Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

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Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby pottzie on Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:59 pm

I tried installing Mint LXDE 12 on an ancient a22 Thinkpad from the Windows 98 era. It loaded the splash screen all right when the live cd opened, but when it tried to run the live session, all that comes up is a terminal . When I tried using "startx" to get the window manager working, I got "no xauthority." I know I'm pushing the boundary trying to get something going on a computer with 512 ram, but is there a way to make it work?
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby DrHu on Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:09 pm

You can try this..
Code: Select all
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=690760


Or check Ubuntu for the error listed ..
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/ubuntu-tiphow ... buntu.html

If you have an internet connection Network manager) running
--check with ifconfig or iw (wireless)
    You could update the system to get freasher setup..
    sudo apt-get update
    --refreshes /etc/apt/sources.list file
    sudo apt-get upgrade
    --updates the installed/upgradeable files and system (libraries etc..)

Check this list (for any helpful aids..), also applies to lxde
http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debia ... 07.en.html
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby marcus0263 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:42 pm

Honestly I wouldn't install the main edition based on Ubuntu and install LMDE. Performance will be dismal, I also recommend using Mate for the desktop. I have a side hobby of recycling old computers and giving them away , LMDE with Mate works very well and breaths new life into them. Attempting it with anything Ubuntu based is horrendous.

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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby pottzie on Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:54 pm

I've never been a fan of Debian, and I'm surprised to hear that LMDE will install on a computer that has low ram and a slow processor. I don't think LMDE will work, but if that's wrong I'd be interested in finding out.
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby marcus0263 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:14 pm

Ubuntu is a modified Debian spin and Mint in turn is a modified Ubuntu edition therefore the Mother distro is Debian. LMDE edition is a Mintified Debian, therefore cutting out the middleman. Ubuntu spins their distro to run on more modern systems and are more bleeding edge along with putting in a lot more bloat that affects system performance. Debian will run very, very well on old hardware, fact is as I stated a lot faster. If you google around you'll see Distro's designed to run on old hardware most are either based on Debian or Slackware, can't think of a Fedora spin off the top of my head.

Anyway as I stated above I highly recommend using LMDE over Mint Main, LMDE not only runs as default the 486 kernel for "old" hardware like you mentioned but will run circles around the Main edition which is Ubuntu based.

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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby nunol on Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:51 pm

Check the md5sum of the ISO, check the medium with the specific boot option, if everything is ok try to boot Mint 12 LXDE in compatibility mode. If fails run "inxi -Fxx" and post here the hardware details.
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby AlbertP on Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:26 pm

You can try Compatibility Mode to boot; else, please make sure your laptop has got enough RAM to run Mint - the A22e or A22m may come with only 64MB of memory according to ThinkWiki, which is probably too few. (You haven't posted yet if your laptop is A22p, A22e or A22m, btw)

Maybe you can run inxi -G in the console and post the output.
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby jjaythomas on Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:09 am

May want to try a distro specially designed for low spec macines... one of the 'Puppys', 'antix' ect.

if want to stay on something a little more minty try 'swift linux', based on LMDE but uses Rox filer&terminal and 'icewm as 'window manager. Will Update using the Mint UPack system (currentlly will update directly to UP5)

You can then also install LXDE if desired (I change in Xfce :wink: )
May wish to in stall MDM and the Mint-theme and uninstall LXDM. **use synaptic and watch 'details/terminal so you get question (which to use as defaultMDM or LXDM also uninstall LXDM after reboot (to not to be using so clean uninstall) :wink:

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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby Pierre on Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:35 am

also try antiX from Mepis

http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

it's also a lightweight O/S
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby ausmuso on Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:34 pm

There's horses for courses, Pottzie. You don't want to weigh down your old laptop with the full Gnome-bloat inherent to Mate and Cinnamon (or Ubuntu, for that matter). Have a look at
http://crunchbang.org
for a really lightweight system based on the OpenBox windows manager (on which LXDE is based). For your system you'd want the 32bit non-PAE Waldorf ISO.
If you find Openbox too spartan you can easily put LXDE on top. It doesn't use up much additional resources, especially if you remove Conky.

I installed this on an ageing low-grunt laptop, I couldn't believe it could run that fast. LMDE is great, but is runs best in a slightly more comfortably endowed environment.
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby Penguinnerd on Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:18 pm

I've gotta chime in for debian here...

I have a lot of experience dealing with older hardware, and over the years I have used most of the popular lightweight distros.

But in the long run, I really do recommend debian for any system over 500 mhz with over 256 MB ram.

A compact debian install with LXDE is around 900 MB overall, and could run reasonably fast on a potato. Lol.

If LXDE is too heavy, you could just try running openbox with a panel installed like tint2 or similar.

The nicest thing about using debian is that it will run on this hardware, but it still leaves options open as far as installing additional software easily from a massive repository if needed. You never know what you might need installed next week, but odds are, it's in the debian repos.

So go get yourself a netinstall image of debian wheezy (testing, but almost stable) and when you start it up, go to advanced options. Select alternate desktop enviroment>> LXDE and install it.
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby AlbertP on Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:53 am

@ ausmuso and Penguinnerd: You are replying to quite an old topic, from October of last year. The OP may not be following this anymore.
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby ausmuso on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:40 am

AlbertP wrote:@ ausmuso and Penguinnerd: You are replying to quite an old topic, from October of last year. The OP may not be following this anymore.

The thread may be old, AlbertP ,but the the subject will always be topical.
We all know the scenario, especially those of us who have many friends and relatives. A friend/relo/neighbour comes to you with an older computer which, whilst still working faultlessly, doesn't have the oohmp to cope with a horror like Windows7/8. Can you do something?

Of course you can. You install a lightweight Linux flavour, make a few nips, tucks and tweaks here and there and present the friend/relo/neighbour with a lustily humming Linux box that'll do everything he could dream of.

Instant bliss. Not only have you made someone happy, but you've turned the person into a Linux advocate! Isn't this something all of us should be doing from time to time? Also it's one computer less going into landfill so you've struck a blow for the environment as well.

Maybe there should be special thread on the forum for this kind of thing?
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby appleseed on Tue May 27, 2014 12:09 pm

@ Penguinnerd: Your support for Debian is well founded - it's a wonderful distro. But I've read that any attempt to connect to WiFi is nearly impossible or requires hours of googling to find a fix. Especially during a NetInstall and / or if a Broadcom card is involved. Have you had this experience? If so, what do you recommend as the least stressful solution?
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby AlbertP on Tue May 27, 2014 2:50 pm

appleseed, I recommend that you ask this answer somewhere else, not in somebody's support topic about the Thinkpad A22 unless you have an A22 yourself.

WIFI highly depends on the type of wifi card used. Broadcom cannot be generalized either because there are too many different chips out with different drivers. For most hardware, Debian is not any worse or better than other distros. You generally need the same drivers for the same hardware on any distro, only the location where they are found or the installation instructions may differ. So if you know how to install your driver on Mint, you can google the name of the driver you use + Debian. In the case of Broadcom, the same drivers are available in the repository yet with a slightly different name for some of them.
It is however possible that distros with old software versions included (Debian Stable for example) may not have support for the newest hardware yet - but if your hardware is old as well this shouldn't be a problem.
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Re: Installing on hopelessly outdated computer

Postby benali72 on Fri May 30, 2014 12:41 am

I installed Puppy 4.1.2 on a Thinkpad a22 several years ago. Puppy installs and runs down to 256M ram. If you want help on wifi and other aspects you may need to post more specifics on model of your 22.

I've installed Mint 13 32-bit with Xfce on many P-IVs and P-IV HTs with 512M with success, but these were various makes of desktops, not a Think 22.

Best of luck.
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