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Best drop-in Linux alternative to XP for old hardware?


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#1 Al1000

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 03:52 AM

Check out LXLE. You select from one of 5 "Paradigms" at the log-in screen, one of which is XP-Paradigm. In addition to the XP-style panel at the foot of the screen, and the XP-style menus that you access by clicking on the icon on the panel where the menu icon on XP is, that XP users would intuitively click on, and which includes XP-style options that XP users will be familiar with such as "run;" there is also a Unity-style panel at the side which is on auto-hide by default:

LXLE_XP_zpsbdf53d6f.png


I only installed this yesterday, but I cannot fault it so far. It's not very "light" in that it comes with a lot of software, and it's not the fastest to boot up or shut down, but the graphics are silky smooth on this old laptop (PB EasyNote E6307 with integrated VIA graphics, AMD Sempron 3000+ single core CPU and 768MB of RAM), system resource usage is very low as you can see from conky, and everything has worked flawlessly. It's based on Lubuntu 12.04, but IMO it's much better. One of the other Paradigms is Unity, which looks and acts kind of like the Unity desktop on Ubuntu, but is far lighter.

There is little difference in system resource usage between the five Paradigms; all are very low. This is the OSX-Paradigm which is the one I've been using. In addition to the panel at the top (which you can of course move anywhere), it also has a "dock" at the foot; which is on auto-hide and isn't in the screenshot, but as you might have guessed, looks like OSX's dock.

In fact, my only complaint is that the conky that comes installed with it had a puny little display, and it used around 2% of CPU resources. So I swapped it for my own more efficient, better looking and more informative conky, that I already had. :)

puppypc1_zps9b7a00de.png

(Edited to include info on hardware)

Edited by Al1000, 15 January 2015 - 04:08 AM.


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#2 NickAu

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 03:56 AM

Great post Al, I have looked at this and it is ok and would be a great replacement for XP.

 

 

My Rant.

 

A Linux that looks like XP. :ranting: ,Is there no end to this sacrilege,  At least its more secure than XP will ever be.



#3 Al1000

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 04:01 AM

A Linux that looks like XP.


Yeah, but at least it has other Paradigms that look like Linux. :)

#4 Al1000

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 04:56 AM

It even comes with an anti-virus scanner (with a graphical user interface), so will seem all the more familiar to Windows users. :)

LXLE_XP2_zps653aeb94.png

#5 cat1092

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 01:33 AM

ClamTK is a good virus scanner & I run it every time prior to shutting down Linux Mint. 

 

Though the included version is often far outdated, the current version can be grabbed here. 

 

https://code.google.com/p/clamtk/

 

For Ubuntu distros based on 12 & earlier:

 

Ubuntu 12.xx Legacy DEB

 

For those based on 13 or later:

 

Debian or Ubuntu 13/14 DEB

 

Oftentimes, the installed version will be many behind. The newer GUI looks great as it functions, with more options. Not that Linux is likely to get infected anyway, much of what ClamTK finds is that of what SuperAntiSpyware does on Windows. While these may pose no threat to the Linux install, they can easily be passed along to Windows users in emails (or to their own Windows computers by syncing of browsers), or software downloaded on a Linux machine, placed onto a Flash drive, and inserted into a Windows computer for install. Why take the chance? 

 

There are no totally harmless threats, though there are those later identified as false positives. 

 


 

 

A Linux that looks like XP.  :ranting: ,Is there no end to this sacrilege, 

 

I agree, but here's the deal. Many are still using XP, and has been for 10+ years, for some, it's the only OS they've known & every day they continue to run it, the more harm imposed on us all. There will be an XP doomsday & it'll affect many more than the 15% or so XP users left  While none of these looks truly like XP, the menu is similar enough so that even the long term XP user can navigate with little trouble. Anything that will help get these users off this OS, I'm for, as Microsoft has had two chances to get XP consumers to move forward & blew it. They could have mass distributed Windows 7 Home Basic or Windows 8, neither of which has an Aero requirement to these users. Yet they chose not to. 

 

So, those who creates these Linux distros has to make a decision, while they can't copy Windows, they can make the Start Menu easy enough for a first time Linux user to kind of feel at home, at least to be able to use a browser w/out digging through unfamiliar looking menus. Not that they're going to truly be at home anyway, because things are done differently on a Linux OS. The main thing is attracting users, then keeping them as time passes. 

 

The last real Linux XP lookalike, I haven't seen in a while (Linux XP), developed in Russia & licensed, like RedHat & Pro editions of Ubuntu are. Don't know what happened to it, but was popular at one time. 

 

For those interested in LXLE, here's the link. Looks like a good project, will give it a shot on my last old notebook. Nothing to lose but a little time & everything to gain. :thumbup2:

 

http://lxle.net/

 

http://www.lxle.net/download

 

EDIT: Links for those with low spec 64 bit hardware are also included. No reason why to let that underpowered Vista/Windows 7 computer control one's computing experience. It's also Free, but one has to navigate a bit. Here's a screenshot, there's no need to pay for these DVD's. Just select what's desired from the drop down menu, enter the phrase & have immediate access to the download. 

 

CaptureLXLESnapshot2.png

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 16 January 2015 - 02:03 AM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#6 bmike1

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 02:20 AM

i  say mint-debian edition


Edited by bmike1, 16 January 2015 - 02:21 AM.

A/V Software? I don't need A/V software. I've run Linux since '98 w/o A/V software and have never had a virus. I never even had a firewall until '01 when I began to get routers with firewalls pre installed. With Linux if a vulnerability is detected a fix is quickly found and then upon your next update the vulnerability is patched.  If you must worry about viruses  on a Linux system only worry about them in the sense that you can infect a windows user. I recommend Linux Mint or, if you need a lighter weight operating system that fits on a cd, MX14 or AntiX.


#7 cat1092

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 03:01 AM

Linux Mint Debian edition is good, have ran it through VirtualBox, problem is if setting up as a dual boot, it wants the dang entire drive. No clear cut partition instructions like their other versions, taking user friendliness out of the equation from the jump, it's well known to be the least friendly version of all their offerings. 

 

Plus, Mint Debian is nowhere near as lightweight as LXLE, or even Xfce, and would have troubles running on the computers the OP is speaking of. It needs more than the 768MB RAM the OP is speaking of to do much anything. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#8 bmike1

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 03:16 AM

my brother has it running on his i686 with 512MB of RAM. As for dual booting.... yes they should have made it more obvious.


Edited by bmike1, 16 January 2015 - 03:41 AM.

A/V Software? I don't need A/V software. I've run Linux since '98 w/o A/V software and have never had a virus. I never even had a firewall until '01 when I began to get routers with firewalls pre installed. With Linux if a vulnerability is detected a fix is quickly found and then upon your next update the vulnerability is patched.  If you must worry about viruses  on a Linux system only worry about them in the sense that you can infect a windows user. I recommend Linux Mint or, if you need a lighter weight operating system that fits on a cd, MX14 or AntiX.


#9 cat1092

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 03:56 AM

Yeah, but one cannot do a lot with that much RAM. Maybe have a few browser windows open at best? 

 

I'm not questioning if it can be done, actually have seen a much heavier install on the same 512MB, but to be useful (to get a lot done), it has to be a lightweight OS on those specs. I'd say, judging by the second pic that Al1000 provided, to be using just 2% out of a 800MHz CPU & 17% RAM, with 106 processes going, wow that's fantastic!

 

My older notebook should run that OS with ease. :thumbup2:

 

ISO downloaded, will create the installer in the morning & see how it goes. Has to be better than Mint 17.1 Xfce was, if not will just stick with the XP/Windows 7 installs on it & call it quits for Linux on that computer. I just don't see, w/out going Puppy, which I tried and will never stick with, an OS that will use less resources. MX-14 wasn't a good choice for it. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#10 Al1000

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 05:17 AM

Oftentimes, the installed version will be many behind. The newer GUI looks great as it functions, with more options.


I've just checked and ClamTK is indeed not the latest version; it's version 4.45. But of course ClamTK is just the graphical user interface for operating ClamAV, which is the actual anti-virus software. I just checked it as well, and was surprised to find that it is the latest version, 0.98.5. I assume it must have been updated automatically when I updated the system after I installed it.

http://www.clamav.net/index.html

al@puppypc:~$ freshclam --version
ClamAV 0.98.5/19933/Fri Jan 16 05:49:46 2015
The only other thing I've done with clamav so far, apart from checking the version, is to stop it from trying to update its definitions 24 times each day as it does by default. I opened the configuration file at /etc/clamav/freshclam.conf and changed "Checks 24" to "Checks 0". Now it won't try to update automatically at all, and if I want to use it I'll update it manually beforehand by typing "freshclam" in a terminal.

The only time I've installed clamtk before is when I first started using Ubuntu when XP was still my main OS, mostly so that I could scan my Windows partition remotely.

It so happens that I decided to install clamav to Kubuntu 14.04 on my desktop pc a couple of months ago, and have only used it once. But it found two Windows viruses that I had downloaded with Thunderbird, one of which I'd saved (well out of reach of Windows) on my hard drive to upload to VirusTotal because I was curious about it, and the other which was still in my Thunderbird email directory. So at least running clamav reminded me to delete them.

Because clamtk is merely the GUI for clamav, we can say: "anything clamtk can do with clamav, can be done with clamav alone."

So I would be interested to know what options the older versions of clamtk don't have, that the new version does have. These would presumably be options that clamtk on LXLE doesn't have, but which would be available by running clamav alone.

For those interested in LXLE, here's the link. Looks like a good project, will give it a shot on my last old notebook.

Superb. Will be interested to hear what you think of it. Here's an article in PC World from when it was released:

Have an older PC? Try the new Ubuntu Linux-based LXLE

LXLE, which is short for Lubuntu Extra Life Extension, ... includes drivers and utilities for older graphics and audio hardware that get dropped too quickly from Lubuntu on account of its six-month core release cycle, the developers say.


EDIT: To clarify what I meant by "light" in the OP, or rather to say what I should have said; there is "light" in terms of system resources used, and there is "minimal" in terms of included software. So LXLE isn't a minimal operating system, but it is certainly light.

Edited by Al1000, 16 January 2015 - 06:13 AM.


#11 Al1000

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 06:16 AM

i say mint-debian edition


Why the Debian edition, over say, the Xfce or MATE editions?

I've never tried Mint Debian edition, but before I tried LXLE I tried Debian itself with both the Xfce and LXDE desktops, and openbox as well. But I had numerous issues with them all, and they didn't seem to like the graphics on this old laptop either.

#12 Al1000

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 03:31 PM

There is no option to disable touchpad tapping on laptops in LXLE; here's the easiest way I've found:

Click on menu --> Preferences --> Default applications for LX Session, then select the Autostart tab.

In the box beside where it says "add" type or copy and paste the following command:
 

synclient MaxTapTime=0

Click the "add" button, and that's it.

Restart your computer, and touchpad tapping will be disabled. :)

 

EDIT: In fact you don't even need to restart your computer, you just have to log out then log back into whatever Paradigm you're in, for the changes to take effect. But you do have to do the same for each Paradigm, if you want touchpad tapping disabled in them all.

 

Another thing I did in this window was disable the tunes that play when you log in.

 

taptime_zps77f2aa3f.png


Edited by Al1000, 16 January 2015 - 06:23 PM.


#13 Guest_hollowface_*

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 09:25 PM

There used to be one years ago called YLMF. I believe version 3.0 was the last version aimed at being XP-like. The name has since changed to StartOS, and based on screenshots I've seen it appears to have grown into something else.



#14 NickAu

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 09:48 PM

XPde: A Windows XP-like desktop environment designed for Windows users migrating to Linux.

Click to view some shots!!

 

Download

 

PLEASE NOTE I HAVE NOT TESTED THIS USE AT OWN RISK



#15 cat1092

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 12:19 AM

Nick, looks good, but believe I'll pass. It just looks too much like XP, a disk defragmentation link in the Start Menu is going over the line. Hopefully, it's not usable, because Linux formatted disks needs no defrag. 

 

I see now that it's nothing but a skin, thank goodness! :thumbup2:

 

My suspicions are that disk defrag option is a dead link, along with a few of the others. 

 

 

 

My older notebook should run that OS with ease.  :thumbup2:

Couldn't have been further from the truth. No matter what, the CPU usage would hardly drop below 50% at idle, though RAM use was low. 

 

Once a browser with a couple of tabs opened, CPU usage as normal, right back to 100%, opening a couple more brings the snail back out. My Linux days are over for that notebook, and to think that the native Forced PAE Mode was created for this model, among some others. 

 

LXLE fared no better than Xfce. I just don't get it. A fresh install of XP is running good as new, maybe using half of the notebook's resources, and yet versions of Linux that's supposed to be the answer will barely run? 

 

While I've had lots of success with Linux OS's on mid level to higher powered computers, getting the same to run on what was once a business class notebook is taking too much of my time and resources. I suppose it'll live & die with XP installed on it. No matter what, there will always be exceptions to the rule that Linux will run on "anything", though maybe 5 years or so back, probably wouldn't have had these issues. May be that this Forced PAE Mode are shooting these down, in my earlier Linux days, didn't have this obstacle to overcome, mainstream versions ran quite well. It's the same CPU that was in my first Linux notebook, and is still in a bit better shape. 

 

The first sign of this is, the opening graphics are at best, just a mess of scattered colors, the same happens during shutdown, to be fair, the same happened with Mint 17.1 Xfce. 

 

LXLE may be the answer for some, but it certainly wasn't for me on this one, there's no such thing as 100% guaranteed compatibility for every computer on the planet. There can't be, sometimes it's the way it goes. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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