simpler than mint

fungusbrains2

New Member
I gave an old pc to a mentally challenged adult. I didn't want her simple mind to deal with the headaches of Windows and updates and crashes and malware. All she does is browse the internet. I put Mint on the computer. It was fine for a while, but now she keeps calling me with things like the taskbar disappearing, freeze-ups, and other stuff.

Please recommend a bare bones operating system I can put on a PC that will allow her to turn it on, browse the internet, and turn it off without having to call me up to figure out how to get it to shut down when it won't.
 


atanere

Well-Known Member
Slax. Available in both 32-bit and 64-bit. It doesn't install like a typical Linux, so you need to be aware of that... or else just let her run it from USB. It is very small and lightweight.

Welcome! And good on you for helping her out. :cool:

Cheers
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Not sure offhand, but I can test it in a few hours after I get off work.

Do you/she have any other requirements for a "bare bones operating system?"
 

fungusbrains2

New Member
She surfs the internet, watches youtube, and I think she has a walmart gift card or something. I also gave her some youtube downloads on her hard drive and some mp3's. She uses email, but I'm not sure which client--probably hotmail, yahoo mail, or gmail.

She lives in an assisted living home, is on meds, and gets restless for something to do sometimes. These are about the only things she knows how to do on a computer. She is a child in an adult's body. She's always asking me if it's safe to click on links. She frustrates easily and even panics when she can't get on the internet.
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Hi again... writing to you from Slax running on DVD. YouTube seems to work fine (at least with rock music :cool::D). It is indeed a bare bones system, with few apps included (Chromium web browser and VLC Media Player should take care of the tasks you listed) but it is based on Debian and you can install other software via the apt command in terminal.

Again, it is quite different to install to a hard drive, but a relatively simple process. Once installed, it should be blazing fast with even a moderate amount of RAM.

Hope that this will work for her.

Cheers
 

Eugor

Member
fungusbrains2, Welcome ! and Kudo's for helping her. It sounds like quite a worthy cause and a great life extension for an older PC. atanere suggested slax and I had not used that. I decided to kick the tires on it, as it were. I am currently running Slax off a usb drive right now and writing this reply. Seems very fast and simple. Was able to check my gmail, go to my walmart account with no problem.

Now,...I had two cents I wanted to add.... if I can find it..... no that's lint.... Aaha ! There it is ! My two cents- would be, yes, to install it to the hard drive on that PC so that it is native to the computer she is using. A simple on and off without her/you having to fiddle with USB or DVD. I think atanere is correct, I think it will be " blazing fast " on hard drive.
Also, I would add something like solitaire of other simple games that may be of interest to her, and Hide the items that she will not need like the terminal,file manager, net and task manager and such. and make the icons for web browser, solitare residents on the screen. That way it might keep it as simple as pushing a button for her. Without other items that may cause issue for her.

Now for the bad news, if I had more sense, I might be able to tell you how to hide those items and pin the icons she is to use on the screen. But I will have defer to those here that are much more knowledgeable than I. I will try to figure that out though. And I think I will see if I can get it loaded on my tinker town pc hard drive for a run around the block with it.
Good luck.
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Now for the bad news, if I had more sense, I might be able to tell you how to hide those items and pin the icons she is to use on the screen.
Yeah, I don't know how to change those fixed menu items either! Adding new software from terminal will add new items to the menu, but the one that I installed (Gparted) would not launch from the new menu icon, and I had to launch it from terminal. Personally, I know I would not want that menu to fill up with new programs without some method of managing it. But then... adding a lot of stuff takes away from the bare-bones goal of Slax.

I also had trouble with hard drive installation... one computer installed fine following the instructions, but another didn't, and not sure why. I guess there are some issues to deal with on all distros. Slax might be best utilized as its primary intention... run from a USB or DVD. Using USB allows persistence so a few new programs can be included, but running from DVD makes it practically bulletproof. Although the DVD would boot up slower, if the option to load Slax into RAM is used, then it would probably run just as well as if it were installed on a hard drive.

@fungusbrains2, let us know how you go with this project, whether Slax works for your friend or you find a different solution. Your experiences might help some others with similar goals.

Cheers
 

poorguy

Well-Known Member
Simpler than Linux Mint hmm don't really think you will find anything simpler than Linux Mint.

Please post computer specs.

Open terminal and enter this command inxi -Fxz and copy and paste the output in a post.

You might also take a look at this Peppermint 9.2 Respin-2 uses less resources than Linux Mint 19.1 Xfce so it's great for old computers.

https://peppermintos.com/

https://forum.peppermintos.com/
 

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