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Old Jun 4th 2017, 6:32 pm   #1
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Default Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

My mother in law doesn't do that much on her HP laptop. No movies, no surfing, no emails, just a few games - Bookworm, Bejeweled, find hidden objects etc.

She does some banking and likes to read the site for the French newspaper in Montreal where she's from and she complains it's slow.

From the time I have spent on her laptop it would drive me up the wall if it were mine.

It was 2gb RAM but now 6, which I'd have thought was fine for such limited use but I assume the AMD E1-6010 1.4ghz processor is so low end that extra RAM doesn't make much difference.

Since she was kind enough to buy my laptop for me a few years ago, when money was tight, I thought I'd return the favour soon.

Rather than binning the current one or trying to sell it, I wondered if - mainly for the fun of experimenting - would it be worth trying to make some use of it with a Linus OS?

Anyone have an opinion on how well it would run?

Other than the slowness when surfing it's not that bad...nice appearance, not heavy, nice feel and very good sound.

It's a better laptop than her grandson uses, but internet use seems slower than his.

If Linux made for a better internet experience than now, maybe he'd gain out of it too?
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Old Jun 4th 2017, 7:25 pm   #2
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

If you have some computer technical knowledge, linux OS is fine on old computers. I have a laptop with dual operating system windows 7 and linux.
Linux does not have the same number of programs as windows.
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Old Jun 5th 2017, 1:52 am   #3
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoff52 View Post
If you have some computer technical knowledge, linux OS is fine on old computers. I have a laptop with dual operating system windows 7 and linux.
That depends on who I'm being compared with.
I'm a beginner compared to the folk on this part of the forum but I've picked up a few things over the years while other aspects will make my eyes glaze over.

However, in 2015, I was able to do a clean install of W10 onto my W7 laptop and dual boot.

I anticipated it would be similar to try Linux on this one and dual boot with W10.

It's not that old actually. Originally a W8.1, bought new in 2015 and then upgraded to 10.
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Old Jun 5th 2017, 2:15 am   #4
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

I find linux mint the best version of linux.
Download the linux from the free sites.
Format the hard drive, go into the bios to change from which external drive you want the computer to boot from.
If you have windows 7 you can partition the hard drive (dont need to format the whole drive) and have a dual booting machine.
You need to make a bootable linux mint dvd or USB drive. Then boot the machine.
If you want more details there are plenty of internet sites that provide more details than I have given above.
I dont have computing background and I can do this, so you should be OK.

Last edited by geoff52; Jun 5th 2017 at 2:18 am.
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Old Jun 5th 2017, 7:08 am   #5
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

The easiest and most reliable version by far is UBUNTU which is free to download.
A 'clean' install is a bit beyond those without some IT experience, but UBUNTU will allow you to download and then install with the choice to delete the old windows installation as part of the process.

In 99.9% of cases it works perfectly well and quite swiftly on old 'branded' laptops and has all the basic functions available for daily tasks and entertainment.

https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop
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Old Jun 5th 2017, 2:15 pm   #6
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoff52 View Post
I find linux mint the best version of linux.
Is mint the same as peppermint or two different things?.
Quote:
If you have windows 7 you can partition the hard drive (dont need to format the whole drive) and have a dual booting machine.
It's W10. The HD is already partitioned and I was thinking to expand it. The HD is 500 so plenty of room.
Quote:
You need to make a bootable linux mint dvd or USB drive. Then boot the machine.
Yep, same as when I added 10 to my 7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calman014 View Post
The easiest and most reliable version by far is UBUNTU which is free to download.
Any reason? I read something that said peppermint was simple.

Quote:
A 'clean' install is a bit beyond those without some IT experience, but UBUNTU will allow you to download and then install with the choice to delete the old windows installation as part of the process.
My clean install/dual boot worked very well back in 2015. I even copied some stuff from one to the other.

Quote:
In 99.9% of cases it works perfectly well and quite swiftly on old 'branded' laptops
That's what I was hoping, thanks.
Quote:
and has all the basic functions available for daily tasks and entertainment.
In the event I replaced windows rather than dual booted, are things like Libre Office/Open Office/Thunderbird compatible with Linux/Ubuntu?

Thanks for the link...I'll look if/when the time comes.
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Old Jun 5th 2017, 4:40 pm   #7
 
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

She sounds like she is consuming content rather than creating it.
Have you considered a tablet, or a Chromebook instead?
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Old Jun 5th 2017, 4:53 pm   #8
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

So many "distros" so little time!
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Old Jun 5th 2017, 4:55 pm   #9
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

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Have you considered a tablet, or a Chromebook instead?
Yes, but she's not keen on a smaller screen.
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Old Jun 5th 2017, 5:54 pm   #10
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

Either Mint or Ubuntu will give you the flexibility you need. Libre Office files are compatible.
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Old Jun 5th 2017, 6:12 pm   #11
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

Download for linux mint.

https://www.linuxmint.com/

There are several version of linux. I just prefer linux mint, you can choose your own version.
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Old Jun 5th 2017, 6:21 pm   #12
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by calman014 View Post
Either Mint or Ubuntu will give you the flexibility you need. Libre Office files are compatible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoff52 View Post
Download for linux mint.

https://www.linuxmint.com/
Thank you both.

Linus Mint Serena......boy, did I once have a thing about a girl called Serena.

Last edited by BristolUK; Jun 5th 2017 at 6:23 pm.
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Old Jun 5th 2017, 6:44 pm   #13
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinbrit View Post
She sounds like she is consuming content rather than creating it...
Can I just pick up on this..I assume you mean surfing/gaming rather than program related stuff.

Her laptop - HP. Was 2gb RAM, now 6. AMD E1-6010 1.4ghz
Mine - Gateway. Was 4gb, now 8. Intel Celeron B820 1.70ghz

Both 500/5400 HDD. Mine is 3 years older and I believe my processor is rated slightly better. But even with 4gb RAM compared to her 6 mine was never slow on the internet (and I'm a heavy internet user) like hers is.

I have been made familiar with the "more RAM beats processor" mantra but is it possible that sometimes the processors are so poor that RAM isn't going to help much? Or is she just unlucky with her HP laptop?
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Old Jun 6th 2017, 8:47 am   #14
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

More RAM is always snapped up by Windows, but the underlying processor and harddrive also have a big influence on speed. Linux uses the hardware and memory more efficiently so should appear relatively fast anyway.
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Old Jun 6th 2017, 11:54 am   #15
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Default Re: Is it worth trying Linux on low end laptop?

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Originally Posted by calman014 View Post
More RAM is always snapped up by Windows, but the underlying processor and harddrive also have a big influence on speed. Linux uses the hardware and memory more efficiently so should appear relatively fast anyway.
So there ought to be an improvement for her limited use in switching from a 6gb, 500 HDD (5400) and AMD E1-6010 1.4ghz to, say, 6gb, 1TB HDD (5400) and AMD A6-7310 2.0 ghz (it 'scores' three times the E1)
I have this one in mind for her at the moment. RAM can also be increased to 16.

You've made me look forward to the Linux experiment on her current laptop so much, I'm tempted to bring forward her birthday.
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