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Old 10-16-2012, 09:12 AM   #1
awesomedog
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What version of Linux do I use (for a beginner with an old computer)?


I have a very old Sony Vaio PCG-FX705, and I wanted to install linux on it as I've heard it's much more fast, efficient and reliable. I am new to Linux, and only want to use it for watching videos, browsing the internet, editing documents, email, etc.

Here are my specs:
ProcessorAMD Athlon XP 1500+ / 1.33 GHz
Memory256.0 MB / 512.0 MB (max)
Hard Drive30.0 GB
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows XP Home Edition
Display Type15.0 in TFT active matrix Integrated
Max Resolution1400 x 1050 ( SXGA+ )
Graphics ProcessorATI RAGE Mobility M1
Optical DriveCD-RW / DVD-ROM combo - Integrated

I was thinking of Xubuntu? Would that be a good choice? (I'd like it to be fast)
 
Old 10-16-2012, 09:21 AM   #2
neildaemond
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Xubuntu or Lubunutu may be a good choice as they both have a lightwieght Desktop Environment.

With laptops, I had the most luck with Linux Mint. It seemed that linux mint has better driver support for wireless cards and such. However, that was a lil while back using linux mint 10 and 11 versus Ubuntu 10.04.

Maybe Ubuntu has better driver support with the newer versions. Maybe try linux mint 13 xfce or Linux Mint 12 LXDE
 
Old 10-16-2012, 10:03 AM   #3
TobiSGD
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It depends. If you only have 256MB then Lubuntu would run better, with 512MB maybe you have a better experience with Xubuntu. Keep in mind that you not only have to use lightweight environments, but also lightweight software. Running a recent version of Firefox on a computer with 256MB will not be much fun in the long run, here would be something more lightweight like Opera or Midori better.
 
Old 10-16-2012, 10:15 AM   #4
cascade9
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Xubuntu will run....but it wont be fun. If you really want a debian based distro with Xfce, get debian.

But I'd try antix on that machine.

http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=antix
 
Old 10-16-2012, 11:25 AM   #5
jsaravana87
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My Choice could be Ubuntu 12.04 LTS light weighted Desktop environment.where you can get comprehensive software update from ubuntu Repository Still April 2017
 
Old 10-16-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arun5002 View Post
My Choice could be Ubuntu 12.04 LTS light weighted Desktop environment.
Ubuntu 12.04 (with unity) is anything but light. You wont even get the install CD/DVD to run on 256MB.......
 
Old 10-16-2012, 11:57 AM   #7
stevebj.ee
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I have debian 6.0.5 running on an old Mac blue & white. Just don't install anything graphical...and all is good. It has been running 24/7 for over a decade except for the few instances where I physically moved it or upgraded and rebooted.


processor : 0
cpu : 740/750
temperature : 31-33 C (uncalibrated)
clock : 350.000000MHz
revision : 2.2 (pvr 0008 0202)
bogomips : 49.86
timebase : 24934566
platform : PowerMac
model : PowerMac1,1
machine : PowerMac1,1
motherboard : PowerMac1,1 MacRISC Power Macintosh
detected as : 66 (Blue&White G3)
pmac flags : 00000000
L2 cache : 1024K unified
pmac-generation : NewWorld
Memory : 192 MB

MemTotal: 188752 kB

6GB HDD
 
Old 10-16-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
snowpine
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Welcome to the forums awesomedog!

Learning Linux for the first time is challenging.
Installing Linux on crappy old hardware is challenging.
Learning Linux for the first time on crappy old hardware is a double challenge. I see a lot of people join the forums, try Linux on their old craptop, and then come to the conclusion that "Linux sucks--it's slow, the video stutters, and everything takes a long time to load--I'm going back to Windows XP!" when in fact it was their computer that sucked.
Do you not have a more modern machine for your Linux experiment? Linux can be "fast, efficient and reliable" but only hardware that is "fast, efficient and reliable."
Assuming you have a more powerful main computer from which you are typing your message, here are easy instructions to test-drive a distribution such as Ubuntu without making any changes to your existing Windows install: http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/virtualbox

Then you can recycle the Vaio, it's outlived its useful lifespan.

Last edited by snowpine; 10-16-2012 at 12:18 PM.
 
Old 10-16-2012, 12:16 PM   #9
DavidMcCann
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Since you've got a laptop (i.e. stealable), I'd advise a disto that makes it easy to encrypt your data partition (/home) if you are going to have any personal information stored on it. The reasonably friendly distros that do are

Mint. Any version will run in 512MB (the LXDE version will run in 256, but it doesn't encrypt)
ZorinOS Light edition. That runs in 128MB, so you'd have no problems.
 
Old 10-16-2012, 12:19 PM   #10
el chapulín
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Debian is probably the best option in your case, it allows for very stripped down, minimal installations.

But don't consider running Xfce or Firefox on a system with only 256MB of RAM... If you can get hold of another 256MB module it may then be worth your while. As it is, go for lightweight *box window managers or LXDE.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
something more lightweight like Opera or Midori better.
+1
 
Old 10-16-2012, 07:08 PM   #11
CubanVJ
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I was running Xubuntu and XFCE Fedora on a similar spec'd Dell with no issues. I found the LXDE distros to be a little too basic for more. The XFCE had more user friendly stuff out of the box.
 
Old 10-17-2012, 12:17 PM   #12
el chapulín
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CubanVJ View Post
I was running Xubuntu and XFCE Fedora on a similar spec'd Dell with no issues. I found the LXDE distros to be a little too basic for more. The XFCE had more user friendly stuff out of the box.
What were you doing, just staring at the desktop...?

It's not uncommon for modern browsers to use more than 100MB of RAM, Xfce alone uses more than 200MB... 256MB is quite simply not enough memory to run Xfce comfortably.
 
Old 10-18-2012, 02:43 AM   #13
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el chapulín View Post
Xfce alone uses more than 200MB...
Who the what the where?

Maybe you use 200MB+ for Xfce, here its not using anywhere near that much. Running debian sid Xfce, updated last about 1 month ago (its offline, so I dont keep it totally up to date). No tweaks done to reduce RAM use, 120MB RAM used at idle.
 
Old 10-19-2012, 06:18 PM   #14
CubanVJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el chapulín View Post
What were you doing, just staring at the desktop...?

It's not uncommon for modern browsers to use more than 100MB of RAM, Xfce alone uses more than 200MB... 256MB is quite simply not enough memory to run Xfce comfortably.
LOL well when I was first learning, I basically told myself that I was going to do everything that I was doing on my Windows workstation on my Linux laptop. I was using rdesktop, teamviewer on ocassion, drop box, torrents, office productivity stuff, and LXDE didn't really like it. A lot of dependency issues. Once I switched over to XFCE it ran pretty well. That was just my experience though.
 
Old 10-19-2012, 08:10 PM   #15
Fred Caro
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Mr dog,
I have wrestled with this for sometime and the best I can come up with is Debian,Puppy or Bodhi; the later two being preferable but they both take some getting used to! Try Bodhi/linux live cd and bare in mind the desktop is your start prompt.

Fred
 
  


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