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Good Linux for a netbook?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by The Zig, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Hey,

    Anyone recommend a GNU/Linux distro to use on a three/four year old netbook? It's got a little Atom 1.6GHz CPU, with but 1GB of RAM, and a few hundred gig hard drive. And the screen is 1024x600 powered (!) by Intel integrated GPU. On the plus side it runs for about half a day between charges, on the minus side the Win7 Kneecapped Edition that it came with (aka starter) eats all the RAM before breakfast and runs like treacle. Opening anything above notepad has to be timed to coincide with a toilet break. Unwitting right-clicks send it into a lather of disk thrashing. Patch Tuesday holds it up for literally HOURS just to list the updates. Enough is enough.

    Currently trying an Xubuntu partition. Not bad. Any other recommendations?
     
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  2. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    What are you doing on it?
     
  3. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    I installed one of the "lite" versions of I think Ubuntu on one of my ~6 year old netbooks earlier this year. Back then, it was not just important for the distro to be light enough (and once installed, it worked very well), but to also have all the necessary drivers for the netbook to work well.

    I don't have my netbook anymore as I gave it away to a charity, but I'd stay you should start by using your choice of search engine (bing, woohoo :p ) to search for a website on which people discuss the best distro specifically for your netbook. In my case, there was a number of hits for the Toshiba NB100 and the recommended distro for good operation of all components (pretty much immediately following installation of Linux) to get things flowing smoothly, and of course find out if one of the lighter ones are best for the netbook in question.
     
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  4. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Y'know, just 3D rendering, CAD, high-end gaming... I kid.
    Primarily tinkering really. And for hopping online when out and about. At the end of the day it is a netbook: I have a desktop for real work; I wanna use it mainly for playing around with bash (largely following the first really enjoyable Linux book I've ever read), pretending to work on my little dev projects (bits of C/C++/HTML/JS), and trying out Linux stuff natively (i.e. not in a VM)

    Xubuntu works pretty smoothly, but I was wondering if there were any other ideas.

    Fair point. I've found Linux pretty good at recognising and running hardware lately so hadn't thought about this. But Netbooks do have some pretty non-standard kit. I've been stunned by how many Windows apps simply can't adapt to the 1024x600 screen size (the 168 missing rows make a huge difference to so many things!)
     
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  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I upgraded a Asus Eeepc 1025c netbook from 1 GB RAM to 4 GB, made a BIG difference, Windows 7 Starter simply cannot run well with 1 GB ram.

    Also you could upgrade the HDD to a SSD.

    Linux is lot cheaper though I agree, I tend to use Mint or Ubuntu as there is lot support and they are aimed at that market.

    Biggest driver problems tend to be touchpad, camera, bluetooth, generally you can get the basics working ok.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
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  6. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yeah - perhaps a memory upgrade and a clean build of the OS could be an option. :)
     
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  7. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Cheers for the ideas. I was thinking about the RAM upgrade + SSD option, but at the end of the day I don't really wanna pour ~£100 into something that'll still be limited by Atom processor, integrated Intel graphics, and an undersized screen. Similarly I've wiped and reinstalled Windows couple of times (quite fiddly to source "starter" by the way - HP gave me a recovery partition rather than any recovery media; real useful when the harddrive motor gave up! I ended up having to download a vanilla Win7 Pro off technet, unzip the iso and remove the version config file just so I could reinstall my licensed legitimate OS). This does give it a boost, but it's nowhere near Xubuntu in performance terms.

    I'll probably try Mint. See how it runs. On a desktop, Mint is just lovely to use.
     
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  8. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    Yup, I think it may have been xUbuntu that I installed on my NB100. It ran fine. I also had only 1GB of RAM on it. Win XP ran about the same, but did get bogged down a bit when I had multiple Internet Explorer windows open *shrug*
     
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