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best Linux for old computer?





welshsteve
A friend of my wife's has a very very old laptop. Windows just will not run on it, it takes 5 minutes to respond to a mouse click. I therefore asked her if she doesn't mind having a different OS on there. She only needs it for web browsing and email so I suggested this.

The laptop has 256MB RAM and an 800MHz CPU. At the moment I have put Xubuntu on there, the alternative download version, and it seems to be ok. It detects the wireless router etc.

Is this the best option as it is still a little slow, although nowhere near how slow it was.

Another option I thought of was DreamLinux, which runs great in LiveCD mode. I've now downloaded the latest version and am thinking of putting that on instead of Xubuntu. Dream Linux is a little more pleasing on the eye with the "Mac" like animated shortcut bar at the bottom.

I'm pretty new to linux, and my wife's friend is not computer literate in the slightest, so I want it to be the easiest experience it can possibly be for her.
Fire Boar
Xubuntu is okay, though I would probably suggest a more lightweight distro with the XFCE desktop. I don't think the difference will be worth it though.

It might be better to check your services in /etc/init.d and disable the ones you won't need. There are a few ways to do this. The first is using runlevels: each of the /etc/rc* folders contains a bunch of links to these services, with names of the form @##name where @ is either K or S (kill or start respectively) and ## is a number between 00 and 99. S scripts should be changed to K scripts if you want to disable the service at a particular runlevel (just rename the link). The number determines the order in which scripts are started and killed. Alternatively, you can do this in a more friendly interface by installing the sysvconfig package and running "sudo sysvconfig" in a terminal: choose the "edit runlevels" option. Another option is to simply set the script in /etc/init.d to be non-executable, either using chmod or by running the file manager as root.

For example, cups is the printer daemon. If you don't have a printer, you can stop it from running on every startup. Likewise, if you don't use bluetooth, you can disable the bluetooth service. No speakers? Disable the pulseaudio service.
welshsteve
Thanks for that. The version of xubuntu i've installed appears to be already using the xfce interface.
tomastrnka
May be you should try Puppy Linux, should be fast even on very old computers, or try another distro with even more lightweight DM like LXDM(Mint)
cybersa
What you think about installing Lite Version of Windows XP for you laptop?
Windows XP Sp3 lite is out there for Netbooks or Laptops.
You can try it.
welshsteve
Thanks for all the posts guys. Xubuntu seems to have done the job fine. My wife's friend is very happy with it.
akun
I think that puppy will be nice solution, because can insert KDE and so will have similar experience than Windows XP or Me or 9X.

Install on HDD and download SFS with KDE


^_^
tamilparks
windows xp is enough
darthrevan
tomastrnka wrote:
May be you should try Puppy Linux, should be fast even on very old computers, or try another distro with even more lightweight DM like LXDM(Mint)


I was about to say Puppy Linux as well, though I have never tried it.
Here is a link to distrowatch that searches for distros for Old computers, take a look http://distrowatch.com/search.php?ostype=All&category=Old+Computers&origin=All&basedon=All&notbasedon=None&desktop=All&architecture=All&status=Active
saikrupa
Fedora is best Linux OS to the old computer which is compatible. This OS is preferable to do all the things with the help of keyboard, There is no need of using mouse because it was command based.
darthrevan
saikrupa wrote:
Fedora is best Linux OS to the old computer which is compatible. This OS is preferable to do all the things with the help of keyboard, There is no need of using mouse because it was command based.


Fedora to me wouldn't be the best choice for older computers, especially if a GUI is used.
Marcuzzo
For older computers I've had the best experience with SliTaz
attilax
Puppy Linux, Absolute, KNOPPIX, Lubuntu, antiX, siduction
darthrevan
attilax wrote:
Puppy Linux, Absolute, KNOPPIX, Lubuntu, antiX, siduction


I disagree with Siduction and if too old lubuntu. If you only use the console on those two they would be fine. I wouldn't really recommend a Ubuntu derivative on older PC unless you want it to go slow, though lxde GUI would possibly be fine on the other mentioned distro.
loveandormoney
What kind of problems does Siduction produce with old computers like Pentium II?
JasonNewman
The older versions of Ubuntu like 8.0 work okay on old computers. I had a P3 running that, and it worked perfectly okay.
honken
Or if you wish to try something new (but old).

Haiku project (inspired on BeOS) http://www.haiku-os.org/

Quote:

Haiku will run on a Pentium or better CPU with 128MB of RAM, 600MB of storage space and a VESA compliant video card. In fact, it has been tested to work on CPU's as slow as a Pentium II 400MHz with 64MB of RAM. However, for a satisfactory user experience, we recommend at least a Pentium III with 256MB of RAM and 2GB of storage space. For compiling Haiku within itself, 1GB of memory is recommended.


I love to use BeOS, i think its a nice system, and this one i tried sometime ago, and i liked it to.
thecodergeek
Yes, Puppy Linux is a good suggestion.
Read this here:
http://jponline.hubpages.com/hub/Best-Linux-For-Old-Computer
It's a write up I did testing out various linux distro's with very limited RAM and hardware on some really old computers of mine. I tested computers with 64mb of RAM, 128mb of RAM, and 256mb of RAM to see how well they performed with different light weight linux distro's.

With only 256mb of RAM I would say Puppy Linux, AntiX, Slax (may do well for you, but optimally in my test with a tad bit more RAM) Slitaz is extremely lightweight and runs pretty well on a computer with only 256mb and there is Macpup which is pretty good as well. BrowserLinux is good if your just needing something for browsing the web and it's pretty stripped down and light weight.
There's more light weight distro's listed in the article I wrote. But those are my top picks for only 256 mb of RAM.

I also disagree with the person that mentioned Lubuntu. Performs better on more RAM, I wouldn't suggest it as a good pick since you only have 256mb of RAM to work with.
jajarvin
I have been using Puppy Linux for a long time. My PC is old, but Linux is running nicely.
alphysudaria143
jajarvin wrote:
I have been using Puppy Linux for a long time. My PC is old, but Linux is running nicely.


We're the same mate Smile Cheers for us. I've using Puppy Linux too. It was very awesome, isn't it?.

Puppy Linux is a lightweight Linux distribution that focuses on ease of use.
andro27
For home server if you have old celleron is ok. install debian and centos. This work ok.
For share music is good but if you have share hd movie you must have stronger machine .
manfer
JasonNewman wrote:
The older versions of Ubuntu like 8.0 work okay on old computers. I had a P3 running that, and it worked perfectly okay.


This wouldn't be recommended at all. Ubuntu 8.0 is long ago that have finished support from Canonical so there are no new package updates to that version, nor even security updates. Having an outdated OS is not recommended at all.

For this reason Ubuntu is not really a good choice for old computers as you would need to use a recent Ubuntu version and the computer will not fulfill system requirements.

In an old computer people need a modern distro -with updated packages with no security issues- and at same time with low system requirements as some of the suggestions in the thread.
ajaybe
I recommed to use ubuntu .. this is freeware and verylightweight
crazyfffan
As long as it is Linux she'll be fine. I ran Ubuntu on mini laptop (Atom processor) and it works well. Puppy Linux is OK, I don't like its GUI very much. Xubuntu is OK, faster than Ubuntu, but if she is not familiar with Linux and needs a lot of support then Ubuntu must be the best.
ogah
i think best linux for old computer is damnsmall
Nyasro
yeah go for Xubuntu for sure!
metalfreek
I think Xubuntu is the best linux distro for low spec PC.
bahba
I think the Bodhi Linux are the best option. You can also try Lubuntu.
Bhaba
Cruxader
For those specs I think I would look at a Puppy Linux distro. There is a version that has access to the Ubuntu repositories, I think it's called Lucid Puppy.

I'm running Slacko Puppy, which uses Slackware repositories, on a very old IBM Thinkpad and it works great.
riteshk1
Yes i agreed that puppy Linux is good for old PC.
Gregoric
I have been using the Puppy Linux for a moment and I unfortunately haven't had the best experience using it as I am rathe a dedicated Windows user. Well, you will have to get used to it it you are in a situation like me.

Anyways, most such topics in the internet suggest Puppy, so you should try it out.
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