Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

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abacoian
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Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by abacoian »

You guys have been great in informing and helping me with info on linux. Here's where I'm at: Wanted to install over windows 7 but was afraid to just get rid of windows so chose to install alongside instead. Computer got blank screen when installing, I booted windows 7 today and see that the hard drive is almost full so thinking maybe that's what caused the blank screen. Right now I use the w7 computer to unload photos from my camera and upload to google photos so not quite ready to go full linux until I'm sure / comfortable it can do what I'd like.

But I have an xp computer that I think could run the linux 32 bit version and wondering if I should go for it? Can the lighter versions of mint also use the programs that the cinamon version has and can they be used without knowing command lines?

Thank you for your help guys!
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by Mattyboy »

You might want to lookup nomodeset in regard to the blank screen.

Yes you can use the same programs on any desktop environment. You might wanna look at installing Xfce on your older machine or maybe even Lubuntu https://lubuntu.me/ ( yes it will support the same programs )
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michael louwe
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by michael louwe »

@ abacoian, .......
abacoian wrote:.
.
Part 2. We can't help you much if you do not provide us with information on your computer brand, model and hardware specifications or post the Terminal output for inxi -Fxz and sudo parted -l from the Live LM USB/DVD, as per ... viewtopic.php?f=17&t=83444 (READ: How To Get Help!)
jsb
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by jsb »

If the old machine runs well with XP, I would think it would be fine (and probably better) under the XFCE version of Mint. Worst case is if that doesn't work out, you can just install and try something even lighter like the previously mentioned Lubuntu, another would be Peppermint.

I was terminal-phobic when I switched from Windows and have only ever used various lighter versions of Linux (XFCE and/or LXDE based). You should not need to use terminal command lines any more with XFCE than with Cinnamon. In any case, in my 4-1/2 years of using Linux, the vast majority of my use of that has been done by simply copying and pasting commands, following instructions that someone knowledgeable has provided.
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by br1anstorm »

Hello abacoian....

I thought I'd offer a few comments, not as a Linux expert, but because I was (and in some ways still am) in exactly the same position as you.

I, too, have a couple of laptops - one old Dell 32-bit with XP, and one slightly newer Samsung 64-bit with Win7. But like many others, I was fed up with Windows and so decided to make the transition to Linux. Best decision I ever made, believe me.

There are good programs in Linux that are equivalent to almost any software you can get for Windows. But like you, I relied on FastStone Image Viewer to organise, edit and tweak my photos. Although there are other good photo apps available in Linux (XnView, Shotwell, digiKam and of course GIMP if you can bear it!) I wanted to continue using FastStone.

So here are my suggestions for options you might consider:

- first, try out a limited selection of Linux distros on one or both of your computers in Live sessions (running them off a DVD or USB stick) just to get a feel for them before doing any installing. My advice would be to try out Linux Mint XFCE (because XFCE is lighter on resources than the Cinnamon version, and personally, I happen to think XFCE is nicer!). You might also want to try out Linux Lite, MX-16 or MX-17 in Live sessions too, just for comparison's sake;

- once you've decided which Linux distro you'd like to install, there are various choices. You could install Linux alongside Windows XP. I suspect, depending on your hardware spec, you would need the 32-bit Linux version (NB some distros no longer offer a 32-bit). You would also need to make sure you have sufficient free space on your hard drive for a Linux partition. Depending on what processor you have on that computer, you may also have to grapple with the business of "force-pae" because some Linux distros aren't set up to work with older, non-pae processors. If your XP system is old, and has a non-pae processor (like mine!) you should find that Mint XFCE will work on it if forced. MX-16 or MX-17 will work happily with a non-pae processor;

- if you want to run a Linux OS on your computer that has Windows 7 - and I assume you will want to keep Win7 - then you have at least two ways of doing this. The usual way is to install the Linux distro alongside Win7 (and the Linux install process guides you through this). Check first whether you need 32 or 64-bit, and again, that you have enough hard drive space. The Linux OS will replace the Windows MBR bootloader with the Linux (GRUB) bootloader - which can "see" and boot up either Win7 or Linux. If you want later to revert to Windows only, you have to re-create the Windows MBR bootloader (which requires a bit of witchcraft);

- if for some reason (and I won't go into an explanation here) you want to keep the Windows MBR bootloader, then there is the alternative of using a Windows programme called EasyBCD, in Win7, to install your chosen Linux distro. Basically EasyBCD, instead of replacing the Windows MBR, simply adds to it in a way which links or leads on to the Linux GRUB. So you still have the two OSs alongside each other, but the boot-up steps are slightly different. NB EasyBCD doesn't work with WinXP;

- one point about EasyBCD is that if you decide later to abandon Linux, you can revert to Win7 and you still have the Windows MBR bootloader in place. It so happens that I chose this EasyBCD route and I have Mint XFCE installed alongside Win7. I keep all my photos on an external hard drive (NTFS format) which can be accessed and read by either Win7 or Linux. I can continue to use FastStone, in Win7, to edit them...and I can also see and work on them in Linux if I wish;

One more option exists if or when you decide to abandon Windows completely and go over to Linux entirely. I am just about at that point, after a couple of years' using Linux Mint as my main daily OS. You can install a software programme called "Wine" on your Linux system, and then you can install and run most Windows programs (in this case, FastStone) under Wine. FastStone works more or less perfectly under Wine on my Linux Mint system: there are just a few minor gremlins like font-sizes.

I hope that helps you to make your choices. Moving to Linux is absolutely the right thing to do, and with some careful planning you don't need to sacrifice or do without any Windows programs that you still want to use...
abacoian
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by abacoian »

Thank you guys for all of this great info, I truly appreciate it!

Here is my system properties for my xp:

Dell inspiron ME051
Intell(R) Celeron(R) M
processor 1.40 GHz
1.40 Ghz, 504 MB of RAM

What install should I try?
Any other info I need to find?
Mattyboy
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by Mattyboy »

abacoian wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:54 pm
Thank you guys for all of this great info, I truly appreciate it!

Here is my system properties for my xp:

Dell inspiron ME051
Intell(R) Celeron(R) M
processor 1.40 GHz
1.40 Ghz, 504 MB of RAM

What install should I try?
Any other info I need to find?
I'd be looking at Lubuntu or Peppermint.
abacoian
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by abacoian »

So have you found a linux image program that can batch resize + add text over the image? And how do you store your images? I use google photos, you can upload through a browser but windows has a program that does it automatically.
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by Moem »

abacoian wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:04 pm
So have you found a linux image program that can batch resize + add text over the image?
XnView. https://www.xnview.com/en/xnviewmp/
Image

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br1anstorm
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by br1anstorm »

abacoian wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:04 pm
So have you found a linux image program that can batch resize + add text over the image? And how do you store your images? I use google photos, you can upload through a browser but windows has a program that does it automatically.
I suspect different Mint users will offer different answers to these two questions. For myself, I still use FastStone (in either Win7 or under Wine in Linux Mint) for such operations. I store my images on an external hard drive (and keep a master set burned to disk). I also upload them - manually, at intervals - to cloud storage.

I think Moen is right to recommend XNViewMP. I don't use it. But the XNView Wiki - see https://www.xnview.com/wiki/index.php/Batch_Conversion has a long list of features and actions including resizing and adding text, so I think it should do the job.
abacoian
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by abacoian »

So do you have a linux version installed on your xp? If yes, which one? I'm thinking of doing a full overwrite of xp since it only has 70 GB. I know nothing about linux but am excited to use it over windows. I want a light version that can run the linux programs that I've asked about. Thoughts?

What kind of photography do you do?
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by rickNS »

"Thoughts"
504 MB RAM.....I don't know. Here's a thread a year old talking about 1 GB ram machines, mentions "underpowered".
viewtopic.php?t=242661
XP is pretty light on resources, I just fired one up, with task manager is using 108MB, (25 processes) about 20% of your available RAM, that's why it works. Remember XP came out 2001. Today ANY modern OS even the lightest of Linux is going to use much more % of your ram, as a minimum at least 50% just to boot.
My mom has one of those 1GB netbooks, It works, but you do a lot of waiting. Don't mean to sound mean, but reality is don't expect too much of that machine.
Mint 19.0 mate on 2 identical Thinkpad T420's
abacoian
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by abacoian »

Really? I was thinking linux would work smoother than windows. So before I install I'm guessing it would be best to run it off the flashdrive first to see how it does? And would that be a good test to go by? Thank you
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by rickNS »

abacoian wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:46 pm
Really? I was thinking linux would work smoother than windows. So before I install I'm guessing it would be best to run it off the flashdrive first to see how it does? And would that be a good test to go by? Thank you
"Really?" on a 15 YO +/- system, you expect something new to work better than what it was designed for....Linux is Good, I love it, it is not miraculous.
Did you read the thread I linked to ?
Yes, go ahead and do it already, this is your second post with the same questions. Until you click on the "install" you haven't changed anything = nothing to loose / worry about. Nothing "new" OS wise as of today is going to run better than XP on that hardware. Again I am NOT trying to be mean, just honest with you. What are the basic specs of your Win 7 machine, at least RAM wise ? I will repeat, less than 1GB of RAM is NOT going to be good Linux experience. You'll probably be back complaining of freezes etc. because you just don't have enough to run the OS + file manager + a web browser, at least without a lot of S l o w.

I know some suggested lubuntu, but even that has a MIN. requirement of 640 MG RAM, and believe me that is an understatement. As are most MIN. statements of ANY OS.

PS I'll see if I can get you a second opinion from someone with more reputation.
Mint 19.0 mate on 2 identical Thinkpad T420's
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by sdibaja »

Peter
Mate desktop https://mate-desktop.org/
Debian GNU/Linux operating system: https://cdimage.debian.org/images/unoff ... -firmware/
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michael louwe
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by michael louwe »

@ abacoian, .......
abacoian wrote:.
.
About your computer, please refer to ... viewtopic.php?f=46&t=265376
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by Cosmo. »

abacoian wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:46 pm
I was thinking linux would work smoother than windows.
Which Linux? And which Windows?

Any software and any OS needs some resources. In the year 2018 the current versions and distros are made with the more or less current hardware in mind. Trying to put any currently supported will show the limits of the hardware. Mint 17 Xfce might fit into the old device, but even this will not give much pleasure. With 500 MB the system will sooner or later begin to swap, and then any "smooth" has reached its end.
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by Moem »

abacoian wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:46 pm
Really? I was thinking linux would work smoother than windows. So before I install I'm guessing it would be best to run it off the flashdrive first to see how it does? And would that be a good test to go by? Thank you
You can't compare a present day Linux with XP which is from 2001. If you try a Linux-based OS from 2001, it WILL probably run at least as fast as XP on that machine... but you won't like it. It's not newcomer-friendly and you'd have to learn a lot before being able to use it with any comfort and ease.

Userfriendliness (such as Mint has) comes at a cost. A smooth looking interface with buttons and explanatory descriptions for nearly everything comes at the cost of requiring more memory.
And apart from security, older computers that run XP aren't suitable for the web of today: web pages are heavier now, they use the features of modern browsers, and that too requires more memory.
Sometimes, hardware really is outdated.

That said, your computer can probably run MX Linux pretty well. But for an absolute newcomer to Linux, I can't guarantee that results will be satisfactory.

Yes, you can run pretty much any Linux-based OS from a flash drive first, and that is a good test to see how it performs on your hardware and how you like it.
Image

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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by br1anstorm »

This thread is developing a number of different "strands". It might be sensible to try to deal separately with each of the questions the OP has raised.

1. Will any current Linux distro run satisfactorily on the very old "Windows XP" computer (a Dell Inspiron with Intel Celeron M 1.40GHz and 504MB RAM)? Answer: Probably not. It might be worth trying Puppy Linux, Peppermint, or MX-16, but even these might struggle and they will run slowly if at all. Might be simpler to leave the computer with XP only installed, keep it off the internet, and use it offline if desired for those specific tasks (like photo-editing) which require an XP-based program;

2. What about installing a Linux distro on the - presumably newer - computer which runs Windows 7? Answer: That should be fine, but it would be helpful to have the detailed spec of that computer and its processor and RAM to advise further. In principle, Mint XFCE should run well. Mint Cinnamon will need more resources. Either way, the way forward is to run Live sessions to see how Linux works. Then the only decision is whether to install the chosen Linux OS alongside, or instead of, Windows 7;

3. What photo-editing/organising programs are available in Linux that are comparable to FastStone in Windows? Answer: this is a separate subject which would be better explored in its own thread. But it has already been answered above by several members including me. Once a Linux OS is installed, the options are to use XNViewMP or try others like Shotwell, or to run FastStone under Wine. If Win7 is still installed in dual boot setup, then continue to use FastStone in that.
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Re: Newbie contemplating installing linux over w7 or xp, part 2

Post by abacoian »

I will look up the specs for the w7 the next time I turn it on and post them. I truly don't know about linux. I came across this site when I googled how to keep an xp laptop secure, I found an article that recommended mint. Whether it works on my old laptops or not I'm still glad to have come across it.
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