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Linux on crappy hardware
Hi everyone,

Normally I'd be on my own for this kind of stuff, and sure I'd figure it out, but what the heck, we've got this budding new forum with folks eager to help so why not take advantage of it?

This is kind of along the lines of the "Running Linux on Junk" video ( which I enjoyed very much.

I've got a machine with 1.75G available RAM currently running Ubuntu 18.04. I've previously gotten far better performance with LXDE (eg. Lubuntu) on similar hardware, but wanted to try out the new Ubuntu with Gnome when it came out a few months back, and have grown to rather like it, unfortunately the machine often chokes and hangs up.

I think I want to switch to something a bit lighter, and am just looking for some input as far as the best way to do it. Should I back up my stuff and start clean? If so, what's the best way to do it? I was thinking of trying XBT, but would I be able to use another machine as my backup device? I know it's silly but I don't have an external drive atm. Is that a good use-case for XBT?

I suppose another way would be to just install a lighter-weight desktop on top.

What do y'all think?

Can you please list the hardware specs of the "crappy" computer

Also is it a
(08-18-2018, 05:06 AM)charliebrownau Wrote: Gday

Can you please list the hardware specs of the "crappy" computer

Also is it a

Certainly (how silly of me!):

Lenovo 120S-11IAP
Dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 / 1.1 GHz
RAM 1.8 GiB

I got it on the clearance rack at Best Buy for $150.
I've had good luck with Ubuntu Mate on machines with similar specs. Fresh installs seem to be the most stable.
Thanks for the quick reply

So its an Laptop and
its a low end netbook

I run GalliumOS on my
Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35 2014

Its an Intel Baytrail N2810 , 2gb RAM , 16 gig emmc SSD
It runs very well for everything BUT video editing and gaming


I would suggest buying an USB3 external hdd (WD or Toshiba NOT seagate)
or an external USB3 SSD (same concept of USB HDD just with an 2.5 SATA SSD)

Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External USD$50 -

I would recommend Ubuntu or Mint with XFCE

Also avoid webapps and stuff with electron
Try to run traditional apps with GTK or file menus
often the latest "modern" programs chew more ram

I would suggest abiword and Gnumeric instead
of Libreoffice, less resource heavy

You can see how well my laptop does with apps
on galliumos over here

Does your laptop support 1 RAM slot or one SSD2/M2 SSD slot ?
if not
One possible way to speed up the computer would be get an USB3 external SSD
store the swap file and home on the external SSD, as chances are that laptop
is going to have a slow emmc

or what you could do is use (and buy) an raspi and run own/next cloud
and store everything you need own your own cloud server
and not store files on the laptop

But I dont know your funds situation
Maybe something like this -

Or you could get an old PC from recyclers or people throwing away
and turn that into your own cloud server

Often people are throwing away old 775s
heck i often hear about guys from USA throwing out working i5 2500ks
Well I am rather partial to Ubuntu MATE.

However to address the process as you mentioned suggestions on that front.

You should backup for sure. That is a given. Once you have "backup" although one is really just a copy. You have some choices.

1) You could just wipe the machine and start over. Then reload your /home/USER directory from your backup.

2) I always separate the /home/ partition from everything else. So when I redo rigs I leave the home partition untouched but blow out the rest of the local install. This way I don't have to copy any data back from external sources. I would change the user though.


/home/awesome/ rename to /home/awesome.1604/

Then I copy back most of the data. I am more selective on the /home/awesome/.config/ directory as some data may cause issues if the application is a different version from what was installed.

3) Number #2 usually works if you leave the data in place as programs can overwrite the configs. Still this one gives me some pause but many, on the net, have reported doing this method.

4) If you want to get really wild and don't have a separate partition you could shrink the current partition. Then generate a new partition from the freed space. You could even move /home/ to the new partition. This is really advanced but hey I put out there as it is an option.
Jeremy (Mr. Server)

* Desktop: Ubuntu MATE
* Windows are for your walls, Apple is for your health, Linux is for your computer
I find linux mint xfce worked good on my laptop b4 I upgraged the CPU. original CPU was 1.73GHz dual core
Intel® Core™2 Duo CPU     T7700  @ 2.40GHz  4GB RAM
Linux Mint 19 (Tera) Xfce
AMD Athotholon™ 64           TF-20 @ 1.6GHZ 4GB RAM
Bodhi Linux 5

Thanks for the replies, so much great advice! I'm thinking of trying MATE. Doing my backup currently. At least I think I am...
In lieu of a separate drive my smart ass decided to send my entire machine over SSH so it's been running all day. It's only a 32GB drive though... Probably should have just done the home directory, got some weird messages returned. Thought there might be some config files I might need in there, so I'm copying the entire root to a directory on my other machine.
Let us know how it turns out!
you probably should use Xfce rather than the Mate desktop environment.

that 1.1 GHz cpu will be the biggest issue, for you,
& more than the 2Gb of ram, that the machine has.

you will also find that the 1.1 GHz cpu may limit your ability to watch
any video, like from YouTube etc.

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