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Old 10-11-11, 01:14 PM   #1
Yaboze
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Default What would be a good flavor for an older laptop?

I have a Dell Inspiron laptop from 2004. It has a P4 in it (big laptop) and a ATI 9800 Mobility GPU. It has 2GB of ram, Ethernet port, DVD/RW, Wifi and a 80GB IDE.

I put Ubuntu on it and I just hate it. I'm not very good with Linux and it couldn't even detect the wifi adapter. When I hooked up the Ethernet to try and find drivers, I just found it cumbersome. I couldn't even activate the latest GUI features. It seemed slow primarily because the proper GPU drivers weren't being used, although I had it 16-bit/native res.

Anyway, this laptop runs XP pretty well, but Ubuntu ran worse.

Any recommendations for something this old?
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Old 10-11-11, 01:56 PM   #2
Gusar
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Default Re: What would be a good flavor for an older laptop?

That thing is anything but "old". At 2GB of RAM, you can run anything you want. Distro-hopping in the hope that one of the distros will magically detect all your hardware is the absolute wrong way to go. The proper way is reading up on how to identify all the hardware in your machine, which driver you need for each of the components, and then how set it all up. Most hardware is autodetected nowadays, but with wifi there might be cases where you need to manually fetch firmware, or cases where there's multiple drivers at different levels of stability.
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Old 10-11-11, 02:25 PM   #3
Yaboze
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Default Re: What would be a good flavor for an older laptop?

I got ya, but I failed to express the fact that aside from the lack of detection, I didn't really care for the UI of the recent Ubuntu distros.

You may not think it's old, but a Pentium 4 is old. It's single core and can't even run x64 bit, like an old Athlon 64 single core could (which is a fast single core CPU). Anyway, thanks, I'll play around a bit.
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Old 10-11-11, 03:07 PM   #4
Gusar
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Default Re: What would be a good flavor for an older laptop?

The most important thing is RAM. You've got plenty of it. The CPU isn't critical when it comes to simply driving the UI. Doesn't matter if the P4 is single core and 32bit and generally a very crappy architecture. Look for a distro based on XFCE or LXDE (you could also stick with Ubuntu, remove Gnome and install something else). Your machine is more than good enough to run them. I'm running Arch with LXDE on a P4 laptop with 256MB of RAM.

PS. This thread is quite a bit off-topic for the Nvidia forum. Perhaps moderators should move it into the General Linux section.
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