experchange > linux.hardware

MaxTheFast (11-10-19, 06:37 PM)
I've got an old acer tm notebook with 32bit 1.6 ghz centrino cpu and 1.25gbram (I guess DDR1 270mhz but I can be wrong). I still use it sometimes just as an "emergency" machine, eg. as an addition backup space for my storage, if I want to write something with old office within win xp environment and to run other old sw, but I can't use it to surf the web because I cannot install any AV else win xp would freeze. I could upgrade ram from 1.25gb to2gb but I don't want to spend extra money for it and it would take me about 2h to change the 256mb inner ram (the outside ram has aldready been upgraded).

I've been using only this machine from its "creation" until about 1 year ago and I solved the websurfing problem using PaleMoon browser and some plugin like adblock to avoid loading the "heavy" content of today web pages. It was a situation full of limitations because I couldn't open more than 2-3 pages at the same time -and dangerous too due to no AV and the obsolete OS- but it was good enough for me.
Now I'd like to use sometimes this old acer to surf the web, so I'm thinking to get a linux OS to avoid AV and a web browser with right plugins able to load only the fundamental content of the web pages, I mean avoiding to load flash content and everything the would freeze the 1.25gb ram.

My level of knowledge of linux is "dummy" because I've only been using ubuntu 18.04 from 1 year so I'm used to work almost with GUI and not with the terminal. Therefore my goal is to get a low ram usage linux distro that is "easy" too :)
Aragorn (11-10-19, 07:26 PM)
On 10.11.2019 at 08:37, MaxTheFast scribbled:

[..]
> using ubuntu 18.04 from 1 year so I'm used to work almost with GUI
> and not with the terminal. Therefore my goal is to get a low ram
> usage linux distro that is "easy" too :)


1.25 GiB is really tight, man. You could always try Damn Small Linux
(DSL), but to the best of my knowledge, 2 GiB is about the lowest
requirement for a 32-bit distro these days, and you'll probably be
swapping like hell.
Roger Blake (11-10-19, 08:16 PM)
On 2019-11-10, Aragorn <thorongil> wrote:
> 1.25 GiB is really tight, man. You could always try Damn Small Linux
> (DSL), but to the best of my knowledge, 2 GiB is about the lowest
> requirement for a 32-bit distro these days, and you'll probably be
> swapping like hell.


Yes, things will go much better with 2GB. I'm running 32-bit Lubuntu
18.04 on an old Acer Centrino-based laptop upgraded to 2GB memory and a
small (30GB) SSD I had laying around, and it works fine. (Fortunately on
mine the memory upgrade was easy.)
Carlos E.R. (11-10-19, 09:25 PM)
Multipost :-(
Added the other groups.

On 10/11/2019 19.16, Roger Blake wrote:
> On 2019-11-10, Aragorn <thorongil> wrote:
> Yes, things will go much better with 2GB. I'm running 32-bit Lubuntu
> 18.04 on an old Acer Centrino-based laptop upgraded to 2GB memory and a
> small (30GB) SSD I had laying around, and it works fine. (Fortunately on
> mine the memory upgrade was easy.)


Got other replies on alt.linux and alt.os.linux
David W. Hodgins (11-11-19, 01:24 AM)
On Sun, 10 Nov 2019 13:16:55 -0500, Roger Blake <rogblake> wrote:

> On 2019-11-10, Aragorn <thorongil> wrote:
> Yes, things will go much better with 2GB. I'm running 32-bit Lubuntu
> 18.04 on an old Acer Centrino-based laptop upgraded to 2GB memory and a
> small (30GB) SSD I had laying around, and it works fine. (Fortunately on
> mine the memory upgrade was easy.)


The distro doesn't really matter. What matters most is which desktop environment
and what system services are enabled.

I'm running Mageia 7 x86_64 with the xfce de on a system with just under 1GB
of ram.

Part of the lshw output ...
description: Motherboard
product: Portable PC
vendor: TOSHIBA
*-firmware
description: BIOS
vendor: TOSHIBA
version: Version 3.70
date: 12/10/2007
size: 128KiB
capacity: 960KiB
capabilities: isa pci pcmcia pnp upgrade shadowing vesa cdboot bootselect edd int13floppytoshiba int13floppy720 int5printscreen int9keyboard int14serial int17printer acpi usb biosbootspecification netboot
*-cpu
description: CPU
product: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU T5500 @ 1.66GHz

I've had to disable most services to make it even slightly usable, but I use it
to run konversation 24/7, so I can continue using irc when I'm rebooting other
systems I have. I've also been able to view some sites using lynx while still
running konversation.

With 2GB of ram I think it would be possible to use a lightweight gui web browser,
depending on what sites are being viewed. It wouldn't be enough for something
like watching a video, but should be enough for web searches and viewing mostly
text web sites. It would also require an adblocker

Blocking the following sites speeds up a lot of other sites by stopping
javascript routines used only for ads or tracking ...
# grep -e facebook -e google -e twitter adblock.conf|sort
zone "ads.ak.facebook.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "connect.facebook.net" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "facebook.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "googleadservices.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "google-analytics.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "googlesyndication.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "pagead2.googlesyndication.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "pagead.l.google.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "twitter.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "video-stats.video.google.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "wintricksbanner.googlepages.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "www.facebook.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };
zone "www-google-analytics.l.google.com" { type master; notify no; file "db.adblock"; };

Regards, Dave Hodgins
TJ (11-11-19, 02:43 AM)
On 11/10/19 6:24 PM, David W. Hodgins wrote:
[..]
> zone "www-google-analytics.l.google.com" { type master; notify no; file
> "db.adblock"; };
> Regards, Dave Hodgins

The OP didn't identify his video hardware, and that can make a
difference, too.

I have an old 32-bit Dell Inspiron 5100 laptop with a P4 and 2GB of RAM,
and like Dave I run Mageia 7 Xfce on it. It uses an old Radeon RV200
GPU, which works fine with Xfce but doesn't have the ability to use an
OpenGL high enough to run Mageia's Plasma 5. The same is true of older
nvidia GPUs.

BTW, Mageia does have a 32-bit Live XFCE iso available for download at
In fact, it is the only 32-bit Live
media offered by Mageia.

I use my old Dell for 32-bit testing of updates for Mageia. I have used
it to do some minimal surfing with Firefox, but don't do so regularly
because I have other, much faster hardware readily available for that. I
HAVE been able to play Youtube videos on this hardware in Firefox with
no problem.

But the OP's hard drive concerns me, too. He mentioned on one of the
newsgroups that he plans to dual-boot with XP, leaving only 8GB of hard
drive space for Linux. That's REALLY tight if you are going to do
anything useful, if you ask me.

The IDE hard drive in my Dell was bad when I got it, and I bought a used
40GB replacement on eBay for less than $10US. It took maybe 15 minutes
to install. That gives me plenty of room, as I haven't dual-booted in
many years. If the OP doesn't have enough unused space on his XP install
to give more than 8GB to Linux, I'd recommend he visit eBay and look for
a bigger drive.

TJ
Carlos E.R. (11-11-19, 03:27 PM)
On 11/11/2019 00.24, David W. Hodgins wrote:
> With 2GB of ram I think it would be possible to use a lightweight
> gui web browser, depending on what sites are being viewed. It
> wouldn't be enough for something like watching a video, but should be
> enough for web searches and viewing mostly text web sites. It would
> also require an adblocker


Careful. With an addblocker it may result you need even more ram. There
is a technical explanation for it. And some pages may load slower
(because it breaks parallel loading, because elements have to be
analyzed before permitting to load the next element).
MaxThe Fast (11-11-19, 05:27 PM)
Sorry for cross/multi/whatever-posting. We can continue @

> But the OP's hard drive concerns me, too

I need a linux distro that 1) uses very few ram, 2) supports 32bit and willsupport for very long time, 3) is good for noob, 4) requires no more than 8gb after hdd installation with a "proper" web browser, 5) [optional] comeswith IT language version/package.
I got only 2 distros with those specs untils now: puppy xenial and knoppix lxde. Anyway please post your ideas and replies to alt.os.linux :)
Roger Blake (11-11-19, 06:29 PM)
On 2019-11-11, Carlos E.R. <robin_listas> wrote:
> Careful. With an addblocker it may result you need even more ram. There
> is a technical explanation for it. And some pages may load slower
> (because it breaks parallel loading, because elements have to be
> analyzed before permitting to load the next element).


I have had no problems running Firefox with an adblocker and a few other
addons on my old 2GB laptop. SD videos play OK, but HD playback can get
choppy.
Carlos E.R. (11-12-19, 12:02 AM)
On 11/11/2019 17.29, Roger Blake wrote:
> On 2019-11-11, Carlos E.R. <robin_listas> wrote:
> I have had no problems running Firefox with an adblocker and a few other
> addons on my old 2GB laptop. SD videos play OK, but HD playback can get
> choppy.


Video may play better outside of the browser, directly with a player
such as VLC.
Roger Blake (11-12-19, 01:22 AM)
On 2019-11-11, Carlos E.R. <robin_listas> wrote:
> Video may play better outside of the browser, directly with a player
> such as VLC.


Yes, I've found that is the case. Youtube playback can be choppy in HD
mode, but playing an mp4 file locally with VLC works well.

Overall considering how limited the hardware is by today's standards I'm
happy with the way Lubuntu is running on this old laptop. I certainly
won't be doing any video editing or conversion on it but for general
use it's fine.
Charlie+ (11-12-19, 09:36 AM)
On Mon, 11 Nov 2019 07:27:33 -0800 (PST), MaxThe Fast
<gipsy.shadow.84> wrote as underneath :

>Sorry for cross/multi/whatever-posting. We can continue @
>> But the OP's hard drive concerns me, too

>I need a linux distro that 1) uses very few ram, 2) supports 32bit and will support for very long time, 3) is good for noob, 4) requires no more than 8gb after hdd installation with a "proper" web browser, 5) [optional] comes with IT language version/package.
>I got only 2 distros with those specs untils now: puppy xenial and knoppix lxde. Anyway please post your ideas and replies to alt.os.linux :)


Take a look at Q4OS (Debian based). C+
David Brown (11-12-19, 11:38 AM)
On 11/11/2019 16:27, MaxThe Fast wrote:
> Sorry for cross/multi/whatever-posting. We can continue @
>> But the OP's hard drive concerns me, too

> I need a linux distro that 1) uses very few ram, 2) supports 32bit and will support for very long time, 3) is good for noob, 4) requires no more than 8gb after hdd installation with a "proper" web browser, 5) [optional] comes with IT language version/package.
> I got only 2 distros with those specs untils now: puppy xenial and knoppix lxde. Anyway please post your ideas and replies to alt.os.linux :)


It is not going to happen - not if by "proper" web browser you mean
current versions of Firefox, Chrome or Chromium. These are now 64-bit
only, or they are moving that way fast. And they require /lots/ of ram.

You'll be able to get a system that can handle simpler websites, but not
if you are expecting to use Facebook, Netflix, Google docs, MS Office
365, Google maps, online games, etc.
Carlos E.R. (11-12-19, 01:15 PM)
On 12/11/2019 10.38, David Brown wrote:
> On 11/11/2019 16:27, MaxThe Fast wrote:
> It is not going to happen - not if by "proper" web browser you mean
> current versions of Firefox, Chrome or Chromium. These are now 64-bit
> only, or they are moving that way fast. And they require /lots/ of ram.
> You'll be able to get a system that can handle simpler websites, but not
> if you are expecting to use Facebook, Netflix, Google docs, MS Office
> 365, Google maps, online games, etc.


Hum! Perhaps requesting the mobile version of such pages: phones and
tablets do not have lots of cpu power or RAM.
David Brown (11-12-19, 01:39 PM)
On 12/11/2019 12:15, Carlos E.R. wrote:
> On 12/11/2019 10.38, David Brown wrote:
> Hum! Perhaps requesting the mobile version of such pages: phones and
> tablets do not have lots of cpu power or RAM.


Any tablet or smartphone you buy now, baring the very low end devices,
will have more cpu power and ram than this guy's laptop. It's not hard
to find a new tablet with 2 GB ram for $100.

And look on e-bay - people can't give away laptops with the spec's he has.

(I'm not saying it is a good thing that a machine that is working
perfectly well is now worthless. But that is the reality.)

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