Would Linux Work on a Couple Year Old Compaq?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Brandonn2010, Sep 13, 2011.

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  1. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

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    My Mom has a rather cruddy Compaq laptop that's a couple years old. Right now it has Vista on it. I've had to restore it to the factory image once, and it just seems buggy in general. I've though about maybe installing some version of Linux, probably Mint, or PClinuxOS since I've wanted to try it but don't have a 32-bit PC. I was wondering how well it would work, considering it is a manufacturer PC with manufacturer-specific parts.
     
  2. JConLine

    JConLine Registered Member

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    Your old Compaq would work very well assuming you have at least 512Mb of RAM. It will work with less RAM but with more RAM you can use any distro you choose. You can use Mint or PCLinuxOs xfce version and it should be snappy.

    Also, you might give CrunchBang linux a try. It's debian based, light, and I've had good luck with it.


    Jim
     
  3. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I'm afraid there's more to it than that.

    1. Make absolutely sure whatever graphics card you have, has an appropriate driver for the distro that you choose, especially if you have an ATI card. Linux is a backwards OS, in that the older the system (with most distros), the better the chance your hardware will run without issues.

    2. If you use wireless, again, ease of setup and support in general will vary by distro.

    3. If you have certain software you don't want to be without, or can't be without, make certain there is a Linux alternative available. This advice is mostly in the event you decide to go all out and not dual boot with Windows.

    Don't jump into Linux without researching your needs and making sure your hardware will perform correctly. You may find yourself sorely disappointed.
     
  4. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

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    I was thinking of dual-booting first since it has plenty of extra space. Would I just do that by shrinking the volume and installing the distro on the empty space? From what I've read it's that simple, then it replaces the boot loader with GRUB and I would just have to choose to boot into Windows or Linux when the laptop is started right?
     
  5. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    That's right - have a look at this tutorial .. Windows Ubuntu dual boot using Live CD
    Or,
    Windows Ubuntu dual boot using Gparted tool which is available on Live CD
     
  6. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    1st 32 bit support both 64/32 processers the only benefit of using 64 bit when you have 4gb+ ram

    as distro linux mint is best choice if you have 1 gb ram go for gnome or 512 ....less go for xfce base

    same with pclinuxos its also not a bad distro either :)

    as for dual boot tutorial :D

    its my old tutorial but even today i use same procedure to do dual boot installing on laptop/desktops which have only one drive

    http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=50649
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  7. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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  8. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    I find livecds as a good indicator of how well your hardware will work.
    Hardware that has open source drivers is generally better for support than closed source.

    Don't forget virtual machines - I keep a Windows VM about for those times when Linux is lacking.

    Agreed.

    Cheers, Nick
     
  9. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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  10. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    ldxe Lubuntu flies on my ancient Vaio with 512MB RAM and old Pentium-III so it will run fine on your mom's laptop.
     
  11. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    That is a big misconception.
    I get 25% faster transcoding in 64bit vs 32bit and I only have 1gb ram on my media machine.

    Not only does 64bit increase addressable memory space, but AMD64 (as used on all common pc architectures from AMD and Intel) has a greater number of registers along with other minor improvements to the architecture means there is potential for performance increase from a simple recompile of a specific app.

    64bit has a clear performance advantage when working with large datasets such as movie files.

    64bit is actually slightly more power efficient as the CPU needs same amount of power for 32bit or 4bit operation.

    64bit can improve security - ASLR is far superior in 64bit, NX bit, no memory segmentation support (paging only which is a more secure abstraction).

    Multitasking is smoother in 64bit not only from the CPU being able to hold more data and instructions at one time, but the FPU and SSE registers are now preserved across context switches.

    Granted there is not a huge difference and most people will probably not even notice in real world actives but there are benefits there.

    Cheers, Nick
     
  12. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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  13. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    As a long time x64 bit user, from early days of AMD CPUs, I have to agree with Nick here.
     
  14. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    64 bit use more ram power

    64 bit recompile to 32 bit in media player codecs doing same thing take more time

    not all software run fast on 64 bit depending but yes with ram impovement 64 bit give huge difference

    even today if you see mac-OS X still ships on 32bit rather than 64 bit on notebooks default

    Question whyo_O

    more frequently updates of some software come on 32 bit for example flash player

    there are advantages of both i agree

    as far speed concern many other factors also come and play like resolution



    even if i agree with@Nick still i find a 32 bit has one main advantage over 64 bit even if its slow like nick said it use less heat less ram which is main factor for laptops

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ubuntu_natty_pae64&num=2

    agree benefits are there from both 32 or 64 depending on user choice and there no huge difference either at end its all user choice which to use on laptop
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  15. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I'll agree on the software updates, they come fairly slow. Flash updates worry me more, but I suppose in Linux it isn't such a huge deal for the time being. Also though, you can use 32 bit software in a 64 bit environment. Nobody (I think?) has a 64 bit browser except IE, so simply use the 32 bit Flash.
     
  16. tlu

    tlu Guest

    This is no longer the case. 64bit flash development seemed to be dead some months ago but then Adobe released several betas, and now we have RC1 released on Sept. 6.

    On Ubuntu 64bit Firefox is also 64bit. This is also true for Chrome.
     
  17. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Excuse my unintentional spouting off of wrong information, I hunted down some information and Chrome indeed can be built as a 64 bit app. So Flash is past that very outdated, vulnerable "Square" edition in Linux? I had heard it was still being distributed in some distros (Linux Mint comes to mind, Katya edition).

    Are you currently using the RC1 of it inside a 64 bit browser in Ubuntu? How is it working for you?
     
  18. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Yes, it's available fron http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer11.html


    I haven't checked if this has changed in the meantime.

    I'v added this ppa to my repos and it works flawlessly.
     
  19. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    I have been using version 11.0.1.98 and can confirm that it works perfectly in Scientific Linux.
    Waiting for rpmforge to release the latest package. I see only security improvements/enhancements so would conclude that no actual vulnerability was patched since the abovementioned older version.
     
  20. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

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    I just tried the LXDE version from a Live CD on her laptop. It ran, but kind of slow but that's expected since it's from a CD. I can't adjust the resolution though since it requires a reboot. The wireless drivers work so that's good. I will do a dual-boot if she likes it.

    Also, I know Linux has next to no malware but I believe better safe than sorry, so what's the bets free Linux antivirus? I was thinking of going with AVG since their Windows version is good and their Linux version has real-time protection, I think.
     
  21. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Very old Compaq Armada M700, Pentium III here.
    576meg memory, 12gig drive.
    Used to run WinXP. When was unplugged for a long time, the clock got messed up. Windows wouldn't install till the clock is ok, but there is no clock setting in BIOS. So now it runs Linux Mint instead. Great games for kids. Works fine. Lots of built-in tools and applications, good updating via packages, has Firefox, Opera works very well on it.

    Slightly newer, Compaq Evo, also Pentium III, 392meg ram, 20gig drive is on its last legs, but it did run Mandriva linux for a while. Runs WinXP slowly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  22. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    well antivirus is not needed in linux at all i having one but till date i didnt find anything :D

    the only use is scanning my pendrive and windows drives thats all

    it may heavy on your resources


    for antivirus

    http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50807

    please will you give us your hardware specification


    lxde xfce and puppy linux are best for low ram computers

    your system is running slow one main reason is low ram and no swap and live cd run all on ram.
     
  23. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    hahahaha yes out of my character :D

    but here i got so small avatar i am unable to attach this
     

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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  24. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    FYI Ubuntu live cd will utilise a swap partition if found on the first HDD.
     
  25. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

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    agree with you nick

    but he running windows xp .....no linux at all thats why i said it slow and run only on ram as there is no swap default to help or boost

    sorry i may be wrong :doubt:


    by the way whats you guys reviews on bhodi linux

    it uses Enlightenment Desktop

    the last enlightenment desktop i used was macpup
     
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