Sorry Patricia.

I totally forgot about our convo in this article’s comment section. That was already in January and I promised to do some research and come back to you … and then I forgot everything. 😦

Real question. A friend gave us a couple of computers left over from the chaos that was Hurricane Katrina. One’s a HP ez2000 laptop, with what was (in 2005, when it came out) was a reasonable 50 Mb hard drive (20 Gb of which is free space after pruning – HP loves to load you up on gigabytes of “support software” it looks risky to mess with) and 512 Mb of RAM.

Yes, I know, it is to laugh. But the processor’s a single core AMD running at 1.7 GHz, which makes it Celeron-like.

Xbuntu looks like a reasonable choice for this machine (I have 20 Gb available without whacking out the Windows install, but am open to just formatting the drive and going for broke) but the Zorin “OS 12 LITE” distro of ubuntu interestingly will (when it comes out) supposedly run on 8 Gb of HDD space, a 700 MHz processor, and 512 Mb of RAM.

I’ll be pawing through every dead laptop in the house and my ministorage for the RAM to make this new addition to our house all it can be.

In the meantime, do you know off-hand of a distro of Linux good enough to support YouTube surfing and Email – to keep my housemate from needing this here machine I SL on to do her Internet stuff on 512 Mb RAM, 20 Gb of free HDD space, and a 1.7 GHz AMD processor?

My initial answer came quite promptly …

That’s a good and interesting question, Pat. Two answers I can give you right now: Yes and No. Usually no Linux should need more than 8GB installed on your HDD and 512 MB RAM is enough for many Linuxes as well. No, I don’t know any specific distro I’d recommend right now. Please gimme a couple seconds/days and expect a more in dephts blogpost about ultralight Linux distros. I know some but only by name and would need to do some research first. I’m a spoilt girl and expect much more fro my Linux than those ultralights can deliver.

So please hang on for a couple days please.

PS: Zorin just came out with version 17.1. You’re talking about that? Never knew it was particularly lightweight.

Oh, and I wouldn’t hesitate a single second to wipe the 50GB HDD, respectively tell the Linux install to do it for you. But then I don’t have any need for Microsoft software and pseudo security service shit your computer vendor put onto your machine. Actually that’s always the first stuff that goes *p00f* when I get a new computer into my hands.

Dunno why I didn’t answer right away, as I’m not any more clever today than I was back then. And the answer will be as wobbly as ever, and as it would be if I had done some proper research, Pat. That the laptop in question is on the lowest of the low ranks of hardware is clear, isn’t it? These EZ latops were netbooks, right? So they are pathetic weaklings but they used to do quite well with Linux. I guess most of the first generation of netbooks came with some Linux preinstalled until Microsoft siced their bloodhounds on unruly manufacturers and kinda forced them all to pedal back and install Win.

Rilasciato Linux Mint 15 Xfce
Linux Mint Xfce
Lubuntu –

Anyhoo, distros I’d recommend are Lubuntu, Xubuntu, respectively Mint Xfce. Or any other distro that has a LSLE or a Xfce spin. Those are very lightweight distros but still kinda comfy to use. Particularly Xfce is a darling of the Linux masses. Oh, speaking of Xfce, how about Linux Lite? It’s a highly recommended nanny state distro for n00bs. Oh yes, when in doubt just give your housemate Linux Lite. I don’t know how tech savvy your housemate is, if they are cool with Linux, my top favourite Xfce system would be Manjaro Xfce. But only if they are pretty cool. If they compute by numbers better have them stick with Lubuntu or Xubuntu or Mint Xfce … Linux Lite!

Linux Lite 1.0.0 Amethyst, a Fast Distro for the Masses [Screenshot ...
Linux Lite
is used as the default Xubuntu application menu starting with Xubuntu ...

I could almost guarantee that the weak hardware will run with those distros. Just don’t expect rocket ship performance from that EZshit2000. Linux can help a lot but it can’t defy the laws of physics and the market.

Manjaro Xfce

Hope this much to late post could help a little. Sorry again for my tardiness.


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