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Distro for old Gateway L/T ideas


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#1 Winterland

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 07:27 AM

Hello.

 

I have an old Gateway Model MX6930 with 1 GB RAM. Looks to be a dual-core processor.

 

Been trying to run Windows 7 Home Premium, 32 bit but, as you might suspect, it's painfully slow.

 

It's just a mercy-machine, nothing on it that I can't lose but would like to keep it around for the basics - surfing, checking emails, etc. Don't really plan to do any heavy lifting with this, just would like to keep it chugging along.

 

 

I threw a Slacko Puppy disc and rebooted and it did what all good Puppy's do, it worked well.

 

Given the specs, got any ideas of any other distro that might work as well?

 

 

I know you can run Puppy from a USB, which I've done and liked but I would really like to actually install some OS (Frugal Puppy, perhaps?) on the machine itself, wipe off Windows and begin anew.

 

Ideas, suggestions and good coffee are all welcome.

 

Winterland

 

 


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#2 buddy215

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 07:53 AM

My thoughts....If you can bump the RAM up another gig or two to help out the onboard graphics....you can run Ubuntu on it. Just get rid of the eye candy.

But really, nothing wrong with installing Puppy, either. Hey, I like Ubuntu for its ease of installing programs, its updating and wide support base 

over Puppy and most other distros. I don't enjoy constant upkeep and do little customizing. Many do a lot of both and really enjoy it.


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#3 Al1000

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 10:39 AM

I have an old Gateway Model MX6930 with 1 GB RAM. Looks to be a dual-core processor.

This is what I did to my old laptop when I finally removed Windows from it last year - I usually use GParted on Puppy for disk partitioning and formatting. This laptop only has a single core CPU and 768MB of RAM.

lucidram2_zps9ea06f72.jpg

I made a small primary partition for the boot-loader files, just for the sake of doing so (and it turned out the 600MiB is much more space than is needed)

Then there is an extended partition, and on the first logical partition I have a frugal installation of Puppy - although I think I had two frugal installations of Puppy on that partition when I took that screen shot. A frugal installation of Puppy doesn't take up much space, and might leave you wondering what to do with the rest of the hard drive if that is all you were to install to it. :)

Then there is a 1.5GiB swap partition - "swap" is the equivalent of Windows paging file/virtual memory.

On the 12.5GiB partition I have installed a few distros. I used Kubuntu 12.04 for several months then finally decided to try something else, and eventually opted for LXLE.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/563290/best-drop-in-linux-alternative-to-xp-for-old-hardware/

Then the last partition on the HDD is for any files I might want to keep, and I have a directory on it for downloads that I have Firefox in both Puppy and LXLE set to download everything to. It means that replacing operating systems is no big deal, as there is next to nothing that I have to back up on the partitions the operating systems are installed on, and it makes sense to me to not have the partitions the operating systems are on any larger than they have to be - the 12.5GiB partition used to be 10GiB which I decided wasn't big enough, and the 1.5GiB swap partition used to be 1GiB. The way I have it now, all the partitions are big enough for their purpose - as it's only an old laptop I don't install much software to it anyway.

So I hope that gives you some ideas of what you could do when you delete Windows, and before installing Linux.

When I had Kubuntu and Puppy installed, I used Puppy quite a lot because it was much faster. But now that I have LXLE I hardly ever use Puppy.

There are plenty of other less-resource intensive distros that can run just as well on computers with 1GB of RAM, and you might find that the main limiting factor is the computer's graphics.

To tell us more about your computer's graphics, boot up with Puppy and open a terminal then type the following and press enter:
 

lspci | grep - i vga > ~/temptextfilegraphics

Then click on the "File" icon on the desktop, click on the file called temptextfilegraphics, and copy and paste the contents in your post here.

Most Puppies don't have copy and paste capabilities in the terminal by default, although I haven't used Slacko for a while. If you can copy and paste in the terminal in Slacko, then instead of the above command just paste:
 

lspci | grep -i vga

..into the terminal, press enter on your keyboard, then copy the output here.


Edited by Al1000, 02 February 2015 - 10:46 AM.


#4 bmike1

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 02:03 AM

anti-x works well.

from their web page: (http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page)

It should run on most computers, ranging from 64MB old PII 266 systems with pre-configured 128MB swap to the latest powerful boxes. 128MB RAM is recommended minimum for antiX. The installer needs minimum 2.2GB hard disk size. antiX can also be used as a fast-booting rescue cd. A special XFCE edition made in collaboration with the MEPIS Community called MX-14 "Symbiosis" is also available.


Edited by bmike1, 03 February 2015 - 02:29 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.


#5 NickAu

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 02:41 AM

 

I know you can run Puppy from a USB, which I've done and liked but I would really like to actually install some OS (Frugal Puppy, perhaps?)

How about this FULLY installed to HDD?

 

Tahrpup uses Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr packages and includes the bugfixes and improvements from the woof CE build system. It is compatible with Ubuntu 14.04 packages. The Linux kernel version is 3.14.20.

Explore the Tharpup folder at ibiblio or nluug for downloads (Try the PAE build first).

 

 

Puppy Linux 6.0 tahrpup CE
3.14.20 kernel

Tahrpup is built from ubuntu 14.04 LTS trusty tahr packages, and includes all the latest fixes and improvements from the 'woof CE testing branch'.

save to folder, easy kernel swapping, suspend to ram, quickpet, palemoon, vlc, deadbeef, qt, python, getflash, rightclick options, listDD, copyfast, samba tng, battery alarm, libhal fix, vdpau drivers, bash fix, frisbee fix.
the latest.... JWM, parcellite, mtpaint, sylpheed, geany, asunder, mhwaveedit, ffconvert, pavrecord, pburn, urxvt, abiword, grub4dos, isomaster, pfind, psync, sfsload and more.

thanks to all the developers, contributors & testers ......
barry k, 01micko, shinobar, mavrothal, giro, rcrsn51, zigbert, sfr, peebee, wjaguar, james c, billtoo, musher0, don570, wyzguy, radky, sszindiian, live, B.K.johnson, brownmouse, pemasu, ally, gcmartin, and anyone i've forgot to mention.

tahrpup was only possible because of 'woofCE' created by Barry k, maintained by 01micko and contributed to by various others.... all the hard work went on there

 

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=96178



#6 Winterland

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 06:38 AM

Wow. That's a lot of information.

 

Thanks to everyone who checked in.

 

@buddy215 - Thanks for the Ubuntu suggestion. It's been something I've been staying away from, mostly because of what I heard about their relationship with Amazon. I know NickAu is a huge fan and it seems like a distro I might get around to checking out. I want to stay On-Topic here, so I might start another Topic once this project is done and ask both you and Nick about it.

 

 

@AI1000 - that looks a bit more than I feel like tackling for this machine. If you could see it, it's in pretty bad shape and I'm looking for something I can just drop in and play with. Plus - I ain't afraid to say I'm afraid - GParted has always seemed a bit overwhelming for me.

 

If, as I mentioned to buddy215, I decide to get another machine that I can tweak, I will definitely reach out to you and ask you about it.

 

@bmike1 - thanks for the antiX suggestion. I've got the Wiki page bookmarked and may check this distro out on my desktop, just to see what it looks like. I love the Quick Tips at the bottom of the page, "Sudo is not configured by default. antiX is not Ubuntu!".    :lol:

 

@NickAu - there you are. I've just downloaded the tahr-6.0-CE_PAE iso and will burn me a disc in the next day or two. I've got a video project that I need to complete for the wife before she knocks me over the head but will post - hopefully from the Laptop - once I've got this loaded on there.

 

                                         ** Is this a distro that I can drop in and simply install? **

 

Everything on the machine has been backed up, so I don't need a single thing on there and would like to be rid of Windows completely.

 

Thanks again for everyone who checked in.

 

Screen shots and posts coming up soon.

 

Winterland

 

 


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#7 buddy215

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 07:31 AM

There was a lot of grumbling about Ubuntu sharing shopping searches with Amazon and others. But that can be remedied. For info on

how to do that for several Ubuntu releases see info in link below.

shopping lens - How can I remove Amazon search results from the dash or disable the feature? - Ask Ubuntu

 

If you shop at Amazon which I do, you are being tracked anyway. You can prevent that, too.


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A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”


#8 NickAu

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 02:16 PM


  ** Is this a distro that I can drop in and simply install? **

 

Yes, It is easy to install, Try it out first.



#9 pcpunk

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 04:18 PM

Winterland

First off, I am a noob with very little technical knowledge.  IMO, I would avoid Puppy's, I would go with a lite popular linux distro of some-kind.  If you do go with a puppy, like Nick said - and I like also - Tahrpup is pretty awesome!  But you can always run these via. usb or disc and instead use another linux distro for the HDD install.  I tried quite a few puppies and tahr is the best for me.  Really...get some RAM if possible, really cheap used, look, ask, whatever it takes to get some if your pc supports it.  Maybe a repair shop will sell you some used, or if you like ebay etc. go with that.  If you run Windows7! you should be able to run something in linux pretty well, maybe even Mate17.0 that would be awesome!  Burn yourself a Mate17.0-32bit dvd and try it out, and then go down from there if it don't work out.  Hope this helps.

 

pcpunk out!


Edited by pcpunk, 03 February 2015 - 04:23 PM.

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#10 bmike1

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 05:16 PM

guys, unless he knows how to do it he is not going to be able to add ram because it is a laptop. The last and only laptop I took apart I couldn't because of the monitor. then I couldn't get it back together so I ruined the laptop. well.... the hard drive needed replacing so it was toast anyways:!) he can pay someone to add ram but if he is going to do that he might as well buy a new l/t. I replaced the keyboard in my laptop and it cost $107 after taxes. 107 was worth it to me. Take it to a computer shop and see what they will charge you, maybe it will be worth it to you. or else try antiX or mx14. if you are going to run mx14 there are instructions on bleeping on getting it to run if it doesn't out of the box. One of the computers I installed it to ran great. the other required the instructions.


Edited by bmike1, 03 February 2015 - 05:24 PM.

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.


#11 Al1000

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 05:48 PM

@AI1000 - that looks a bit more than I feel like tackling for this machine. If you could see it, it's in pretty bad shape and I'm looking for something I can just drop in and play with. Plus - I ain't afraid to say I'm afraid - GParted has always seemed a bit overwhelming for me.

The easiest Linux distros to "drop in" in my experience are *buntu and Mint etc, because of their installer. There is an option that will say "replace Windows," and although I've never selected it as I've always gone for the manual option, AFAIK if you select that then it does everything for you, including creating a swap partition - hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

Whereas the installer on Puppy is different. Now I've never had a full installation of Puppy and have always gone for the frugal option, but it doesn't format the hard drive (or create a swap partition), and I doubt that the full installation option does either because its the same installer

Do you have something less overwhelming than GParted to partition and format the hard drive?

Edited by Al1000, 03 February 2015 - 05:53 PM.


#12 DeimosChaos

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 06:55 PM

guys, unless he knows how to do it he is not going to be able to add ram because it is a laptop. The last and only laptop I took apart I couldn't because of the monitor. then I couldn't get it back together so I ruined the laptop. well.... the hard drive needed replacing so it was toast anyways:!) he can pay someone to add ram but if he is going to do that he might as well buy a new l/t. I replaced the keyboard in my laptop and it cost $107 after taxes. 107 was worth it to me. Take it to a computer shop and see what they will charge you, maybe it will be worth it to you. or else try antiX or mx14. if you are going to run mx14 there are instructions on bleeping on getting it to run if it doesn't out of the box. One of the computers I installed it to ran great. the other required the instructions.

 

Dang man.. what laptop did you take apart? I have done a few and most are fairly simple to replace RAM. Granted not all have a nice little back plate that pops off with two screws to access the RAM... but usually it just requires taking the bottom part of the laptop off. I did take a netbook apart once... not sure I want to do that again. I had to take everything apart just to get to the HDD. Anyway slightly off topic here...

 

I agree with Nick, try out tahrpup via live cd/usb and see how you like it. Ubuntu is a stable system, its what I mainly use. An addition of puppy built off that is probably pretty good.


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#13 cat1092

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 02:59 AM

 

 

The easiest Linux distros to "drop in" in my experience are *buntu and Mint etc, because of their installer. There is an option that will say "replace Windows," and although I've never selected it as I've always gone for the manual option, AFAIK if you select that then it does everything for you, including creating a swap partition - hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Al1000, you are correct! 

 

Remember the IBM T42 Thinkpad that I was having troubles installing a Linux distro on because of the lack of PAE support? Most all were slow to the point of being unusable. Well, there's a non-PAE Ubuntu 12.04 that's seldom discussed, supported until sometime in 2017, it sails on the notebook. Runs as fast or faster than XP Pro. 

 

As to the side by side install, yes it works. Only one caveat, the automatic 'side by side' install doesn't create a separate /home partition, but does create a Swap one at the end. That didn't matter to me on that particular computer, I can image the entire drive in about 10 minutes & restore the whole drive, or partitions as needed. My concern was getting a full fledged, working OS on the computer. 

 

If the OP or anyone else is interested, the non-PAE version of Ubuntu 12.04 can be grabbed here. Runs great on my 11 year old notebook with only 2GB RAM & 1.73Ghz Pentium M CPU (runs more like a P3 than P4). It's the top link that's wanted. 

 

http://people.canonical.com/~diwic/12.04-nonpae/

 

Source from where found, Post #4.

 

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2046218

 

Another option for the OP to consider, or anyone looking looking for a fully loaded distro for an older computer. 

 

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. 


#14 NickAu

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 03:31 AM

 

guys, unless he knows how to do it he is not going to be able to add ram because it is a laptop.

I have never had issues changing ram and HDD.

 

This is how its done on most laptops.

http://youtu.be/jwp5BB2NsMM

 

 

This is the same model laptop I have... How easy is that?

http://youtu.be/n6m9YrjfHZE


Edited by NickAu, 04 February 2015 - 03:35 AM.


#15 cat1092

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 04:29 AM

I've also never had trouble with upgrading RAM my notebooks, took as long to remove from the envelope & packaging as it did to install in recent years (4 total). Normally there's a lid, from which the RAM can be upgraded. 

 

However, on a few that weren't mine, and this is an oddball configuration, one stick was behind the lid & the other beneath the keyboard. I suspect this was more to force a return to the OEM or repair center for labor & hiked up RAM pricing. 

 

More recently, at least one OEM (Toshiba) has began the practice of soldering the sticks into place in some models, making an upgrade beyond the scope of all except those who are also good with a soldering iron. It just so happens, that they didn't just begin this, the CMOS battery is soldered into place in my Satellite A665-S6086. Hopefully it'll last awhile, when it goes, I'll get a friend whom is good at this to replace it, and hopefully not have to solder back in. If by chance that metal-to-metal contact is needed, there are other ways to accomplish this w/out soldering. 

 

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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