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is linux the answer

Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

is linux the answer

My father has an older xp system, that hes complaining is very slow. It has an older athlonxp 2400 cpu, 1gb ram and a 40gb hdd. I was going to upgrade the ram to 2gb and as he onky has 4gb of free hdd space left, upgrade the hdd and reinstall xp. I did however get to thinking about linux and would it run ok on thus system as it is, and what flavor would be best. Not too much up on linux myself, only really had a little experience with ubuntu. Would welcome the thoughts of the more experiences chaps on here Cheesy
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gtowen
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Re: is linux the answer

Linux should run no problem. There are many distributions (distros) out there which you could try. I personally use Linux Mint which is very user friendly.
You can checkout other distros here:
http://distrowatch.com/
Most distros have a livecd version so you can try it out before installing.
Enjoy Smiley
Community Veteran
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Re: is linux the answer

It all depends on what he wants to do with the system.
If he wants to run anything that is only available on Windows then you can just about forget it.
If he wants it for the odd bit of word processing, web browsing or hacking the planet then it is ideal Wink
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Re: is linux the answer

Sorry guys I forgot to mention what he does.. all he uses the pc for is internet/email a bit of word processing and maybe spreadsheets. Listens to his music and watchs some online telly. He has a usb keyboard and mouse and a canon mp160 multifunction device. I also think it has an older geforce graphics card as well
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Re: is linux the answer

Should run Linux just fine. For what you have said he uses then a vanilla install will do most everything.
The only thing to check is what he does on the printer he may need a better driver than the standard, something like turboprint to do photo's etc. But burn a dvd and try a live system to see if everything is recognised. The kb/mouse are not a problem been using usb ones for years myself.
gtowen
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Re: is linux the answer

Quote
If he wants to run anything that is only available on Windows then you can just about forget it.

That's not strictly true, many windows programs can be run on linux using wine:
http://www.winehq.org/
but wine can be difficult to install/use without some linux knowhow.
As to web-browsing, email, word-processing and spreadsheets there should be no problem, and I'm fairly sure that there will be drivers for your canon mp160 and graphic card. I use a canon mp460 with no problems Smiley
Community Veteran
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Re: is linux the answer

Wine and playonlinux allow the use of SOME M$ apps, but by no means them all. Depends on what they do and how deep into the system they hook.
I use a several M$ apps under wine with no issues, Kindle reader for pc, Newsbin, & Civ V  Smiley But things like other games and apps that want to use hardware can be troublesome.
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Re: is linux the answer

Thanks for the replys...
I will download a distro, probably ubuntu, and put on a bootable stick, so he can try it out.
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Re: is linux the answer

If you want something that is more like xp then definitely DON'T get Ubuntu. Pclinuxos or Mint Mate editions are much more suitable.
Ubuntu as default is more like a phone os.
You also sure that the pc will boot from usb? My old Athlon wouldn't
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Re: is linux the answer

Quote from: Hairy
Ubuntu as default is more like a phone os.

Roll eyes - and I have pointed out MANY times before, it literally only takes THREE mouse clicks to replace Unity with the GNOME desktop.
IMHO the Gnome desktop is easier and more logical to use than the XP desktop.
Highlighted
Community Veteran
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Re: is linux the answer

IF you know what 3 mouse clicks to do, a NEW USER WILL NOT. A usable semi-familar desktop OOB is much more user friendly.
Even if he does the 3 mouse clicks unutty will still be underneath taking extra space on a small hdd.
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Re: is linux the answer

Thanks Guys
I have downloaded 2 distros, Ubuntu and Mint MATE, burnt them to CD, just in case he cant boot from a USB stick.  Will let him have a play, see which one he likes.
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Re: is linux the answer

Quote from: penfold
My father has an older xp system, that hes complaining is very slow. It has an older athlonxp 2400 cpu, 1gb ram and a 40gb hdd. I was going to upgrade the ram to 2gb and as he onky has 4gb of free hdd space left, upgrade the hdd and reinstall xp

If he does not like Linux and you decide to stick with XP, 1GB of RAM is more than enough.  But a hard disk that is 90% full may be quite severely fragmented and therefore slow to read and write.  I don't know if Linux can cope better than Windows in such circumstances; maybe some of the experts here can comment.
Some Windows security software packages run very badly on older computers so the wrong one could also be causing problems. 
VileReynard
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Re: is linux the answer

Linux isn't seriously bothered by fragmentation.
No de-fragmentation software is provided as it is unnecessary.
Also, no anti-virus software is needed.
This makes for a big speed increase!
I have 2GB RAM - but my PC rarely uses more than 1GB,
even when running multiple applications.  Cheesy

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Re: is linux the answer

Quote from: ReedRichards
If he does not like Linux and you decide to stick with XP, 1GB of RAM is more than enough.  But a hard disk that is 90% full may be quite severely fragmented and therefore slow to read and write.  I don't know if Linux can cope better than Windows in such circumstances; maybe some of the experts here can comment.
Some Windows security software packages run very badly on older computers so the wrong one could also be causing problems.  

Thanks Reed.  Yes I have looked at the disk fragmentation, using defraggler, and its virtually red with hardly any blue, but as the disk is so full, its struggling to defragment it, as there is hardly any free space to move files around in.  Also was going to change from M$ security essentials to AVAST free, as M$ has had a poor review in some parts recently...