Upgrade advice

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Upgrade advice

Postby leke on Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:12 am

Hi, I've been using LinuxMint9 for a while and was going to upgrade, but I can't decide which new Mint is suitable for me.
Here's what I have...

Compaq nx9005

Display
Display technology colour TFT
Display diagonal size 15 in
Maximum resolution 1024x768 pixels

Hard drive storage
Hard drive interface type Ultra ATA/100
Hard drive size 40 GB
Rotation speed 4200 rpm
Storage controller Ultra-ATA/100

Memory
RAM 768 MB

Motherboard
Chipset ALI
Data bus speed 266 MHz

Processor
Processor manufacturer AMD
Processor model Athlon XP-M 2400+
Clock speed 1.8 GHz

Video
Graphics processor ATI Radeon IGP 320M
Graphics RAM 64 MB

It looks like my machine is a bit old for mint12, so I guess it's a choice between mint11 and mintDebian. What would you recommend as I don't really understand the difference between the two?

Thanks.
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Re: Upgrade advice

Postby Aging Technogeek on Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:50 pm

You could stay with Mint 9 - it will be supported for about 18 months yet.

If you want to upgrade, Mint 11 should work on your system with the proviso that it may take a while to install with only 768 MB of ram. The release notes spec 512 MB minimum and advise that 1 GB is better ( and I can verify this . I have run installations with System Monitor running on the live desktop and seen that the installer will use 1GB+ if it is available).

That said, I have installed Mint 11 on systems with as little as 384 MB of ram by using a trick I was taught by an old Linux pioneer. Install a swap partition on the hard drive using Gparted before starting the installation. The installer will use the swap partition as additional ram. It may install a little slower than normal, but it installs.

Once installed, 768 MB of ram is more than adequate for Mint 11 for most uses.

Mint Debian (LMDE) will also work on your system. For a discussion of he differences between Mint 11 and LMDE, check the FAQ section of the release announcement http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1818
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Re: Upgrade advice

Postby lmintnewb on Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:49 pm

Have a question for TechnoG ... He already has a swap probably, since has been using LM9. Would the installer detect and use that one ?

Agree with Techno on a couple things he's already said. Being LM9's support is really a long way from expiring. If you like it and it's running really well ... something to consider. Other than that and just an opinion, a testing partition and definitely some time running live session can be good things for someone. Don't really think anybody can say what will run best or you'll like the most. Guessing the best way to try em, is install on a testing partition and try em out. When you get to the part in the installer that lets you choose where to put grub. Tell it to put it in the new installs own partition. Not the sda. ie: The testing partition is on sda5, in the installer I tell it to put grub into sda5 ... not the sda.

As for a testing partition, most people will definitely have room on their hdd for a 10gb or so testing partition and setting one up should only take a couple mins using gparted/etc. Doesn't have to be very big, 10gbs should be plenty. Ya might have to resize this or that partition a lil bit to add that new small partition, but it's not tough. Google about gparted or ask in a forum like this if you can't figure out how, aren't sure about whatever. But partitioning and gparted imo ... Aren't rocket science.

Then once you're done installing that new Mint to the testing partition, fire up LM9 ( or LM whatever you're using), open terminal and
Code: Select all
sudo update-grub


To add the new install to your LM9's grub menu, so you can boot that new install and test drive it. ( leaving your other install intact.) Then you really get to see how well it works installed and how ya like it. If ya don't and want to install/try another one. Just repeat the process above, install the next one you want to try by overwriting and formating the install on the testing partition, tell the installer to put it's grub onto it's partition during install. Try it ... c whatcha think and proceed in an orderly fashion. Until you find what Mint works best for you.

As long as you're putting the new installs bootloader ( grub2) onto it's partition, not sda and updating LM9's grub to boot them. Whenever ya move on to the next or if ya decide you don't want this or that Mint. You can always install something else on your testing partition and w/o having to bother restoring LM9 grub. Which isn't tough ... just think it's easier to do it as decribed above. So you can test which Mint's right for you, to your hearts content. While still keeping LM9's bootloader in charge of it and that OS intact.

Betting LM has a bunch that would run well for you. Guess it's just deciding which of them you like, which runs best on your hardware etc. Hard to tell w/o giving some of them a try. Guessing also .. with your amount of RAM, you could use practically everything Minty here and have it run well enough. Have older hardware myself, so tend to stick to lighter weight gnu/Linux, Mint has a bunch of releases it appears that are made for lighter desktops ( xfce, lxde ... even windows managers like fluxbox ) Bunch of stuff.

Also believe someone in your situation can definitely benefit from learning some tweakage. Only have 512mbs/ddr2 on this dinosaur PC, LM10 ran ok default. Ran much better after uber tweaking it, default LM 10 ( 32bit w gnome) was using like 270mbs. After tweaking ... had it down to 120mbs.

Tweakage includes but is not limited to some of the following.

1. Disable startup apps you don't want/need from automatically starting every time ya boot. Disable the ones you don't need in the control center, or in Mint's main stuff ( gnome etc). For their lighter weight releases ( look around in or ask in that release's forum section how to do it.) I also found and used an app called bum ( available in synaptic or software manager) to disable some you cannot get at in Mint's control center. There's another app called .. rcconf. One or the other will do.

If unsure whether it's safe to disable a particular thing, ask, google etc. Don't just disable everything in the Control centers startup apps section, or using bum/etc. Some of that stuff your OS needs to automatically start and disabling it will give you problems to sort out. If in doubt, ask, google ... If still in doubt, leave it set the way it is.

2. On LM main stuff with gnome, I liked to lower visual effects and had tinkered around with compiz settings to reduce eye candy I didn't want. Was really no apparent diff visually, I mean I didn't loose anything noticeable in LM10 doing it.

3. Adjust swappiness, so the swap doesn't get used as much/often.
http://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxt ... o-high:-Ub

Took me quite a bit of time experimenting with and learning to tweak LM10, been awhile and honestly can't remember what all I did, the above stuff is some good one's though. Also borked my OS many times in learning what I could safely tweak and get good results with. Guessing just about anything Minty can be tweaked, on a box with low RAM the Mint main stuff LM9-12, imo could definitely benefit from a user tweaking it a bit ( or a lot) to better suit their hardware.

PS, this might be more than you wanted to know, just my 2 cents and I tend to babble. Plus ya never know, others might like the info and need it later on down the line or whatever. With gnu/Linux, often seems a bunch of ways to go about summin. Thought this one was a good approach for people who want to look over options. I mean how do ya know what Mint is right for you, unless ya try them and see for yourself ... etc. Hope it helps someone.
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