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I am interested in upgrading my sonís Vista laptop to an appropriate Linux OS


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#1 cmptrgy

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 10:14 PM

I am interested in upgrading my son’s Vista laptop to an appropriate Linux OS

--- No dual booting: only the appropriate Linux OS

I originally inquired as to whether or not it’s possible to install only Linux on a Vista computer at

Is it possible to install a Linux OS as the only OS on a Vista computer

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/628958/is-it-possible-to-install-a-linux-os-as-the-only-os-on-a-vista-computer/

 

The Vista System information is

Dell Inspiron 1545 Intel Pentium Dual CPU T3400 2.16GHz 3 GB RAM 32-bit 160GB HDD laptop

 

Memory: Crucial reports maximum memory on this computer is 8GB

--- 8GB is too expensive.

--- At the present time I prefer to stay with the 3GB of installed memory

Belarc reports the system is 64-bit ready in the processor section

--- I’ve seen that on many systems that were reported as 32-bit systems like this one is

--- However if it’s reasonable to install a 64-bit Linux OS on this computer, I’ll consider it

 

Then there’s the HDD of 160GB: is that enough for an appropriate Linux OS?

--- Is that enough to handle a Linux OS (either 32-bit or 64-bit depending on the final decision?)

--- The current free space on this HDD is 71GB

 

Crucial also reports: Chipset: Intel GM45

 

At this time, I’ll be saving his data.

Restore the computer to its original condition

Use MRF to create a system image backup 

Move on to installing an appropriate Linux OS and I’ll have plenty of questions when that time comes

I’ve done some searching on Linux websites but it’s all “Greek” to me right now



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#2 wizardfromoz

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 01:06 AM

Hi computer guy, so we've dropped back to one laptop, and that's the Dell Inspiron?

 

Good news all round, so far.

 

  1. The Intel GM45 chipset is 64-bit capable. See here for a fellow using (same chipset) on a Dell Inspiron 1525, and he is running a 64-bit Linux Mint 17.3 'Rosa' with the Cinnamon DE (desktop environment).
  2. Other than if you were running Linux under a Virtual Machine environment, 3 Gig of RAM is more than enough to run just about any Linux Distro.
  3. 160 GB HDD likewise - you could run 3 - 4 different Linuxes if you chose to, in 60 GB and still have 100 GB for storage or a separate Home partition.

So, looking upwards and onwards.

 

Questions here are (I haven't looked up the specs yet for the Dell itself):

  1. Does the Dell have an optical drive that can read and write CDs/DVDs?
  2. Likewise how many USB ports free from eg mouse or other peripherals?

If you wonder "which version of Linux to use?" that is a little like "how long is a piece of string?" There are many, many available and each has its merits. I run 45 of them from 5 different "Families" and don't really have one I dislike, lol.

 

This current subject title is slightly broader than the previous, so in all likelihood you can keep it open until you have at least one Linux installed.

 

For suggested reading, I would recommend the following, to help you become acquainted with the Linux options available to you:

 

With the Vista, it sounds like you have an active plan in place. Good. Once that is accomplished, you can either jump in feet first, blow away the Windows and install Linux, or else shrink the Vista space, add Linux and dual-boot, and then if Linux is liked, blow away the Vista and reclaim the space.

 

Have some thought on the matter, then let us know which way you would like to proceed. Any questions are welcome, and better than those unasked.

 

As for

 

 

...but it’s all “Greek” to me right now

 

... you'll be speaking Greek before you know it.

 

Cheers

 

:wizardball: Wizard



#3 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 06:48 AM

Hi, cmptrgy.

 

Well... Personally, I, of course, don't think you can beat Puppy Linux (but then I'm extremely biased, running about a dozen of the little darlings as I do!)

 

Wiz is right; it is a bit like the old saw 'How long's a piece of string'? There are literally hundreds and hundreds of 'distros' out there, and it's a gradual process, trying them out until you find something you like. The beauty with Linux distros is that you can try them out from a 'LiveCD' or 'LiveDVD', without needing to install anything. Just bear in mind that things run a bit slower than if they were installed to your HDD.

 

In all honesty, you're probably better off sticking to the mainstream distros as a beginner.....like Ubuntu, or Mint. They've gone out of their way to make everything as easy as possible to use, and the majority of available software, as well as tips and tweaks, tend to be provided mainly for these two. And, TBH, 'Puppy' is a wee bit odd, even by Linux standards.....though that doesn't stop it from being one of the most versatile lightweight distros out there by a mile..!

 

Nobody can say for definite 'This is the one for you to use.' Linux doesn't work like that! It's all about individual choice, and doing things the way you want to.....as well as retaining maximum control over exactly what your computer does (and when it does it..!).

 

We can only give guidelines & general advice for a topic like this. You'll get differing suggestions from different individuals. Yes, we all have our favourites, and we tend to think they're the 'bees knees'.....but that doesn't mean somebody else is going to like them. I'm just being honest here; it's even more difficult to remain unbiased, and truly impartial, where Linux is concerned.....because one of the major complaints levelled at Linux as a whole by so many 'noobs' is that there's just too much choice!

 

You might find this intriguing reading:-

 

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

 

It sounds a bit forbidding, but by and large it's pretty truthful.....though some of the 'attitude' is a bit dated nowadays..!

 

Good luck with whatever you decide to use.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 11 October 2016 - 06:50 AM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

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

 

 


#4 pcpunk

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 08:18 AM

 

--- However if it’s reasonable to install a 64-bit Linux OS on this computer, I’ll consider it

If you want Google Chrome you need 64bit, and that will allow you to move to more RAM later if you like.  There may be a small performance penalty with 3GB of RAM with 64bit but I think it is worth it.


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#5 MadmanRB

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 09:26 AM

Yeah I would pop linux mint 18 mate or XFCE on that puppy so you can have some decent performance under 64bit

Linux Mint 18 Mate 64bit would probably do fine


You know you want me baby!

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#6 cmptrgy

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 09:28 AM

Thanks everyone, I’ll review every post and let you know what I decide: all recommendations are appreciated.

So you’ll know it will take me time to work this through due to other responsibilities.

 

@ wizardfromoz, although I’m only working on the laptop at this point, the desktop will be next.

I’m pretty sure I’ll have other Vista computers to work on and I hope to promote Linux OS’s.

I believe I’ll like using Linux with at least some basic understanding.

I'm a simple computer user and just as I have done very well with Windows computers I expect the same with Linux.



#7 MadmanRB

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 09:32 AM

Linux mint is overall a good choice.

Are there better distros?

Yes but for a total newcomer Mint does pretty well at its job of being newb friendly plus its incredibly stable.

Just dont expect your .exes to work right off the bat and you will be okay.


You know you want me baby!

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#8 cmptrgy

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 01:00 PM

Post #2 from wizardfromoz

Does the Dell have an optical drive that can read and write CDs/DVDs? Yes

Likewise how many USB ports free from eg mouse or other peripherals? 2 free USB ports

--- If I need a 3rd one, I can disconnect my wireless mouse connector and use the touch pad

“you'll be speaking Greek before you know it” Thanks, I’m looking forward to it and I have noted your recommend websites



#9 cmptrgy

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 01:29 PM

Post #3 from Mike_ Walsh

Trying a linux distro from a LiveDVD is fine with me even though it will run slower at that time but I imagine it will help me decide what looks good to me.

I know it will be decision on my part to decide on which way to go: that's also fine with me.

 

Even though I’ve only glanced at it, I like that Linux is Not Windows article.

It ends with an ad to purchase Windows 7 Pro

Let’s see: purchase an OS from a company I don’t trust along with the fact Win7 loses M$FT support in 2020 or learn Linux which is free. I don’t think that’s a difficult decision to make: Linux, here I come.



#10 cmptrgy

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 01:45 PM

Post #4 from pcpunk:

Knowing that Google Chrome needs 64-bit is excellent information to know. I am in favor of going 64-bit because that’s the trend in today’s world but I still need to decide that.

--- If I stay with 32-bit, will I be able to go to 64-bit later?

On the memory, I have one slot with 2GB, I would consider a 4GB stick to replace the 1GB stick if the costs is fair. I believe in “maxing” out memory but I’ll have to convince my son to go with 64-bit and additional memory from the installed 3GB.

Please not that I mention “I” when making decisions and plans to follow through with and that’s because I’m doing the work but my son’s decisions will be the final ones.

BTW, even though I’m doing this on my son’s computer, I will be doing a Linux OS on my own computer eventually.



#11 wizardfromoz

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 05:22 PM

 

...

It ends with an ad to purchase Windows 7 Pro

Let’s see: purchase an OS from a company I don’t trust along with the fact Win7 loses M$FT support in 2020 or learn Linux which is free. I don’t think that’s a difficult decision to make: Linux, here I come.

 

Now, THAT'S funny :hysterical: :hysterical: :hysterical:

 

With those optical and USB options available, you are well placed.

 

We look forward to being able to assist you further when you have digested some more of the Greek. :guitar:

 

:wizardball: Wiz



#12 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 06:06 PM

Hi again, cmptrgy.

 

Knowing that Google Chrome needs 64-bit is excellent information to know. I am in favor of going 64-bit because that’s the trend in today’s world but I still need to decide that.

--- If I stay with 32-bit, will I be able to go to 64-bit later?

 

 

If you've got a 64-bit CPU in your machine, you can definitely 'upgrade' to 64-bit later on. My old Compaq Presario desktop has an Athlon 64 X2 dual-core (retro-fitted by me, to replace the original single-core....which was nearly as good, TBH). I've still got it, too......just in case owt goes wrong wi' the X2.

 

The Athlon 64s were the very first commercially successful 64-bit CPU released to the general public.....they're also the 'historical' reason most 64-bit software in the Linux world is labelled as 'amd64'. That's where it came from.

 

I run a mixture of 32- and 64-bit 'Pups' on her.....about 9 at the last count. The CPU has no problems with it, either. All 64-bit CPUs have 32-bit registers inside.....plus another set of the same, to double up to 64-bit capability. Admittedly, that's a very simplistic explanation.....but it serves to illustrate the point to those not well-versed in 'geek-speak'..!   :lol:

 

I must be honest here, though. On this particular machine, because of the way that Puppy loads entirely into, and runs from RAM (which is the fastest component in any 'puter), the 32-bitzers actually seem to run faster ( and are more responsive, too). But the 64-bit Pups, while no faster (and this is hard to explain.....even I don't fully understand it myself), just seem to be smoother.....if that makes any sense to anybody! 

 

Bottom line is, with a 64-bit x86 CPU, you can run anything out there. (Unless you've got a weird RISC or SPARC processor.....but that's really specialist stuff, and they're not common.) So yes, you most certainly can run any current Linux distro you take a fancy to.

 

Hope that clarifies matters a wee bit.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 11 October 2016 - 06:11 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

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

 

 


#13 Viper_Security

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 06:56 PM

i believe you had mentioned you are a beginner to Linux?. (correct if wrong please) 

 

If you're looking for a lightweight versatile distro, like Mike_Walsh had mentioned puppy is the way to go, either that or XFCE as MadmanRB had said.

 

Although you could download about 8-10 distros, write to USB drives and test them. 

 

With a vista laptop, id say LXLE or Lubuntu as well as Xubuntu will work well.

 

the most "popular" Distros are Ubuntu and Mint. as everyone else said. 

 

and again, as everyone else already said you can upgrade to a 64bit, (i686 for intel/amd64 for AMD)  

 with linux 64 bit is THE BEST way to go if possible, you can always upgrade RAM later.

 

it's best to test the distro before you install because some MATE versions have problems with older WiFi cars, mainly Broadcom. so testing it first is best.

 

Lubuntu is Ubuntu and LXLE together, making it light. and Xubuntu is Ubuntu with XFCE GUI.

 

LXLE means Lubuntu Extra Life Extension. The purpose of LXLE is to take the base Lubuntu distribution and enhance it so that all the features the average person requires is available from the outset


Edited by Viper_Security, 12 October 2016 - 01:16 AM.

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#14 cmptrgy

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:32 PM

On this Vista laptop system information in my first post, I would like to add

Intel Pentium Dual CPU T3400 2.16GHz 3 GB DDR2 RAM 32-bit (64-bit ready) 160GB HDD Chipset: Intel GM45

Display adapter: Mobile Intel® 4 Series Express Chipset Family. Resolution: 1280 x 768

Network adapters according to Device Manager:

Dell Wireless 1397 WLAN Mini-Card & Marvell Yukon 88E8040 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller.

 

I wish to try a 32-bit Live DVD-R or DVD-RW (maybe a USB flash drive?) of one of the Linux Mint distros.

It appears to me they are designed to run on desktops: however, will it be an issue doing them on this laptop?

https://linuxmint.com/ Includes the following editions: Cinnamon, MATE & Xfce as well as the User Guide.

Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Cinnamon Edition: Sleek – Modern – Innovative

--- This looks like it isn’t for a newbie like me

Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” MATE Edition: Stable – Robust – Traditional

--- This one looks like the popular version and I’m willing to try it

Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Edition: Light - Simple - Efficient.

--- Light, simple and efficient sounds good to me. Is there a downside to consider this one?

I think I’d like to try MATE and then Xfce and see which one I like better.

--- Can you help me get started with MATE?

 

If it makes more sense to forget them since I have a laptop, that’s ok, I’ll move on to  that direction.

 

BTW, if I make a mistake and don't describe something properly, please let me know: I won't be offended.



#15 MadmanRB

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 11:43 PM

No the desktop edition of Linux Mint will work fine on the laptop and pretty much any version will be fine, the mate version will do fine on such a machine and will be very easy to use and be more in tune with using Windows XP in its own way

You know you want me baby!

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