Linux For The Novice With Older Hardware

There are  a lot of these types of articles, and of course they all reflect personal opinion to a greater or lesser degree. This one focuses on older hardware, a six-year-old laptop in this case, so I can relate to it, I myself have a four-year old laptop that is still going strong thanks to an SSD upgrade last year.

I am currently running Ubuntu Mate and a couple of other recent favorite Linux versions are Linux Mint MATE and Elementary OS.

The writer tries out three prospective Linux distributions [Linux Mint MATE, Manjaro Xfce and  PCLinux OS MATE] on their older netbook, with pretty good results for all.
The important points are:
  • CPU: Intel Atom N450 Dual Core
  • RAM: 1GB (I have increased mine to 2GB)
  • Display: 10.1" 1024x600
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 3150
  • HDD: 250GB (no, not SSD, this is an old, small, spinning disk drive)
  • WiFi: Broadcom BCM4313 802.11bgn
That's not a lot of power to be working with, so it is really important to stick with lightweight Linux distributions. This is one of the systems where you can really see the difference between running Gnome 3, KDE Plasma or Cinnamon and running Xfce, LXDE or MATE.

ZDNET

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