Question What Linux distro to use? I am a beginner to linux and I have an old PC.

Apr 4, 2019
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Hello all. So today, I have thought today of changing to Linux cause my hardware is going too old overtime very quickly and isn't capable of running Windows 10 at a very good speed with the best performance settings applied possibly that I can change... So that's the reason I am now wanting to switch to Linux.

But here, the problem is that I am totally a newbie to Linux, that I don't know about any commands and what they do. And it is also worth mentioning that I have a very old PC that is not very good. So I want a lightweight Linux distribution made for beginners.

I expect these features:
-) Has a desktop environment out-of-the-box
-) Is easy to install apps ie. has an app store (like Gnome Software)
-) Doesn't need to type commands for daily usage (Uninstalling apps, Update settings, Get reports of hardware, etc..)
-) Is very lightweight in resource consumption

My PC's specifications are:
-) Intel Core 2 Duo E4400 Dual-Core Processor clocked at 2.00GhZ
-) 2GB DDR2-333MhZ RAM
-) 256MB Intel 82945G Express Chipset Family
-) 160GB 7200RPM Seagate Barracuda HDD (To be honest, I am not willing to cheap out on storage to install the OS, more information below)
-) 1366x768@60Hz Resolution support

So what I will be doing first is, I will install the distro you recommended aside Windows 10 for Dual Booting and if I am satisfied, I will clean install my PC with the Linux distro. So I want a Linux Distro that is good for beginners and is lightweight! I recommend any distro that is around 4GB of size but not higher than 5GB.

Thank you,
Best,
Krish KM.
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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If you are new to Linux....please....do not dual boot with windows.

Do a stand-alone installation and learn how to work with that. You can complicate your life later.
 
Lubuntu- Will install and run on 2gb of RAM and is easy to learn.

Puppy- It runs on everything but Puppy is unique and bad for beginners. What you learn on Puppy only works on Puppy.

LXLE- It's based on Lubuntu and is a little faster.

Those are the only three on that Foss list that won't have issues doing a live install on 2gb of RAM. I would suggest he buys more RAM 4GB and a cheap SSD. That combined would make a massive difference in speed and allow you to run just about any Linux distro out there.
 
Mar 17, 2019
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Instead of dual booting, you could leave your Windows drive as-is, and put Linux on a 2nd bootable drive as well. Then switch the data-cables as needed, allways booting drive 1. Simple. And Linux can still read your Windows drive (not sure about other way round).

Look up Linux "Live" CDs or USBs. Then you don't have to install anything and you can expiriment without a commitment and learn as you feel like it. They do have graphical desktops.
 
Not natively. That was left as a "third party opportunity" by microsoft, so you'll pay to be able to do it.
You don't have to (pay), there are free apps which will let you read from Linux partitions.
 
Reactions: AllanGH

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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Hmmmm....I'll have to remember that. Since I don't use windows, I really had no reason to look for such a solution.

This gives me a recommendation for those who do. Thanks.

I suppose that it is worth noting that access is read-only, though.
 
Apr 4, 2019
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Was the first website I visited to check out the OS'es.. I rather expected a detailed answer, but thanks anyways :)

If you are new to Linux....please....do not dual boot with windows.

Do a stand-alone installation and learn how to work with that. You can complicate your life later.
Well, why not? Does that do some collision? Sorry if I am talking like a noob like I don't know basics, but why not?

Lubuntu- Will install and run on 2gb of RAM and is easy to learn.

Puppy- It runs on everything but Puppy is unique and bad for beginners. What you learn on Puppy only works on Puppy.

LXLE- It's based on Lubuntu and is a little faster.

Those are the only three on that Foss list that won't have issues doing a live install on 2gb of RAM. I would suggest he buys more RAM 4GB and a cheap SSD. That combined would make a massive difference in speed and allow you to run just about any Linux distro out there.
I think LXLE would be good for me, it looks good and I will be looking over that soon

Also, the standard place to find the distro that's right for you is "distrowatch.com".
Thanks for the suggestion!

I would personally recommend Peppermint,( designed for older systems and light ) the forum I use for linux is run by somebody who helped to build Peppermint so you will have all his knowledge to hand if you have any problems.Not sure if allowed to post links to other forums but here it is. https://linuxforums.org.uk/index.php?action=forum#c22
I've never heard of that, but ill check it out :D

Instead of dual booting, you could leave your Windows drive as-is, and put Linux on a 2nd bootable drive as well. Then switch the data-cables as needed, allways booting drive 1. Simple. And Linux can still read your Windows drive (not sure about other way round).

Look up Linux "Live" CDs or USBs. Then you don't have to install anything and you can expiriment without a commitment and learn as you feel like it. They do have graphical desktops.
Well I am already investing money on a newer pc so I would not need to upgrade this pc, this is just a backup pc for emergencies after I make my new one. Just want to revive this pc with a faster os

- - - -
I want to tell you all something, I thought Linux mint was good, but it isnt? None is recommending it though.. So im kinda disappointed that how Linux Mint boosted my mind..
But i just want people's opinion. I am still hardly researching on each OS and will be installing one soon
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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Well, why not? Does that do some collision? Sorry if I am talking like a noob like I don't know basics, but why not?
If you do not know the basics, you might be able to accidentally set-up a dual boot configuration without a problem, but it's more likely that you will not be able to do that.

Wait until you have enough direct experience with Linux to know why you shouldn't bother.

If you want to do a lightweight Linux installation on an older machine, find the .iso appropriate for your hardware, and do a Debian / XFCE installation.
 
Was the first website I visited to check out the OS'es.. I rather expected a detailed answer, but thanks anyways :)

Well I am already investing money on a newer pc so I would not need to upgrade this pc, this is just a backup pc for emergencies after I make my new one. Just want to revive this pc with a faster os

- - - -
I want to tell you all something, I thought Linux mint was good, but it isnt? None is recommending it though.. So i'm kinda disappointed that how Linux Mint boosted my mind..
But i just want people's opinion. I am still hardly researching on each OS and will be installing one soon
Honestly Lubuntu or LXLE with NEMO are just better overall than Peppermint. Peppermint is a easy to use low resource distro in it's own right and you might find yourself happy with it.

Mint? Yes it's a good distro but so is Deepin or Manjaro Deepin or 12 other distros I could list. I didn't list it because of your RAM limitations, live installs are going to be a issue.
 
Apr 4, 2019
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If you do not know the basics, you might be able to accidentally set-up a dual boot configuration without a problem, but it's more likely that you will not be able to do that.

Wait until you have enough direct experience with Linux to know why you shouldn't bother.

If you want to do a lightweight Linux installation on an older machine, find the .iso appropriate for your hardware, and do a Debian / XFCE installation.
Really? What would happen if I simply just set it up? I am actually using a Linux based OS (Android x86's Port - Prime OS). I had no problems setting it up to dual boot with Windows. Sorry if I'm being wrong. I dont know if there is any difference between installing linux distros and Linux-based OS'es like this. And I also know how to boot from .iso images using EasyBCD (it is how i installed windows 10 from windows 7 [upgrade]). And that is how I installed prime OS. Or if there is any other way of doing it or the right way to do it, let me know ;)

Honestly Lubuntu or LXLE with NEMO are just better overall than Peppermint. Peppermint is a easy to use low resource distro in it's own right and you might find yourself happy with it.

Mint? Yes it's a good distro but so is Deepin or Manjaro Deepin or 12 other distros I could list. I didn't list it because of your RAM limitations, live installs are going to be a issue.
I never heard that Manjaro is lightweight or else I think I'm mistaken about it. I never found someone telling Manjaro is lightweight other than telling the old versions. I want something up-to-date to this day that is lightweight, not an old version
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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327
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Really? What would happen if I simply just set it up?
If you do not know the basics, you might be able to accidentally set-up a dual boot configuration without a problem
I want something up-to-date to this day that is lightweight, not an old version
If you want to do a lightweight Linux installation on an older machine, find the .iso appropriate for your hardware, and do a Debian / XFCE installation.
 
Really? What would happen if I simply just set it up? I am actually using a Linux based OS (Android x86's Port - Prime OS). I had no problems setting it up to dual boot with Windows. Sorry if I'm being wrong. I dont know if there is any difference between installing linux distros and Linux-based OS'es like this. And I also know how to boot from .iso images using EasyBCD (it is how i installed windows 10 from windows 7 [upgrade]). And that is how I installed prime OS. Or if there is any other way of doing it or the right way to do it, let me know ;)


I never heard that Manjaro is lightweight or else I think I'm mistaken about it. I never found someone telling Manjaro is lightweight other than telling the old versions. I want something up-to-date to this day that is lightweight, not an old version
  • 1 GB RAM I wouldn't run it with less than 2GB though or it will be useless during updates.
  • 1 GHz Processor
  • 30 GB free hard disk size
  • Bootable media ( ISO, DVD &s USB drive)
  • Based on Arch so it always has the latest updates ready when you want to install without having to reinstall the entire OS.
  • Arch packages are more current than Debian Stable, so if you're looking at Distros based around Debian stable "all Ubuntu and Mint" then your not getting the latest features but you do get a solid OS that works.
I test distros on this Laptop https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834157534
Phenom II Quad-Core P940
4GB of RAM
225gb SSD

ATI Radeon HD 4250

It's big.. old.. slow but great for playing around with Linux since drivers are never an issue.
 
May 31, 2019
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Hello all. So today, I have thought today of changing to Linux cause my hardware is going too old overtime very quickly and isn't capable of running Windows 10 at a very good speed with the best performance settings applied possibly that I can change... So that's the reason I am now wanting to switch to Linux.

But here, the problem is that I am totally a newbie to Linux, that I don't know about any commands and what they do. And it is also worth mentioning that I have a very old PC that is not very good. So I want a lightweight Linux distribution made for beginners.

I expect these features:
-) Has a desktop environment out-of-the-box
-) Is easy to install apps ie. has an app store (like Gnome Software)
-) Doesn't need to type commands for daily usage (Uninstalling apps, Update settings, Get reports of hardware, etc..)
-) Is very lightweight in resource consumption

My PC's specifications are:
-) Intel Core 2 Duo E4400 Dual-Core Processor clocked at 2.00GhZ
-) 2GB DDR2-333MhZ RAM
-) 256MB Intel 82945G Express Chipset Family
-) 160GB 7200RPM Seagate Barracuda HDD (To be honest, I am not willing to cheap out on storage to install the OS, more information below)
-) 1366x768@60Hz Resolution support

So what I will be doing first is, I will install the distro you recommended aside Windows 10 for Dual Booting and if I am satisfied, I will clean install my PC with the Linux distro. So I want a Linux Distro that is good for beginners and is lightweight! I recommend any distro that is around 4GB of size but not higher than 5GB.

Thank you,
Best,
Krish KM.
Over the last couple years i have tried out about twenty Linux distros. As a XP Pro fan I only found four to be usable. My absolute minimum requirement was for the distro to run in LiveCD mode, and automatically connect to the internet. Only MX Linux, TAILS, Linux Mint, and AntiX did so....all the rest required me to fuss with the 'internet connection', try to guess how to configure it, and mostly fail. Of the four that passed muster, MX Linux is my 'pick of the litter', chosen for ease of use, and intuitiveness of layout. I have been using it as LiveCD a few hours most every day, to teach myself Linux.

My second choice is TAILS for ease of use. Third place is shared by Linux Mint and AntiX, which are pretty much equal...not so easy to use, and layout requires more effort to find stuff....but still usable. Anyway, MX Linux meets all your requirements. Boots into desktop environment (I think its XFCE). Has its own app store, plus Synaptic. I think it has CLI capability, but I have never used it. The only typing I have done is the password 'root'. I believe once installed, one can do 'root' and 'user' accounts to avoid this. Not sure about the "resource consumption". The reviews I have seen (https://opensource.com/article/18/2/mx-linux-17-distro-beginners) suggest it's mid-size.

I have a used Dell Optiplex 755, and MX Linux runs fine in LiveCD mode, which is optimal for test-drives. I'd recommend looking over the loads of MX Linux review videos on Youtube to see how it works before you try it, and also be familiar with the user manual (https://www.mxlinux.org/user_manual_mx16/mxum.html)
 

doolittle

Distinguished
Guys, leave the old topics. So is Lubuntu good to go for me as a beginner?
Yes
...
My PC's specifications are:
-) Intel Core 2 Duo E4400 Dual-Core Processor clocked at 2.00GhZ
-) 2GB DDR2-333MhZ RAM
-) 256MB Intel 82945G Express Chipset Family
-) 160GB 7200RPM Seagate Barracuda HDD (To be honest, I am not willing to cheap out on storage to install the OS, more information below)
-) 1366x768@60Hz Resolution support
...
I have a very similar rig at my parents house, a Celeron E3400 w/ 4Gb ram and an HD 4670 1gb that is currently running Lubuntu and Steam for some old-school gaming (CS:GO, HL2 and the like) with an old 1280x1024 VGA monitor.

Also works as a pseudo-HTPC with a second screen connected to an old 720P HDTV, was a bit of pain to find the proper settings since it did not auto-detect properly (common with generic HDTVs with cheap chips) and just needed a bit of CLI goodness to get it fixed up 100%.
 
Apr 4, 2019
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Yes

I have a very similar rig at my parents house, a Celeron E3400 w/ 4Gb ram and an HD 4670 1gb that is currently running Lubuntu and Steam for some old-school gaming (CS:GO, HL2 and the like) with an old 1280x1024 VGA monitor.

Also works as a pseudo-HTPC with a second screen connected to an old 720P HDTV, was a bit of pain to find the proper settings since it did not auto-detect properly (common with generic HDTVs with cheap chips) and just needed a bit of CLI goodness to get it fixed up 100%.
Oh yeah, thats rig is still better than mine... But anyways, glad for your answer.! I will install Lubuntu soon

Linux Mint is quite easy to use....

(Manjaro and MX Linux are popular as well)
Umm okay? But what about Lubuntu? ..

Over the last couple years i have tried out about twenty Linux distros. As a XP Pro fan I only found four to be usable. My absolute minimum requirement was for the distro to run in LiveCD mode, and automatically connect to the internet. Only MX Linux, TAILS, Linux Mint, and AntiX did so....all the rest required me to fuss with the 'internet connection', try to guess how to configure it, and mostly fail. Of the four that passed muster, MX Linux is my 'pick of the litter', chosen for ease of use, and intuitiveness of layout. I have been using it as LiveCD a few hours most every day, to teach myself Linux.

My second choice is TAILS for ease of use. Third place is shared by Linux Mint and AntiX, which are pretty much equal...not so easy to use, and layout requires more effort to find stuff....but still usable. Anyway, MX Linux meets all your requirements. Boots into desktop environment (I think its XFCE). Has its own app store, plus Synaptic. I think it has CLI capability, but I have never used it. The only typing I have done is the password 'root'. I believe once installed, one can do 'root' and 'user' accounts to avoid this. Not sure about the "resource consumption". The reviews I have seen (https://opensource.com/article/18/2/mx-linux-17-distro-beginners) suggest it's mid-size.

I have a used Dell Optiplex 755, and MX Linux runs fine in LiveCD mode, which is optimal for test-drives. I'd recommend looking over the loads of MX Linux review videos on Youtube to see how it works before you try it, and also be familiar with the user manual (https://www.mxlinux.org/user_manual_mx16/mxum.html)
Ok this is giving me some confidence about MX Linux.. Both of you (mdd1963 and orindaz) were telling about it.. Hmmm
 

reggyboy61

Honorable
Oct 3, 2013
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I have been dual booting with Mint 19.1 and have now completely removed w10 from laptop and gone with Mint 19.1 very easy to use for those using Linux for first time.
 

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