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Old 11-18-2013, 01:23 AM   #1
crushcup
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What distro for an 8 year old Toshiba Satellite laptop


It's time to repurpose an 8 year old Toshiba Satellite laptop.
I am looking for advise on a distro to utilize.
I played with RedHat about 5 years ago.
I have a very little knowledge and there have been -
Lots of changes.
Any assistance appreciated !
 
Old 11-18-2013, 01:31 AM   #2
astrogeek
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I am writing this from an 8 year old Toshiba Satellite running Slackware 12.1, but I installed Slackware 14.0 on a spare partition recently with no problems. It was not re-purposed, I bought it new and wiped the garbageware that came with it off the drive and installed Slackware. It has been in continuous, full time use ever since.

I have thought about buying a new machine, but am more likely to buy a new hard drive and another GB of RAM and continue with Slackware 14 on this one.

My own is Intel 1.73ghz CPU, 1GB RAM and 100GB HD. I call it my "perfect" laptop because it has been my primary work machine since 2006 with Slackware 12.1 and I wouldn't change anything about it! I have added quite a few packages (mostly SBo) and a few security updates, but other than disk space, performance has never been an issue. It is perfect!

But to be fair, it also depends on what you expect out of it.

What are your system specs and how do you want to use it?

Last edited by astrogeek; 11-18-2013 at 01:36 AM.
 
Old 11-18-2013, 01:59 AM   #3
jamison20000e
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Hello. Any of the "top" ones will be fine most have good desktops and control I'd say Debian with Xfice, JWD or Lxed (even KDE my favorite works good on olders) but try a bunch even live to see what works best, their free; the first link in my signature has more... have fun!

Last edited by jamison20000e; 11-18-2013 at 02:12 AM. Reason: spelling
 
Old 11-18-2013, 02:05 AM   #4
redd9
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Hello crushcup, if you are looking for an easy-to-use lightweight distro, Lubuntu might be a good choice for you. I helped my father install it on a 6/7 year old laptop, and it runs great. He had no previous Linux experience and he found it pretty easy to use.
 
Old 11-18-2013, 02:19 AM   #5
qlue
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Any Debian Stable variant should work well with that. If you want a clean minimalist distro, I can recommend Crunchbang.

Try Debian with Gnome or KDE for a full desktop experience. (alrhough I'm not too fond of the latest Gnome Debian myself)
 
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:37 AM   #6
nickmh
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I use xUbuntu 13.04 with KWin window manager and Have tried Manjaro with nice results on a Dell Precision m4400. But I do have buckets of ram for an old machine. 8gig

I'm more farmiliar with xUbuntu, but am waiting for the opportunity to do a clean dual boot install of Manjaro and xUbuntu.

It's my main productivity machine and I have to get all my soldiers lined up before I commit.

I'd suggest have a go at both from Live CD or USB if you can.
 
Old 11-18-2013, 04:59 AM   #7
Mr. Bill
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Don't know the specs on your Toshiba, but I'm currently running Xubuntu 12.04 on a Dell Dimension 4300 w/P4 CPU@1.8GHz and 512Mb RAM. It's a tiny bit sluggish loading programs, but everything works fine including games and videos.

Last edited by Mr. Bill; 11-18-2013 at 05:01 AM.
 
Old 11-18-2013, 07:05 AM   #8
jamison20000e
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Yes, knowing the specifications other than "8 year old Toshiba Satellite laptop" would help although I put Linux on some old, old stuff with no problems even get VLC and KDE to work...

@nickmh (back-ups first of course but) you can use any live Linuces partition manager to shrink xUbuntu to be able add Manjaro, I then (different Linuces) used my second Linux to shrink my fist and added two more...

Last edited by jamison20000e; 11-18-2013 at 03:09 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2013, 07:11 AM   #9
aus9
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Quote:
Try Debian with Gnome or KDE for a full desktop experience
without knowing the specs is not recommended by me

2) ignoring the distro which determines the package management style
I highly recommend you look at lightweight window managers and their like
LXDE
Enlightenment
XFCE

If your video card and ram specs are really low then maybe
fluxbox
openbox

It might help if you mention your make and model and the RAM and video specs for a better answer

Just to be blunt, low spec machines I would not recommend KDE or gnome.
 
Old 11-18-2013, 02:18 PM   #10
crushcup
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Wow, I am amazed at the responses, Thank you to all the valuable assistance. The specs are:

The laptop is a Toshiba Satellite M70-DL3 part # PSM70C-DL300E
- Pentium M 740 (1.73GHz, 533MHz)
- 15.4 WXGA TFT w/TruBrite
- 1GB DDR2-4200 ram (upgradeable to 2GB)
- 80GB HDD S-ATA 5400 rpm
- DVD Super-Multi Double Layer +-R Drive
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 915GM 128DDR shared video memory
- Realteck ALC250 Software Sound 16-bit stereo
- Intel Wireless LAN (802.11ag)

These seem to be the important specs. I can fill in all the rest if needed.
 
Old 11-18-2013, 03:13 PM   #11
jamison20000e
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Give 2-Gigs swap and your good for most anything except maybe the top Steam games and such
 
Old 11-18-2013, 03:27 PM   #12
crushcup
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Great that's what I was hoping,

Now, where do I find info and advice about partitions, size of, number of, ...

I do not plan on gaming with this unit.
 
Old 11-18-2013, 03:45 PM   #13
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamison20000e View Post
Give 2-Gigs swap and your good for most anything except maybe the top Steam games and such
Adding a large swap partition will not magically make the machine run better demanding software. With 1GB of RAM neither KDE, Gnome 3 nor Unity will run reasonably well, especially combined with resource hungry software like Firefox. For a machine like that I would recommend MATE or XFCE. Other than that you shouldn't have much problems.

Regarding partition sizes, use a swap partition the size of your physical RAM, so that you can use the hibernation feature. I am not a fan of having a separate /home partition, I would just use one large partition on that disk, but this is more or less a decision purely based on your personal habits.
 
Old 11-18-2013, 03:45 PM   #14
jamison20000e
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Mostly personal choice and depending on apps wanted 20 gigs should be good for / the rest for /home and /swap or you can use a swap file... can even put it all a 78 gig partition at / (a little less secure I believe but not a big deal for most LTS OSs) and is recommended for learning.

Edit\Add: Linux does the magic but lighter is better for running more and better apps (free to try tho).

Last edited by jamison20000e; 11-18-2013 at 04:03 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2013, 03:52 PM   #15
astrogeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crushcup View Post
Great that's what I was hoping,

Now, where do I find info and advice about partitions, size of, number of, ...

I do not plan on gaming with this unit.
I always create /boot and /home on separate partitons, mostly from longstanding habit.

But honestly, I agree with TobiSGD, unless you plan to dual boot, just put it all in one big partition plus a swap. 80GB just isn't that big any more and without some specific reason for breaking things up it would likely be more trouble than it would be worth.

I don't use hibernation so I don't worrry about keeping the size of my swap within bounds. I also tend to do a lot of database intensive work with large intermediate result sets, so I run a 4GB swap on this one, seems to work out well.

*** EDIT ***

I also recommend Fluxbox as an excellent desktop environment - light and fast.

So, to recap - I recommend Slackware with Fluxbox on a single big partition. If you are not familiar with Slackware don't be frightened by people telling you it is too hard - it isn't! Since you are wiping the drive anyway, give it a test install, see what you think. You can always reinstall something else.

Last edited by astrogeek; 11-18-2013 at 04:03 PM.
 
  


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