Linux Lite on Old Netbook

cameradatachef

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Hi everyone, first time installing linux. It's an HP netbook from 2010, and I'm trying to bring it back to life by installing a slim Linux distro. I am booting Linux Lite from a USB drive. However, it runs so slow that I can't make it through the install process. I have tried several times; today was my most successful attempt so far, as I made it to the "Updates and other software menu." I am looking for advice how to get this installed. Is my system just too slow to run the installer? Should I use a lighter distro? Please recommend your suggestions.

My system specs:
HP Mini 210-1000 netbook
CPU: Intel Atom N450 @ 1.66GHz
RAM: 1GiB of 667MHz DDR2

I am aware that Linux Lite requires 768MB of RAM, which my system is barely meeting. When the installer is stuck, and the terminal is usable, I can see 582/944MB memory usage.
 


brickwizard

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Ok.. the N450 was never the fastest of processors dont expect it to fly, your lappy can take an upgrade of ram but only to 2gb, it will make a slight improvement in speed but not noticeably quick,
booting from a usb2 is slower than from harddrive

I have an Acer ZG5 [atom 1.6 with 1.5gb ram and a huge :D 16gb Zif drive [hard drive]] I have recently changed it to run on Debian stable 11, it will never set the world alight, a little slow to boot and run, but it works,
Puppy also works well on machines of this age & spec.

has it been serviced/cleaned ? blasting any muck out of the system with a can of dry compressed air would not go amiss

Bwiz
 
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cameradatachef

cameradatachef

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Thanks, @brickwizard . I have determined that speed is not the limiting factor in this install. I ran the `top` command and there was hardly any CPU use at all. It seems the problem is actually the window size; there are buttons on the bottom of the installer's window that are off screen. I cannot continue with the install until I can access the full window. I am a reasonably powerful Windows user, but it seems I have no window-snapping power here.

Is there a way to force the window to a smaller size? I tried `wmctrl` but it is not available. This netbook has a ~10" screen, and it seems the installer window doesn't fit. Perhaps I can dig out an old VGA monitor and do it using dual screen.
 

brickwizard

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cameradatachef

cameradatachef

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Thanks @kc1di and @brickwizard . Today I resolved the window size issue by using an external screen, but still couldn't get past the early stages of the installer. I will try another build.

Another problem I have is my USB drive is not recognized by my Windows machine since converting it into a Linux boot device. Has anyone else had this problem? The drive must be detectable before Etcher can flash another build.
 

brickwizard

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you need to re-format it to fats32

in the old days that would have been ?[drive]\format
 
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cameradatachef

cameradatachef

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you need to re-format it to fats32

in the old days that would have been ?[drive]\format
Thanks again, @brickwizard for the helpful advice. Today I learned how to repair unallocated disks using Diskpart! The process went like this:

LIST DISK
SELECT DISK 1
CLEAN
CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY N=15000
ASSIGN LETTER=D
FORMAT FS=FAT32

Also, thank you @KGIII for the summary document of lightweight distros. No doubt, I will be trying some of these in the coming week!
 

stan

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I resolved the window size issue by using an external screen
Another trick that sometimes works is to change your panel (taskbar) settings so that it will "auto hide"... and that may give enough room for you to see and click on any buttons that are near the bottom of a window.

If possible, you may can also adjust the Display settings and change the resolution to something more sensible, but you still may need the above trick to "Apply the Changes" to your settings.
 
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cameradatachef

cameradatachef

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@stan , unfortunately the window was chopped off by ~30-40%, so taskbar hiding wouldn't help. I also tried changing resolution in display settings, but only the native resolution was available in the drop-down. I am inclined to give the developers the benefit of the doubt, as Bwiz suggested there is likely a problem with the install medium, but including a "maximize" button on the window by default would have saved some trouble.
 

stan

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the window was chopped off by ~30-40%
I used to have a little netbook like that (an Acer), but the panel auto-hide usually worked for me.

Okay, last trick (also may not help).... try to run 'xrandr' from a terminal to change resolution. You may have to install it from a terminal first. I've only used xrandr very little, so you'd need to learn a bit about it first and how to use it... but it may help you.
 
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stan

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I am aware that Linux Lite requires 768MB of RAM, which my system is barely meeting.
I know you've decided to move on from Linux Lite already, but just for your reference: Besides the RAM needs, Linux Lite system requirements say they need at least a 2-core CPU for their latest series 5... and your Atom N450 is single-core.

You'll find something to work. Upgrading the RAM to 2GB will help a lot. Good luck!
 
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cameradatachef

cameradatachef

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your Atom N450 is single-core.
Ok, mystery solved. Thank you very much for pointing this out. I definitely overlooked this CPU requirement. The Atom 450 CPU runs two threads, so maybe I thought I could get away with it. Turns out following instructions is important!

And thanks everyone for the extra tips. Given your help this weekend, I have full confidence things will get running in short order. Thanks to the great community support, I will consider this thread resolved.
 

Tolkem

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Another problem I have is my USB drive is not recognized by my Windows machine since converting it into a Linux boot device. Has anyone else had this problem? The drive must be detectable before Etcher can flash another build.
Etcher does this. It formats the USB drive in a way that it is no longer usable as a USB, until you format it back to fat32. I use Rufus in windows, and this https://github.com/MX-Linux/lum-qt-appimage/releases/tag/19.11.02 in Linux. After creating a live USB with any of these tools, the USB can still be used as a USB; you can save stuff in it without having to reformat it, while still being able to use it as a Live USB. :)
 

brickwizard

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Ok.. My ZG5 has a single core [32bit] atom and is running debian 11 [32 bit] just fine
today I have finally got my 21 yr old travel-mate up and running with Antix [32bit version [also available in 64 bit]

So what are the minimum and suggested requirements to run antiX?​


192MB RAM is the recommended minimum for antiX. 256MB RAM and above is preferred especially for antiX-full.
antiX-full needs a 3.8GB minimum hard disk size.
 
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