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Ubuntu or Lubuntu?


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#1 PrimeMinisterX

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 08:27 PM

All right, so here's the deal. . .

 

Today I bought a Dell Inspiron 11. One of these guys:

 

http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-11-3162-laptop/pd

 

Specs at a glance:

 

Dual-Core Celeron N3050 1.6 GHz CPU

2 GB of RAM

32 GB Hard Drive

 

It's pretty obvious that Dell put together the MINIMUM amount of machine that they could assemble and still say that it will run Windows 10 because it's pretty common for me to look at Task Manager and find the CPU running at 100% and RAM usage at 75% or higher, even though all I'm doing is browsing around on the Internet. 

 

I've played around with Linux a bit in the past and for a while I've considered loading it on one of my systems but just haven't done it. I'm thinking now might be the time, and I'm interested in checking out Ubuntu, but the system requirements make me think that it may suck up just as many resources as Win 10. So that's got me thinking that Lubuntu may be a better bet.

 

Any advice here? Ubuntu vs Lubuntu for this machine?


Edited by PrimeMinisterX, 27 June 2016 - 08:29 PM.


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#2 NickAu

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 08:34 PM

While your PC should run Ubuntu without too much drama I think you should try both, I would also try Linux Mint XFCE.

I know this sounds a bit wishy washy on my part but I have found what works well on 1 pc may not be great on another.

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#3 PrimeMinisterX

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:53 PM

 

While your PC should run Ubuntu without too much drama I think you should try both, I would also try Linux Mint XFCE.

I know this sounds a bit wishy washy on my part but I have found what works well on 1 pc may not be great on another.

New features in Linux Mint 17 Xfce - Linux Mint

 

 

 

I was feeling good about it running Ubuntu because I had always heard that Linux in general runs better on weaker hardware than Windows does, but then I took a look at the actual specs and saw that they were pretty comparable to Win 10. That made me feel like it would be just more of the same. 

 

I'd be down to try both, and Mint as well, but to get the real experience and know exactly how it's going to run on my machine I'd have to fully install them all and I don't really want to go through all that. I need to get this computer up and running as quickly as possible as I'm going to be using it for work and so I'm trying to nail it the first time out. 

 

While I have you on the line let me ask you another question. . .

 

So I know there are all these different Linux distributions. What exactly does that mean in terms of installing software? For instance, I know that often times when I see an application that's available for Linux, there will be one download for Ubuntu and one for, say, Red Hat. And from what I understand, you can't install the same software on Puppy that you can on Ubuntu. So does each software package have to be tailored to each distribution? If it's all Linux under the hood, then how come there's not just one universal installer for all Linux distributions?



#4 Gary R

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 12:17 AM

Each Linux distro comes with its own repositories, which are where you will download most of your Software applications from. They're usually accessed using the Package Manager that comes pre-installed with the distro you're using.

 

With most distros. there is provision for you to add PPAs (Personal Package Archives) and/or to install software packages direct from a particular vendor, but the advantage of the repository is that the software on it has all been tested to be compatible with the distro in question.

 

As for it all being Linux under the hood, well I'm afraid that it's not as simple as that. There are significant differences between the different "blends" of Linux, enough to ensure that software that will run on some distros is wholly incompatible with others.

 

If you're looking for a light weight version of Linux, you might find the following article of interest ... http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/best-lean-linux-desktop-environment-lxde-vs-xfce-vs-mate/


Edited by Gary R, 28 June 2016 - 12:22 AM.


#5 Al1000

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 01:26 AM

I need to get this computer up and running as quickly as possible as I'm going to be using it for work and so I'm trying to nail it the first time out.


All of the distros mentioned so far should work; it's just a matter of picking one. You would probably find Lubuntu and Mint Xfce will be slightly faster than Mint Cinnamon and Ubuntu. So it really comes down to which one you prefer, and whether you prefer slightly faster and lightweight, to more intense graphics and more features etc.
 

If it's all Linux under the hood, then how come there's not just one universal installer for all Linux distributions?


Different people have done things in different ways, and it would be more accurate if it was called GNU/Linux (Linux is just the kernel). More info here:

https://www.gnu.org/gnu/why-gnu-linux.html

Edited by Al1000, 28 June 2016 - 01:28 AM.


#6 PrimeMinisterX

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 02:55 AM

Each Linux distro comes with its own repositories, which are where you will download most of your Software applications from. They're usually accessed using the Package Manager that comes pre-installed with the distro you're using.

 

With most distros. there is provision for you to add PPAs (Personal Package Archives) and/or to install software packages direct from a particular vendor, but the advantage of the repository is that the software on it has all been tested to be compatible with the distro in question.

 

As for it all being Linux under the hood, well I'm afraid that it's not as simple as that. There are significant differences between the different "blends" of Linux, enough to ensure that software that will run on some distros is wholly incompatible with others.

 

If you're looking for a light weight version of Linux, you might find the following article of interest ... http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/best-lean-linux-desktop-environment-lxde-vs-xfce-vs-mate/

 

 

I see. So hypothetically if I was a programmer, would there be a way for me to just write one version of a program and have it be compatible on all (or most) versions of Linux? Or would I have to tailor it for each distribution? For instance, Libre Office will run on most all versions of Linux, is that correct? Did they have to go in and create a different package for each version that it would be compatible with?

 

Also, I've gathered that each distribution comes with its own set of pre-installed programs and this is part of what characterizes each distro, is that right? Also, I read that Lubuntu eschews Libre Office in favor of Abi Word and some other programs. Let's say I installed Lubuntu and decided that I wanted to uninstall Abi Word and whatever else and then install Libre. Would this be a problem? Or are these apps that come with each distro locked into the OS?

 

It all sounds so complicated. 

 

Oh, and thanks for that link. Interesting stuff there. 



#7 PrimeMinisterX

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 03:04 AM

 

I need to get this computer up and running as quickly as possible as I'm going to be using it for work and so I'm trying to nail it the first time out.


All of the distros mentioned so far should work; it's just a matter of picking one. You would probably find Lubuntu and Mint Xfce will be slightly faster than Mint Cinnamon and Ubuntu. So it really comes down to which one you prefer, and whether you prefer slightly faster and lightweight, to more intense graphics and more features etc.
 

If it's all Linux under the hood, then how come there's not just one universal installer for all Linux distributions?


Different people have done things in different ways, and it would be more accurate if it was called GNU/Linux (Linux is just the kernel). More info here:

https://www.gnu.org/gnu/why-gnu-linux.html

 

 

 

I noticed that the recommended system requirements for the current version of Ubuntu aren't too unlike those for Windows 10. Do you think that would mean that I would run into a lot of the same issues (high CPU and RAM usage)? It sounds like you may not think that would be the case. 

 

Interesting article you linked to. I take it I should interpret free as in open source rather than $0? 

 

Lastly, and this is just as an aside, I loaded the newest version of Opera on this machine and is it running WAY better than either Firefox or Chrome did. 



#8 Al1000

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 03:25 AM

Do you think that would mean that I would run into a lot of the same issues (high CPU and RAM usage)? It sounds like you may not think that would be the case.


I doubt you would run into these issues to nearly the same extent that you do in Windows, going by what you've described.
 

Interesting article you linked to. I take it I should interpret free as in open source rather than $0?


Yes, it's like if someone buys you a beer. It's free to you, but still costs time and money to make.
 

Let's say I installed Lubuntu and decided that I wanted to uninstall Abi Word and whatever else and then install Libre. Would this be a problem?


It's as easy as opening the software centre, clicking "uninstall" on Abi Word, then clicking "install" on Libre Office. If you're used to Windows, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to install and uninstall Linux software from the centralised repositories of whatever distro you choose.

Edited by Al1000, 28 June 2016 - 03:27 AM.


#9 NickAu

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 03:30 AM

 

If you're used to Windows, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to install and uninstall Linux software from the centralised repositories of whatever distro you choose.

Not only that, You will also be surprised by the number of free software in the repo, and not just free as in $$$ but also malware free.

 

Ubuntu Software Center currently has 80 065 items and 98% cost nothing.


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#10 Gary R

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 03:38 AM

I see. So hypothetically if I was a programmer, would there be a way for me to just write one version of a program and have it be compatible on all (or most) versions of Linux? Or would I have to tailor it for each distribution? For instance, Libre Office will run on most all versions of Linux, is that correct? Did they have to go in and create a different package for each version that it would be compatible with?

Also, I've gathered that each distribution comes with its own set of pre-installed programs and this is part of what characterizes each distro, is that right? Also, I read that Lubuntu eschews Libre Office in favor of Abi Word and some other programs. Let's say I installed Lubuntu and decided that I wanted to uninstall Abi Word and whatever else and then install Libre. Would this be a problem? Or are these apps that come with each distro locked into the OS?

It all sounds so complicated.


Libre Office is commonly found on many distros, whether each has its own "customised" version or not I couldn't say,

As far as pre-installed packages go, you can generally uninstall them and install any alternative of your choice (provided there's a version that's compatible with your distro).  Your package manager/software manager usually makes this a pretty easy thing to do, or if you're comfortable using terminal commands it can be done that way as well.

Although it may sound complicated, in reality, once you've got used to the package manager that comes with your particular distro, you'll usually find that installing and uninstalling programs is a good deal easier in Linux than it is in Windows.
 

The following article explains things a bit more ... http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-ways-install-apps-games-linux/



#11 buddy215

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 04:44 AM

Have you considered upping the Ram? Even another 2 GB would most likely be a heck of an improvement. To me, 4 GB is minimum for

Windows 10. It would be the same for Ubuntu 64 bit as well.

 

I may have missed it in other replies....but be sure to run whatever distro you choose as Live before deciding to install. You will get close to

install speed by running it from a flash drive. A DVD would be much slower, but either would allow you to find out if the computer's hardware

is compatible with the distro. Live means the hdd is not used at all....just the computer's RAM and once you end the session nothing is saved.

That is nothing is saved unless you choose to by creating a persistent flash drive or are using a Puppy distro that gives the option to save to the hdd.

 

If you have a printer or planning to get one....some printers are not compatible with Linux.

 

I didn't see any mention of dual booting. I suggest if you haven't considered that....you not uninstall Windows 10 but instead to install Linux along side it.

I also suggest you create an image of the hdd on an external media before installing Linux.

 

You sure that it ONLY has a 32 GB hdd?

EDIT: After allowing some scripts to run on that link you provided I now see it is a 32GB eMMC.

Dual booting, I would think, wouldn't be a good option on that.

I do see that you can add another 2 GB of memory as that was one option before purchase. I don't know what the

configuration is...whether it has one slot for memory or two.


Edited by buddy215, 28 June 2016 - 06:00 AM.

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#12 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 08:33 AM

Hallo, PrimeMinisterX.

 

They tell me I'm the resident 'Puppy' expert round here (groan...  :P )  Be that as it may, when I started off in Linux over 2 years ago, I also began with the 'buntus.....because that was what everybody and his dog (sorry; couldn't resist that..!) recommended.

 

The big drawback with Ubuntu itself is the Unity desktop. It's fine to use, so long as you have 3D acceleration capability in your graphics hardware (ideally a discrete card), along with plenty of dedicated graphics vRAM. It does need a fairly capable machine; and, although I've said it before, I'm going to repeat myself yet again. Canonical, in the person of its leader, Mark Shuttleworth, are starting to branch away from the original Linux 'ethos' of trying to keep older, weaker hardware alive & productive. Mr. Shuttleworth has decided he wants to be the Bill Gates of the Linux world, so Canonical are steadily dropping support for older hardware in favour of newer, more powerful stuff. It's becoming fairly obvious that Mark is trying to compete directly with Microsoft.

 

This is where the 'flavours' come into the equation.....particularly Xubuntu & Lubuntu. Kubuntu is a bit of a 'heavyweight', using as it does the KDE 'Plasma' desktop, which requires about a million and one dependencies before it will condescend to run..! It's great fun to play around with and customise, but, like Ubuntu's 'Unity', it needs plenty of graphical 'oomph'.

 

Xubuntu uses the XFCE desktop, which to my mind is one of the most highly configurable lightweight DE's (Desktop Environment.....more 'Linux-speak', I'm afraid; you'll pick it up in time!) available.

 

Lubuntu, if I remember correctly, uses the LXDE desktop, employing the 'OpenBox' window manger. It's a fine combination if you're the sort of person who is more concerned with actually doing stuff on your machine, rather than with how pretty it looks.....although it's just as configurable as the rest of them, if you take the time to dig around in the settings. I've had mine looking just as good as Windows 7 at one point. I ought to have taken a screenshot of my efforts at the time; it really would have given you some inspiration in that respect..!

 

The thing with all of them is that they all employ the same core system files (the same 'engine under the hood', if you like.) This is why they're all able to access the same sets of software repositories. The different 'flavours' are developed by different teams, who place different priorities on what they see as important.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Re: your example with Libre Office. The reason why Lubuntu comes with Abiword as standard is that it is produced as a complete system using a set of more 'lightweight' applications, in keeping with its more 'lightweight' nature. You can get LibreOffice, as the others have stated, from the repos; you can also, if you want to keep up with the very latest version of LibreOffice all the time, download and install the .deb file directly from the LibreOffice website. It's a reliable, clean link; I've used it myself in the past with no problems whatsoever. It's not, however, recommended practice.....but it will work. You take the risk on yourself.

 

I only say that last part because one complaint you often hear from 'buntu users is that the versions of software in the repositories are very often a couple of versions behind whatever the current, cutting-edge release happens to be.....and they don't tend to get upgraded until the next 'buntu release; a minimum of 2 years for LTS releases. 

 

It's the same with 'Puppy'; because it's a very lightweight distro, it comes with very lightweight apps.....but it's surprisingly full-featured for its diminutive size..!  :lol:

 

 

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KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#13 DeimosChaos

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 09:11 AM

 

The big drawback with Ubuntu itself is the Unity desktop. It's fine to use, so long as you have 3D acceleration capability in your graphics hardware (ideally a discrete card), along with plenty of dedicated graphics vRAM.

 

Ubuntu definitely does not need a discrete card. You can have a regular old Intel integrated chip (say HD4000) and run Ubuntu just fine. Sure you do need a bit more memory and maybe a higher clock speed for it, but it doesn't need a robust 3D acceleration capabilities.

 

That being said, with the OPs specs I probably wouldn't run Ubuntu itself. Kind of a crappy CPU (no offense, just not a fan of any Intel Celeron chips), so take the advice of others above and run something that is a little lighter for your hardware.


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#14 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 09:19 AM

Hi, DeimosChaos.

 

Fair comment about the discrete card. I could never use a discrete card in this old Compaq PC because the PCI-e slot is knackered, so have to rely on the onboard. And that's more likely where the problem lay for me.....'cos it's AMD, y'see.

 

 

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Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#15 DeimosChaos

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 09:22 AM

Yup, old and AMD are probably the key words there! :P

 

I probably wouldn't run anything worse than the Intel HD4000 integrated chip for Ubuntu. Not sure what the comparable AMD one is, but any of the newer APU AMD chips would probably work just fine.


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