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Best Linux for my netbook?
#1
Hello World,
This is my first post here on ezeelinux. After watching a lot of the videos on the Joe Collins Youtube channel, i have finally made the switch to Linux and am now currently using Linux Mint as my main driver. I have an old netbook, Acer Aspire One D150 lying about and am wondering if i can revive the same using a Linux distro. The specs are Atom N270 processor, 1 GB Ram and 80 GB HDD. If everything works out well i want to give it to my nephew. Usage will be the occasional browsing and watching videos, nothing else. Will the current version of Lubuntu work well on this netbook. Or do i need to install a previous version. If not please give other suggestions. Also note this netbook came preinstalled with Windows XP. All the help on this matter is appreciated.
Many Thanks.
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#2
hello,

I am not sure if a lubuntu will work just fine or if you need something even lighter, but i can tell you this: if you can boot into a live environment, you can check if everything works well. By that i mean you can use it to connect to the internet, see if you online videos play well, if the computer response are acceptable, ie if your cursor moves across your screen without problems.

While in your live environment, install htop and run it in your terminal to have a look at memory usage it will give you and idea if the computer can handle that distro. Just keep in mind a live environment will not be at 100% of his capacities but it is enough to have a cloue about the computer capacities.

Last thing: maybe you already read this link, but here is an article which presents 10 lightweight linux distro: https://itsfoss.com/lightweight-linux-beginners/ but you can find more distros by googling it. just don't stop at numbers, also see what is in the repos.
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#3
A very important thing to keep in mind about really old hardware is you may be able to get an old computer to run again with a light Linux distro, but modern apps may really struggle to run or not run at all.  I think you will have a hard time running a modern version of a web browser, let alone playing video with such an old cpu and such little ram.

If you still want to try it, the extra-light distros I tend to recommend are antiX, Linux Lite, and Puppy Linux.  Peppermint is also a really nice light distro, but I would recommend running it on a higher spec'd machine, closer to their recommended requirements.  And keep in mind the difference between the minimum hardware requirements and the recommended hardware requirements stated when checking out a distro.  Also, make sure to check whether an old machine is 32-bit or 64-bit, and install the correct version.

*EDIT*   For anyone else reading this, occasionally people ask about installing really old versions of a distro to make it work on older machines, but unless the machine is never going to be connected to the internet, I wouldn't recommend installing a version of a distro that has reached end-of-life and no longer receives security updates.


Good Luck!
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#4
I know that the answer I am about to give is very short, but you should look into CrunchBang ++, considering its a netbook. https://www.crunchbangplusplus.org/
[Image: IplgSBz.png]
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#5
I realize the question is a few months old but this answer may still be relevant to the OP and others.

Linus Lite works reasonably well on old hardware and it gave my old ASUS NJ10 netbook a new lease of life.
I still use it occasionally when I travel to check emails, browse the web, play music and videos.
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#6
(10-19-2019, 04:32 PM)skanth Wrote: Hello World,
The specs are Atom N270 processor, 1 GB Ram and 80 GB HDD. If everything works out well i want to give it to my nephew. Usage will be the occasional browsing and watching videos, nothing else.

Over the years I have heard many people say/write "Linux works great on old laptops". In my opinion, this statement is misleading. If you try to run a graphical desktop at a current display's native resolution, with current applications and current media formats, you will need a fairly current computer.

I think you will find an old laptop like yours, using graphical desktop, may work, but will NOT provide a good user experience.

When you just want to boot into a console mode, that's a different story. Your old laptop will be just fine for that - but will that be of any use for your nephew?

I give you a real-world example, I'm running Ubuntu 18.04 on an Intel NUC with N3700 CPU, 8GB RAM and an SSD. The N3700 is near 5 times as powerful, compared to your old laptop's N270, but at the low end of today's CPU's. The N3700 is just OK for normal computing needs like web browsing and watching videos - but it is noticeably slower compared to my wife's 6-year-old i5 laptop, for example.

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Int.../614vs2513 

My NUC also has 8GB RAM and a 256GB SDD. I presume your old laptop's 80GB drive is a conventional hard drive with spinning magnetic platters? That alone will slow anything, regardless of the OS you run.

Over the years I have tried various flavors of Linux on various old computers, for myself or friends. Like it is, I would expect your N270 laptop to be too slow for graphical desktop. Replacing the old 4200 RPM hard drive with, say, a 128GB SSD and upgrading to 2GB or 3GB RAM will make a noticeable difference. If it is worth the money and the effort, I doubt.


But by all means, if you have the time, just try a few lightweight distros yourself. Not hard to google a few suggestions, download, throw them on and try them out.

If you do, let us know. I would be interested to hear of your experiences.
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#7
I've been running Lubuntu 1l8.04 on an HP Netbook with an Atom N455 (1.66GHz) processor and 1GB of RAM. It tends to be a little sluggish but I didn't expact stellar performance. About all I run on it is a termninal and the Atom text editor and for those tasks it's adequate.
Rick Romig
"It's never wrong to introduce a child to Linux."
@ludditegeek
Rick's Tech Stuff
GitHub
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#8
(03-31-2020, 11:22 AM)rickromig Wrote: I've been running Lubuntu 1l8.04 on an HP Netbook with an Atom N455 (1.66GHz) processor and 1GB of RAM. It tends to be a little sluggish but I didn't expact stellar performance. About all I run on it is a termninal and the Atom text editor and for those tasks it's adequate.

The hard drive in your laptop, thats not a SSD, but a conventional HDD, i presume?

Couldn't you just boot into console, rather than graphical desktop? Considering all you do is text editing?

These old laptops generally work ok for console only.
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#9
(03-31-2020, 09:27 PM)petermoe1963 Wrote:
(03-31-2020, 11:22 AM)rickromig Wrote: I've been running Lubuntu 1l8.04 on an HP Netbook with an Atom N455 (1.66GHz) processor and 1GB of RAM. It tends to be a little sluggish but I didn't expect stellar performance. About all I run on it is a terminal and the Atom text editor and for those tasks it's adequate.

The hard drive in your laptop, thats not a SSD, but a conventional HDD, i presume?

Couldn't you just boot into console, rather than graphical desktop? Considering all you do is text editing?

These old laptops generally work ok for console only.
Yes, it has a spinning rust drive, but I've got an SSD I could throw into it. Good suggestions, I'll consider them. The netbook isn't something I use much, just something I experiment with.
Rick Romig
"It's never wrong to introduce a child to Linux."
@ludditegeek
Rick's Tech Stuff
GitHub
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#10
(04-01-2020, 03:58 PM)rickromig Wrote:
(03-31-2020, 09:27 PM)petermoe1963 Wrote:
(03-31-2020, 11:22 AM)rickromig Wrote: I've been running Lubuntu 1l8.04 on an HP Netbook with an Atom N455 (1.66GHz) processor and 1GB of RAM. It tends to be a little sluggish but I didn't expect stellar performance. About all I run on it is a terminal and the Atom text editor and for those tasks it's adequate.

The hard drive in your laptop, thats not a SSD, but a conventional HDD, i presume?

Couldn't you just boot into console, rather than graphical desktop? Considering all you do is text editing?

These old laptops generally work ok for console only.
Yes, it has a spinning rust drive, but I've got an SSD I could throw into it. Good suggestions, I'll consider them. The netbook isn't something I use much, just something I experiment with.

After replacing old HDD's with SSD's in a number of older computers i highly recommend it. Easy to clone the drive. Easy to replace a drive in a PC or some laptops, but some laptops make it very hard to crack them open.
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