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Streamlining Ubuntu on an Old Laptop

Posted on 2006-06-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I installed Ubuntu 5.04: Hoary Hedgehog Release on an old Dell Inspiron 3000 laptop that was running Win95. Additional info:

200MHZ Pentium MMX
128MB RAM

This machine will be used for lightweight web surfing.  

Ubuntu is running sloooooowly. Is there anything I can do to streamline Ubuntu so it will run faster on this old laptop?

Thanks!
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Question by:jrmattox
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nedvis earned 500 total points
ID: 16925156
You know what : Ubuntu 5.04 is sloooooow even on my   450 MHz Pentium II with 382 SDRAM megabytes memory .
Simply put latest Linux distributions running in full graphical mode requires minimum Pentium II 450 MHZ .
You ought to  try other  Linux distributions more suitable for your oldie 200 megahers laptop e.g.
Zenwalk Linux ( http://www.zenwalk.org )  , Vector Linux SOHO  ()  or Slax ( http://www.slax.org ) .
 Very fast Linux distributions are also Slackware 10.x and Ark Linux ( http://www.arklinux.org )
You can also try latest Xubuntu Dapper Drake with lightweight desktop XFCE ( and not Gnome )
There's  also Damn Small Linux which you can boot from Live CD but I dont think you'll be sattisfied with their applications set.


And ,yes, ther is the way to streamline Ubuntu  by stopping or preventing from running certain services at system boot
but , again, you wont see much difference nor speed gain. Ubuntu will simply swallow all available memory ( as any other
most recent Linux distribution)

The only  Linux distros I've run on Pentium I  233 MHz  at acceptable speed/responsivness  were Mandrake 8 , RedHat 7.2
Slackware 9.1 and SuSE 8.2
Pentium 200 megaherz is simply no go for latest  Linux packages unless you want to turn your PC/laptop into command line
Linux geek-box.

sincerely
nedvis
P.S.
If you want to get more informations about more suitable distributions for your laptop please visit :
http://desktoplinuxathome.com/distro.html
and use their Linux distro selector


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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 16925682
Which GUI are you running? KDE and Gnome both will slow the system down. I don't know ubuntu that well and therefore I'm not sure if it comes by default with other GUI's as does knoppix. powerfull and yet lean and pretty fast is fluxbox (I think DSL suggested above uses fluxbox), and also xfce is quite fast. Try installing either of those GUI's if they aren't already included. Or as also already suggested get DSL and use that, there is even a webbrowser included there...

A further alternative is the full UBCD. This CD contains many tools that are essential for diagnosing PC's etc, and the full version also includes a linux with GUI, insert, which is similar to DSL and fast.
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