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tboneshep 03-30-2017 10:03 AM

What Linux Distro for my old laptop
 
Wondering if someone has a positive recommendation about my Boat Anchor; Microsoft sent a message saying Vista support ends in a few weeks; so, can I use this boat anchor with a Linux Distro that will still function?

Laptop details:
Toshiba Satellite A135-S4427
2 GB RAM

Is there anything out for Linux that I could use that may be functional? Thanks

hazel 03-30-2017 10:08 AM

AntiX will run on anything, but it's a bit basic.

DavidMcCann 03-30-2017 11:08 AM

It would have been nice if you'd given us the specification, but looking it up I see you have a two-core 32-bit processor and an all-Intel chipset. Any 32-bit Linux should run on that, probably faster than Vista does. The processor is not all that fast, so I suggest nothing too demanding!

We always say that you can't go too far wrong with Linux Mint. Try the version with the Mate desktop (not the Cinnamon). Alternatively, MX Linux comes with the Xfce desktop, which will be a bit lighter. You don't need to go down to a bare window manager, as in AntiX. If you want to be a bit more adventurous, get the Xfce version of Salix: Slackware with more programs and user-friendliness: I run that on a Pentium III laptop from 2002!

ondoho 03-30-2017 11:31 AM

tboneshep, since 2001 this question has been asked & answered about a million times:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=What+Linux...+my+old+laptop
hope this helps.

ceantuco 03-30-2017 02:04 PM

I suggest Linux Mint or Xubuntu.

Rickkkk 03-30-2017 02:14 PM

I've had great success with Puppy on old / and /or / limited hardware. Many folks here also recommend antix.

I will stop recommending my favourite, Arch, for 32-bit systems, since they are discontinuing support for 32-bit this year.

You'll probably find most versions of linux will perform better on your laptop than Windows Vista did. In my humble opinion, Vista was the worst version ever of Windows ....

Have fun !

notKlaatu 03-30-2017 02:32 PM

I agree with all previous posters, but I'll add in my own hearty recommendation for Slackware. I haven't looked lately, but as I recall its minimum RAM requirement is 64mb or so, and I've installed it on old Dells that had far less than 1Ghz processor (I think it was 533mHz or so). I've also cheated and installed Salix or Zenwalk, both of which are Slackware-based.

I guess one of the main advantages of Slackware is that it boots to a text console, so you can build your system up from there in an attempt to discover what your old computer is capable of. For instance, the XFCE desktop should work at that speed, but then again you may find Fluxbox faster. Most non-essential services are not enabled by default, so you can also turn services on as you need them, or else turn them on gradually to see what the computer can comfortably manage. In other words, it's all up to you, and in the end you get your OS finely tuned for that specific computer. Of course, you can do the same thing with other distros, it's just not exactly built in to the process the same way.

The alternative, of course, is to spend $35 on a Raspberry Pi or a Pine64. It's probably about as fast as your computer, and would run with a fraction of the wattage!

Rickkkk 03-30-2017 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by notKlaatu (Post 5690461)
... I guess one of the main advantages of Slackware is that it boots to a text console, so you can build your system up from there in an attempt to discover what your old computer is capable of. ...

Interesting ... I've never used slack, but the way you describe it makes it sound analogous to Arch, my own distro of choice. If ever I need a 32-bit alternative along those lines, I'll check it out.

Thanks notKlaatu.

ardvark71 03-30-2017 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tboneshep (Post 5690323)
Is there anything out for Linux that I could use that may be functional?

Hi...

Lubuntu, for the most part, has worked pretty well for me.

Regards...

!!! 03-30-2017 04:45 PM

http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/...tion-are-you-1

Try it ... Fun ;) I got Slackware!

ardvark71 03-30-2017 05:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by !!! (Post 5690527)

Hi...

Thanks for posting that. It was a little edgy and I would have preferred different wording for some of the entries but it was kind of fun. It says: "I'm a Red Hat." :D

Regards...

wpeckham 03-30-2017 07:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tboneshep (Post 5690323)
Wondering if someone has a positive recommendation about my Boat Anchor; Microsoft sent a message saying Vista support ends in a few weeks; so, can I use this boat anchor with a Linux Distro that will still function?

Laptop details:
Toshiba Satellite A135-S4427
2 GB RAM

Is there anything out for Linux that I could use that may be functional? Thanks

Nearly any of the distributions available in 32-bit should run. Any with the lighter/faster windows managers (xfce, lxde, openbox as examples: KDE and GNOME are heavier and slower) should run enough faster than VISTA to give you a real kick. MINT and MINT-DE are a joy to run. Q4OS and Elementary work fine. While I love Gentoo, Slackware, and Arch I do not consider them a reasonable replacement for VISTA for a new flyer. Test your wings on something easy and fast first, and go for solid geeky options later.

BTW: there are MANY Live-CD and Live-DVD images that you can use something like E2B (Easy2Boot) to load from a USB device. These allow you to "try before you fly" as many as you like before installing to the hard drive.

PS. Check your hardware stats early. Some of that model had hardware that could handle 64-bit once the BIOS was flashed to a later version. A quick test with a 64-bit version of TinyCore, Puppy, or Knoppix might prove interesting. IT would do no harm, the worst that could happen is that the 64-bit kernel would not boot on that platform and you would know to seek ONLY 32-bit images.

Thomas1 03-30-2017 10:55 PM

You may go with Puppy Linux or Peppermint OS 2.

Jjanel 03-31-2017 12:17 AM

WELCOME *BACK* (after spending 16.3 years hiding out with RH7.2?;)).
Yes, likely most any http://DistroWatch.com will be well-supported.

A thought: start planning whatever you want to save (backup to flash drive maybe).

A [possiblyGenus:D] idea: use VirtualBox to TRY any Linux (before you disturb/erase Vista).
Trust me, it's 'trivial'! And you still have your web-browser running, so you can easily post a screenshot IF you run into any 'glitch'! Great for trying 'live' distros e.g. this (or even preinstalled OSboxes; try just 512M for VM's memory, tho). A VM will be ?a bit? slower tho, but I don't know how much:( 10%-10000%:(

igadoter 03-31-2017 05:09 PM

I suggest to start from top to down. Grab any new distro and try. There are great chance it will work. The only limitations is graphic card of your computer. Brand new desktops like Gnome 3 or KDE 5 can be too heavy for old graphic card. Also you should disable file system journal on hard drive. Simple hard drive is too old, and active journal probably will kill the hard drive on your computer for good. As it was done on my notebook. Now I am using ext2 very old files system, it is not as safe as any system with journal, but well, if you care much about safety of your data, then I suggest buy new notebook.

wpeckham 04-01-2017 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by igadoter (Post 5691047)
I suggest to start from top to down. Grab any new distro and try. There are great chance it will work. The only limitations is graphic card of your computer. Brand new desktops like Gnome 3 or KDE 5 can be too heavy for old graphic card. Also you should disable file system journal on hard drive. Simple hard drive is too old, and active journal probably will kill the hard drive on your computer for good. As it was done on my notebook. Now I am using ext2 very old files system, it is not as safe as any system with journal, but well, if you care much about safety of your data, then I suggest buy new notebook.

???
I was using a journaled file system in 1997. I do not recall seeing any 2G ram laptops at that time. That drive should be able to handle a modern file system with journals just fine. EXT4 or EXT3 should work fine, but ReiserFS4 or XFS might not be a good fit. EXT2 may be faster, but is seriously limiting. This sounds like a good time for some experimentation.

I would stay with things that are light and fast, due to the cpu and video restrictions. Play with the Puppy or try TinyCore (use the CorePlus image to get extra drivers and WIFI support) to test the hardware and verify that everything works with Linux.

igadoter 04-01-2017 02:46 PM

[QUOTE=wpeckham;5691278]???
I was using a journaled file system in 1997. I do not recall seeing any 2G ram laptops at that time. That drive should be able to handle a modern file system with journals just fine. EXT4 or EXT3 should work fine, but ReiserFS4 or XFS might not be a good fit. EXT2 may be faster, but is seriously limiting. /QUOTE]
It is not about running or not running system with journal. One can always run such system, but I believe journal will shorten lifetime of the hard drive which already is old.

wpeckham 04-01-2017 03:44 PM

[QUOTE=igadoter;5691364]
Quote:

Originally Posted by wpeckham (Post 5691278)
???
I was using a journaled file system in 1997. I do not recall seeing any 2G ram laptops at that time. That drive should be able to handle a modern file system with journals just fine. EXT4 or EXT3 should work fine, but ReiserFS4 or XFS might not be a good fit. EXT2 may be faster, but is seriously limiting. /QUOTE]
It is not about running or not running system with journal. One can always run such system, but I believe journal will shorten lifetime of the hard drive which already is old.

Possible, but I have found that turning off atime makes as much of a difference. (YMMV)
It also strikes me that if a replacement drive can be found for that model, it should be cheap.

I advised against journals on SSD drives not that many months ago, but SSD has improved so fast that the advice would no longer apply to the latest devices. On old drives it was always more important to me to be certain that my data would survive and unexpected power down event. It is possible that using EXT3 or EXT4 with journals turned off would extend the life of the drive for a day or two in a year, but I would not expect it to make enough difference to make it easy to PROVE that there was a difference.

If you choose to run without journals, also set the noatime option and be very careful to do proper shutdowns to avoid corruption issues.

Drakeo 04-01-2017 03:52 PM

puppy linux from the bottom up was built for old laptops. read the history of puppy grab a slacko pup or one of Barry's pups and bring a old laptop to life.

BruceHenrik(Geek) 04-01-2017 08:16 PM

To: tboneshep

You can use any linux distrobution you want. You just need to install or use a light-weight desktop manager like xfce, Mate, LXDE/LXQT. fluxbox and so on.


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