Loading Ubuntu onto an old laptop...

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Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
Hey all you Linux folks,

Anything special I should know about loading Ubuntu onto an old laptop? I've heard that Unbuntu usually runs well on older pcs that can no longer deal with Windows.

I'm trying to come up with something to use for general purpose web surfing and email while I save up for a new desktop.
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
I'd suggest a somewhat older version of Ubuntu, not the latest. There's also a myriad of other Linux distributions, such as Mint and PuppyLinux.

Burn a CD of the selected version.

Pop it into the drive of the laptop and then boot up. Follow the instructions from there.
 

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
Ubuntu would not load, either from my jump drive nor a cd.

I'm giving Puppy Linux a try. Seems to be working fine, so far. It found my wireless mouse, plays videos, and navigates to web. So far, so good.

However, I'm not quite sure that I have it actually installed on my hard drive. How can one tell?
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
Puppy Linux is designed to reside on and work from a jump drive.
I suppose you could move it over to the laptop's hard drive, but why bother?

I have an older desktop on which I recently tried to install one of the later Ubuntu editions.
Didn't work. My problem may have been similar to yours in that regard.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I'm running it from a CD. Does that matter? It will still let me save things to the hard drive, right?

It will set up a file on the hard drive which will save your bookmarks, documents, etc. But if you decide to make it your only operating system, I'd go ahead and do a full install.

Ubuntu is about as bloated as Windows, and I don't recommend it for older systems. I'm a Puppy fan, particularly for old or inexpensive laptops, but there are Linux versions that are more robust than Puppy but not as bloated as Ubuntu. When I spent most of my time on the road, I used Puppy for my laptop because it would boot much more quickly than Windows.
 

ClayPot

Puritan Board Sophomore
You'd want to install a new OS to your hard drive so that it's not running from your RAM alone or copying from your CD (which will be painfully slow). TigerVNC is a way of doing remote desktop, but I think you need a static IP address.
 

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
All attempts so far have been unsuccessful. Both Ubuntu 11 and Fedora 16 hang up during install, and I really messed things up trying to install Puppy Linux to the hard drive. Windows can't even boot up anymore.

I'm running DBAN on the machine right now then will try with an older version of Ubuntu. If that doesn't work, then I guess it's off to the recycling center. :um:
 

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
DBAN + Ubuntu 9.04 seems to have been the solution.

Still need to figure out how to get my PCI Wireless Card to work and would like to get the remote desktop function working. Otherwise I'm very pleased. This machine hasn't operated this smoothly in years. :D
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
search the Ubuntu forums for the solution on the wireless card.
I started with Ubuntu back about 9.04 and I remember that connecting up the wireless was a bit of a problem, for a lot of folks.
(just don't remember what the answer was!)
 

littlepeople

Puritan Board Freshman
what model is your pc. Or wireless card for that matter? As has been mentioned, ubuntu is grossly bloated especially in the visuals. It's not necessarily leaps and bounds beyond windows. I'm a big fan of crunch bang (#!) CrunchBang Linux - A nimble Openbox Linux distro linux mint is fine, and Jolicloud is pretty neat too. If you only want to surf, and use web apps, then ChromeOS is a great option too.

Do search the linux forums - someone else has fixed your problem at some point.
 
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