Mint on low-end hardware?

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Bolle1961
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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by Bolle1961 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:12 pm

The difference in RAM usage between Mint 18.2 Xfce and MX16 is not worth mentioning. So for me (and probably more people) it's not interesting
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Spearmint2
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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by Spearmint2 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:57 pm

Sometime when the grandkids in Russia let me loose
Nu, vwi govorite pah russki! Horror show! ;)
Ya nay govoryou pah russki gla minoga god.

Nobody mentioned this one.

http://puppylinux.com/
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....

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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by jharris1993 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:13 am

Spearmint2 wrote: Nu, vwi govorite pah russki! Horror show! ;)
Ya nay govoryou pah russki gla minoga god.
Sigh. . . .

If you'd written that in RUSSIAN, I could have run it through Google Translate. As it is, I have no idea what you just said. . . . :oops:
(извините, я все еще это изучаю....)

Like any decent hardware project, my command of the Russian language is a "work in progress" - as in "It's a lot of work and there hasn't been much progress!" :wink:
I know enough Russian to get myself arrested if I'm not careful, but I'm still working on it.
Jim "JR"

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb

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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by Spearmint2 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:26 am

I wrote it in phonetics, as it sounds when spoken, don't have the cyrillic characters loaded on my system. I was making a play also on the russian word for "good" by "horror show", just a language joke. It was "Well, you speak in Russian, good. I haven't spoken it for many year".
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....

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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by jharris1993 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:56 am

"horror show" is more like it in ny case. (grin!)

As it is, though I am trying to learn Russian, I mostly speak English to the granddaughters since everyone wants them to learn English.
Jim "JR"

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb

NickByford
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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by NickByford » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:58 pm

I have installed Mint on a Compaq Presario S5160, 32 bit, Single Core, .75Gb RAM. The result is surprising. It runs a lot better than it did with XP although, since the graphics are on-board, it cannot handle on-line games like Bejeweled Blitz - it just hasn't got the oomph needed. That could be rectified with a graphics card or, I am told, uprated memory.

I can't do that at present, but I am very pleased that this machine is able to be used again and doesn't need to be consigned to the dump!

It's nice that not all old stuff is only fit for the scrap heap (which in my case, is a blessing!), but not all machines are able to be upgraded in this manner.
Asus X70IO 32 bit Dual core T6600, 4Gb, running Linux Mint 18.2 upgraded from Vista Premium (Yuck!)

FreedomTruth
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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by FreedomTruth » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:50 pm

I run LM 17.3 on an old machine

Code: Select all

System:    Host: fcc-desktop Kernel: 4.4.0-79-generic i686 (32 bit gcc: 4.8.4)
           Desktop: Xfce 4.12.2 (Gtk 2.24.23) info: xfce4-panel dm: mdm Distro: Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa
Machine:   System: Dell product: Dimension 4550 Chassis: type: 6
           Mobo: Dell model: N/A Bios: Dell v: A03 date: 11/12/2002
CPU:       Single core Intel Pentium 4 (-UP-) cache: 512 KB
           flags: (pae sse sse2) bmips: 3987 speed: 1993 MHz (max)
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA NV17 [GeForce4 MX 420] bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 10de:0172
           Display Server: X.org 1.17.1 drivers: nouveau (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           tty size: 106x8 Advanced Data: N/A for root
Audio:     Card Creative Labs [SB Live! Value] EMU10k1X
           driver: snd_emu10k1x port: ece0 bus-ID: 02:01.0 chip-ID: 1102:0006
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.4.0-79-generic
Network:   Card-1: Intel 82801DB PRO/100 VE (LOM) Ethernet Controller
           driver: e100 v: 3.5.24-k2-NAPI port: ec80 bus-ID: 02:08.0 chip-ID: 8086:1039
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Ralink RT2870 Wireless Adapter usb-ID: 001-002
           IF: N/A state: N/A mac: N/A
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 40.0GB (30.9% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD400JB size: 40.0GB serial: WD-WCAD1A788524 temp: 0C
Partition: ID-1: / size: 35G used: 9.7G (30%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 2.15GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda2
RAID:      System: supported: N/A
           No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
           Unused Devices: none
Sensors:   None detected - is lm-sensors installed and configured?
Info:      Processes: 171 Uptime: 3 min Memory: 220.9/493.0MB
           Init: Upstart v: 1.12.1 runlevel: 2 default: 2 Gcc sys: 4.8.4
           Client: Shell (sudo running in bash) inxi: 2.2.28 
Machine itself runs okay ... mainly used for audacity recording. Really struggles to do web-browsing, am trying out midori for that, but it's rare that I browse on there anyway.
Also running Devuan on an old laptop, seems to run pretty well.
If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free... Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin... Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by jharris1993 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:52 pm

@FreedomTruth
@NickByford
@Everyone_Else

It appears that the real tipping point is the 512meg memory boundary. If you have more than 512 megs, (768+ megs?), your user experience, though potentially lacking, is at the very least acceptably usable. In my case the memory was constrained to 512 meg and at that amount of memory there was no combination of operating system, desktop manager, and browser that provided even a minimally acceptable user experience regardless of what I tried - including sneaky tricks like turning off the background graphics where possible and killing all the "eye candy".

(side-note)
One trick, often overlooked when provisioning a memory constrained system, is to eliminate the wallpaper graphic and replace it with a solid color since the wallpaper graphic is usually loaded into memory - especially on lower-end systems that don't have dedicated/self-contained GPU memory. A wallpaper image can represent megs of un-swappable, (locked/non-paged), memory, whereas a solid RGB color - even using hig-end graphics modes - is only 24 bits (3 bytes) long.
(/side note)

In many cases, the system ran unacceptably slowly with boot times > 10 or 15 minutes and over 2 minutes to launch a window or start an app. In those cases where the system was not hideously slow, the browser crashed immediately when I attempted to launch it.

The result was that I had to do two things before returning this system to its owner:
1. I ordered a memory upgrade to 1gig - the max memory for this system.
2. I re-installed WinXP-Pro as that was the only O/S that provided a minimally acceptable user experience on a 512 meg system - and that's with the background image replaced with a solid color, (A *sneaky* trick to reclaim a lot of RAM), turning off all eye-candy, and providing a swap file (pagefile.sys) 2x installed RAM in size.

Even with all that done, I could not successfully install a respectably decent AV tool. All the current AV tools either crashed on install, or ran so slowly that the system took over an hour to boot.

Tomorrow [Dec 7, 2017] before I leave, (assuming the memory arrives on time), I will install and return the system to its owner. I have advised him that he willl need to find some kind of AV solution if he wants to take the system on line.

(off-topic - sort-of)
If you are installing a legacy Windows O/S - WinXP or earlier - the WSUS Offline Updater site has a version of the off-line updater, (9.20), that will update older systems. You can generate the update package on a fast system and then copy it to the older system and run the updates there without waiting for the legacy system to download everything. This gets something like 95% of the zillions of updates out of the way. Not as good as the package management systems on Linux, but at least you can start it, go to work, and come back to most of the updates being done. Or, do it overnight

(See http://www.wsusoffline.net/docs/ for more information.)
(/off-topic - sort-of)

Thanks for all the help and suggestios. I researched them all, tried those that I thought would work, and learned a lot in the process.

(p.s. @FreedomTruth - I am totally "down" on your signature, where "down" = "great minds think alike".)

(p.p.s. Please excuse any spelling and/or grammatical errors that snuck by me - my main system is already packed and I am typing this in on an 8" ASUS ZenPad.)
Jim "JR"

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb

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Pierre
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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by Pierre » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:28 am

a lot of my PCs were always of the win-xp era, and as such,
generally had ~1Gb RAM and 60 / 80Gb sized HDDs,

and, as a rule, they have always run fine using the LinuxMint Mate,
or using Mepis ( MX or anti-X )
- - anti-X17 is now available & MX17rc is also available . . .

the real issue, is, as always, the speed of the CPU that is in the proposed machine.
- too low & it won't play videos / YouTube stuff.
that's more of an issue, than running a lousy Internet Connection.

as far as the win-xp itself goes, then you should have already obtained it's updates,
by using that WSUS Offline Updater to create said ISO for backup purposes.
8)
and, if you can, do update it's RAM up to 1GB At Least,
as that win-XP SP3 was a disaster for any PCs that were still running <512MB ram
:evil:
ie: so many win-xp users complained that their win-xp PCs were sooo slow,
and almost always, their PCs were running <512MB ram && SP3.
:o

Finally, if you can, try to find PCs that had Vista SP1 on them,
as these PCs are semi decent 32bit PCs, & as such, convert to Linux quite nicely.
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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by Spearmint2 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:02 am

Did you try this one? It runs better than XP on that system. 32 bit available.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puppy_Linux
Puppy Linux is an operating system and lightweight Linux distribution that focuses on ease of use[4] and minimal memory footprint. The entire system can be run from RAM with current versions generally taking up about 210 MB,[5] allowing the boot medium to be removed after the operating system has started. Applications such as AbiWord, Gnumeric and MPlayer are included, along with a choice of lightweight web browsers and a utility for downloading other packages.

Puppy 6 is built from Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr packages, has binary compatibility with Ubuntu 14.04 and access to the Ubuntu package repositories. Tahrpup is built from the woof-CE build system, forked from Barry Kauler's Woof late last year after he announced his retirement from Puppy development. It is built from the latest testing branch, incorporates all the latest woof-CE features and is released in PAE and noPAE ISOs, with the option to switch kernels

When the operating system boots, everything in the Puppy package uncompresses into a RAM area, the "ramdisk". The PC needs to have at least 128 MB of RAM (with no more than 8 MB shared video) for all of Puppy to load into the ramdisk. However, it is possible for it to run on a PC with only about 48 MB of RAM because part of the system can be kept on the hard drive, or less effectively, left on the CD.

DistroWatch reviewer Rober Storey concluded about Puppy 5.2.5 in April 2011: "A lot of people like Puppy — it's in the top 10 of the DistroWatch page-hit ranking. I enjoy Puppy too, and it's what I run exclusively on my netbook. Maybe the only thing wrong with Puppy is that users' expectations tend to exceed the developer's intentions."
https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=puppy

http://puppylinux.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSRZdFRPsyE
better if you slow speed on this video down to .75

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrEfdYUi3FM
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....

jharris1993
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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by jharris1993 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:31 am

Spearmint2 wrote:Did you try this one? It runs better than XP on that system. 32 bit available.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puppy_Linux
I've tried Puppy before,and it would be nothing but trouble with these people.

Thanks!
Jim "JR"

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb

jharris1993
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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by jharris1993 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:38 am

Pierre wrote: Finally, if you can, try to find PCs that had Vista SP1 on them.
Don't I wish.

I sent them links to a number of local stores that sell nice refurbs for a couple of hundred dollars (US) and these guys don't want to do it. :facepalm: :roll:
Jim "JR"

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb

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Pierre
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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by Pierre » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:47 am

YEP - - that's often, so true - - they will only sell refurbished PCs that contain the World's Biggest Virus
:twisted:
but Puppy has come a long way,, and I've got versions 2x through 4x,,
though they were never really intended to be installed to some HDD, even though that was possible.
however, the latest version of Puppy does seem to be designed with installation to HDD in mind.
8)
either way, though,, it may not be a Linux version that could be used for refurbished PCs.
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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by XP-refugee » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:04 am

This is just the idle speculation of the deeply ignorant and I can see tar, feathers and a rail in my immediate future but:

At some stage mid-Pleistocene, when onboard RAM was hard to come by due to the Missoula Floods as the ice-dam cracked, MS had some way of using thumb-drives as extra ram for the OS.
Would such an approach help get your low-end hardware over that particular hurdle? Was such a "thumb-drive as OS ram" burley-hop even ever made for Linux?

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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by Spearmint2 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:41 am

XP-refugee wrote:This is just the idle speculation of the deeply ignorant and I can see tar, feathers and a rail in my immediate future but:

At some stage mid-Pleistocene, when onboard RAM was hard to come by due to the Missoula Floods as the ice-dam cracked, MS had some way of using thumb-drives as extra ram for the OS.
Would such an approach help get your low-end hardware over that particular hurdle? Was such a "thumb-drive as OS ram" burley-hop even ever made for Linux?
Ever heard of a swapfile? You can make and use them on flash memory too. When RAM fails, it goes to "virtual memory" aka swapfile. Answer your question? That's been around since 5.25" floppy days and probably before.

update; I read through thread again and see you know that.
The result was that I had to do two things before returning this system to its owner:
1. I ordered a memory upgrade to 1gig - the max memory for this system.
2. I re-installed WinXP-Pro as that was the only O/S that provided a minimally acceptable user experience on a 512 meg system - and that's with the background image replaced with a solid color, (A *sneaky* trick to reclaim a lot of RAM), turning off all eye-candy, and providing a swap file (pagefile.sys) 2x installed RAM in size.
Sounds like an old windows 98se computer motherboard. I remember trick I used back then. The largest DRAM modules for desktops then was 512MB, but they did have ECC DRAM at 1GB. Those old motherboards would read the SPD from the first RAM slot and use that for second slot also. So, what I did was put a 512MB 64b into the first slot, put an ECC DRAM 72b into the second slot and discovered it then could be used as if it was also 64b RAM, as not ECC. I guess the extra lines into the DRAM for ECC became ignored because the motherboard didn't then recognize it as ECC.It then was able to run it at 1.5GB of RAM used for upgrade to XP. If you find one of those old 1GB ECC DRAM, give it a try next time in the second slot, see if you can also accomplish the same. Of course another limitation on some motherboards was the RAM controller chip on those motherboards which might still preclude such use, but the motherboard I had at the time didn't seem to have that limitation.(Shuttle HOT-569)
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....

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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by XP-refugee » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:11 pm

Yes I had heard of a swapfile. And bumped into a pagefile.sys on Windows. But didn't know they were the same thing. Or even what they do. Or that that was what MS was running on the thumbdrives.

IT for me is a lot like driving a car with a intermittently detached steering wheel.
Sometimes, for reasons that aren't apparent, things work.

Do you think a swap file on a thumbdrive would be worth the trouble in jharris1993's situation?

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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by Spearmint2 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:15 pm

Do you think a swap file on a thumbdrive would be worth the trouble in jharris1993's situation?
It could help, but even read access from flashdrive unless it was reasonably fast could slow things down. Any flash that reads at 100 MBps shouldn't slow things down when accessing the flashdrive, but the write speed to it would be slower. Using a flashdrive for pagefile or swapfile (same thing) will wear it out quicker for sure.
Last edited by Spearmint2 on Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....

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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by Calthrop » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:52 pm

There was a flash drive caching program used by Windows. Here's what Wikipedia says about it...
ReadyBoost is a disk caching software component developed by Microsoft for Windows Vista and included in later versions of the Windows operating system. ReadyBoost enables NAND memory mass storage devices, including CompactFlash, SD cards, and USB flash drives, to be used as a write cache between a hard drive and random access memory in an effort to increase computing performance. ReadyBoost relies on the SuperFetch technology and, like SuperFetch, adjusts its cache based on user activity. Other features, including ReadyDrive, are implemented in a manner similar to ReadyBoost.

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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by XP-refugee » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:37 am

I'm looking at this Asus AJ6 (2006) that I'm working at and wondering ....
I know it is much higher specced than the computers that harris is focussing on. (I think can even plug a T9700 cpu into it and have got 3 GB RAM recognised).
But I can take the RAM back down to 512MB and put the T2300E cpu back inside.
And then try it out with a thumbdrive swapfile.
I was going to ask, "How?".
But I might have landed in bicycle-shed heaven with these forums.
The bulk of the following was written in 2007 - which matches well with these old computers:
TUTORIAL: All about Linux swap space . . .

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Re: Mint on low-end hardware?

Post by prestonR » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:09 pm

It's unofficial, but still Minty: the LXDE version of Mint. Default is German, but can be switched to English. Doesn't seem very active though
I'm not alone, it seems... love it, I think it's a slimmed-down Mate. Might not be very active but it's up-to-date 18.3. I've stripped it down from 2200 pkgs to 1700 pkgs or 4GB so it can be used on those little 8 GB netbook ssd.

Here a conky after boot-up on a 10-years old Asus eee-pc 1000H, remote desktop server's already running. If you switch that off, let openbox handle the desktop and kill the powermanager you can push ram usage down to 70mb.
IMG_20180112_224113765.jpg
IMG_20180112_224113765.jpg (49.75 KiB) Viewed 361 times

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