Best Mint for and old PC?

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help

Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby Milltach on Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:56 pm

Hi all. I have here an old PC (AMD Athlon 1000Mhz, 256mb ram) and would like to install Mint on it. The system should be only for surfing around, checking mail and maybe watch some flash videos.

Now whats the best Mint for an old PC like this. I tought it should be Linux Mint 9 "Isadora" LXDE. Why? Mint 9 is an LTS and ist very stable. In Mint 11/12 there are sure a lot of new stuff but an old PC like this dont need this stuff right? Is Mint 9 the best thing I can give an old PC? ;)

Thank you
Milltach
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:03 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby wayne128 on Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:36 pm

You seem to find the answer already on Mint lxde :mrgreen:


Is Mint 9 the best thing I can give an old PC?


I am not too sure of this since your box has 256M ram, it is low to run apps, expecially if you want to watch youtube.. unless you have good graphic card with lots of ram :lol:

I once evaluate many distors on a old celeron with integrated graphic.
turn out that these two are faster than Mint LXDE and consume less ram.
antiX
salix

later on I was amazed that aptosid-xfce ran very fast on this old box!!
and, it took only some 12 minute to install..
Mint9 took more than one hour.
antiX took around 18 minutes.

another well known candidate, light, fast, is vector linux, they just release version 7 a while ago, I have not tried on this old celeron box..
wayne128
Level 10
Level 10
 
Posts: 3325
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:15 am

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby Milltach on Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:47 pm

Hi! Thank you, these Linux Distris are very interesting. There is now just one problem: I would like to install a Mint Linux. Because its much easier to use...and you know this old PC ist for mom/pop/sis for cheking mail, surfin around and maybe watching some videos. These people need ubuntu/mint ^^ So IF it have to be a Mint, then it should be Mint 9 right?

PS: Salix looks quit good
Milltach
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:03 pm

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby Aging Technogeek on Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:06 pm

Mint 9 is an excellent choice for that system as long as you stay with LXDE or Fluxbox.

256 MB of ram is really too little to load or run Xfce, Gnome (Main Edition) or KDE. They need at least 512 MB to install properly and 1 GB is better. Gnome and KDE will run on 256 MB if you can get them installed, but they will be slow and will freeze if pushed at all to multi-task.
Image

Registered Linux User 483387
User avatar
Aging Technogeek
Level 13
Level 13
 
Posts: 4604
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:54 am
Location: Right about here

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby mastablasta on Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:29 am

Milltach wrote:Hi! Thank you, these Linux Distris are very interesting. There is now just one problem: I would like to install a Mint Linux. Because its much easier to use...and you know this old PC ist for mom/pop/sis for cheking mail, surfin around and maybe watching some videos. These people need ubuntu/mint ^^ So IF it have to be a Mint, then it should be Mint 9 right?

PS: Salix looks quit good



actually if you don't mind give Chrunchbang XFCE a try. Their current (and probably future as well) image unfortnatelly comes in openbox only but a bit older XFCE image is still available.

Its based on Debian Stable. It's very easy to install and use. and in the end a script is launched that asks what features you want installed. Conky says that it used about 80MB on idle. on a 256 MB notebook with 1,2Ghz processor i can watch you tube videos, do all the surfing and ti all works quite fast. The only issue i had was SAMBA shares, but this was solved in latest image. however if you wanted to use XFCE with latest image you would have to install XFCE separatelly. the programmes might a bit older but the whole things works well.

Mint LXDE should also work, but i would use the latest version there as LXDE in version 9 is still quite new. then again why not give it a try and see how it handles. Another option is Lubuntu (like Mint LXDE, but last time i tried it was less heavy on resources).
mastablasta
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:02 pm

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby Reorx on Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:02 am

I think Mint 9 is a good choice but I would spend the $10 to $20 to upgrade the RAM to at least 1GB - it's like getting a "new" computer for $20! Holy guacamole!!! :D
Procrastinate now!
User avatar
Reorx
Level 7
Level 7
 
Posts: 1600
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:14 pm
Location: SE Florida, USA

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby nunol on Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:58 pm

If you want to go for a Mint distro then Mint 9 Fluxbox or Mint 9 LXDE are good options (light, fast, LTS).

If you want to try something outside Mint you have Crunchbang, AntiX, Puppy, etc.

Personally I use Mint 10 LXDE on a PIV with 256MB of RAM and it works ok with Midori but with Firefox 3.6.x is a little slow because of lack of RAM. I also tested Mint 11 LXDE, it used more RAM than Mint 10 LXDE but it was faster (faster kernel). Remember that once installed you can do some tuning and get a little more performance out of your system. My Mint 10 LXDE is bellow the RAM usage of Crunchbang (standard), I removed a lot stuff I don't need.
User avatar
nunol
Level 9
Level 9
 
Posts: 2664
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:25 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby gn2 on Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:25 pm

I would recommend giving antiX a try.
User avatar
gn2
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 893
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:54 am
Location: Bonnie Scotland

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby lmintnewb on Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:23 pm

+2 antix or crunchbang openbox, am a #! fan think it's the bomb ... Tastes vary though. There's another distro I was fond of called Vector Linux light ... At the time I was using version 6, ( still have it installed ) Pretty sure they've come out with 7 now. It was the lightest gnu/nix I had found before settling on #! and tweaking it a bit. VL light would still get my vote over #!, as overall lighter for a really low RAM pc me thinks. But again ... tastes vary.

If you want something Minty, provided you can get it to install. Would say definitely one of the Mint's specifically made for a lightweight desktop (lxde) or even better a windows manager ( fluxbox) and/or install a windows manager yourself. Gnome stuff will kill your system dead mucho quick with such low RAM imo. Remember nunol mentioning that someone can presetup a swap partition on their pc's drive and is supposed to help allow install on a low RAM system. Never tried it, don't know if it actually works or not. Have no reason to doubt him, if I'm remembering what was said right. Something you could always look into or whatever. Doesn't hurt to try, take a couple of them for a spin. Or all the ones that catch your eye ... gnu/Linux is free. Well other than the time ya end up having to devote. :D

With enough experimentation and learning how to tweak things down. Don't see why one of the gazillion diff releases LM has here wouldn't work well for ya. They can all no doubt be tweaked. Those ones listed above are more specifically made for low spec, older hardware though. Though could surely also be made to work just as well on highend stuff. At least I'm sure #! anyway. You can more than likely find something Minty that would work well enough. With that amount of RAM ... Likely no matter which ya install, it's going to be choppy at times.

(nother afterthought ... dang it! Arghhhhh D: ) Thought of a tweak ya may want to learn about and play with. With a pc that low on RAM swappiness. http://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxt ... o-high:-Ub

Swap would be running at all times and the drop of a hat. You'll have to play with what setting works best for ya. Personally tend to go with swappiness=10. Still say heck with it, try a bunch of em and see what works best for you.
lol ... one more, a big resource saver for FF ( variants ) if that's the browser you want to use is the noscript addon for it. Really cuts down on the system resources FF/etc uses. Keeping browsers safe from all that cpu/RAM devouring flash and javascript web junk ! You don't really wanna see anyway, lol. D:
lmintnewb
Level 7
Level 7
 
Posts: 1574
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby sagirfahmid3 on Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:52 pm

I would personally go with Debian Squeeze (netinstall) + Xfce (should be around 60-80MB idle RAM usage for your old computer).
But, if I had to choose a MINT version specifically, I would choose Mint 9 LXDE.
User avatar
sagirfahmid3
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:39 pm

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby I2k4 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:02 am

More RAM would be a good idea - most likely on an old 256K system the maximum upgrade would be to 512K, if you can still find the module.

Given that it's for non-savvy elders, be aware that LXDE is a bit cruder than other versions, e.g. using Synaptic PM rather than software center for upgrades and adding / deleting software, but with Mint 9 or 10 you can do most of the available updating for them up front, since it's now locked down.

I have noticed on Mint 10 that only Google Chrome (and possibly Chromium) and Opera keep updating the browser, which may be the most important software for the users - Firefox has been stuck at version 11.
Test driving Mint 17.1 Cinnamon via Persistent Live USB on a W7 Lenovo desktop with peripherals, and on a W10tp Dell laptop. Dual booting Mint 16 XFCE with W7 on an Acer netbook, testing Live M17 XFCE.
I2k4
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby nunol on Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:56 am

I2k4 wrote:I have noticed on Mint 10 that only Google Chrome (and possibly Chromium) and Opera keep updating the browser, which may be the most important software for the users - Firefox has been stuck at version 11.


Mint 10 (all editions) have reached EOL. That's why is doesn't receive updates, bug fixes and security fixes from the Ubuntu/Mint repos any more. You can still use this edition but it's not supported.

Mint 11 will follow in 2 months so it's time to move.

Mint 12 and Mint 9 will reach EOL in 8 months so it's OK but if you are going to install some Mint edition it's better to install Mint 13 or LMDE.

@timpster:
For a computer with 192MB and limited download Puppy Wary could be a good choice. It's small and fast. DSL is even faster and smaller and looks like it's alive again but is much older.
If download it's not a problem then AntiX, Debian 6/testing with LXDE, Fluxbox or Openbox and Crunchbang could be a good option.
Debian or LMDE with XFCE is not bad but it's heavier than LXDE. LMDE XFCE should work (Min.: 160MB of RAM, i486 CPU, DVD/USB boot) but it's very slow with only 192MB of RAM.
More RAM would be MUCH better!
User avatar
nunol
Level 9
Level 9
 
Posts: 2664
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:25 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby I2k4 on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:21 pm

nunol wrote:Mint 10 (all editions) have reached EOL. That's why is doesn't receive updates, bug fixes and security fixes from the Ubuntu/Mint repos any more. You can still use this edition but it's not supported.

Mint 11 will follow in 2 months so it's time to move.


For the life of my older machines I'll live with end of support rather than install the much more (much too) demanding Mints based on Ubuntu 11 and following.

I have to say my main surprise disappointment with Ubuntu/Mint was the short duration of support for an OS installation - my oldest machine is running XP installed in 2002 and reinstalled in 2007, and the software and browsers are completely up to date on it, i.e. a full decade of support for the operating system everybody loves to hate but can't beat. To my shock and surprise, after installing Lubuntu 10.10 as the "latest" to dual boot on my W7 netbook, I was suddenly supposed to "upgrade" to run later versions, with all the inconvenience and risk of an OS upgrade, to get something that just as obese as Windows 7 and runs like baked molasses, just to keep getting ordinary software upgrades. It's nuts. But I'll live without the latest VLC and GIMP that have been "cut off" and be thankful Chrome still keeps putting its latest updates in the "dead OS" repository.
Test driving Mint 17.1 Cinnamon via Persistent Live USB on a W7 Lenovo desktop with peripherals, and on a W10tp Dell laptop. Dual booting Mint 16 XFCE with W7 on an Acer netbook, testing Live M17 XFCE.
I2k4
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby nunol on Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:44 pm

I also like to have my installs last, but Lubuntu 12.04 only has 1.5 years of support...

Debian 6 LXDE has 3 years of support.

Mint 13 Cinnamon/KDE4/MATE/XFCE LTS and Ubuntu/Kubuntu have 5 years of support. CentOS/RHEL/CL 6 have 10 years of support.
User avatar
nunol
Level 9
Level 9
 
Posts: 2664
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:25 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby powerhouse on Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:51 pm

LM 9 with LXDE with the following things to be aware of:

1. Support ends sometime next year (8 months have been mentioned)
2. 256 MB is a bit on the low side for it - 512 MB or more would be better.
3. Watching flash will use almost all CPU resources.
4. Firefox will use a lot of resources (RAM) and if you have multiple windows opened, it's going to be slow. Try to use some plugin to prevent flash since that is a real hog. If you need flash, you can always enable it or allow some specific sites to use flash.

I'm using LM 9 LXDE on an old Dell notebook and it works OK. I use it mainly as a small server, for torrents, as an ftp server, and occasional Internet browsing - it works 24/7. It has 512 MB of RAM though.

I installed Puppy Linux on another Dell with only 256 MB and it works decent, though more RAM would help.
Asus Sabertooth X79, i7 3930K CPU, 8x4GB Kingston DDR3 RAM, Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler, Sapphire 7770 GPU, PNY Quadro 2000 GPU, Asus Xonar Essence STX, Sandisk Extreme 120GB SSD + various HD, Corsair 500R case, SeaSonic 660W Gold X PS
powerhouse
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 3:54 am

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby powerhouse on Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:58 pm

I agree that the pace at which most Linux distributions throw out new releases is staggering. Which is why I usually use long term releases such as Linux Mint 9 which still runs on 2 of my PCs and is supported until sometime next year. I wish support would be extended, though.

On the other hand, I installed Windows XP at the same time as Linux Mint 7 (I believe) and later updated LM to 9. Ever since I installed Linux it just works and doesn't degrade or get slower. Windows XP, during the same time, seems to get slower. I had to reinstall Windows 2 years ago because of a HDD crash but that didn't improve performance. Somehow service packs seem to slow down things, or perhaps the newer applications that I'm running. In any case, my 5 year old PC works perfect and fast under Linux Mint, but the Windows applications are getting slower.

To be fair, I'm using Windows for photo editing which uses lots of resources, especially RAW conversions. Unfortunately under Linux there is no commercial or free photo editing software that meets my needs. (I'm not saying there is no photo editing software under Linux - there are several promising solutions - but none comes even close to the commercial solutions available for Windows or Mac.)

So Linux has become my day-to-day OS for everything but photo editing: Email, browser, uploads/downloads, file server, ftp server, office applications (OpenOffice or LibreOffice), watching video, listening to music, ripping CDs or DVDs for my (Linux-based) streamer, in short, a whole lot of stuff. Plus I like the Linux Mint desktop - it's just perfect for me.
Asus Sabertooth X79, i7 3930K CPU, 8x4GB Kingston DDR3 RAM, Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler, Sapphire 7770 GPU, PNY Quadro 2000 GPU, Asus Xonar Essence STX, Sandisk Extreme 120GB SSD + various HD, Corsair 500R case, SeaSonic 660W Gold X PS
powerhouse
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 3:54 am

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby I2k4 on Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:17 am

powerhouse wrote:I agree that the pace at which most Linux distributions throw out new releases is staggering. Which is why I usually use long term releases such as Linux Mint 9 which still runs on 2 of my PCs and is supported until sometime next year. I wish support would be extended, though.


Does long term support for Mint 9 include the latest software repositories, e.g. for VLC 2 or GIMP 2.8 or even Firefox 14? My trial install of Mint 11/Ubuntu 10 does not upgrade them. That's my main aggravation about the OS updates, since the OS resource demand increased dramatically with Mint 13/Ubuntu 12 and it just runs slower than Mint 11/Ubuntu 10 - I'd compare to Windows move from XP to Vista as just requiring better hardware to run at the old speed.

One of the nice things about many years of XP has been time to figure what works and doesn't. After I reinstalled it without all the Dell extras it "idles" at less than 200mb of RAM, even updated to SP3, and I've learned the utilities and tweaks (e.g. the Black Viper settings) that keep it lean and mean.
Test driving Mint 17.1 Cinnamon via Persistent Live USB on a W7 Lenovo desktop with peripherals, and on a W10tp Dell laptop. Dual booting Mint 16 XFCE with W7 on an Acer netbook, testing Live M17 XFCE.
I2k4
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby nunol on Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:58 pm

I2k4 wrote:Does long term support for Mint 9 include the latest software repositories, e.g. for VLC 2 or GIMP 2.8 or even Firefox 14?


FF14 yes, VLC 2 and GIMP 2.8 no but you can use a ppa to have that.
User avatar
nunol
Level 9
Level 9
 
Posts: 2664
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:25 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby powerhouse on Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:47 am

I2k4 wrote:
powerhouse wrote:I agree that the pace at which most Linux distributions throw out new releases is staggering. Which is why I usually use long term releases such as Linux Mint 9 which still runs on 2 of my PCs and is supported until sometime next year. I wish support would be extended, though.


Does long term support for Mint 9 include the latest software repositories, e.g. for VLC 2 or GIMP 2.8 or even Firefox 14? My trial install of Mint 11/Ubuntu 10 does not upgrade them. That's my main aggravation about the OS updates, since the OS resource demand increased dramatically with Mint 13/Ubuntu 12 and it just runs slower than Mint 11/Ubuntu 10 - I'd compare to Windows move from XP to Vista as just requiring better hardware to run at the old speed.

One of the nice things about many years of XP has been time to figure what works and doesn't. After I reinstalled it without all the Dell extras it "idles" at less than 200mb of RAM, even updated to SP3, and I've learned the utilities and tweaks (e.g. the Black Viper settings) that keep it lean and mean.


Nunol already answered to your questions.

From a practical standpoint, I really don't care which VLC or FF version I run, as long as it does what I need. In case of Gimp the latest version has brought some significant changes (significant to me), and I will install the new version via ppa. Otherwise I follow the motto "never touch a running system", which means I only use the recommended updates (security fixes and the regular software updates). My LM9 has been running 24/7 ever since it came out.

Turn of services you don't need, for example bluetooth if you haven't got it or don't need it.
Asus Sabertooth X79, i7 3930K CPU, 8x4GB Kingston DDR3 RAM, Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler, Sapphire 7770 GPU, PNY Quadro 2000 GPU, Asus Xonar Essence STX, Sandisk Extreme 120GB SSD + various HD, Corsair 500R case, SeaSonic 660W Gold X PS
powerhouse
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 3:54 am

Re: Best Mint for and old PC?

Postby I2k4 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:07 pm

powerhouse wrote:I follow the motto "never touch a running system", which means I only use the recommended updates (security fixes and the regular software updates). My LM9 has been running 24/7 ever since it came out.


That's always been exactly my philosophy: all I was saying is that for TEN YEARS on XP I have received a fully up to date operating system, and also all the software that ran on it. Of course in the last year or so Microsoft has stopped supporting XP with IE, its Live and SkyDrive apps, etc. and it will cut off OS updates in 2014. But third party software for XP is up to date and runs well.

Compare that with the "Linux Desktop Experience". I like my trial Lubuntu and Mint installs, but was genuinely surprised at being completely "cut off" from updates only a couple of years after installing, and consider this constructive criticism. Of course I can choose between "living with" outdated software and putting a big slow new Mint 13/Ubuntu 12 on my little netbook or older machine, but that's a pretty sad message for users looking for an XP alternative.
Test driving Mint 17.1 Cinnamon via Persistent Live USB on a W7 Lenovo desktop with peripherals, and on a W10tp Dell laptop. Dual booting Mint 16 XFCE with W7 on an Acer netbook, testing Live M17 XFCE.
I2k4
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:33 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 
Next

Return to Newbie Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: karlchen and 34 guests