Best OS for older hardware.


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conna

I have a couple of old Dell (p4 32bit 2 gig RAM) desktops and a few HP desktops (32/64bit) that I would like to put an OS on them and give them away to a few places that need them.  They were originally licensed for XP and I could put that on them and be done but would rather have a more modern OS. Is there a distro that runs better or older hardware? I had Ubuntu 6 loaded on my laptop back in the day so I thought i would try release 15. I installed but was just too slow to be usable for normal users. From what I gather, Unity is not well liked.  Would Kubuntu be more agile on old Hardware?

The target users are going to be old people and students so it needs to be as easy to use as XP.  If it looked like XP, even better but not that important.

 

I had forgotten about android on x86. Is there a recommended version that works on old hardware well enough to be used in a small lab setting?

 

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JustGeorge

Linux Mint should run fine as long as you have 2GB of RAM. They also have OEM images so people will have OOTB experiences once powered on. It has all codecs preinstalled and the Cinnamon variant will look familiar to XP users. Its based on Ubuntu, without Ubuntu nonsense.

 

http://linuxmint.com/

 

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Ulyses

+1 for Linux Mint. Stable, works with most hardware out of the box. You could also try LXLE, http://www.lxle.net/.

 

When it comes to Kubuntu, you maybe wanted to point to Lubuntu, the true svelte brother.

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simplezz

You'll want a light desktop environment such as MATE, LXDE, XFCE, FluxBox, etc. Quite a few distros have variations with those. Mint is pretty good in that regard. Stay away from cinnamon though, that eats resources.

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JustGeorge
On 12/22/2015 at 1:06 PM, simplezz said:

You'll want a light desktop environment such as MATE, LXDE, XFCE, FluxBox, etc. Quite a few distros have variations with those. Mint is pretty good in that regard. Stay away from cinnamon though, that eats resources.

I think they've made some performance improvements to Cinnamon in 17.3. I'm running it on 4 C2D machines with 2GB of RAM and its fine on those. Also have it running in VirtualBox with 1 CPU core of a Phenom II x4, 2GB RAM and it works fine there as well.

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Barney T.
15 minutes ago, simplezz said:

You'll want a light desktop environment such as MATE, LXDE, XFCE, FluxBox, etc. Quite a few distros have variations with those. Mint is pretty good in that regard. Stay away from cinnamon though, that eats resources.

I agree. Xubuntu or distros with Fluxbox, Whitebox, LXDE or other lightweight window managers should do fine, regardless of the distribution, in most cases.

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+warwagon
1 hour ago, AR556 said:

I think they've made some performance improvements to Cinnamon in 17.3. I'm running it on 4 C2D machines with 2GB of RAM and its fine on those. Also have it running in VirtualBox with 1 CPU core of a Phenom II x4, 2GB RAM and it works fine there as well.

Except a Core 2 duo is still a fairly capable CPU. P4 ... not so much so

 

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Elliot B.
10 minutes ago, warwagon said:

Accept a Core 2 duo is still a fairly capable CPU. P4 ... not so much so

 

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I accept.

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Ulyses
32 minutes ago, warwagon said:

Accept a Core 2 duo is still a fairly capable CPU. P4 ... not so much so

 

 

I'm running Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon on a Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo Edition E2500 P4 3GHz with 1GB RAM and a 80 GB HDD as a NAS stand-in just fine.

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JustGeorge
34 minutes ago, warwagon said:

Accept a Core 2 duo is still a fairly capable CPU. P4 ... not so much so

 

Capture.PNG

Yeah, p4's sucks badly. I figured if it ran fine in a VM using one core of a phenom x4 and 2gb of ram , it would run fine on a bare metal p4 with 2gb. I mean, I wouldn't attempt to have several programs running simultaneously, but web, email, etc are more than usable. 

34 minutes ago, warwagon said:

 

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Gabe84

Lubuntu, running really well on my AMD Athlon 64 3500+ and 3GB of RAM.

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SoCalRox

Besides Mint, you may wish to try an LXDE or XFCE based distro. My personal lean is to XFCE, but that is just how I prefer it- LXDE is geat also. I tend to lean toward Lubuntu and Xubuntu, but others may work well also.

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+Fahim S.

Lubuntu or Xubuntu, or any version of linux running XCFE or LXDE.  I put Lubuntu on a lower specced ThinkPad (2003, Pentium M, 1GB RAM) and it runs very well all things considered.

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JustGeorge

for comparison, I installed both Mint 17.3 Mate and Cinnamon in a VM to see the difference in RAM usage. From a cold boot, It was about ~50 meg less with Mate. Mate was a bit snappier on the GUI side, but not a huge difference. 

 

Either one one should be familiar enough to an XP user to get by. I just passed off an older system with Mint to a family that was unable to afford a new PC atm. Created desktop icons for the essential stuff and changed the icon names to reflect the Windows counterpart. No problems. My only concern about using Linux for other people's PC's is that I don't really know enough about Linux to actually fix much. At this point if something fails catastrophically, it's backup home directory and reinstall. 

 

Edited by AR556
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