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Planning on installing Linux (Ubuntu?) for the first time

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#1
I have a very old laptop which slow as hell, so I want to install Linux on it and give it to my mum (she literally just browses the internet)

I've never used Linux before, but I've read you can boot linux and run it from a USB stick; I want to do this first before installing it to the hard drive to see what it's like

I've tried this , but it says "an error occured while executing syslinux. Your USB drive won't be bootable" :(

Also on the drop down list provided in the install app, which version of Ubuntu should I install? 'cos there's loadsss
 
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#2
Assuming the laptop has a dvd/cd drive you can download a live distro that will allow you to test it without installing.

Dont get ubunut for an old computer get xubuntu or Lubuntu, Puppy Linux and DSL (damn small linux) are also lightweight although not based on ubuntu.

http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
That program will install a linux distro from the drop down menu to a USB stick, you need the iso file for a distro first.

Universal USB installer is a similar program but ive never used it before. The advantages of installing it to a flash drive is it will act like a properly installed operating system rather than a live distro which gets wiped from the ram when you shut it down.
 
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#3
Assuming the laptop has a dvd/cd drive you can download a live distro that will allow you to test it without installing.

Dont get ubunut for an old computer get xubuntu or Lubuntu, Puppy Linux and DSL (damn small linux) are also lightweight although not based on ubuntu.

http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
That program will install a linux distro from the drop down menu to a USB stick, you need the iso file for a distro first.

Universal USB installer is a similar program but ive never used it before. The advantages of installing it to a flash drive is it will act like a properly installed operating system rather than a live distro which gets wiped from the ram when you shut it down.
Well it's a laptop from 2004, but the more lightweight the better

I'll try Xubuntu first :)
 
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#4
unetbootin is another easy program to use to install bootloaders and images to flash drives, btw. Try linux mint if you dont have your heart too set on ubuntu, its also pretty good for beginners.
 
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#5
Yah as others have said stay away from the latest Ubuntu. I'd personally suggest the XFCE (maybe LXDE if the pc is too old) Linux Mint versions/ I have an old laptop from 2005 which buzzes along happily with Mint Katya under Gnome. Mint is based on Debian just like Ubuntu and I don't know why but it feels faster and speedier.
 
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#6
I have been meaning to try the latest mint, but I agree, even with the graphics effects turned all up, it still seems really quick. Unity I believe is alot of the sluggshness in newer versions of ubuntu. I run ubuntu 11.10 with gnome 3 at work, on a pentium 4 box w/ 2gb of ram and it seems to fly. you wont see many compatibility issues with either distro really. hell I even got the ubuntu pc to join the windows domain with ease.
 
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#7
Assuming the laptop has a dvd/cd drive you can download a live distro that will allow you to test it without installing.

Dont get ubunut for an old computer get xubuntu or Lubuntu, Puppy Linux and DSL (damn small linux) are also lightweight although not based on ubuntu.

http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
That program will install a linux distro from the drop down menu to a USB stick, you need the iso file for a distro first.

Universal USB installer is a similar program but ive never used it before. The advantages of installing it to a flash drive is it will act like a properly installed operating system rather than a live distro which gets wiped from the ram when you shut it down.
Totally didnt notice you had already mentioned unetbootin, my bad. :rolleyes:
 
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#8
I installed Mint 11 just the other day, very friendly. Ubuntu will be just like it, easy install, lite on the hardware, and probably will work fine.
 

brandonwh64

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#9
Mlee has a good point, I would install Mint!
 
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#10
Is it possible to install Mint without burning to CD?
 
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#12
Better do it with Unetbootin (let it put the .iso file on a USB), assuming that the laptop can boot from USB. And consider the LXDE version of Mint, which is more simple than the Gnome shell that Mint uses.
 
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#13
Is it possible to install Mint without burning to CD?
Not sure about linux but with windows you can start the installtion process from within windows just by running the iso.


Just loads the file into the ram/page file and adds a note about it so when it restarts it carrys on.

I would be quite surprised if linux didn't have that yet.
 
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#15
Oh you should be fine with Ubuntu on that rig. My Main Ubuntu rig is based off a Athlon xp system. It runs just fine