better OS.

System Specs:

Intel Pentium 4 3.2 ghz with 512 kb cache
ATI RV350 Mobility Radeon 9600 128 mb
1 GB RAM
40 GB HDD

I just started learning Linux system and have Linux Mint Debian Edition with XFCE installed and working. I am wanting to use the laptop for lower end gaming, youtube and watching live streams via Justin.tv/Twitch.tv. The trouble I am finding is when wanting to get 3D acceleration working and installing the Propriety drivers from ATI. I expect that I am going to settle for an earlier Linux distrobution.

I read that Ubuntu 12.04 already had the driver manager and when I tried the 32 bit version it wouldnt install when clicking the install icon on Live mode.

If someone more Linux distro and hardware savy could help point me into the right direction.
 
Old 09-26-2013, 05:59 PM   #2
TobiSGD
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No current AMD/ATI driver will support the Radeon 9600, it was deemed legacy a long time ago by ATI. It should have decent performance with the free radeon driver, though. But your real problem will not be drivers or the OS, but League of Legends itself: They have no native Linux client. It will run using the Wine application layer, but it cirrently only has "Gold" status, which means that not all features will work. In the case of LoL this seem to be the RP shop and the game will freeze occasionally when starting. From the reports I read it also, due to the application layer, runs slower on Linux than it does on Windows.
 
Old 09-26-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
darkkblack
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Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
No current AMD/ATI driver will support the Radeon 9600, it was deemed legacy a long time ago by ATI. It should have decent performance with the free radeon driver, though. But your real problem will not be drivers or the OS, but League of Legends itself: They have no native Linux client. It will run using the Wine application layer, but it cirrently only has "Gold" status, which means that not all features will work. In the case of LoL this seem to be the RP shop and the game will freeze occasionally when starting. From the reports I read it also, due to the application layer, runs slower on Linux than it does on Windows.
Thanks for your reply and thank a whole lot for taking the time and looking at the specific hardware that I am intersted in. From what I read about LoL from WineHq app database people have been able to manage the game just fine. The League of Legends forum, linux section, there are a lot of posters stating that they are playing the game of Linux and they even have many How to threads.

My concern is still getting the drivers to work. I dont have the information in front of me but over the past few days I have been going through information about my hardware and the drivers that it needs installed. Many different sources and guides and many different Linux distributions recommended. If I recall correctly ATI website stated that I would need to run Ubuntu 8.04 or Debian 5. I dont have the specific links now but re-read asap. I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 8.04 but wasnt able to get online and found it very hard to manage. It would not read my mount my USB into its file system, wouldn't load drivers for my wireless USB.

I was hoping to have a distro example similiar to Ubuntu 8.04 but more Linux newbie friendly.
 
Old 09-26-2013, 06:56 PM   #4
TobiSGD
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I would strongly recommend not to use older versions. Both, Debian 5 and Ubuntu 8.04 are totally unsupported, which means they will have a whole bunch of unpatched security problems. I wouldn't bother at all with trying to get the proprietary drivers to work. Your only real options at the moment are to use the free drivers, which should on that hardware have about the same performance as the proprietary ones, or to buy new hardware.
Do you have specific problems with the free drivers, which should already be installed on most current distributions?
 
Old 09-26-2013, 07:20 PM   #5
darkkblack
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I would strongly recommend not to use older versions. Both, Debian 5 and Ubuntu 8.04 are totally unsupported, which means they will have a whole bunch of unpatched security problems. I wouldn't bother at all with trying to get the proprietary drivers to work. Your only real options at the moment are to use the free drivers, which should on that hardware have about the same performance as the proprietary ones, or to buy new hardware.
Do you have specific problems with the free drivers, which should already be installed on most current distributions?
Yes the free drivers dont come with 3D support. That is #1 on the list.
 
Old 09-26-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
TobiSGD
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Of course they have, 3D support for these chips is fully implemented. If 3D doesn't work you possibly have not the needed firmware installed (unusual for a Mint flavor, but still possible). On Debian (and derived distros, like LMDE) the firmware can be found in the package firmware-linux-nonfree. Check if you have that installed.
If that package is indeed installed please post the output of the command
Code:
glxinfo|grep render
 
Old 09-26-2013, 08:59 PM   #7
darkkblack
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direct rendering: Yes
OpenGL renderer string: Gallium 0.4 on ATI RV350
GL_NV_blend_square, GL_NV_conditional_render, GL_NV_light_max_exponent,
 
Old 09-26-2013, 09:57 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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This output means the that the free driver is active and supports 3d acceleration. What makes you think this would not be the case?
 
Old 09-26-2013, 11:16 PM   #9
darkkblack
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This output means the that the free driver is active and supports 3d acceleration. What makes you think this would not be the case?
Still thinking in windows terms I guess. Expect to just download and install the game I want and it work. Think last game I tried via flashplayer i got error message about shaders..

I have also read that the free drivers don't put out as many frames per second as the non-free do. I dont expect the hardware that I have to perform amazingly. Playing League of Legends on windows I had an average of 40 fps and playing Urban Terror I had around 120 fps. And those were with the resource hogging windows OS.

I am currently on distrowatch and reviewing some Linux distros that come with the ATI drivers already in the package lists.
 
Old 09-26-2013, 11:39 PM   #10
TobiSGD
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Again, no recent distro will support ATI drivers for that 10 years old card, since ATI/AMD does not support that card for years. You will have to use the free drivers.
 
  


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