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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 06-23-2018, 04:50 PM   #1
Davno
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A distro recommendation for an old laptop


Hi, i would like a distro recommendation for an old laptop.
1: I want to stick with debian base package.
2: A distro/environment low on resources
3: Preferably a distro that will detect and install proper drivers right at install.
I Google the subject i am thinking of either Lubuntu or LXLE.
Your opinions are very welcome.
 
Old 06-23-2018, 06:36 PM   #2
KBD47
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MX 17 will be good if you want a Debian base with lots of drivers and light on resources.
 
Old 06-23-2018, 06:59 PM   #3
Davno
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MX17

MX17, never heard of it, thxs ill check it out.
 
Old 06-23-2018, 07:12 PM   #4
ChuangTzu
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If sticking with Debian type then:

Devuan https://devuan.org/

MX https://mxlinux.org/

antiX https://antixlinux.com/

or search here:
https://distrowatch.com/search.php?basedon=Debian
 
Old 06-24-2018, 11:29 AM   #5
DavidMcCann
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How old, how small? I have a 2003 Thinkpad with a 1.6GHz Pentium M and that runs Xubuntu, although I've replaced Firefox with Midori.
 
Old 06-24-2018, 01:36 PM   #6
2damncommon
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Q4OS is really good for older laptops.
 
Old 06-28-2018, 10:22 AM   #7
azrielle
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Depending on the age and amount of RAM, descending from lean to rudimentary,
Ubuntu 18.04 Mate (idles at about 450MB)
ParrotOS 4.01 Home edition (idles at about 360MB)
MX17.1_June 32bit if RAM is less than 4GB (idles at about 265MB)
MX16.1_November 32bit if RAM is less than 2GB or cpu is non-PAE capable (idles at about 165MB)
AntiX 17.1 32bit, and set it up to use the "Space-Fluxbox" desktop option (idles at 65-70MB)
Galpon Minino Artabros 2.2 (idles at ~58MB)
Slitaz Rolling (Slackware based, though)
Sparky 4.8 MinimalGUI and Bunsenlabs Helium are also worth considering if you like Openbox, though both seem to idle at over 300MB in my tests). For several reasons I don't recommend Q4OS Scorpion (the current version).

Last edited by azrielle; 06-28-2018 at 10:38 AM.
 
Old 06-30-2018, 12:25 PM   #8
2damncommon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damncommon View Post
Q4OS is really good for older laptops.
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrielle View Post
..........For several reasons I don't recommend Q4OS Scorpion (the current version).
I checked. I am running "Scorpion" on an Inspiron 1200.
Q4OS Scorpion is based on Debian 9 Stretch featuring the Trinity 14.0.5 and KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environments, it is available for 64bit and 32bit/i686pae computers, as well as i386 systems without PAE extension...........
 
Old 06-30-2018, 09:07 PM   #9
frankbell
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I think that somehow the cart has gotten ahead of the horse.

What are the laptop's specs, particularly RAM and CPU?
 
Old 06-30-2018, 09:48 PM   #10
2damncommon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
I think that somehow the cart has gotten ahead of the horse.

What are the laptop's specs, particularly RAM and CPU?
Model even?
 
Old 07-01-2018, 09:20 PM   #11
SandsOfArrakis
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Running Linux Mint 19 Mate on a laptop from 2011. Runs on an Intel i3-2310M 2,1 GHz, 4 gb RAM and a 5400 rpm 750 gb hard disk.
After a boot Mate uses just over 370 mb RAM.

Boots in less then a minute and works very snappy once the desktop appears on screen.
Would be faster with an SSD of course, but since I use it as a music player/server. I'm not too fussed about the longer boot times
 
Old 07-06-2018, 01:09 PM   #12
fatmac
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AntiX - it is designed to work on old hardware, as well as newer, comes in three main varieties depending on how much you want to install.

Debian based, without systemd. I've been using it for several years without any problems on my old equipement; netbooks, laptops, & various desktops; mainly with 2GB ram.

https://antixlinux.com/
http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
 
Old 07-06-2018, 04:30 PM   #13
IsaacKuo
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If you want to stick with Debian base packages, the most compatible distribution is Debian. To reduce the required resources, I'd recommend choosing XFCE during the install rather than one of the more heavyweight desktop suite options (such as GNOME or KDE).

I run the current Debian Stable, with XFCE desktop, on numerous older computers. The one directly in front of me is an old EeePC netbook with 900MHz Celeron M and 1GB of RAM. To my left are a couple machines with only 512MB of RAM (only 99MB used), and Atom N270 CPU (one of the really sluggish early Atoms). They're all running Debian Stable, XFCE4 desktops.

I could shave a little bit of RAM usage by using something even lighter than XFCE4, but I like the GUI utilities for configuring XFCE4. And I just don't use any computers with less than 512MB of RAM regularly anymore, so there's little point. Debian is already only using 1/5 of the RAM, with a few things running. Even my really old computers have 256MB of RAM, which is enough to run Debian with XFCE4 out-of-box. I only use them to house some old PATA drives with some file backups, though...anyway, they're still powerful enough to run Debian Stable with XFCE4 GUI. It's just that I simply don't do anything with them other than copy/paste files and such.

The only vaguely intense task I've used one of these older computers for was to use Handbrake (with GUI) to rip some PAL DVDs. I didn't want to lock any of the DVD drives I care about to PAL, so I decided to "sacrifice" this Pentium 4 clunker with 512MB of RAM to the job. With such a slow CPU, it took a long time, but I didn't care. It worked; I could watch the videos from the PAL DVDs, and only this crummy old PATA DVD drive was "sacrificed" to PAL region lock (maybe...I'm still not sure how that works exactly).

My point is, Debian is actually pretty darn lightweight so long as you stick to a lightweight desktop environment like XFCE4.

Still, if your laptop has less than 128MB of RAM, I'd be looking for some of the more obscure stripped down options...possibly even looking at an older release.
 
Old 07-07-2018, 12:48 AM   #14
hubbardjw@gmail.com
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I'm running Xubuntu on an old HP Mini 210. It is a bit slow at times, but that may be because the poor thing has "squirrel power" not "horse power". It does not support the internal wireless card.

Jerry

This may be a hardware problem with my card. I found the correct Kernel driver (rt2800pci) is installed for my card. An RT5390 Wireless 802.11n.

Last edited by hubbardjw@gmail.com; 07-07-2018 at 02:44 AM. Reason: update
 
Old 07-07-2018, 09:33 AM   #15
azrielle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damncommon View Post
I checked. I am running "Scorpion" on an Inspiron 1200.
Q4OS Scorpion is based on Debian 9 Stretch featuring the Trinity 14.0.5 and KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environments, it is available for 64bit and 32bit/i686pae computers, as well as i386 systems without PAE extension...........
Debian 9 based Q4OS Scorpion uses 3x to 4x the RAM at idle that Debian 8 based Q4OS 1.8.8 uses, at least in my tests on an Acer n570 based Happy2 netbook.
And THAT is why I said I CANNOT recommend it for an older computer. I can--and DO--recommend the 1.8.8 version though, if you can stomach TDE's KDE based hierarchical menu system, which, compared to Xfce's whisker menu, is clunky and time-consuming.
 
  


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