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Old 03-10-2016, 03:09 PM   #1
Mixednut
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Update or not update?


I have dabbled with Linux and tested a few distros. I have an old Dell GX240 desktop and found that Xubuntu 12.04 worked well (dual boot with Win XP)but I have encounter problems during package updates. In particular, sound stopped working, but I got it to work, then it stopped working again at a later date. I did try updating to Xubuntu 14.04 but that did not work so I went back to 12.04.
Although sound may not be the only issue, my question is on the benefits of updating or upgrading any linux distro on old hardware. As long as the hardware works, I am happy to keep it going with Linux, but if updating/upgrading causes problems, why bother? Eventually, surely old hardware will not be compatible with the newest distros?
And, is it better to keep, in my case Xubuntu 12.04 with updates even after LTS has ended, or upgrade to 14.04 (or soon to be 16.04) and have the hassle of making it work.
BTW, the Dell is not my main machine and in the future I will be planning to install Linux on my Laptop as well. Thanks
 
Old 03-10-2016, 05:19 PM   #2
jefro
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The usual answer is you have to decide and either install all updates, some updates or none.

The updates are there for various reasons. Some being important security updates. Some are quite trivial. You have a choice. I recommend at least using the security updates. In some cases they have to have other updates.

It has been decades of updates for every OS user on the planet I'd think. It will never end.
 
Old 03-10-2016, 09:54 PM   #3
frankbell
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Xubuntu 12.04 reached end of life last year and is no longer supported.

Among other things, that means it will no longer receive security updates. If your software works quite nicely, software version updates may not seem important, but security updates are always important and should not be neglected.

Last edited by frankbell; 03-10-2016 at 09:57 PM.
 
Old 03-12-2016, 02:13 PM   #4
Mixednut
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Thanks for your comments.
It would seem like my Dell desktop has reached its end of life (for online use). Xubuntu 14.04 does not work and using 12.04 is obviously a security risk. I did try to test a live Ubuntu 14.04 but it came up with a graphics problem so did not complete loading.
I might try a fresh install of Ubuntu 12.04 and let it upgrade to see if that works. Any suggestions on this approach?
 
Old 03-13-2016, 06:26 PM   #5
beachboy2
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Mixednut,

I would try a fresh installation of a lightweight distro. You have old hardware a slow CPU and little ram (512mb or 1GB?).

antiX, Puppy, MX-15 and Lubuntu are possibilities.

http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
 
Old 03-13-2016, 06:38 PM   #6
sundialsvcs
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Also look for any packages (daemons) that might be running that you don't actually need, or default settings for those packages which are "beefier" than your system would allow. It is strongly advisable to keep your system up to date, but realize that many distro designers tacitly assume that modern-day systems are "beefy."
 
Old 03-14-2016, 04:43 PM   #7
Mixednut
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Thanks beachboy2. My GX240 originally had 256MB ram but I upgraded to to maximum 1GB some years ago. A previous version of Puppy worked as live CD as did Lubuntu but I preferred Xubuntu at the time. I'll take a look at antix.
I'll look for unwanted packages as sundialsvcs suggested too - thanks.
Since my previous post I did test out a live Ubuntu 12.04.5 which worked just as well as the old updated Xubuntu 12.04 but I don't like the desktop.
I presume my problem must be a change in packages/drivers causing the problems.
I'll keep at it as time permits.
 
Old 03-18-2016, 06:52 PM   #8
offgridguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachboy2 View Post
Mixednut,

I would try a fresh installation of a lightweight distro. You have old hardware a slow CPU and little ram (512mb or 1GB?).

antiX, Puppy, MX-15 and Lubuntu are possibilities.

http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
+1 for lubuntu
 
Old 03-19-2016, 12:01 AM   #9
Higgsboson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mixednut View Post
Although sound may not be the only issue, my question is on the benefits of updating or upgrading any linux distro on old hardware. As long as the hardware works, I am happy to keep it going with Linux, but if updating/upgrading causes problems, why bother? Eventually, surely old hardware will not be compatible with the newest distros?
I agree. If we can use old hardware and breathe new life into them, then we don't need to buy another pc. There is less waste and we eke out more bang for our buck.

However for our main pc, Moore's law tells us new hardware will offer newer advantages. Therefore GNU/linux will have to move in the same direction and upgrade.
Even so, it's still better to use up our products before we throw them away.

Last edited by Higgsboson; 03-19-2016 at 12:04 AM.
 
Old 03-19-2016, 03:20 AM   #10
hazel
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Another point to consider is your distro's attitude to software. Some distros, including the *buntus, are "bleeding edge". They use the latest versions of everything. Often updates provide new functionality, which means new bugs. Things easily get broken but then another update fixes them.

Other distros go for stability like Debian Stable, which only provides security updates and bug fixes.

Maybe you should try a different distro.
 
Old 03-23-2016, 04:15 PM   #11
Mixednut
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I have had a little more time to carry out testing.
Lubuntu 14.04 does not work even as live CD (usb). Tried Puppy 6.0.5 (based on ubuntu 14.04)and it did not work either.
The older Puppy 5.7.1 as live CD does work though.
I have reinstalled Xubuntu 12.04 to test/check packages and see what happens during updates (security only).
We will see...
 
  


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