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what are Linux requirements


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#1 dave1969

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 11:31 PM

I have a dinosaur Intel XP system w/only 512 mb RAM - is that enough for Linux,etc. I would also like to know about driver requirements, e-mail , web mail and web browsers - I do know there are lots of programs for them. Do all versions come w/similar extras ?



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#2 paul88ks

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 11:43 PM

What kind of processor do you have? you should be able to run puppy Linux or some of the other light distro's- there are lots of people on here that know much more than I do - someone will help you out shortly. There is tons of info at Distrowatch.com you might want to browse through-



#3 Eddie7

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 12:21 AM

Here are the minimum system requirements for installing and running Ubuntu.

 

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements



#4 Ubiq

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 12:30 AM

Hi Dave!

I recently bought an old desktop with about the same amount of ram so I'm very interested in your question. Have you ever run Speccy on the pc you want to try linux on?
If you aren't familiar with it, its a neat piece of freeware that tells you Everything that's on your machine. It'll make it so easy for the experienced guys to help you. My Speccy results are in the link in my signature.

 

Anyway, I'm running Ubuntu 15 and I love it, but our ram (if my craigslist machine works) might limit its normal speediness. However, I would be willing to bet that it would be faster than xp!


Machine: Toshiba Portege r705-P41, Dual Boot: MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; Ubuntu 15.04
CPU: Intel Core i5 460M @ 2.53GHz Arrandale 32nm Technology,
RAM: 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 532MHz (7-7-7-20), Motherboard: TOSHIBA Portable PC (rBGA1288 Socket)
Video Card: Intel HD Graphics Revision 2 1720 MBytes

Speccy


#5 NickAu

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 12:31 AM

Hi Dave :welcome: to BC.

 

Puppy Linux will run on that PC, We might have to do some tweaking or try a few versions, But yes we can get you up and running.

 

Has that PC got a CD/DVD drive?

Do you know how to burn an ISO to DC/DVD?

Do you know how to change the boot order in the BIOS?

 

If yes then download this. tahr-6.0.2_noPAE.iso

Burn the ISO to CD or DVD and boot it as Live, Try it out if you like what you see we can help you set it up.

 

Look at this video, This is the same distro I gave you the link too.


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#6 cat1092

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 04:14 AM

dave1969, Hello &  :welcome: to the Linux section of BC Forums! :)

 

You've came to the right place for assistance, and are happy to have you here. 

 

As to your system, most any computer built for XP can run some type of Linux OS, and while some are more familiar with Puppy than others (I'm really not), Xfce versions of Linux are also of worthy consideration. The reason why is that most of these type of distros has no bloat, doesn't require the fastest nor boatloads of RAM to run on, and can run on older CPU's. Though in some cases, the forcepae install may be needed for install. Both Linux Mint & Ubuntu has Xfce OS's of this type, Linux Mint calls theirs the Xfce version & Ubuntu (or Canonical's) version is Xubuntu. Both are good choices, can be burned to a DVD or make a bootable Flash drive, and tested w/out installing the OS. 

 

This is called 'LIve mode', and you can see if the distro can run on your hardware, ensure that graphics, audio & network access is OK. It also allows you to try one out & choose the version you like the best. As far as one of the questions you ask, regarding drivers, this is precisely why it's recommended to be connected to the Internet during install, normally after install & reboot, your computer just works. Though it's likely that you may have to make minor adjustments to make things suit your needs, for example, some doesn't want their screensaver to lock the computer after 5 minutes, and being that you have 512MB of RAM, need to choose a blank screensaver. 

 

In regards to browsers, Firefox is the default for many distros, including the two I mentioned above. It's very important that you do not install a lot of extensions (add-ons) to the browser. Maybe NoScript & Adblock Plus for security & adblocking & leave the rest alone. Browsers requires RAM, and you don't want it to use half of what you have. Otherwise, as far as email goes, you can view this through the browser, or if wanting to import a Mail program, this task needs do be done before installing on your Linux distro. 

 

Many uses the Thunderbird email client, that's why this has to be setup beforehand. As far as extras goes, the full fledged Linux versions, such as Linux Mint MATE/Cinnamon/KDE or Ubuntu/Kubuntu, these comes with a lot of software pre-installed & ready to go. Though this would require an upgrade to 1GB RAM for best results. Most of these will run on your computer as is, but will be so slow that you'll be discouraged, exactly what I don't want to see & why I suggest an Xfce version, where you can add what you need. Plus these also comes with software included, just not as much as the full fledged versions. 

 

To sum it up, you have options, though they're limited. However, you can still find a quality distro with that amount of RAM. If it'll run a very bloated XP, there's Linux options for you. With a RAM upgrade, even more. 

 

One thing that I'd like to remind you of, there's no such thing as a 'dumb' question in this Linux forum. Your concerns are ours, and though you may have to wait a few hours for an answer, rest assured, someone will do their best to address any questions you have. Another is that each & every one of us were where you are at this very point, with lots of concerns, some even skeptical of Linux. I know that I was, as the first time I tried it, used the WUBI installer & with a cleaning app (don't use 'cleaners' on a Linux OS), wiped out the XP bootloader, and though I was able to boot into a Ubuntu install that was running inside of XP, has no access to XP. I didn't know back then what I do now, would have fixed this with a partition tool. 

 

These type of things comes from experience, the more you run the OS, the more you'll learn & want to learn more. Linux is also very secure, though you don't need to purchase anything for it's robust security. Linux OS's also are enjoyable ones to run & learn. If you figure in all of the maintenance needed to upkeep Windows, which you don't have to on LInux, you'll find the needed time to learn. Most Linux OS's are self-maintaining, other than backups, you'll have to do very little. 

 
Good Luck with your Linux journey, as you'll likely need to try more than one OS before settling on a final one, and we'll do our part to help all that we can. :thumbup2:
 
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. 


#7 dave1969

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 03:28 PM

Thanks for all the info. I have a Celeron 2399Mhz processor and plenty of free disc space. I don't think my computer will burn dvd's however- although I just downloaded a cd burner program and am going to see. I haven't tried before and I don't have a flash drive. I've been thinking of installing another 512mb of ram anyway because sometimes I come w/in about 30mb of filling it up. I didn't realize until lately that ram was so critical. I'll get more ram if I think this old machine is worth it- if not I may get another used one with more. I've used Firefox browser for years - like it the best. Also have Thunderbird although I just use my dialup's webmail instead. I don't like XP's security issues and it won't even work on some sites - like my doctors site. I've got NoScript, WOT and of course anti-virus but am afraid things are only going to get worse for XP. I mostly use my computer for mail and web browsing - I don't need the greatest machine. I think my graphics are good enough but it seems like regular Ubuntu might be too much for my system to handle - I don't want slow. I will digest your info and consider things. Thanks again. I heard about GNU/linux thru FSF and About.com by the way. Didn't know you were on BleepingComp.



#8 leithanne

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:41 PM

My dinosaur. a Dell Dimension 2400, with 512 MB of ram, runs Lubuntu 14.04 LTS fairly well.  It's a lighter version of Ubuntu that is intended for our kind of systems, and, it is one of the few distros that fits on a CD, as opposed to a DVD, which most dinosaurs can't play.

 

http://lubuntu.net/blog/lubuntu-1404-trusty-tahr-released



#9 NickAu

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:28 PM

Good call leithanne


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#10 Ubiq

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:54 PM

So, I'm having some trouble getting mine online right now. I guess trying to run Puppy or Lubuntu live might help me diagnose it? If they can't find an internet connection then the port might be dead?


Machine: Toshiba Portege r705-P41, Dual Boot: MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; Ubuntu 15.04
CPU: Intel Core i5 460M @ 2.53GHz Arrandale 32nm Technology,
RAM: 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 532MHz (7-7-7-20), Motherboard: TOSHIBA Portable PC (rBGA1288 Socket)
Video Card: Intel HD Graphics Revision 2 1720 MBytes

Speccy


#11 NickAu

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:04 PM

Ubiq Please start a new thread.

 

Regards.

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#12 cat1092

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 11:44 PM

My dinosaur. a Dell Dimension 2400, with 512 MB of ram, runs Lubuntu 14.04 LTS fairly well.  It's a lighter version of Ubuntu that is intended for our kind of systems, and, it is one of the few distros that fits on a CD, as opposed to a DVD, which most dinosaurs can't play.

 

http://lubuntu.net/blog/lubuntu-1404-trusty-tahr-released

 

leithanne, that's exactly the same PC that I had & still do packed away in the closet, before getting the XPS 8700 that I now have. :)

 

Though I did max it out as much as possible, had the highest rated Intel Northwood CPU installed with H/T (3.06GHz), about $15 on eBay used. Needed a custom Intel fan to keep things cool & had to swap the mount to achieve this, seemed that Dell made it hard as possible to upgrade this component, and had to end up tapping a Molex connector for the connection, as it would have ran constant anyway. So with the green shroud type CPU fan, had two CPU fans in place, and wow, it would warm the computer room in the winter months. 

 

http://ark.intel.com/products/27499/Intel-Pentium-4-Processor-supporting-HT-Technology-3_06-GHz-512K-Cache-533-MHz-FSB

 

Also found an ebay vendor whom had the 2nd HDD bay that Dell didn't provide (the holes are there) plus the screws to secure it, added a Rosewill RC-212 SATA-1 card & ended up with twin WD Caviar HDD's installed, plus a new DVD burner, an ASUS one that's now in it's 4th (& hopefully final) home that was a $12.99 Newegg promo & they still have the model, with over 5,000 reviewers of it & still going. 

 

Plus I upgraded the RAM to 2GB, found a new set on the Amazon site for low cost ($25 shipped for the two stick set), am fairly sure Mushkin was the brand. This was in 2012, so some details are getting fuzzy. :P

 

Yet for all of that upgrading I done, it already had 1GB RAM, performance was best when I added the CPU alone, though that was limited due to the 512KB L2 cache of this family of CPU's (my IBM T42 Think pad has the same gen of RAM, but does have a 2MB cache). It was a lesson learned that I've shared with others, it's not wise to spend oodles of cash on upgrading older PC's, should have set a budget & stuck to it. We live & learn!

 

Yet anyone who thinks those stock PSU's are wimpy, think again. The peak power output of that CPU (81.8W), and am sure I hit it nearly all the time when running, plus everything else plugged into the PC, all of this was running on a Dell OEM 200W rated PSU manufactured by Delta Electronics, the same brand in my current PC & several notebook ones. Yet it proved to be more than what met my demanding needs & that PC was loaded to the gills with add-on cards, twin HDD's & more. 

 

So when we think 'dinosaur', that doesn't mean the PC is on it's last gasp (if kept clean inside & not neglected), just means we have fewer options. 

 

Thanks for sharing your experience about the Lubuntu distro, I'm sure that the OP will appreciate it & so do we. :)

 

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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. 


#13 cat1092

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 12:25 AM

 

 

I'll get more ram if I think this old machine is worth it- if not I may get another used one with more.

 

dave1969, should you choose to get another used PC, stay away from overpriced eBay sellers, the Newegg site has quality PC's backed with a warranty for as little as $99 (some $79 after rebate). These are some on the site, but not the only ones available. Today, it's best if possible to go with a Core 2 Duo CPU, this will ensure that you'll be able to run the latest Linux OS's. I have a nice HP that I got for $79.99 after rebate from the site. 

 

http://flash.newegg.com/Campaign/6488?icid=WP_8_09012015

 

Here's a better selection. 

 

http://flash.newegg.com/electronics/10

 

And here's one that I was speaking of, a great deal at $129. Recovery partition included. I have the same model, but specs are different, would have paid this price to keep one of my 7 Pro OEM install kits, mine shipped with 32 bit Home Premium, a watered down OS, have always been a Pro user of Windows. What I don't recommend is to purchased refurbished PC's with AMD CPU's of that era, they're weak compared to Intel's offerings & you'll feel ripped off from the go. Plus after 6-7 years, they're likely beginning to run very warm by now. You've been fairly warned! :)

 

http://flash.newegg.com/Product/N82E16883280480?icid=WP_0_09012015

 

With eBay, it's hit or miss. You may get a good computer (at often a higher price with Windows 7, or even XP) or may get a dud. 

 

So should you decide to make the leap, there's options for you to at a fair price. eBay/Amazon sellers will want 2x the price for similar models & only a DOA warranty, though you're covered by eBay & PayPal protection for 45 days. 

 

Good Luck with Linux! :)

 

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 jonuk76

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 07:05 AM

Would add that I have Xubuntu 14.04 LTS 32bit (another lighter variant) installed on a slow computer (a netbook with Atom CPU) with 1Gb RAM.  This thing came pre-installed with Windows 7 Starter Edition, and following various OS updates, is now literally unusable in Windows 7.  I'm talking continuous disk thrashing, and 10 minutes to open a web browser...  Useless.  Xubuntu flies by comparison and is genuinely usable on this old netbook.  It would be more touch and go with 512mb, but I suspect it would work.


Edited by jonuk76, 02 September 2015 - 07:06 AM.

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#15 pcpunk

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 01:37 PM

Just in case you want to run Speccy

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/323892/publish-a-snapshot-using-speccy/#entry1797792

 

You can also lookup your pc on the www to find out the max RAM upgrade would be.  Or, you can use a Crucial Scan if you want to try that.

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/systemscanner

 

Either way one of these options will run as is.  Puppy, that Nick Posted in #5 will probably be the fastest! and, is the best IMO Puppy available, if it will run on your pc.  Nice post Nick!


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