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  1. #1
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Installing Ubuntu

    I have an old laptop that is currently a dual boot, Windows XP/Ubuntu 11.x. It is dog-slow in Ubuntu. I'm guessing that some of that is due to the dual boot. I'm contemplating just making the machine all Ubuntu or all Linux. The biggest use will be as a testbed for Blender. I assume that I'd make it Ubuntu 13.04.

    Doing the dual boot was pretty straightforward as I always had an operating system. I'm unsure what the situation is if you clean off the machine and just make it Ubuntu, and unsure how to do it.

    Any tips or suggestions?

    Thanks.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Found a walk through on how to do a clean install of Ubuntu 13.04 on youtube- http://youtu.be/fnv1jdtLkpw. He did it with a clean HD to begin with (unsure if never used new or simply wiped clean).

    You might want to compare the recommended specs for that OS with your hardware. Back when I was playing around with the various distros, I noticed that some of the more user friendly/full featured ones had started to require more resources for optimized performance.
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  3. #3
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    try lubuntu or puppy linux on old machines

  4. #4
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Could you post the hardware specs? Processor speed, how much RAM is installed, what kind of graphics it has.

    How I've done it:
    Enter the BIOS, and set the CD to be first in the boot sequence. Boot from the CD. You'll get to the point where the installer will ask how you want to
    setup the drive. Just take the entire drive.

    If you cannot live with the Unity interface, you can install another interface. Gnome 3 can be installed by entering sudo apt-get install gnome-panel.
    An interface with more "goodies" is the KDE interface. But, your graphics may not support this. slightly different command:
    sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop.


    Off-topic: A pretty cool Linux mag is Linux Format. This British publication is rather expensive though, so see of your local library
    has it. If they don't, suggest it. Lots of good, technical information, presented in a humorous format.

  5. #5
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    I don't think a fresh install will speed it up enough to notice.

    Adding memory often helps to speed things up, mainly by keeping copies of recently used disk blocks in memory. That's hundreds ( or thousands?) of times faster than getting the same data or program files from the disk.

    To check your memory usage:

    open up a text window, and type in this command:
    free

    You'll get a result like this. (I had to fake the column spacing with dots here)
    .......total...used ..free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 4147196 4129644 17552 .....0 . 60384 3624052

    Swap: 4128760 ..352 4128408


    With linux, most of the memory is always "used", since most of the spare memory is temporarily used for disk "buffers" or disk "cache", keeping just a small amount completely free. Buffers or cache are automatically reused for programs as needed.

    This machine has 4,147,196K of memory, or 4GB. Of that, 17MB is unused, 60MB is sortof for opened files, and 3.6GB is cached disk blocks. Most all of the currently used data and program files are still in memory from the first time they were accessed off the disk, making it way faster.

    If your machine has only enough memory for a small amount of cached blocks, it'll be slower. And if the line that shows "swap" keeps changing it's "used" count as you rerun the 'free' command, then it's really slow, by needing to use some of the disk space to substitute for memory.

    (If you haven't done much on the machine "recently", you may see a higher percentage of "free". That's okay.)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You can download a unbuntu or other linux .iso DVD image file, then burn it to a DVD. It'll be a bootable DVD.

    Some of the new linuxes, like Linux Mint, won't install on older 32 bit machines that aren't "PAE" enabled. The install complains right at the beginning, before it changes anything.

    I don't use Ubuntu, but it's probably like most other linux distros. You'll need to back up your files that you want to keep. Then boot the Unbuntu DVD. There should be an option to install and "use the whole disk". This will erase and reformat the disk.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 01-15-14 at 08:06 PM.

  6. #6
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I am not sure the dual-boot setup would impair performance... unless you have very little RAM and a tiny swap partition.

    But I would second Windy's endorsement of lubuntu or xubuntu over regular ubuntu. The simpler graphical environments are much easier on machines with poor graphics cards and/or not that much RAM. If you were sufficiently adventurous, you could make the leap to an even lighter-weight Debian derivative and try CrunchBang Linux also.

    As to the installation, this is simple... delete all of the partitions and then have the installer partition the disk for you or have it make them as you wish. There is usually a "use entire disk" option with several disclaimers attached.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: I openSUSE: III

  7. #7
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    Could you post the hardware specs? Processor speed, how much RAM is installed, what kind of graphics it has.
    It's an old laptop. A Dell Inspiron B120 with a Celeron M processor. 1.6 Ghz, 504 Megs of RAM. The graphics chip is an Intel 915GM/GMS 910 GML Express with 128 MB of graphics ram.

    What Blender is wanting is GNU/Linux
    Requires glibc 2.11. Suits most recent GNU/Linux distributions.

    I know little about which flavors of this are the best.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 01-15-14 at 10:24 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    On my original eeePC-701 with similar specs, I've run every version of Ubuntu since 8.04. Each and every version has required more memory and faster CPU for the same subjective speed impression. I've quit doing that and gone back to the 9.10 NBR version and am using the eeePC-701 as my media-server. Sends a 65" TV with video and audio using movies served up by a 25tb Openfiler box on the network. Any version of Ubuntu later than 9.10 causes jerky video and audio above 480p.

  9. #9
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Well, since my make or break requirement is glibc 2.11, I looked for it's first release date and found it first appeared on 29-Dec-2009. The oldest ubuntu since then is 10.04. I'm currently running 11.10. Upgrading to 13.04 seems like a bad idea. I'm not sure if dropping back to 10.04 is worth it. I don't know how much it will save. I looked at puppy, but wasn't able to figure out if it supports glibc 2.11. I'll continue to look.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  10. #10
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Well, since my make or break requirement is glibc 2.11, I looked for it's first release date and found it first appeared on 29-Dec-2009. The oldest ubuntu since then is 10.04. I'm currently running 11.10. Upgrading to 13.04 seems like a bad idea. I'm not sure if dropping back to 10.04 is worth it. I don't know how much it will save. I looked at puppy, but wasn't able to figure out if it supports glibc 2.11. I'll continue to look.
    Debian 7 would eliminate all of the Ubuntu silliness. You may have to jump through a hoop or three if it has wireless, though.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: I openSUSE: III

  11. #11
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I checked into Puppy and found way to many complaints of needing glibc 2.11 to run this or that, so no Puppy. It looks like Debian 6 has glibc 2.11, so it or Debian 7 might work. Wireless is not a make or break feature. I'm not sure if wireless is even still enabled on that computer. I'll have to check that as well.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  12. #12
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    wow i thought my machines was old. i think the low amount of ram is ya issue

  13. #13
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I checked into Puppy and found way to many complaints of needing glibc 2.11 to run this or that, so no Puppy. It looks like Debian 6 has glibc 2.11, so it or Debian 7 might work. Wireless is not a make or break feature. I'm not sure if wireless is even still enabled on that computer. I'll have to check that as well.
    If it is Broadcom, there will be hoops, if it's Atheros, not so much.

    Go for Debian 7 over 6, then install XFCE for the desktop instead of GNOME or KDE.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: I openSUSE: III

  14. #14
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by windhchaser View Post
    wow i thought my machines was old. i think the low amount of ram is ya issue
    Nah, the issue is the low level of cash in my bank account.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  15. #15
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    If it is Broadcom, there will be hoops, if it's Atheros, not so much.

    Go for Debian 7 over 6, then install XFCE for the desktop instead of GNOME or KDE.
    I recall seeing the word Broadcom, but not sure if it's on that machine. I'll check.

    Thanks for all your help.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Nah, the issue is the low level of cash in my bank account.
    been there

  17. #17
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I recall seeing the word Broadcom, but not sure if it's on that machine. I'll check.

    Thanks for all your help.
    No sweat. I tried to start a cycling discussion in a Linux forum once and it died after someone said "you guys all sound so white" around post 15. So I prefer to do it the other way around and discuss Linux in a cycling forum.

    As to the wireless chips, that was the most black-and-white way I could put it... but some Broadcoms are better supported than others, and there are many other wirelss chipsets in the sea. I have an old dell with an sort-of supported Broadcom wireless card that I leave turned off and use a $12 USB dongle (it's got a Ralink chipset) for.

    You will want Debian 7 over 6 because the hardware support in general is a whole ton better with the 3.2 kernel in Debian 7 than the older 2.6 kernel in 6. And, it being Debian, is pretty much as cruft-free as they come without it being Slackware, Arch, or Gentoo.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: I openSUSE: III

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    i was surprised puppy had support for my wifi

  19. #19
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    No sweat. I tried to start a cycling discussion in a Linux forum once and it died after someone said "you guys all sound so white" around post 15. So I prefer to do it the other way around and discuss Linux in a cycling forum.
    I'm just waiting for Google to buy Specialized or Trek to make GoogleBikes, and they can track every place that you ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    As to the wireless chips, that was the most black-and-white way I could put it... but some Broadcoms are better supported than others, and there are many other wirelss chipsets in the sea. I have an old dell with an sort-of supported Broadcom wireless card that I leave turned off and use a $12 USB dongle (it's got a Ralink chipset) for.
    I've got a netgear wireless USB, so I can try that. This machine is my weakest machine, which why it was chosen. It's expendable.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    You will want Debian 7 over 6 because the hardware support in general is a whole ton better with the 3.2 kernel in Debian 7 than the older 2.6 kernel in 6. And, it being Debian, is pretty much as cruft-free as they come without it being Slackware, Arch, or Gentoo.
    I'll check it out.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  20. #20
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I'm just waiting for Google to buy Specialized or Trek to make GoogleBikes, and they can track every place that you ride.
    There ARE indeed Google Bikes, but they usually contract out to someone else to make them and most of them only exist on Google campuses. A couple did turn up in our mobile home park when we lived in Sunnyvale, though. I have no idea if they are tracked or not.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: I openSUSE: III

  21. #21
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    There ARE indeed Google Bikes, but they usually contract out to someone else to make them and most of them only exist on Google campuses. A couple did turn up in our mobile home park when we lived in Sunnyvale, though. I have no idea if they are tracked or not.
    I knew that Google had bikes on their campus. I was kind of tongue in cheek suggesting what might happen if Google sold bikes nationwide. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if they turned up in a place like Washington DC as part of Capital Bikeshare. A built-in google map for tourists, with the Bikeshare locations might be a doable thing.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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