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Best Distro for an Old Laptop

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malspa
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Re: Best Distro for an Old Laptop

#11

Post by malspa » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:51 pm

I've run Linux on hardware with somewhat similar specs, and it usually works out ok. I don't have much to add to what others here have already said.

MX would definitely be the FIRST distro I'd test on this hardware. But MX is my favorite for testing Linux on machines that come my way. You've landed in the right spot, in my opinion!

And I think your laptop would run better with something lighter than KDE or GNOME, so Xfce would be a nice choice. You might want to look at Xubuntu and Linux Mint, too. Heavy usage of the web browser will likely be what slows things down, unless you end up upgrading the RAM.

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Re: Best Distro for an Old Laptop

#12

Post by JayM » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:14 am

The main things that will be "choked" by the 2GHz 2-core CPU are: re-encoding videos, remastering a live persistent MX USB, and creating a snapshot of your MX system. These tasks normally use 100% of the CPU's capabilities so they would run a bit faster with a faster CPU or one with more cores. For normal, day-to-day computer use the CPU doesn't matter that much. I have Firefox open (one tab) as well as Thunar file manager and have my system info conky running as well as two panels and my CPU, which is a dual-core Athlon 2.6GHz, is only being utilized 15%. And under 1GB of the RAM is in use at the moment too.
Please read How To Ask For Help and How to Break Your System.
MX User Manual: hold down ALT and press F1. Further information may be found in the MX Wiki.

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Re: Best Distro for an Old Laptop

#13

Post by mxer » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:50 am

I'm presently running MX on a dual 1GHz/2GB ram notebook & it's fine for normal stuff, a little bit slow starting up, loading large programs, & web browsing, but perfectly usable. :happy:

Edit: I did remaster it, it took about 40mins, if I remember. :cool:
(FOSS, Linux, & BSD since 1999)

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Re: Best Distro for an Old Laptop

#14

Post by chrispop99 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:45 am

Welcome TheLegit.

I have a number of Dell D630s as test machines for MX Linux, and it runs very well on them. 2GB RAM will be OK unless you browse the 'net with multiple tabs open. 4GB will be better for sure. I don't think you would gain enough by going to 8GB to justify the cost. One RAM slot is under a cover on the base, the other is under the keyboard. They are the easiest machines ever made to pull apart, and full service manuals are freely available from the Dell website.

Forget about CPU upgrades, The difference in performance between the slowest one that machine came with, and the fastest available, is negligible.

An SSD is the way to go for sure. Note that the D630 has a SATA II interface, and all current drives will be SATA III. It will work just the same, but not at its maximum speed. It will be much faster that a mechanical drive however.

I personally would not run Windows 10 on those machines. I have done it, but found it frustratingly slow.

Chris
Test machines:
32-bit non-PAE - Thinkpad T41, 1.6GHz Pentium M, 1GB RAM.
32-bit PAE - DELL Latitude D610, 1.73GHz Pentium M, 2GB RAM.
64-bit - Lenovo T61, 2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM
64-bit - Gigabyte Z77P-D3, Intel i3-3220, GeForce 8400 GS, 4GB PC3-12800.

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Re: Best Distro for an Old Laptop

#15

Post by JayM » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:52 am

chrispop99 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:45 am
An SSD is the way to go for sure. Note that the D630 has a SATA II interface, and all current drives will be SATA III. It will work just the same, but not at its maximum speed. It will be much faster that a mechanical drive however.
Yes, indeed! My desktop PC is SATA II and I installed an SSD a few months ago. While it's not as fast as it could be with a newer computer with a SATA III controller, it's FAST! Way faster than a spinner (regular hard drive.) From power on to my desktop in a few seconds, not including the time to it takes me to enter my encryption passphrase.
Please read How To Ask For Help and How to Break Your System.
MX User Manual: hold down ALT and press F1. Further information may be found in the MX Wiki.

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Re: Best Distro for an Old Laptop

#16

Post by Bouffski » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:30 am

IMHO LinuxLite or Lubuntu would be a good substitute for MX; never failed installing & using them on an OLD laptop or Desktop... 32-bit is preferred.

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Re: Best Distro for an Old Laptop

#17

Post by Huckleberry » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:39 am

viewtopic.php?f=97&t=51938

(With a single word)
_____________________________________

Tested and approved by the "Average Joe" :)
Last edited by Huckleberry on Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When asking for help, please first : Menu => MX Tools => Quick System Info
Even no need to select & copy. The output will get in the clipboard automatically, just paste.


MX 18.3 - 32bit 5.2.8-antix.1-686-smp-pae

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Re: Best Distro for an Old Laptop

#18

Post by paul1149 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:54 am

MX, being light-mid weight, would be an excellent choice. How to do it? Reinstall Windows first, because the latter Linux install will respect Windows, but the opposite is not true. From Windows it should be easy to upgrade the BIOS. For me 3GB is the threshold for a 64bit OS, otherwise I stick to 32bit. The SSD will transform the machine. I have used Win10 on machines worse than this with good results. At this hardware level Win7 will be a spunkier ride, but I think I would prefer the latter version, especially with Win7 off support now. Win10 can also be trimmed a bit for performance.
MX-17.1 x64, on C2D, 6GB RAM, SSD.

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Re: Best Distro for an Old Laptop

#19

Post by Huckleberry » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:50 am

TheLegit wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:35 pm
specs:
2GB of RAM (DDR2)
Intel Core 2 Duo (2GHZ Dual Core Single Thread)
80GB Hard Drive...I have been leaning towards MX Linux and Linux Mint... Would something like MX Linux and/or Linux Mint run just fine on it and be good for a new user like me?
Hi TheLegit,

Welcome and you did very well beginning searching about Linux. I just wanted to say: This is almost the same with my scenario and you're on the right track. You already answered it correctly:

This old HP (32bit Pavilion from the end of 2005) has even lower specs:

2GB Ram DDR2 (same)
Intel Pentium M 1.73 GHz single core
60 GB Harddisk

And I have MX (and had Mint Cinnamon, that's heavier and Win 7) all at the same time (on different partitions) on the same machine, with no issues...

Also on another 64 bit HP pavilion dv6 (actually my sister's) I have again MX, Mint and Win10 . (Win 10 is just for her, not to force to give up ...) Again with no issues..

I'd like to say, just no need to look elsewhere, either MX and/or Mint.

So that, whenever I want to show and suggest Linux to my friends who knows nothing other than Windows, I cannot decide and always introduce the two together. MX is swift, light and handy both when using installed and as live-session, Mint is also out of the box and a bit more Windows-like (although Linux distros don't (and shouldn't) have such an aim). So, newcomers can feel at home I mean...

Shortly, if you're savvy about partitioning (first shrinking Win 10 from inside Win) or already have available ones, then I strongly suggest to install both MX and Mint (Cinnamon especially).

Once, when I was using Mint only, my neighbor who had an Asus Eee mini Laptop which had only 512 MB ram and 1Ghz cpu, asked for help when the XP was unusable , full of viruses, I installed Mint Cinnamon and with no issues, still happy. (If I met MX those days, I'd absolutely install both again)

And see the main reason I decided to change to Linux: Linux world is so gracious: You can even suggest other distros, they're all respected. So that in Linux sites you can see the answers in faqs like "how can I completely remove Linux or Grub and install Windows, I want my Windows back"... This is just "self-confidence".
When asking for help, please first : Menu => MX Tools => Quick System Info
Even no need to select & copy. The output will get in the clipboard automatically, just paste.


MX 18.3 - 32bit 5.2.8-antix.1-686-smp-pae

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Re: Best Distro for an Old Laptop

#20

Post by Huckleberry » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:01 pm

TheLegit wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:35 pm
Possibly 64 Bit? I did some research and seems like it is at least 64 bit Capable... upgrade it to 8 GB of RAM if the BIOS was upgraded.... My question for that is, if the BIOS can be upgraded how do you do that?
It's already 64 bit according to Intel:

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en ... z-fsb.html

( Intel® Core™2 Duo T7250 )

Also : https://downloads.dell.com/manuals/all- ... _en-us.pdf ( Pages 183, 184 ) :
Memory module capacities: 512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB 4-GB capable
Memory type: DDR2 SODIMM
Minimum memory: 512 MB
Maximum memory: 4 GB/8 GB capable
______________

To update Bios, you just download the latest firmware regarding to that machine, from Dell support site and click on it like installing anything.. takes just a few seconds..
Flashing the BIOS From the Hard Drive
1.Ensure that the AC adapter is plugged in, the main battery is properly installed, and a network cable is attached. 2.Turn on the computer.

3.Locate the latest BIOS update file for your computer at support.dell.com.
https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en ... l=en&s=bsd

4.Click Download Now to download the file.
5.If the Export Compliance Disclaimer window appears, click Yes, I Accept this Agreement. The File Download window appears.
6.Click Save this program to disk and then click OK. The Save In window appears.
7.Click the down arrow to view the Save In menu, select Desktop, and then click Save. The file downloads to your desktop.
8.Click Close if the Download Complete window appears. The file icon appears on your desktop and is titled the same as the downloaded BIOS update file.

9.Double-click the file icon on the desktop and follow the instructions on the screen.

NOTE: If you use a BIOS-update program CD to flash the BIOS, set up the computer to boot from a CD before inserting the CD.
Here it is: (maybe your bios is already this version, just go to bios and have a see)

Version A19
Release date 16 Jul 2013
Last Updated 16 Jul 2013

https://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER015307 ... 30_A19.exe at:

https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en ... erid=1j8fx


Also https://www.dell.com/community/Latitude ... -p/6201809
... And they allow you to choose to have an SSD installed even if the system didn't originally come with one, which is an option I'd strongly recommend. If you've never used an SSD-equipped system, it makes the system easily 3x faster for everyday tasks. A 5-year-old system with an SSD will feel much faster for those tasks than a brand new system that has a spinning hard drive.
When asking for help, please first : Menu => MX Tools => Quick System Info
Even no need to select & copy. The output will get in the clipboard automatically, just paste.


MX 18.3 - 32bit 5.2.8-antix.1-686-smp-pae

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