[SOLVEDish] Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Quick to answer questions about finding your way around Linux Mint as a new user.
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. Stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions use the other forums in the support section.
Before you post read how to get help. Topics in this forum are automatically closed 6 months after creation.
Post Reply
User avatar
Tourma
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2022 2:28 am
Location: Somewhere...
Contact:

[SOLVEDish] Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Tourma »

Hi all,

I'm looking into buying a dirt cheap device to see if I can get used to Linux as a daily driver. As this will be my first time dealing with installing a OS, I don't want to invest much. I'm looking at around $50USD.

From what I've seen, that limits me to PCs that are 5-10 years old or chromebooks that are 3-6 years old. Either way I'm looking at Lenovo, Dell, or Acer with Intel cpus.

The laptops tend to be ≈4gb of ram with 250-500gb storage. The chromebooks are lower in the 2-4gb ram and 16-64gb storage.

Main questions:
  • What is the point where Mint struggles do do basic tasks?
  • Is it different for different versions of Mint?
  • What is the minimum hard drive storage size to not have problems updating and the like?
  • Should I be looking at different brands?
I know the laptops have more bang for the buck, but I'm liking the form factor of the chromebooks.

For the chromebooks, I'm looking into getting one already with some firm of Linux in it so I know the base drivers have been updated to UEFA or whatever it's called. I'll still be putting a fresh install of Mint on it though.

I ask this as I have a Win10 machine with the 2gb of ram and it struggles. I'd like to be able to have more than three tabs open.

I'm trying Linux again, (it's a long story involving a VM,) after Microsoft unveiled Recall. I hope that by the time KY good PC needs to be replaced I'll be comfortable with Linux and can get a good machine.
Last edited by Tourma on Sat Jun 15, 2024 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Linux user since: June 13, 2024 | My Dell Latitude E5440.
Continually adding to my list of things to do to my laptop after I install Mint. But that's good. Keeps me learning.
User avatar
Midnight True
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1847
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2022 3:23 am
Location: Southern and Southwestern area of Mato
Contact:

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Midnight True »

Tourma wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 2:53 am The laptops tend to be ≈4gb of ram with 250-500gb storage. The chromebooks are lower in the 2-4gb ram and 16-64gb storage.
I would recommend to make sure these laptops are already at 64 bit, 32 bit is still supported with LMDE 6 but i think 32 bit support days is counted.
Moreover anything less than 2 GB ram would struggle in modern web browsing.
Tourma wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 2:53 am
  • What is the point where Mint struggles do do basic tasks?
To my understanding that would be Web Browsing with lots of videos or Pictures or uses a lot of javascript (ex: Youtube, Facebook, Google Workspace, etc.), Video Playback, Current Games and multitasking (example opening several application at once).
Tourma wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 2:53 am
  • What is the minimum hard drive storage size to not have problems updating and the like?
i believe 50 Gb but you can easily fill this, so to be on safe side atleast 100 Gb

To sum if you are going to have 4 Gb max i would recommend either Xfce or Mate flavour as at idle they consume around 500-600 Mb
User avatar
Moem
Level 22
Level 22
Posts: 16351
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:14 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Moem »

A laptop like the one you described should be completely usable with Mint, especially if it has a SSD. If you use Cinnamon you may want to disable effects such as menu animations, to make things snappier.

Be careful around Chromebooks. Not all of them have the right architecture to allow you to install Mint.
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!
User avatar
axrusar
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:30 pm

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by axrusar »

Midnight True wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 3:57 am To sum if you are going to have 4 Gb max i would recommend either Xfce or Mate flavour as at idle they consume around 500-600 Mb
550MB for cinnamon at idle.
https://imgur.com/6onyjsh.png
520MB Mate
https://imgur.com/VZF7abZ.png

Stop claiming performance gains using Xfce or Mate vs Cinnamon. I see this way too often around here.
Keep in mind the first Firefox tab you open will take as much memory or more as the whole OS loaded so the 100MB difference in memory becomes irrelevant. It is all about personal preference between the different DE's rather than performance.

To the OP. As previously mentioned, do a bit of good research on what chromebook you will get. I just watched a few videos in youtube of people showing chromebooks with Mint, and at least you want to stick reading one tab of wikipedia and a text editor open, performance sucks with the CPU's that ship on those. I would save a bit more and get a decent old Thinkpad, Intel Gen8 and above.
Linux Mint Una Cinnamon 20.3 Kernel: 5.15.x | Quad Core I7 4.2Ghz | 24GB Ram | 1TB NVMe | Intel Graphics
Image
User avatar
AndyMH
Level 21
Level 21
Posts: 14105
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by AndyMH »

For that sort of money I'd look for a used T430.
Thinkcentre M720Q - LM21.3 cinnamon, 4 x T430 - LM21.3 cinnamon, Homebrew desktop i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0
User avatar
Pjotr
Level 24
Level 24
Posts: 20532
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:18 am
Location: The Netherlands (Holland) 🇳🇱 🇮🇱
Contact:

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Pjotr »

Select the laptop, not the Chromebook. With 4 GB RAM minimum. Replace the spinner HDD by an SSD from a known brand (should set you back only about $ 25, 120 GB is enough).

Then apply these safe speed tweaks:
https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.c ... -mint.html
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 21.3 Virginia
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.
User avatar
axrusar
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:30 pm

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by axrusar »

I see a ton of T460's on ebay with i5-6300U / 8GB / 250SSD around 80 bucks. That should be a pretty decent laptop IMO
Linux Mint Una Cinnamon 20.3 Kernel: 5.15.x | Quad Core I7 4.2Ghz | 24GB Ram | 1TB NVMe | Intel Graphics
Image
Eugenia
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2023 7:12 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Eugenia »

I can help you with this, because I've been converting to Linux all of my family's and extending family's PCs/laptops (mostly Mint and Debian). Here's the rule of thumb I've found that works well:

1. You look at the cpu model and you do a good search for that cpu model, plus the word "passmark". The passmark benchmark score can tell us what OS we need to be installing to have a well managed system that it's not too slow.
Below 400: lxqt/lxde/icewm
400-1000: xfce/mate
1000-2500: Cinnamon
Above 2500: Gnome/kde (and all of the previous ones, of course)

RAM:
Less than 2 GB: DamnSmallLinux and similar only
2 GB: Any distro with lxqt/lxde/mate
4 GB: XFce, Cinnamon
8GB: gnome/kde
I don't suggest anyone running ANY kind of modern Linux with less than 2 GB of RAM (in fact, even 4 GB is tight with some distros now). While the OS and apps might manage, the moment you'll try to browse anything, you will be hitting the swap file.

Storage:
Debian can easily function at 16 GB that many Chromebooks come with (my niece's Chromebook has been converted to Debian+XFce, with just 505 Passmark points), but Linux Mint (and any ubuntu derivative) needs about 24 GB to feel right. So get at least something with 32GB for Mint, I'd say.

Personally, I bought a refurbished DELL 3190 laptop for just $130 the other day. It worked PERFECTLY with Mint. Only 4 GB of RAM, but if you're a bit mindful to not open lots of browser tabs, it's perfectly doable as an everyday, cheap computer.
User avatar
Tourma
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2022 2:28 am
Location: Somewhere...
Contact:

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Tourma »

How does this sound?

Lenovo Thinkpad L512 Intel i3 400GB SSD 8GB RAM Zorin OS 17.1
Linux user since: June 13, 2024 | My Dell Latitude E5440.
Continually adding to my list of things to do to my laptop after I install Mint. But that's good. Keeps me learning.
User avatar
Pjotr
Level 24
Level 24
Posts: 20532
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:18 am
Location: The Netherlands (Holland) 🇳🇱 🇮🇱
Contact:

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Pjotr »

Tourma wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 11:29 am How does this sound?

Lenovo Thinkpad L512 Intel i3 400GB SSD 8GB RAM Zorin OS 17.1
Nice! But we from Mint recommend.... Mint. :wink:
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 21.3 Virginia
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.
User avatar
axrusar
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:30 pm

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by axrusar »

Tourma wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 11:29 am How does this sound?

Lenovo Thinkpad L512 Intel i3 400GB SSD 8GB RAM Zorin OS 17.1
The thinkpads with the i5 mentioned above should be 3 times faster, 5 years newer CPU, less power consumption (more battery time)
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/74 ... l-i5-6300U
Linux Mint Una Cinnamon 20.3 Kernel: 5.15.x | Quad Core I7 4.2Ghz | 24GB Ram | 1TB NVMe | Intel Graphics
Image
User avatar
MiZoG
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2697
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by MiZoG »

I have a lenovo t410 from 2010.
i5 520, intel graphics, 4 gigs of ram. I replaced the internal storage with an ssd and the battery with a third-party cheap one but proven reliable.
Runs every Linux desktop with ease. Cinnamon with all effects turned on, KDE, Gnome, Budgie not to mention the lightweight contenders.
20 tabs on Firefox, 3-4 apps in the background (like Thunderbird, Discord, Telegram, a media player), 3,5 ram utilization with no swap usage.
Copes with 1080p HD video comfortably.
That's great in my books for such old machine.
User avatar
Tourma
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2022 2:28 am
Location: Somewhere...
Contact:

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Tourma »

How about the 11e line? There are a lot of them out there and they tend to be in better condition and newer than the E or T lines.
Linux user since: June 13, 2024 | My Dell Latitude E5440.
Continually adding to my list of things to do to my laptop after I install Mint. But that's good. Keeps me learning.
Catsbark
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:53 pm

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Catsbark »

From my personal experience:

I purchased an Acer Chromebook with a 4-core Celeron processor, 4 GB RAM and 16 GB emmc storage for about US$40. I flashed the UEFI and installed Bodhi Linux. I had to uninstall essentially all of the installed applications in order to get the storage usage below 10 GB. It runs well and does the job I assigned to it. But there's virtually no usable on-board storage. I tried antiX (which I would have preferred due to its smaller storage footprint) but it didn't recognize the keyboard. Similarly, MiniOS didn't recognize the touchscreen. That's why I wound up with Bodhi.

I purchased a HP ProBook with a second-generation i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM. It came with no storage drive and no power supply. I got a power supply and a used 128 GB SSD to bring my total investment up to about US$50. I installed LM 21.3 XFCE on this one and it runs great. It's a little bit slower than my daily driver (see my signature) but I could live with that computer as my only machine if I had to.

In summary, what you want to do is definitely possible. I would recommend avoiding the Chromebooks. They are a bit too much of a hassle, particularly if you aren't highly experienced with hardware, operating systems, and software. Windows-based laptops with ~11-inch screens are available if that is the form factor you appreciate about the Chromebooks, and 14" used laptops are common on eBay and through on line vendors like Newegg. If you get a Refurbished unit, it will be complete (with storage and power supply) and usually the battery will charge to at least 80%.
Catsbark
Dell Inspiron; Ryzen 5; LM 20.3 Cinnamon
HP ProBook; Core i5; LM 21.3 XFCE
Acer Chromebook; Celeron; Bodhi

"A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.'" - Douglas Adams
User avatar
Tourma
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2022 2:28 am
Location: Somewhere...
Contact:

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Tourma »

Looks like I might be getting a Dell Latitude E5440. It already has Mint on it, so I assume it can run Linux. :roll:

We'll see what kind of condition it's in before I go hog wild on it, but expect questions about formatting and the like soon.
Linux user since: June 13, 2024 | My Dell Latitude E5440.
Continually adding to my list of things to do to my laptop after I install Mint. But that's good. Keeps me learning.
User avatar
Moem
Level 22
Level 22
Posts: 16351
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:14 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Moem »

Pretty solid choice, I think. Some submodels come with 8GB of RAM; I assume yours comes with 4. Might it support 8?
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!
User avatar
Tourma
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2022 2:28 am
Location: Somewhere...
Contact:

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Tourma »

Moem wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 3:38 am Pretty solid choice, I think. Some submodels come with 8GB of RAM; I assume yours comes with 4. Might it support 8?
According to the page, it has 15GB of RAM. That's an odd number. We'll see when I actually get my hands on it.

Also has a 500GB HDD. If I replace any guts, that might be be my first. I have bad luck with HDDs.
Linux user since: June 13, 2024 | My Dell Latitude E5440.
Continually adding to my list of things to do to my laptop after I install Mint. But that's good. Keeps me learning.
User avatar
Moem
Level 22
Level 22
Posts: 16351
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:14 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by Moem »

Might be sixteen. In that case it should run pretty well!
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!
User avatar
axrusar
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:30 pm

Re: Minimum Recomended Specs for Mint?

Post by axrusar »

Tourma wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 11:35 am
Moem wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 3:38 am Pretty solid choice, I think. Some submodels come with 8GB of RAM; I assume yours comes with 4. Might it support 8?
According to the page, it has 15GB of RAM. That's an odd number. We'll see when I actually get my hands on it.

Also has a 500GB HDD. If I replace any guts, that might be be my first. I have bad luck with HDDs.


You are not paying attention or reading what was recommended so far.

I-3 + an old dog 500gb spinner drive. Good luck with that.
Linux Mint Una Cinnamon 20.3 Kernel: 5.15.x | Quad Core I7 4.2Ghz | 24GB Ram | 1TB NVMe | Intel Graphics
Image
Post Reply

Return to “Beginner Questions”