To Linux or Not to Linux? That is the question

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RealGomer

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We have an old Toshiba Netbook NB255 with a whopping 2GB RAM powered by an Atom 1.68GHz processor. I must be old because my first computer had 10MHz 8086 with 640KB RAM. And it ran GEM Windows just fine. Oh well.
Anyway, it's currently trying to run Win7 Starter and is bog slow. Would it be worth dumping Win7 and dropping in a flavor of Linux instead? If so, any suggestions? I dual boot Peppermint on my HP laptop.
Thank you.
 


LorenDB

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Worth it? Absolutely. Windows 7 (despite being my favorite version of Windows due to the stellar UI) is no longer receiving security updates. This likely won't affect you; however, it does mean that you are more susceptible to ransomware and the like.

As far as your laptop specs, Linux can take that in stride. I'd recommend using a lightweight distro/interface for starters. Puppy Linux is a good example of a lightweight distro, although it has some design principles that aren't found in most distros. I personally wouldn't recommend using Ubuntu proper, since Ubuntu is focused at newer, more powerful hardware. However, an Ubuntu derivative with a lightweight DE (such as Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Mate or even Kubuntu (yes, KDE Plasma is now officially lightweight)) might work.

I'd recommend playing around with various distros. Take your time and do plenty of research. Don't be afraid to ask questions--that's what we're here for. :)
 

MatsuShimizu

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We have an old Toshiba Netbook NB255 with a whopping 2GB RAM powered by an Atom 1.68GHz processor.
You can try Xubuntu.
Minimum system requirements:
Intel or AMD 64-bit processor with at least 512 MB of memory.

Recommended system requirements:
1.5Ghz Dual Core processor with at least 2 GB of memory. 20 GB of free space on your hard disk.
 

jglen490

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It's intuitively obvious to the most casual observer - "to Linux."

End of story.
 

SpongebobFan1994

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You can try putting a light-weight distro on there, but after looking up the age of the hardware just now, you might want to eventually get a newer device so you don't run into issues with that
 

NitroNilz

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Depending on what you wanna do I have discovered that the BSD's are/can be very lightweight as well!
I run OpenBSD on a IBM t42 32-bit 1GB laptop and idle with X running with CWM (Calm Window Manager) it consumes a whooping 53mb's of RAM!!
 

jglen490

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I've run some BSDs over the years. BSD is very good, but OOTB it requires (in general) more much administration during setup than do most Linux distros. That is a generalization, but having been there maybe 10 or more years ago and having checked in from time to time, to me the BSDs are less - umm - satisfying.
 

RealGomer

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Thanks, gang. My wife wanted the unit to take with us when we went to Tanzania. It was used mostly for emails and ebooks. It would definitely be better for those than my Kindle Fire 8.
 

Nelson Muntz

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I recommend this based on Ubuntu 18.04 and supported until April 2023 and uses minimal hardware requirements.

It ain't sexy as was stated by @Xfce4me in post #9 but it's an excellent Linux distro imo.
 

KGIII

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NitroNilz

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[…] BSD is very good, but OOTB it requires (in general) more much administration during setup than do most Linux distros. […]
I've never come across a faster install than OpenBSD. It has really sane defaults, one simply hit enter for a few minutes.
GhostBSD is no harder to install than any major distro. Graphical installer. Based on FreeBSD.
NomadBSD is also a super portable, persistent (or installed on HD) FreeBSD-based lightweight OS. It uses around 90MBs of RAM on idle. (See RoboNuggies RC1 review on YT.) Also BSD's are usually available for many architectures including 32bit ones.
IIRC it too has a graphical installer. An exciting new menu entry which will install an emulated Linux web browser. Why? To easily be able to consume DRM infested content (like what comes from (FreeBSD served) Netflix, Spotify, Disney+, etc, (because Google don't provide a Widewine version for *BSD, but this utilises the FreeBSD Linuxulator).

Another pre-configured FreeBSD desktop in the workings is HelloSystem which comes with GNUstep DE by default! It imitates the old MacOS feel and look...

[My browser crashed (no, it was running Linux on my phone, not *BSD. Android), and the rest of this post referencing OS108.org which is a desktop ready NetBSD, and that OpenBSD is preconfigured already with WMs like CWM.]
 

f33dm3bits

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I've run some BSDs over the years. BSD is very good, but OOTB it requires (in general) more much administration during setup than do most Linux distros. That is a generalization, but having been there maybe 10 or more years ago and having checked in from time to time, to me the BSDs are less - umm - satisfying.
From what I've read is that about BSD is that there is alot less hardware support because of the BSD licensing. I've had a look at BSD recently but I stuck to GNU/Linux because I need bleeding edge on my desktop and because I was able to find another RHEL clone to switch over to from CentOS.
 

KGIII

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GhostBSD is no harder to install than any major distro. Graphical installer. Based on FreeBSD.
GhostBSD is f[redacted]ing awesome.

From what I've read is that about BSD is that there is alot less hardware support because of the BSD licensing.
With GhostBSD and regular hardware, everything has 'Just Worked®'. Meaning graphics card, display resolution, sound, network, and even every wireless device I've tried.

I can't speak to the rest of the BSD family, but I've had GhostBSD on bare metal multiple times and loved it.

Spin up a VM with VirtualBox. It's the sexiest BSD I've yet found.
 

f33dm3bits

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GhostBSD is f[redacted]ing awesome.

Spin up a VM with VirtualBox. It's the sexiest BSD I've yet found.
I'll try it out in a vm, not likely I will switch over to it on my desktop. I installed FreeBSD once in a vm and it looked interesting but I've already spent so much of my time with GNU/Linux don't have the time and patience to do the same with BSD.
 

KGIII

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I installed FreeBSD once in a vm and it looked interesting but I've already spent so much of my time with GNU/Linux don't have the time and patience to do the same with BSD.
That mimics my own conclusion.

I'm happy with Linux and don't see a way to justify the conversion to BSD.

That doesn't make GhostBSD any less awesome. It just means that I couldn't justify converting and there's no way in hell that I'm going to maintain two skillsets to constantly keep both upgraded, secure, and functioning properly.

But, it'd probably be pretty easy to convert to using it exclusively.

It's well worth playing with a VM. Converting to it exclusively is something you'd have to decide for yourself.
 

jglen490

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I've tried a few BSDs, and for the most part was underwhelmed by the experience and spent way too much time managing the install and the installed product. Some Linuxes (Linuces?, Linuxi?) are that way too. The rationale for such behavior is the propagation of elitist mystique.

I stay away from such stupidity.
 

jglen490

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Agree. I chose to focus on Linux, and a specific subset of distros. Through an evolutionary process (years, not minutes), I am where I am now. I still look at other distros, even the occasional BSD, and end up with the same conclusion. BSD, and certain Lunux(ces, i) are just way more discombobulated than is necessary.

Maybe it's a lack of human resources, maybe the owners just don't care. Either way, it's O.K., there's plenty of users and interested parties to go around.
 
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