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nhrdls 10-17-2013 12:50 PM

Recommendations lighter OS and/or browser

Let me first state that my intention is to get a distro that works on my laptop and not to start a distro war.

I have a ancient laptop - Compaq NX 7400. When I purchased it almost 10 years back, it had humongous memory of 1.5 GB as compared to other standard machines at that time. Now this ageing machine has become my bathroom laptop where I check the state of my kingdom from throne. In other words this laptop is used only for web surfing with 4 tabs open in firefox. I do add a tab every now and then, but close it immediately as soon as I am done.

I had Ubuntu 10.04 on this machine. After getting nagged for a long time about upgrade I installed Mint cinnamon around 3-4 months back. After last update, I have now everything latest and greatest and things have slowed down significantly. To switch a tab, I have to wait almost 15 seconds. A simple page up and page down causes noticeable delays.

I don't know who the culprit is - latest updates, which included firefox update or couple of sites have changed and are now heavy on javascript with ajax and what not.

Looking for recommendations for a browser or lighter distro which can work on 1.5GB RAM machine. As I said its mostly (only?) for web surfing, but do need flash, adblock etc. Popups become unbearable otherwise.

rokytnji 10-17-2013 04:19 PM

1.5 gig should be OK with most any distro. I would keep away from gnome 3, KDE if me as it would strain the ram a bit. I run Icewm and LXDE on this old dumpster box. Currently in LXLE to respond to another post but I am usually in AntiX on this box.



System:    Host: biker Kernel: 3.2.0-55-generic i686 (32 bit, gcc: 4.6.3)
          Desktop: LXDE (Openbox 3.5.0) Distro: Ubuntu 12.04 precise
Machine:  System: GATEWAY product: W3507 version: 500
          Mobo: Intel model: D102GGC2 version: AAD70214-201
          Bios: Intel version: GC11020M.15A.2010.2006.0817.0956 date: 08/17/2006
CPU:      Single core Intel Celeron D CPU (-UP-) cache: 512 KB flags: (lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3) bmips: 6399.87 clocked at 3199.935 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] RC410 [Radeon Xpress 200/1100] bus-ID: 01:05.0
 1.11.3 drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 80x24
Audio:    Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] IXP SB4x0 High Definition Audio Controller
          driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:14.2
          Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: 1.0.24
Network:  Card-1: Realtek RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ driver: 8139too ver: 0.9.28 port: 1000 bus-ID: 02:02.0
          IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
          Card-2: Realtek RTL8187B Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Adapter driver: rtl8187 usb-ID: 001-003
          IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 120.0GB (14.3% used) 1: id: /dev/sda model: ST3120213A size: 120.0GB
Partition: ID: / size: 85G used: 16G (21%) fs: ext3 ID: swap-1 size: 2.17GB used: 0.01GB (0%) fs: swap
RAID:      No RAID devices detected - /proc/mdstat and md_mod kernel raid module present
Sensors:  System Temperatures: cpu: 53.0C mobo: 53.2C
          Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 2971 fan-2: 1629 fan-4: 0
Info:      Processes: 122 Uptime: 24 min Memory: 397.6/873.0MB Runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.6.3
          Client: Shell (bash 4.2.25) inxi: 1.9.16

Notice the 873 MB of ram showing on the bottom. So if I was in your shoes.

LXLE is just Lubuntu with Codecs IMO. It uses the same installer as Lubuntu does.

I am more partial/biased when it comes to AntiX but you can decide what suits you best.

sag47 10-17-2013 04:39 PM

No need to switch distros. Just install a lighter desktop environment such as LXDE, openbox (my favorite), or the like. Chrome is definitely faster than Firefox on slower computers. As much as I'd hate to admit it because it's such a darn good hacker's browser it is simply overweight in the process arena.

So keep your current distro, just switch environments. For openbox, my tutorials *should* still apply to your mint even though they're geared towards an older distro/different hardware.

jamison20000e 10-17-2013 04:52 PM

Puppy Linux (or Fatdog for 64-bit) is cool and light but I say try lots to see what works best for you.

weirdwolf 10-17-2013 07:12 PM

If you want to try a lighter browser there's Slimboat and Arora (and Dillo of course).

Have used Firefox since 0.6 and it's the only one I really like , but, It is getting a bit slow (for a while now). Tried Chromium and and just don't like it, hate the way it handles bookmarks (I've 1500+ maybe closer to 2000 now)

arodlinux 10-19-2013 09:04 PM

Slackware with Xfce

Virneto 10-20-2013 09:52 AM

I'll go with @jamison20000e and say...try them out and tell us what you figured to be the best for you.

DavidMcCann 10-20-2013 12:07 PM

You have a dual core processor with 1.5 GB: I'm using a single core with 1.125 GB. You don't need anything very lightweight. You can stick with Mint and switch from Cinnamon to Mate and that should be fine. I find Firefox a bit slow, but it shouldn't be a problem for you; if it stays slow, try Opera.

jamison20000e 10-20-2013 12:11 PM

Any Linux and d-top+ should be no problem on this point.

frankbell 10-20-2013 08:52 PM

I have Slackware with E17 on an old Asus Travelmate machine with 1.00 GB RAM and it works quite nicely. It works even better with Fluxbox, but I'm getting to like E17.

I notice a slight delay in opening certain large programs, such as LibreOffice and the GIMP, but, once they are open, they perform nicely. No lag with video playback.

rabirk 10-27-2013 03:44 PM

@frankbell, how easy was it to install Enlightenment using Slackware?

I tend to agree with DavidMcCann's response, but if you want a lighter distro, you might try BodhiLinux, which uses the Midori web browser and the Enlightenment desktop. It's still based on Ubuntu, so the underlying architecture should be familiar to you. It comes with litte software by default. Before switching distros, though, do try the Mate desktop with Mint, and possibly switch to Opera or even Midori. No need to redo it all if Mint has worked well enough for you until recently.

j.curtis 10-27-2013 04:18 PM

@ nhrdls

Since you have experience with ubuntu, maybe a lighter version like lubuntu might suit your needs.

Also, try the distrowatch search tool to customize a list of distros for you. From the Distribution category, choose Old Computers.

Lantzvillian 10-29-2013 10:16 AM

Crunchbang is another alternative too! Debian with Openbox :)

JWJones 10-29-2013 10:29 AM

One of my favorite OOTB lightweights is antiX. Throw in Midori, or if you want to go really light, links. 1.5GB is plenty for most things other than the bloatware of KDE and Gnome. I run 32-bit Slackware with 768MB and Xfce quite nicely.

jamison20000e 10-29-2013 10:54 AM

"Bloatware"\"potato," mac\world-wrecking-crap... :D

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