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Is the Problem Linux or Your Old Hardware?
While it’s certainly true that Linux can bring new pep to old hardware, it cannot fix failing components or compensate for extreme deficits in RAM and available storage. Yes, it’s a lot of fun to see how Linux runs on an old machine but don’t expect miracles. People contact me all the time complaining that Linux doesn’t work when in fact it’s the hardware itself. Trying to run a modern OS on a 32 bit, single core machine with anything less than 2 GB of RAM is going to be challenging. Some stuff just isn’t going to work right, especially graphics intensive applications. The machine will be slow and it might even lock up if you push it too hard. 

Keep in mind that advertised “minimum requirements” from Linux distributions represent the very least you need to make the system work. They do not mean that such a machine will run everything you might want it to. These days, the bare minimum for comfortable general computing (documents, e-mail, YouTube, online games and so on…) is a 4 core CPU with at least 4 GB of RAM. Even venerable 2 core CPU’s of just a few years ago are now overwhelmed when you launch a web browser.

As for failing hardware, components like WI-fi cards, graphics cards and hard drives just don’t up and die; they usually start doing weird things on an intermittent basis. That means they work sometimes and other times they don’t. Obviously, the only solution here is to replace such hardware.  That’s no big deal for those who have the skills required but to neophyte Linux newbies it usually meas finding some to do it for them for a fee. Dumping a lot of money into an old machine with limited capability is never a good idea. 

Fortunately, there are a lot of very nice refurbished late model machines available on eBay these days that cost a fraction of what a brand new machine goes for. If you’re serious about learning how to use Linux, find one of these you like that runs Linux well and start fresh. You can figure all that out with just a little research. There are forums just packed with people’s experiences with all kinds of machine. Linux is a hand-on thing…  Finding out what’s right for you is actually part of the fun.
-- Your Fearless Leader!


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Is the Problem Linux or Your Old Hardware? - by EzeeLinux - 09-02-2019, 02:36 PM

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