Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

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Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby johnyu95 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:00 am

Hello everyone, I am completely new to Linux and am very interested to get started. I currently have an Acer Aspire One D270 (http://www.cnet.com/laptops/acer-aspire ... 60709.html) and I want to try linux on it because windows 7 starter is just painful to use. I have done a little research and I decided I want to try Linux Mint as my fist OS however there are so many different versions to try. Could you guys give me advice on what version is a good starting point for my netbook. I read an article that said LM 14 Matte runs pretty well on netbooks because it does not need a 3D graphics card. However it was written in early 2013 and now LM 15 is out so some guidance is greatly appreciated. I am looking for overall speed and performance over looks and features. Thanks for all the help!
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby nomko on Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:22 am

You could choose for a lightweight desktop environment like Xfce. Luckily, Mint does have a Xfce version. And the latest Mint version running Xfce has the new Whisker menu which gives you a little bit of that Cinnamon feeling.
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby johnyu95 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:30 am

nomko wrote:You could choose for a lightweight desktop environment like Xfce. Luckily, Mint does have a Xfce version. And the latest Mint version running Xfce has the new Whisker menu which gives you a little bit of that Cinnamon feeling.


So would Xfce be the lightest option compared to other LM 15 desktops?
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby CaptainMark on Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:55 am

I've tried lots of different distros on my netbook, the 1GB memory allows it to run most distros but the heavier desktops (Cinnamon, Gnome Shell, Unity etc.) just don't run well on it.
The best one that I've settled on (best by far) is Linux Mint XFCE edition, it runs quick on the netbook but allows me a similar desktop experience to my main pc, where as I found all lighter desktops felt like they were too much of a compromise.

If you settle on XFCE you've still got to decide which release to use:
Mint XFCE 13 - Will receive updates until April 2017
Mint XFCE 15 - Will only receive updates until January 2014 but XFCE has received a lot of attention in the last year and is much more polished than the XFCE in Mint 13

I have Mint 15 installed which I will keep until May 2014 when Mint 17 XFCE will come out and that will be supported until April 2019
Also on netbooks I would highly recommend using hidden panels to maximize screen space and tweaking the autohide delay see: http://askubuntu.com/questions/310762/x ... hide-delay
Otherwise the small screen really is a pain when you're popping the panels up accidently
Regards
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby nomko on Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:17 am

johnyu95 wrote:So would Xfce be the lightest option compared to other LM 15 desktops?

Xfce (and as counterpart LXDE) is basically meant for low spec/low memory systems. As said above, heavier desktop environments can run on a 1 gig system as long you have a decent/powerfull videocard and/or onboard GPU that can run the desktop environment in 3D as well. I won't say that Mate or Cinnamon are heavy desktop environments, I place them between Xfce/LXDE and KDE, but with 1 gig there's not much memory left for other applications... And I think that your GPU consumes some main memory, so combining these 2 factors I'm pretty sure that there's less than 50% memory left to use.

But the question snow is, how much main memory you really have? Is it 1 gig or more (according to your link your netbook can have 2 gig max)?
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby johnyu95 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:12 pm

nomko wrote:
johnyu95 wrote:So would Xfce be the lightest option compared to other LM 15 desktops?

Xfce (and as counterpart LXDE) is basically meant for low spec/low memory systems. As said above, heavier desktop environments can run on a 1 gig system as long you have a decent/powerfull videocard and/or onboard GPU that can run the desktop environment in 3D as well. I won't say that Mate or Cinnamon are heavy desktop environments, I place them between Xfce/LXDE and KDE, but with 1 gig there's not much memory left for other applications... And I think that your GPU consumes some main memory, so combining these 2 factors I'm pretty sure that there's less than 50% memory left to use.

But the question snow is, how much main memory you really have? Is it 1 gig or more (according to your link your netbook can have 2 gig max)?


My netbook came upgraded with 2 gigs of RAM. I ran both LM 15 mate and Xfce, they were both okay but a little laggy for me. Perhaps I should try the LM 13 versions instead? What do you think. Also I seem to be having some mouse pointer flickering when I am web browsing and my fan is very loud. Any tips for that?
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby nomko on Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:27 pm

Wel...you have enough memory onboard top run Xfce as well Cinamon. Mayne you should give Mate a try. And, if i'm not mistaken by the specs, you have an Intel GPU onboard. Maybe you could try this:
http://www.webupd8.org/2013/08/official ... aller.html
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby Bolle1961 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:31 pm

I don't think LM13 will perform better. Maybe you should give Lxde a try. Unfortunately Linux Mint has no Lxde version, Debian Lxde or Lubuntu are good alternatives
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby Spearmint2 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:28 pm

Bolle1961 wrote:I don't think LM13 will perform better. Maybe you should give Lxde a try. Unfortunately Linux Mint has no Lxde version, Debian Lxde or Lubuntu are good alternatives


I agree. If he thinks Mint MATE was "lagging" on 2MB of memory, then he will only be happy with an LXDE version of linux. I'd also suggest Knoppix along with the Lubuntu already mentioned.
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby johnyu95 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:02 pm

Spearmint2 wrote:
Bolle1961 wrote:I don't think LM13 will perform better. Maybe you should give Lxde a try. Unfortunately Linux Mint has no Lxde version, Debian Lxde or Lubuntu are good alternatives


I agree. If he thinks Mint MATE was "lagging" on 2MB of memory, then he will only be happy with an LXDE version of linux. I'd also suggest Knoppix along with the Lubuntu already mentioned.


Okay I think I will give Lubuntu a try. Does Lubuntu need a good GPU? I read that desktops that use Mate and Xfce don't require any 3D acceleration so that it why I wanted to give them a try first. I am looking for speed over eye candy and features.
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby Spearmint2 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:23 pm

http://lxde.org/

"LXDE can be installed on many Linux distributions including Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu. It is the standard for Knoppix and lubuntu.

Features

Lightweight
It needs less CPU and performs extremely well with reasonable memory.
Fast
It runs well even on older computers produced in 1999, and it does not require 3D acceleration."

(more at link)
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby nomko on Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:28 am

This is the requirements of Lubuntu:

    700 MHz processor (about Intel Celeron or better)
    512 MiB RAM (system memory)
    5 GB of hard-drive space (or USB stick, memory card or external drive but see LiveCD for an alternative approach)
    VGA capable of 1024x768 screen resolution
    Either a CD/DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media
    Internet access is helpful

More info to be found here:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Lubuntu/Documentation

Lubuntu is quit easy to use and, like Ubuntu and Mint, PPA's can be added. The only drawback of Lubuntu is that it's not that easy to configure like Mint does or Ubuntu. Most settings must be changed by modifying config files.

But there are some sites with tips and tricks like:
http://www.lubuntutips.com/
http://lubuntublog.blogspot.nl/p/tips-tricks.html
http://www.pcurtis.com/lubuntu.htm
http://netgator.blogspot.nl/2012/07/lub ... shots.html
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby xenopeek on Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:57 am

Moved here as this is no longer a question about Linux Mint.

With 2 GB of RAM, you should be able to run anything you want. If you installed Linux Mint in 32 bit mode (64 bit requires 30% more memory, so is not wise for you), you can expect it to use no more than 300 MB of memory at boot I think, depending on which desktop environment you pick. So no more than 15% of your RAM. MATE and Xfce both don't require a fancy graphics card, so should run fine.

Lubuntu may be a bit lighter, but I think any perceived difference would be due to the default applications--which you can change on Linux Mint also of course. For example, Linux Mint uses the full-featured though more heavy LibreOffice (will take longer to load on usually crappy slow netbook hard disks), while Lubuntu uses the lighter Abiword and Gnumeric (a.k.a. "Gnome Office") as alternatives for LibreOffice Writer and Calc but doesn't have alternatives for the rest of LibreOffice. There's a good comparison here of Linux office suites, covering what differences you can expect: http://www.techradar.com/news/software/ ... ed-1146417.

Lubuntu will have other default applications that might be lighter than what is installed on Linux Mint; https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Lubun ... plications
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby caf4926 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:11 am

Mint Mate 13 works well on my eeepc
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Mint 16 Cinnamon_64
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby Highestquality2 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:23 pm

I've been using Peppermint on my Acer netbook for nearly a year now and am happy with it. It installed smoothly & was compatible with my hardware. I've had no issues with it.
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby johnyu95 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:45 am

I have been playing around more with different versions of mint. I find that in 13 xfce and mate I have a lot of mouse pointer flickering going on but not in the mint 15 versions I tried. Anyone know how to fix this? Also my FN keys do not work for changing the brightness. Can someone also help me fix this too. Thanks.
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby Snapcase on Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:24 am

I've been trying a few light weight distros in the last days to install one of them on a friend's netbook where Win 7 is terribly slow. My personal favorite is Crunchbang. No doubts. But for a totally newcomer to Linux as my buddy is, I tried a few Xfce ones and though LM is not the lightest weight, it's the better featured and works like a charm. For not very powerful Netbooks with not much RAM, perhaps a lighter weight distro like Crunchbang or Puppy might be a good thing but if the machine takes the load well, Mint Xfce works as a charm and you'll have all the "extras". When the minimum of the minimums is not a must, my favorite is LM Xfce. Puppy is great but quite intimidating for a newcomer IMO.
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Re: Which Linux Mint version for netbooks?

Postby nunol on Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:58 pm

Installing the LXDE desktop on top of another Mint edition is a good idea and gives you the opportunity to learn to configure the desktop.
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