Linux for Old Laptop

Discussion in 'Linux/BSD/Free Systems' started by wrangler, Oct 11, 2018 at 5:39 PM.

  1. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    I've got an old HP Sleekbook with an i3-2367m processor... model# 14-b013cl

    Gonna guess it's about 6 years old and has just been sitting around the house.
    I need something for upstairs that literally will only surf the web looking for answers to questions about what ever game I am playing at the time and might also do some Gmail.

    As far as I can tell it's an all intel laptop where it counts.

    No experience with Linux whatsoever. If you don't count android phones and tablets.

    This will be my first time.
    Be gentle.
     
  2. FNtastic

    FNtastic Gawd

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    Welcome to Linux
    Debian 9
    Download and burn you a Live USB to test between LXDE and XFCE. Those are both lightweight and should run best on an old laptop. https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current-live/amd64/bt-hybrid/

    There's also stuff like LUbuntu. I'm personally not a fan. Debian is Vanilla, lightweight. And, you shouldn't have to do much no matter which you choose.

    I have an older laptop than you as a daily driver. Just for browsing, watching YouTube, etc. I run Linux Mint with XFCE on it. It's based off Ubuntu. If I had to choose again, I'd go with Debian XFCE or LXDE. Just to have the vanilla experience. For no other reason. All the ones I've named are awesome operating systems that you'll be happy with.

    PS, make sure you install 3rd party (restricted) software when that option comes up ;)
     
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  3. Chuklr

    Chuklr Gawd

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    Linux Lite is worth looking at. Hope this helps.
     
  4. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    OK
    I just googled LXDE vs XFCE.
    Holy fucking shit. :wideyed: That's all I'm going to say.

    Now, I am going to go to that link and I am going to download that Debian distro. I like vanilla. A lot.
    I have no idea what any of that other stuff means. I'm probably just going to pick that L or X stuff on a coin flip.

    I just need to find the charger for this lappy.

    I'll keep you updated.
     
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  5. FNtastic

    FNtastic Gawd

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    Try em both! :cool:
     
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  6. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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  7. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    I have win32diskimager and a mint .iso

    ok?
     
  8. FNtastic

    FNtastic Gawd

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    Give me a few minutes to see if I can find you something useful. Gonna try to find you a good video
     
  9. FNtastic

    FNtastic Gawd

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    Okay. First video. This is probably a good place to start just for the basic info he provides. He also pointed something out that I wasn't previously aware of. Apparently the live image has issues when installing. I wasn't aware of that.
    Here's that video



    The second video is here:



    I tried to find this as quickly as possible for you. So, it's probably not the best video on YouTube. But, it should get the job done. Just remember what your ISO is. And, that it'll be different from his of course
     
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  10. leezard

    leezard [H]ardness Supreme

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    I run Bodhi on one of my older laptops. It runs well on older hardware https://www.bodhilinux.com/


    System Requirements
    Minimum:

    • 500mhz processor
    • 256MB of RAM
    • 5GB of drive space
    Recommended:

    • 1.0ghz processor
    • 512MB of RAM
    • 10GB of drive space
     
  11. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    thanks for the video.

    I think I am just going to figure out how to use win32diskimager and install this mint iso I was able to download. At least Mint has a website where normal people can download the software. I've made install usb's wth windows iso's before so I am not totally out of my depth.
    Everybody keeps talking about a usb stick. I really just want to install it to the hard drive on the laptop. I guess at some point that is an option?

    That link with the Debian. I don't even know what that is. Some kind of wall of text with some links and.... shit... But please don't think I am being unappreciative. Just beyond my skills.
     
  12. FNtastic

    FNtastic Gawd

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    Okay. The USB stick is now your CD. So, you used to burn the iso to CD. Now you burn them to USB... That's all. And, yes, you'll install it directly to the hard drive from the USB drive (aka CD).

    Don't be intimidated by the wall of text. It's just OS name, version, and type of windows manager in the filename (LXDE, XFCE, etc). I'll find you the equivalent installer package for Debian that I gave you as live iso previously to help explain.
    So, basically this is your main area: https://www.debian.org/CD/
    Click Download CD/DVD images via Http, click Official CD/DVD images of the stable release, under CD click amd64 (assuming your laptop is 64 bit, it isn't that old), scroll down and any of the following are good to burn to your USB. And, you can see one already includes XFCE.
    Code:
    debian-9.5.0-amd64-netinst.iso     2018-07-14 13:12  291M 
    debian-9.5.0-amd64-xfce-CD-1.iso   2018-07-14 13:12  640M 
    debian-mac-9.5.0-amd64-netinst.iso 2018-07-14 13:12  294M
    The link, just in case.
    https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current/amd64/iso-cd/

    Going with Mint is a much more user-friendly way to get into Linux. I just wanted to throw this info here for you in case you wanted to go the Debian route. I think the whole community would agree that some of the websites aren't exactly "inviting" from a user interface perspective. So, I didn't want you running off from something good just because of that. If this isn't the time for it, there's always another time once you're comfortable enough and get that itch to tinker and play around with another distribution. ;)
     
  13. ZeqOBpf6

    ZeqOBpf6 Limp Gawd

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    Whenever anyone asks for a lightweight Linux distro the answer seems to be about 50 different distros. It seems then, Linux is inherently lightweight.

    What are the heaviest and most bloated Linux distros?
     
  14. DrLobotomy

    DrLobotomy [H]ardness Supreme

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    Ubuntu.

    Most distro's also have a Lite or Minimal install that makes it ez.

    I like Slax.
     
  15. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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  16. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    An i3 is plenty for Linux. I like Ubuntu, others don't.

    Try Lubuntu if you like lxde, Xubuntu if you like xfce, or UbuntuMate if you like mate, which is pretty lightweight.
     
  17. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed Gawd

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    Totally this. That lappy isn't as lightweight as you may assume regarding Linux, almost any distro would run fine on that device.
     
  18. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    Thanks guys.
    Definitely going to be making this happen this weekend.
    I looked around the house for about an hour looking for the damn charger.
    Soon as I find it....
     
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  19. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun Stay [H]ard

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    You just reminded me of the amount of time over the years I've spent looking for chargers for this or that or the other. Sad. :cry:
     
  20. Algrim

    Algrim [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm late to the thread but I'd also recommend Debian + XFCE. It's a lightweight enough combination that my old Pentium (single hyper-threaded core) runs okay on it.
     
  21. ChadD

    ChadD I Love TEXAS

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    I'm late to this thread as well. Some good suggestions so far. Lots of great distros around these days, not many bad options. Your machine isn't going to be lighting fast but you would be surprised, you don't have to hunt for a lite distro. Pretty much all the majors will work fine.

    My suggestions

    https://manjaro.org/get-manjaro/
    Manjaro XFCE. It is a rolling release... which does mean more updates. Although you shouldn't ever have to hunt for newer versions of anything. The Manjaro distros will have the newest everything minus about 1-2 weeks in general. Manjaro used the Arch Linux base. Arch is a popular Linux nerd distro that is pure rolling (if some open source project pushes a new package, its in the arch distros same day in general) The Manjaro folks base their distro on Arch but give it a user friendly installer, and the manjaro package repositories tend to have a short delay while they are tested for stability. So a lot more stable and new user friendly then Arch... but still very much up to date and never a need to install a new version. It just keeps rolling updates forever. Of course keep that in mind as well... with Manjaro and other rolling style distros you do tend to get a lot more updates. With Manjaro I find 300-500mb of updates a week is pretty standard for a typical system with the basics (Web/video/offices software). If that is potentially an issue consider my second suggestion where updates are less frequent. [also note updating Linux is not like updating windows... if you have a fast connection it will take minutes at most to do even a solid GB of updates. On my decent connect I have had 500mb updates take under a min.]

    https://software.opensuse.org/distributions/leap
    Open SUSE Leap with XFCE desktop. I deal with suse a good bit... its a solid reliable enterprise class distro. Leap is very close to what Suse ships in SLES (Suse Linux Enterprise Server). If you decide to try it... when you install when it asks what Desktop enviroment you want to run. It will give you the choice of KDE / GNOME / Server (no DE) / Transactional (a new update system for servers for complete updates while running for zero down time) / custom. Forget about the server options. Your system can run KDE or GNOME but I would choose custom and select XFCE. But you can try any DE and see how you like them on that machine. You can install more then one DE and decide which to use when you log in. XFCE imo is a good balance of looks and resource use.

    One other bit of advice. Seeing as this is a spare type machine. Don't be afraid to try a couple different distros. Of course its nice to spend some time learning what you want to know on one. Most people do end up hopping a few distros at first, sometimes seeing what makes distros different can help you understand more how Linux works as an OS.

    I think boonie already mentioned it but if your burning a USB from windows. Use Etcher its easy and tends to work with most any distro. Runs fine under Linux as well.
    https://etcher.io/
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018 at 1:15 AM
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  22. SmokeRngs

    SmokeRngs [H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2008

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    Look at the system in my sig. It's a Q6600 and runs Manjaro and KDE just fine. I run openSUSE Leap on my Q6600 server (not in sig) with KDE and have no issues although I don't mess around on it much since it's sitting there doing its thing without any issues at all.

    You're probably not going to have any real issues overall with general performance with most distros as Linux tends to run light on the resources. The laptop isn't going to be some sort of speed demon but with just about any of the recommendations here it's going to run just fine.

    I personally don't recommend Ubuntu or any of the derivatives simply because it's all Debian based and for no reason I can explain I just don't like Debian and Debian based distros. I will say I'm quite surprised with Manjaro. When I tried it out a while back it was just damn nice and I decided to use it over openSUSE which has been my go to distro for years.
     
  23. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Heck, I run Windows 10 on an overclocked Pentium G3258 and it can still do 67-70fps in WOT ultra settings and 2560p.
     
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  24. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    ubuntu works pretty well for this. I have installed 18.4 on a laptop that is twice as old and used it for months until I got a replacement.
     
  25. FNtastic

    FNtastic Gawd

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    A lot of good input and encouragement here. Good job Linux community :)
    I'm anxious for the update from OP!
     
  26. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    So Sorry guys.
    I had to order a charger off of eBay.
    I've literally looked everywhere. I even searched the luggage in the attic thinking it got left in one of the suitcases after a trip.
    It's just gone. Probably why this thing was sitting unused. It was my wife's. She probably lost the charger and figured it was easier to get a new lappy.
    She won't admit it thought. Sorry I didn't think to look for it before I bugged you guys. Just didn't figure it was really gone...

    I agree on the good input and encouragement. This is going to happen. I already have the tools I need to make the thumbdrive and the distro. Been watching video's.
    Sorry for the slight delay.
     
  27. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge Not the Idiot YOU are Looking for

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    I was kind of thinking this- while I wouldn't want to sway someone from trying Linux on a desktop- I'm weighing Manjaro vs. Ubuntu 18 vs. CentOS myself- Windows 10 is pretty lightweight itself from a memory and processing standpoint.
     
  28. FNtastic

    FNtastic Gawd

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    All good. Shit happens. Keep us posted. Don't forget the non-free repositories. And, if all else fails install either Chrome or Chromium. That'll get you just about anything, save for Silverlight. :rolleyes:
     
  29. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    FOUND IT!!!

    I made one last ditch attempt and found it in a box with some pictures in a cabinet under the TV.
    Go figure.

    OK
    Charging now. I've got a little 120GB 840EVO I'm going to wipe out and stick in it and the fun can commence.

    What is a non-free repository?
     
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  30. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    And, I was able to cancel the other charger.

    Oh, and I need to put the user files on a backup somewhere. My wife had a ton of stuff on this thing.
     
  31. ChadD

    ChadD I Love TEXAS

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    Don't forget to edit the post above where you suggested it might be your wives fault. Just in case any shoulder reading happens in your future.
     
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  32. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    No doubt she put it in that stupid picture box probably during a rush clean and then forgot. :p

    So... Anybody heard of LinuxLive USB Creator? I am rummaging through my thumbdrives and found that program. Seems like a program to make Live USB's??
     
  33. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge Not the Idiot YOU are Looking for

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    Why no love for Rufus?

    Latest version has worked pretty well for me.
     
  34. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    So, I remember I had LiLi to make a usb stick that would launch parted magic. Just found that on one of my sticks.

    Looking up Rufus.
     
  35. ChadD

    ChadD I Love TEXAS

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    I prefer Etcher for the most part.

    Rufus has some extra settings... but Etcher is cross platform. You can use it on Windows Linux and even Mac if need be. Its super easy and almost 100% mess up proof because of that. (I was trying not to say idiot proof lol) I also haven't found a distro it didn't burn correctly without having to do anything but drag and drop.

    The only real draw back is its perhaps slightly slower, which is one aspect they have been working on. Its much faster now then it was a year back. (its not like its that slow... just saying it might take 30s longer then rufus)
     
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  36. Chuklr

    Chuklr Gawd

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    When I can't find something it always seem to be in the last place I look! :D

    Rufus is the go to that I use.

    You might also want to look at Solus. I am running Solus Mate and like it. I found it to be an easy transition from Windows 7. I haven't experienced a hiccup with it.

    Enjoy dipping your toe in the Linux pool. :)
     
  37. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    ok
    Rufus is making me a stick right now.

    Backup still in progress on the lappy but getting close.


    Rufus said something about the Mint distro I have needing something for it to download, something about the distro it knows about versus the distro I have, so I let it... kind of disturbing.
     
  38. ChadD

    ChadD I Love TEXAS

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    I would burn the latest ISO from the mint webpage... and no where else.

    https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
     
  39. wrangler

    wrangler 2[H]4U

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    That's where I got the one I have.

    Rufus said it needed to do something with it.

    I downloaded the one that says Cinammon because it says most popular.