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Old 08-24-2009, 06:13 AM   #1
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Help with picking a simple and light-weight OS for little more than browsing

I've dabbled in Linux before (Ubuntu 6,7,8), always getting frustrated and giving up, then coming back a couple months later and trying it again with the same results. Rinse, repeat. I could just carry on with Windows, but from turning on to Firefox/Chrome loading up takes on average 15 minutes, sometimes much longer.

All I really want is an OS that boots up and shuts down quickly and can run a decent browser well. A light weight text editor and music player would be nice but are not essential, and I don't need anything else at all.

Can somebody recommend something to me? gOS's Cloud looks like what I'm interested in and I've sent them an e-mail regarding the beta, but I'm not too hopeful.

Thanks in advance, I look forward to being able to escape Windows before it becomes impossible to get a computer without Vista.

Dell Inspiron 2200
# Intel Pentium M 735 (1.7GHz) Processor
# 512MB PC2700 DDR Memory
# 40GB 4200rpm Hard Drive
# 24x CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive
# 14.1" XGA LCD and Intel GMA 900 Integrated Graphics with 128MB Shared Memory
# AC'97 Audio
# v.92 56Kbps Modem, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11g Wireless
# Three USB 2.0 and One Type II PC Card Slot
# 13" x 10.6" x 1.5" @ 6.0 lbs.
Old 08-24-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
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You sound as if you want a lighter-weight GUI more than anything else. Inevitably, that means giving up a few of the luxuries (some of which may be helpful luxuries and some of which are just flashy effects).

I think you should try to find a lighterweight GUI that doesn't feel like sackcloth and ashes. XFCE is still pretty decent, Windowmaker, Fluxbox are in the same area.

Enlightenment is an odd combo in that its still quite flashy, but lighter than the biggies (Gnome, KDE).

LXDE gets good comments from people who really like a stripped-down desktop.

Once you have done that, it will help you choose a distro, because there is no real point in choosing one that doesn't have the desktop that you want in its repos. You could try grabbing the XFCE packages for your existing Ubuntu install.

I could just carry on with Windows, but from turning on to Firefox/Chrome loading up takes on average 15 minutes, sometimes much longer.
Hmmm, 15 minutes sounds excessive, even for Windows (oh, Windows Vista, maybe??). How does Ubuntu (the Gnome Ubuntu, presumably) compare? These days, your amount of RAM is a bit on the low side, but should still be OK for simpler requirements, which is what you say that you have.

What browser are you using? Opera is my browser of choice, but firefox ought not to be too bad, if you don't try to open too many tabs (if you do go for lots of tabs, memory consumption can get excessive). Something like Dillo is very light, but does make a mess of the rendering on rather too many sites and its appearance is a bit clunky. Not sure about Chrome.
Old 08-24-2009, 05:40 PM   #3
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I recommend Browserlinux0909 (was browserpuppy)
it's a 69mb puplet with flash10,firefox and some apps too

you need help putting it on hd or usb holler back
you can install it frugal "by hand" too


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