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jjackson2004Flag for United States of America

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Best linux for older Dell laptop

I inherited an old laptop that I wanted to setup for my son to watch either videos or youtube on browser.  The windows is corrupted beyond repair, so I want to put linux on it.  I am open to suggestions as to the best linux version to try.  I have dealt with Ubuntu on desktops; difficult to get used to.

Thanks for all suggestions.
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John
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Ubuntu is one of the most popular distributions and one of the easiest to use. I have a couple of Ubunutu virtual machines along with SuSE and older RedHat. Ubuntu is the easiest of this lot.

So then if you find Ubuntu difficult to get used to, get a Windows XP license on eBay (legal, of course) and install XP on it.

... Thinkpads_User
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Wow, that seems like a political response or at least a soapbox speech.  Have plenty of Windows XP licenses from old computers.  I wish to explore Linux.  If I am not mistaken, SuSE and Redhat required cash outlays, so I it against what I was looking for.  Linux is for the masses and I was asking for the one people thought best for a laptop.
Wow, that seems like a political response or at least a soapbox speech

That was a purely technical comment based on personal experience. Why would you think differently?

SuSE was free (although I purchased a box set to get support). RedHat was free (back then) although I purchased one boxe set to get support and downloaded future versions for nothing.

Linux has very tiny market share precisely because it is not for the masses.

So then stick with Ubuntu. It is the easiest of the lot and then spend the time to learn it.

... Thinkpads_User
Well when I googled the question, I found numerous responses about the lack of speed with Ubuntu.  And if you would go back and rationally read your response, you could reason why I would think differently.

But since you seem to be very informed about SuSE, I wish to get a version of the server that will support printing for a desktop as I am trying to mimic old 4.1Novell print server (for free). Can you point me in the correct direction?  I will open a new question if you need.

Secondly, When Redhat first came out, it was for fee as it was a version that offered support.  I did not follow it after that, so maybe it became a free version.
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As for the other remark, Linux is for the "free" masses.  Most of the dumb masses of the country use the software their company use.
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What are the difficulties you experience? I'd try a few live CD's if I were you, Mint 14 xfce for example or LUbuntu.
@jjackson2004

Another approach if you want to learn Linux, is to put old Windows on the old laptop for your son.

Then get a copy of VMware Workstation V9 for your own machine. Download a couple of modern distributions, install them and test them. Learn how to network them.

It seems better to learn a modern version of Linux, just like it is better to learn modern versions of Windows. But modern operating systems need more horsepower than older operating systems.

So you have a couple of alternatives to consider here.

.... Thinkpads_User
I found and download Lunbuntu soon after the first response to this question.  Not terribly impressed with it, but it did seem to have all the necessary drivers, especially the wireless.  

In response to  @dbrunton, the printer server was a separate issue.  No the laptop is not involved for that, but I have several old desktops and old server that I would try.  What were the other program besides MarsNWE?

Thanks

 And the laptop is an old Inspiron, the one with the large screen E1705..
If this is dual core and 2 Gb of memory then it should run pretty much any of the Linuxes.

If only 1 Gb then max it out with 2 Gb.  Much like Windows, likes memory.

I'm a fan of the Suse products.  It's not necessarily lightweight but it does the job.

Samba is the other product if you want to do networking.  Can imitate Windows networking, domains and such stuff.
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any comment on my post, regarding light linux?
have not had much time to mess with it.  Wound up just buying him a new Windows PC.
if no more help is needed - don't forget to close this