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Old 11-29-2012, 09:29 AM   #1
Aramanda
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Smile Using Linux and Windows on a tiny computer


I use a tiny Dell Mini Inspiron 10v netbook with a minuscule 1GB RAM running Windows 2007. I also have a Seagate 360 External Hard Drive on which I store all my stuff, and I take care to keep my C Drive about half empty at all times to keep it light and running as fast as possible.

I have a strong urge to ditch Windows and switch to Linux, but a friend who is a Linux expert has advised me to run Linux in Virtualbox within Windows, and switch over only after I learn the new system thoroughly. This is extremely sensible advice, but is it even possible to run two operating systems with such a small ram on a toy computer?
 
Old 11-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
snowpine
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I can tell you with confidence (as a former Dell Mini 9 owner) that the Atom CPU in your Dell is not powerful enough to run 2 operating systems simultaneously with good performance using Virtualbox.

What I would recommend instead is to run Linux as a "Live USB" off a thumb drive for a while, as a fun learning experience. Here is a tutorial how to create a Live USB of CrunchBang Linux (the distribution I used to run on my Dell Mini; it is based on Debian and very light and fast): http://crunchbanglinux.org/wiki/crun...table_live_usb

You will also need to download the .iso of the operating system from here: http://crunchbang.org/download

I am using CrunchBang as an example, but there are many "lightweight" distributions suitable to your task, and the basic concept of making a Live USB using Unetbootin is the same.
 
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #3
snowpine
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I can tell you with confidence (as a former Dell Mini 9 owner) that the Atom CPU in your Dell is not powerful enough to run 2 operating systems simultaneously with good performance using Virtualbox.

What I would recommend instead is to run Linux as a "Live USB" off a thumb drive for a while, as a fun learning experience. Here is a tutorial how to create a Live USB of CrunchBang Linux (the distribution I used to run on my Dell Mini; it is based on Debian and very light and fast): http://crunchbanglinux.org/wiki/crun...table_live_usb

You will also need to download the .iso of the operating system from here: http://crunchbang.org/download

I am using CrunchBang as an example, but there are many "lightweight" distributions suitable to your task, and the basic concept of making a Live USB using Unetbootin is the same.
 
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:45 AM   #4
cantab
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Besides the processor, 1 gigabyte of RAM is not enough for virtualisation since you need enough memory for two operating systems.

A Live USB stick is a good option, you can install software and save configuration changes on it, thereby making it your own like with an installed system. I suggest Lubuntu as the distribution of choice, it's an Ubuntu edition with an interface that's like a modernised Windows XP and low memory usage. I've used it on a USB stick before to good success.

http://lubuntu.net/ for the system
http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/...ick-on-windows for how to put it on a USB stick. I suggest using a stick specifically for Lubuntu, at least 4GB but larger is better and use all the space available for the "persistent file size"; this will help when it comes to adding software.
 
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:49 AM   #5
Aramanda
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Smile

Snowpine and Cantab,

Thank you both for the feedback, and awfully sorry for the horrendous delay in replying - NO excuses.

Actually, after posting the original question, I had a strong feeling that the reply would be exactly what I felt it would be - my computer is just a little toy, too darn tiny to do anything really useful with.

Meanwhile, I decide to go and hunt for a new desktop with 4 GB RAM, which should be enough even for resource-hogs like Skype. (If it isn't, I'll throw Skype out). My top choices were (1) Dell or (2) Apple.

NOW it seems to be raining articles and TV programmes telling me that the desktop is OUT and laptops, Tablets and the new Phablets (Phone+tablet) are IN. Yet, desktops are still very much in evidence, one reason being that they, unlike laptops or tablets, are eminently upgradable. Once you buy a laptop, you are stuck with the config you choose, but with desktops, you can always add a few extras here and there.

Neither DTs nor LTs arrive dual-booted with Windows and Linux, unless you specify the requirement. (vendors need to be educated on this. Why should we be fobbed off with just Windows, shouldn't we be given a choice?)
 
Old 01-08-2013, 09:38 AM   #6
273
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I've a similar machine to yours (an old EEE PC 1000) and last time I checked it ran Skype find under Linux. It's not exactly as speed demon, and Skype + Firefox with a few tabs is slow but it's certainly a useful little machine.
At one point I even connected it up to my 1920 * 1200 monitor to watch Youtube and the like full screen and it performed fine.
 
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:07 AM   #7
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aramanda View Post
NOW it seems to be raining articles and TV programmes telling me that the desktop is OUT and laptops, Tablets and the new Phablets (Phone+tablet) are IN.
The media (TV, magazines, etc) like to scream whatever they feel to be the case (or sometimes whatever they conjure up out of thin air) from the mountaintops to get more viewers, whether or not it's actually true.

I do not believe this to be the case. Laptops have their place, and desktops certainly have their place as well. I do believe that desktops are moving away from being the primary terminal and are moving more toward a "cloud" (I hate that term...) role though. As you said, desktops are infinitely more expandable and powerful than laptops will ever be, simply due to amount of space available for more powerful processors, larger and multiple hard drives, etc. I will say that I use my laptop more in an interactive fashion, but my desktop/server is used FAR more than that in the background (storing and serving data to the laptops/tablets, acting as an FTP server for webcams, an encrypted SSH proxy server for when I'm travelling on unprotected wireless networks, etc.).

If you have the space and don't need the portability, I say get a desktop. They're faster, more powerful, cheaper, and more robust. The ONLY advantage laptops/tablets have is portability, which is only an advantage if you need/use it.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 01-08-2013 at 10:08 AM.
 
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:31 AM   #8
TroN-0074
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Magazines and TV commercials target consumers that is why they keep telling them desktop is in its way out. Linux users are no regular comsumers so if you intent to use Linux just ignore these comments.

Beside to develop apps for mobile phones and tables the desktop is needed. I have never seem anybody writing code on their phone.

So please ignore that nonsense from the magazines and TV adds

Make sure if you get a new desktop that doesn't have the secure boot enabled. Or buy one used from maybe a year old

Good luck to you
 
Old 01-08-2013, 08:48 PM   #9
frankbell
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I have a Dell Mini9 that came with Ubuntu.

It's now running Mint and in the interim ran SalixOS. It has always run Linux quite happily and, heaven willing, will never see Windows.

It's done everything I've asked it to do, including photo-editing, a little video-editing with avidemux, word processing, and media streaming.

The only complication is that it has Broadcom wireless, which requires an extra step or two to get working if you install a new Linux distro.

I say go for it. You'll get better performance with a much smaller footprint on your HDD.
 
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:06 AM   #10
Aramanda
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Smile

FRANKBELL : I agree with you. The Atom processor cannot handle Win 7 AND Linux, but will run along merrily on only Mint or another lightweight Linux Distro with a tiny footprint. You are absolutely correct. Windows and Skype require more powerful processors than the Atom. Thanks so much.

TRoN-0074 AND SUICIDALEGGROLL : Thank you very much. My fear was that spare parts and maintenance/software support for DTs would dwindle away, but I must admit, I was getting a bit carried away with all the hype.

You are both very correct. The market has to cater to consumers at all times, and those who have been clever enough to figure out that desktops are far more upgradeable, far more comfortable for daily use and therefore have a longer lifespan than laptops, will keep the desktop market afloat with a steady demand. In fact, tablets and phablets have a few big drawbacks - you have to keep your head bent over them, if there is no ready surface available to plonk them on, you have to hold the gadgets with one hand while operating it with the other, and you have to carry a recharger with you. The market has recognized these issues and they are now offering a detachable stand and keyboard as optional accessories, which rather brings the whole thing back full circle.

273 : Thanks for the feedback. The only pity is that new PCs don't come dual-booted with Windows and Linux, so that newbies like me have the chance to familiarize themselves with the benefits of Linux and switch over completely when completely confident and at ease. Its high time the Windows monopoly ended. Not only has it a huge footprint, it is subject to any amount of virus infections, Trojans, keyloggers, spyware and malware.
 
Old 01-10-2013, 02:19 AM   #11
kentfoo
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how about macpup linux on vmware player?
 
Old 01-10-2013, 07:32 AM   #12
clocker
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look out for posts on dual boot

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...-a-4175442754/
 
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:15 AM   #13
jefro
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It is easy to test the virtual box choice. Make a restore point. Install vb and test. If not, uninstall vb and do a restore point back to time.


One may find that a cheap 16G flash drive booted would do fine for their linux.
 
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:54 AM   #14
schneidz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aramanda View Post
Snowpine and Cantab,

Thank you both for the feedback, and awfully sorry for the horrendous delay in replying - NO excuses.

Actually, after posting the original question, I had a strong feeling that the reply would be exactly what I felt it would be - my computer is just a little toy, too darn tiny to do anything really useful with.

Meanwhile, I decide to go and hunt for a new desktop with 4 GB RAM, which should be enough even for resource-hogs like Skype. (If it isn't, I'll throw Skype out). My top choices were (1) Dell or (2) Apple.

NOW it seems to be raining articles and TV programmes telling me that the desktop is OUT and laptops, Tablets and the new Phablets (Phone+tablet) are IN. Yet, desktops are still very much in evidence, one reason being that they, unlike laptops or tablets, are eminently upgradable. Once you buy a laptop, you are stuck with the config you choose, but with desktops, you can always add a few extras here and there.

Neither DTs nor LTs arrive dual-booted with Windows and Linux, unless you specify the requirement. (vendors need to be educated on this. Why should we be fobbed off with just Windows, shouldn't we be given a choice?)
instead of throwing away the netbook, try running xbmc-live on it; i have it running on an acer revo (atom processor, 1 gb ram) connected to my tv with remote -- i have another one running fedora-15 that is connected to my router and feeds files to my galaxy fone, tablet, laptops, ... via sshfs and http.

i think it is against the ms eula to have 2 operating systems on an oem build although i've seen netbooks with splashtop linux as an option (even though its not really a full os).

Last edited by schneidz; 01-10-2013 at 08:59 AM.
 
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:05 PM   #15
Aramanda
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Quote:
SCHNEIDZ instead of throwing away the netbook, try running xbmc-live on it; i have it running on an acer revo (atom processor, 1 gb ram) connected to my tv with remote -- i have another one running fedora-15 that is connected to my router and feeds files to my galaxy fone, tablet, laptops, ... via sshfs and http.

i think it is against the ms eula to have 2 operating systems on an oem build although i've seen netbooks with splashtop linux as an option (even though its not really a full os).
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Last edited by schneidz; Today at 09:59 AM.
SCHNEIDZ. DNT WILLIE : Actually, I will install a robust desk top later this month, as portability is not an issue with me. I need a system which is powerful, FAST and lots of storage space.

Well, if it is against the MS EULA to run two systems on a PC, then we will just have to run Linux in Virtualbox as suggested above, and when familiar enough with it, we can give Windows the boot. (Pun intended). I bet that's against their EULA as well, but there is nothing they can do about it!
 
Old 01-23-2013, 05:14 AM   #16
cantab
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Noting that schneidz says "on an oem build" he's probably right. At least historically Microsoft have made contracts with PC builders that say every PC that company sells has to ship with Windows pre-installed, and then and only then will MS give them the lowest price per license. While competition/antitrust laws probably have something to say about that I bet MS still pressures the PC makers in various ways to dissuade them from offering anything but Windows. (Veiled threats that offering Linux pre-installed might get the maker sued would probably do the trick without actually breaking competition law I reckon.)
 
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