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Old 09-29-2013, 12:43 AM   #1
Nubster
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System Requirements for Linux?


I have inherited my daughters 2008ish Dell Inspiron 1520 and want to get acquainted with Linux. My questions are...
1.) What is the best version for my system?
2.) Do I need to format the disk to be Linux compliant? (it will be Linux only system)
3.) Is this really something I want to do? lol

Thanks in advance...
 
Old 09-29-2013, 01:28 AM   #2
frankbell
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What are your hardware specs, in particular, how many RAMs do you have?

Since it's Dell, it likely has Broadcom wireless (I have had many Dells). You should check that out so you know what to expect.

If it's Broadcom, regardless of the distro, you may have to take some extra steps to get the wireless working.

Going back to your original question, if you go to the homepage for any Linux distro, you will find a link to the minimum requirements for that distro.

Last edited by frankbell; 09-29-2013 at 01:30 AM.
 
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:51 AM   #3
EDDY1
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By this review the machine comes with 2G ram & crucial reports that it is upgradeable to 4G.
http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=3846
The wireless is Wireless: Intel 4965AGN
https://wiki.debian.org/iwlwifi
You should be o although I never had the intel wireless but it's not supported by iwlegacy.

Last edited by EDDY1; 09-29-2013 at 01:52 AM.
 
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:14 AM   #4
Nubster
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PROCESSOR..., T2310, 1.46, 1MB, PMER, M0

WIRELESS..., MINICARD..., DW1390, BROADCOM CORPORATION...

HARD DRIVE..., 80GB, Serial ATA..., 9.5, 5.4K, T080

Dual In-line Memory Module 512MB, 667, 64X64, 8K, 200
 
Old 09-29-2013, 02:18 AM   #5
frankbell
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Based on what EDDY1 said, pretty much any contemporary Linux distro would run just fine on your machine.

I suggest you download and burn a few Live CD's of distros you are interested in and take a look at them. That way, you can taste before you choose.

And, yes, you will need to reformat your hard drive. Most distros' installation routines will offer an "automatic" option for doing that (Slackware, notably, does not--it expects you to do your own formatting). If you have any crucial files you want to preserve, save them to external media (CD, DVD, USB, across the network) first.

Whatever distro you pick, stick with it for a few months, so that, if you decide to switch, you still will have gotten some familiarity with how Linux works.

Most of the major distros would probably work okay. I would recommend against Fedora (very bleeding edge and changes every six months) or Ubuntu (it's heading off into its own direction with little thought of the overall community), but that's just me.

Linux is not Windows. It's not harder, but it is different. Expect it to be different.

Addendum:

Also, based on what you posted as I was writing this (1/2 GB RAMs), it would be a good idea to consider upping your RAM to at least one and, if possible, two GBs. Otherwise, go with a distro with a lighter desktop. Read up about desktop environments and window managers here.

Last edited by frankbell; 09-29-2013 at 02:23 AM.
 
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:33 AM   #6
Nubster
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Awesome info guys and thanks Frank for taking such detail in describing the situation. I'm excited about getting started. Thanks again.
 
Old 09-29-2013, 02:33 AM   #7
EDDY1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
PROCESSOR..., T2310, 1.46, 1MB, PMER, M0

WIRELESS..., MINICARD..., DW1390, BROADCOM CORPORATION...

HARD DRIVE..., 80GB, Serial ATA..., 9.5, 5.4K, T080

Dual In-line Memory Module 512MB, 667, 64X64, 8K, 200
Are you sure yur machine is a Dell Inspiron 1520?
The specs you listed are nowhere near the specs of the review.
 
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:44 AM   #8
Nubster
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Service Tag4VQKWD1
Computer Model Inspiron 1520
Shipping Date 10/10/2007
Country United States
 
Old 09-29-2013, 05:41 AM   #9
qlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
Are you sure yur machine is a Dell Inspiron 1520?
The specs you listed are nowhere near the specs of the review.
I've noticed a trend where model numbers have no real meaning anymore. The same model number is often used for totally different machines in different countries. Specs found online never seem to match the specs of the 'same' machine sold in South Africa for example.
It's almost as if they're deliberately trying to confuse the consumer. (now why would they want to do that?)
 
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:56 AM   #10
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
Dual In-line Memory Module 512MB, 667, 64X64, 8K, 200
512MB RAM...thats going to make a lot of distros with heavy DEs (gnome 3, unity, KDE 4.X) run badly.

You could upgrade your RAM, or use a (fairly) light desktop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
Are you sure yur machine is a Dell Inspiron 1520?
The specs you listed are nowhere near the specs of the review.
The review you listed is fine, its just not that great at telling you the possible options. I'm pretty sure the review was using a 'top end' 1520, they werent all like that. Have a look at this page-

http://www.cnet.com/laptops/dell-ins...-32471366.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by qlue View Post
I've noticed a trend where model numbers have no real meaning anymore. The same model number is often used for totally different machines in different countries. Specs found online never seem to match the specs of the 'same' machine sold in South Africa for example.
It's almost as if they're deliberately trying to confuse the consumer. (now why would they want to do that?)
The older parts arent so bad..now its a nightmare.

The manufacturers like selling laptops using just (a made up example) 'MegaLaptop 554' when the full model number is 'MegaLaptop 554/736XX.50000'.

They love doing that, because most people cant remeber much more than 'MegaLaptop 554'. So they send out review laptops which are 'overspeced', potential customer XXX just remembers that the MegaLaptop 554 did really wel in 'PC Parts Anorak' magazine, then buy it without realising that the one in the shop is a very different system.....

Yeah, its is meant to confuse, or be marketing. As in, 'look out, dont step in the marketing!'
 
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:27 PM   #11
DavidMcCann
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You don't need to spend money on RAM: there are several distros which work well on 512MB, or even less. I suggest you try Salix, and not just because I use it (I've tried 111 distros over the years!)
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...page/15/sort/7
That review was of the plain installer disk: you should get the live disk (in the Xfce version), then you can (1) look before you leap and (2) partition with gparted before you install.

You can read a pdf manual: get it here
http://people.salixos.org/tsuren/doc....37_draft4.pdf

For formating the disk, create three partitions:
/dev/sda1. This is for the OS and software (mount point /): 10GB
/dev/sda2. Swap (incase you run out of RAM): 1GB
/dev/sda3. This is for your files (mount point /home): what's left
 
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:24 PM   #12
John VV
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buy more RAM !!!

with only 512 meg you are going to have problems

the very last distro i had running well with only that little was CentOS 5

And that is showing it's age, it is getting OLD .

CentOS 5.9 would work with 512 meg but likely not the wireless .
CentOS 6.4 will run but VERY SLOW and the wireless might work
 
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:46 AM   #13
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John VV View Post
buy more RAM !!!
with only 512 meg you are going to have problems
the very last distro i had running well with only that little was CentOS 5
You could have tried AntiX, Archbang, AtlasX, Bodhi, CrunchBang, Exe, Lite, Mint (LXDE), SalentOS, SalineOS, Salix, Semplice, Swift, Vector, WattOS, ZevenOS, Zorin Light: no problems there!
 
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:51 PM   #14
Nubster
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UPDATE: Had 4 GB ram from earlier upgrade and made a Mint Boot Dvd, installed effortlessly and then data cable accessed the internet through my MBP allowing access to the WWW for the Dell. Love the look and am getting acquainted with the differences from Mac. Not to much diff, yet. Thank you for all your responses and help. Looking forward to the adventure>
 
Old 10-04-2013, 09:34 PM   #15
TroN-0074
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It is good to know Linux Mint is working for you. If you encounter a problem later on you can start another threat with more specific questions. In the main time enjoy your new computer.
 
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