Suggest OS for low end rig

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Skylinestar, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. auntjemima

    auntjemima [H]ardness Supreme

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    On my 160gb spinner drive, I used up until about a month ago, loaded Ubuntu and Windows 10 about the same. W7 was a bit slower, but it was a Windows XP > Windows Vista > Windows 7 upgrade path. A new install of 10 made it faster to match Ubuntu.
     
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  2. stormy1

    stormy1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you can scrounge up enough ram to kick it up to 4GB it ill run much better with any OS.
    I am running a slower cpu with 4GB ram and a ssd as my main system right now because my better system the MB fried, literally.
    Im running windows 8.1 on it.
    With 2GB you need to keep the tabs in your browser down to 10 or so and run an add blocker.
     
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  3. ChadD

    ChadD [H]ardness Supreme

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    So you don't know what you are doing. I think we are clear.

    Even with 2 gb of ram their is no reason to be thrashing swap drives.... and regardless Linux gives people with low ram setups a way to move their swap to ram and comprese it with lz4 compression. So there is very little hard drive swap happening... unless someone is silly enough to be trying to edit 2gb RAW files in gimp or something on their low end setup.

    So will it take 2-3 min to boot instead of 30s.... sure. Will it run like crap, no it will run just fine. Even the heavier resource using desktop UIs like Gnome and KDE if they are setup right.
     
  4. ChadD

    ChadD [H]ardness Supreme

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    So I guess your Atom processor isn't one of the unsupported ones. Or are you screwed for updates from this point forward ?
     
  5. auntjemima

    auntjemima [H]ardness Supreme

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    Do you have a quick link to an article about the Atom cpu's and their compatibility? I keep hearing this, but I have a Windows 8.1 tablet I upgraded to 10 over a year ago and never had an issue. It's a Dell Venue 8 Pro.
     
  6. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    I run a HTPC with 2GB of ram, a Sandy Bridge i3 somethingorother processor and an ageing SSD. When building the system I was disappointed at the boot times considering it was fitted with an SSD, it was loaded with Windows 7 at the time and the SSD honestly seemed no faster than a spinner, I just put it down to the low ram capacity and left it at that. A year or so ago, after realising that MS had no intention of supporting W7MC and realising that Bluray playback was hit and miss at best on the PC platform I upgraded my HTPC from Windows 7 to Ubuntu MATE 16.04 - What a difference! Boot times were literally halved and Kodi craps all over W7MC (yes, I am aware that it's also available under Windows) especially with a TVheadend server to handle FTA DTV duties.

    People try to claim that it's the order that Windows 7 boots in and that speeds are no different - No, from power up to usable desktop boot times were halved under Linux. Only with the advent of Windows 10 could Windows even begin to match the boot times of Linux - No fast boot though, fast boot sucks.
     
  7. auntjemima

    auntjemima [H]ardness Supreme

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    So, a bit ago I got an SSD. On first boot into Windows 10 I was pretty disappointed with the speed. It felt no different. While using the OS it was noticeably faster and on the next reboot the boot time was also much better. Since that time I left for an exercise and wasn't able to test Ubuntu. Yesterday I loaded up Linux and the boot time was the same as before... I couldn't figure out why it would be like that but remembered the one load time on Windows that was slow, so I rebooted and nada.. So, now I am confused and I looked all over to figure it out.. Guess what it was?

    My Ubuntu install was using a partition on my 2TB spinner drive and not the SSD.. l o l. Go me!
     
  8. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    Be thankful you didn't install an OS on the drive containing irreplaceable family photo's because you weren't paying attention on install....
     
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  9. auntjemima

    auntjemima [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yikes! I always check a half dozen times. I am very paranoid when it comes to formatting anything.
     
  10. ChadD

    ChadD [H]ardness Supreme

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    https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/19/16001366/microsoft-windows-10-creators-update-atom-pcs

    Well its not really a huge deal honestly. MS has promised security updates till 2023 or something like that... but won't offer anything new feature wise. The creators update and anything that comes later to windows 10 is out.

    To be honest.... hell someone needs to write a program that makes windows believe you have a clover trail CPU so you can skip everything but security updates forever. ;)
     
  11. ChadD

    ChadD [H]ardness Supreme

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    You could always open your terminal and run;
    systemd-analyze blame

    To see if there is anything else you can speed up.... if your not printing and stuff from it you can likely kill things like Cups ect and shave a few more seconds off your boot. :) lol
     
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  12. naib

    naib [H]ard|Gawd

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    Or use openRC. 10seconds to desktop once the kernel has booted

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Skylinestar

    Skylinestar Limp Gawd

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    The motherboard has only 2 ram slots. I have a couple of 1GB sticks... so 2x1GB is the max.
    [​IMG]
    I'm not the kinda person who runs >10 tabs. Generally 2-3 the most, with AdBlock all the time.
     
  14. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Wow, I have not seen a board that colorful in a while. :D Well, just use it and let us know how it goes and remember, screw what anyone else thinks, just have fun doing it. :)
     
  15. Skylinestar

    Skylinestar Limp Gawd

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    Intel onboard graphics :) , output via VGA to a 15" lcd monitor (which I've bought online for $20, pending delivery)
     
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  16. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

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    Try this Linux distro based on Ubuntu but lightweight and fast. Put $0 in custom box to get for free.

    https://elementary.io/
     
  17. KarsusTG

    KarsusTG 2[H]4U

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    When I was on a 775 socket I was running xp-64 bit and debian dual boot. Honestly once vista got it's shit together it ran 'Ok' but certainly debian was the fastest hands down. I was using a raptor hard drive for debian and was running windows on a small ssd with several storage drives shared between them.

    That board will support 4gb of memory, which is more than enough to do virtually any day to day tasking on linux. I would bet the board would unofficially support more than 4gb of ram honestly, but I wouldn't waste money finding out, only if I had the ram sticks on hand. Only 4gb will be a bit rough on any modern windows system though. If it was my box I would put either ubuntu server with xfc, or something like pepperment (linux chrome os basically) depending on what I was trying to do. That would allow you to do web browsing, movie watching, and office work on it no problem. I wouldn't worry about what drive you put it on, a cheap 7200 spinner or a $40 ssd would be fine.
     
  18. Lunar

    Lunar Limp Gawd

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    If the primary purpose is to browse the web, then I recommend trying out Cloudready by Neverware. It is an open source fork of ChromeOS. Should run plenty fast on limited hardware.
    https://www.neverware.com/#introtext-3

    If a ChromeOS-like is too restricted though, I'd also recommend giving Linux Mint MATE a try. I recently used it to breath newlife into an ancient machine. And don't listne to those saying Linux runs like crap on regular hard drives. Frankly, they are full of it. The machine I resurrected uses a mechanical drive, and it runs Linux Mint MATE faster than anything else I've put on it. The key is to install something lightweight, which linux + MATE will be. Link below to the system I put Linux Mint MATE on below.
    https://hardforum.com/threads/breathing-new-life-into-an-old-laptop.1939205/
     
  19. zero2dash

    zero2dash [H]ardness Supreme

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    Lubuntu is the leanest Linux distro you're going to find, because LXDE is the leanest desktop environment available.

    Xubuntu is slightly more bloated than that, with XFCE.

    Ubuntu MATE is the most bloated of the lean DE's, and what I'd personally recommend. It's not the leanest, but it is the most modern and feature rich of the 3.

    On a clean install VM, Lubuntu uses around 300 MB of RAM, Xubuntu is around 350, and MATE is around 400. Any of them will run good on your hardware, but MATE is the one I prefer from a usability standpoint.

    Linux Mint uses Cinnamon which is moderately resource heavy, as will be any distros using Gnome 3, Budgie, or KDE desktop environments.

    LXDE seems archaic to me, and XFCE is not much leaner than MATE which is why I recommend MATE. Use one of the 16.04.3 LTS distros which will be updated for several more years before you have to upgrade to the next LTS build, 18.04, which should come out sometime next year.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  20. H2R2P2

    H2R2P2 Limp Gawd

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    I think you should try Windows 10. You might be surprised how well it runs! You can also try an install of it without using a key, so it wont cost you anything to try.
     
  21. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    Noooo, not on a spinner.

    W10 on a spinner with CPU and memory limitations is frustratingly slow.
     
  22. Skylinestar

    Skylinestar Limp Gawd

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    32bit or 64bit?
     
  23. Skylinestar

    Skylinestar Limp Gawd

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    I've read the guide "10 things to do first in Ubuntu" posted in :
    https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/first

    Re: Decrease the swap use (with prerequisite applications gksu and leafpad), I'm a little surprised by this. Swappiness? Kinda like Windows pagefile? Is this what you guys are debating about Linux and spinners?
     
  24. naib

    naib [H]ard|Gawd

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    LXDE is not the leanest desktop environment available
     
  25. ChadD

    ChadD [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yes Linux swaps memory just like windows. Every operating system does some form of swapping.

    My suggestion is on a system with a low amount of ram 4gb and under... is to setup zram.

    Zram is part of the Linux kernel. It is a system that allows you to use your own memory as swap space using fast compression. Some distros will install it by default if you have under a specific amount of ram. Googles chrome os uses it out of the box.

    I would do some extra reading on setting it up... in Ubuntu I believe there is an install script zram-confg which you can install from the package manager and that is pretty much all you have to do.

    Found this with a quick search of Zram + Ubutnu. I would say if you have 2bg of ram a 512k zram swap part should work well.
    https://askubuntu.com/questions/864644/customisation-of-zram-and-enable-zram-disable-swap-partition

    If you setup zram you may also want to switch its compression method to LZ4.
    https://ubuntu-mate.community/t/enable-zswap-to-increase-performance/11302

    Zram uses lzo compression be default. Along the way it picked up LZ4 support which is a faster method but not turned on by default.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zram
     
  26. zero2dash

    zero2dash [H]ardness Supreme

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    What mainstream DE in an official distro is leaner than LXDE?

    There may be some that are leaner but none that I know of are an official DE of a mainstream release. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  27. naib

    naib [H]ard|Gawd

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    moving the goalposts. What you said was
    . LXDE is not the leanest desktop environment.

    If you are now tagging this with 1) mainstream desktop and 2) official distro the conditions are soo wide no matter what I wrote you will choose what mainstream is or official distro.

    Eitherway if you want to play that game Enlightement is lighter and is the main DE of void linux (butbut void, who uses void...) . if you want a leaner DE then suckless stack provides one of the leanest & thus the Stali distro cover that.

    Finally you could just have the WM as your DE and thus *box or even just dwm from suckless will provide a leaner DE than LXDE
     
  28. zero2dash

    zero2dash [H]ardness Supreme

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    Fair enough.
    I know there are other DE's but I'm not as big a distro hopper as some, so whether they're the built-in DE for distros or not, I honestly don't know.
    I know what the "main" DE's are though, and from a usability/support standpoint, that's why I mentioned LXDE, XFCE, and MATE.
     
  29. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    Not every OS hit's the swap file in the same way and some operating systems are, naturally, more demanding in this regard than others.
     
  30. Lunar

    Lunar Limp Gawd

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    Um, no. Just no. The definition of a is a full desktop with included utilities and tools. A full environment. Open box and other WM's like i3 don't qualify as true full DE's. This being the case, LXDE would definitely be the most lightweight fully featured DE.
     
  31. Lunar

    Lunar Limp Gawd

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    64 bit. Most distros are phasing out 32 bit support at this point.
     
  32. Monkey God

    Monkey God Mangina Full of Sand

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    That would run W7 just fine and W7 is amazeballs. That being said, since you might use it for virus/thumb drive scanning, a lightweight Linux distro would be a good choice as well. Lubuntu is decent although you may need to install some additional packages for the functionality you need. You could also screw around with Kali if you are interested in security stuffs.
     
  33. naib

    naib [H]ard|Gawd

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    yes, just yes...

    there is no definitive list as to what a desktop environment needs. My "Desktop" is
    1) openbox
    2) tint2
    3) pcmanfm-qt

    I could actually get by without #2 or #3 but well ...
    Likewise I listed two other cases. Enlightment is lighter than lxde. Equally suckless DE (which includes a few additionals) is light
     
  34. Lunar

    Lunar Limp Gawd

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    Actually, there is a definitive list of what is a desktop environment for all platforms.

    From linux.com:
    This is the generally understood set of requirements for a desktop environment. The page that is taken from also goes as far to explain how a window manager alone doesn't meet the requirements of a DE.

    Your setup with the other applications you use would qualify as a DE, but only because you cobbled it together. Enlightenment on the other hand is not a DE, it is a window manager.
     
  35. naib

    naib [H]ard|Gawd

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    Enlightenment hasn't just been a window manager for a very long time
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_(software)
     
  36. Lunar

    Lunar Limp Gawd

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    Ah, interesting. I've never followed enlightenment all that closely as I never liked it. I didn't know they'd expanded its scope to make it a full DE.
     
  37. funpak

    funpak Limp Gawd

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    Do you have experience with linux at all? If so, I would suggest Bunsenlabs, it's a very lightweight distro (successor to Crunchbang) based on Debian
     
  38. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    I feel uneasy when WM's become DE's, tieing a particular DE to a particular WM. If you come across issues the option to try another WM is no longer possible.
     
  39. Skylinestar

    Skylinestar Limp Gawd

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    No experience other than running the Ubuntu live cd to backup files when the Windows is badly corrupted.
     
  40. Skylinestar

    Skylinestar Limp Gawd

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    Hello, everyone. I wipe the hdd, format to EXT4, install the full Ubuntu without swap file space. So far it's running great. Thanks to everyone.

    EDIT: It detected my TPLink WN422G wifi dongle automatically. Posting this via wifi right now. Yay.

    [​IMG]

    One more thing, the mouse acceleration is just too aggressive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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