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Thinking of moving an old laptop from XP to Linux

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#1
It's an 8 year old laptop that my mother uses. Would Linux be straightforward to use coming from Windows?
Also does it have lower spec requirements? I want it to run faster than XP does atm!
Also which version of Linux should I download?
 
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#2
Where linux really struggles is in the compatibility with peripherals. Some people follow the school of thought that "if you set it up for them, and they only do routine internet and word processing tasks, it will be ok" - but in this day and age, it's just not worth it.

I would put windows 7 on it - w7 runs fine on atoms and really old hardware, and with a bit of ram she would be better off than a linux distro.

If you were to go, I would go ubuntu + Gnome, but honestly it will not run much faster than a clean install of XP from what I remember. Windows 8 is supposed to be super light and meant for tablets, maybe that route would be even better.
 
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#3
A lot of laptop wifi cards don't work with linux so I'd check that out for sure.
 

DARKADAM

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#4
One problem with linux is drivers. You will Most Likely have to code t
some parts by yourself... Wi-Fi cards seem to be the main issue here, as I found out on my Compaq Laptop.
 
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#5
You could always try it out with a usb or cd
 
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#6
It's an 8 year old laptop that my mother uses. Would Linux be straightforward to use coming from Windows? Also which version of Linux should I download?
I'd say use Xubuntu. It's a scaled-down version of Ubuntu which runs better on older machines.

And don't worry about wi-fi mumbo-jumbo. All net/notebooks I've ever used with linux always recognized wifi.
 
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#7
And don't worry about wi-fi mumbo-jumbo. All net/notebooks I've ever used with linux always recognized wifi.
All I've tried don't work.

Individual experiences don't really count for much :laugh:
 
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#9
I am using Linux Mint(Debian Edition) on my Thinkpad T40 right now(MATE desktop environment). Works like a charm and the Mint-Menu is very similar to the windows experience.
 
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#10
from my expirience i never had problems with wi-fi..,and i try many versions of linux!to be honest i never had any problems with any driver!!! BUT u must know if u watch video on youtube on xp fine,on linux it will not be case! i think its flash for linux that sucks! and belive me try pupy for that laptop,it will impres u for it speed! u can ALWAYS live bot some os that u like and chek driver isue,and chek desktop expirience
 
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#11
im sry i must add one thing! with linux u have no problems with defragmenting(witch ur mom will never do),and cleaning registry just to improve speed of os! all o got to do is install and ur maintance free!! :) did i mention u dont need antivirus,witch will slow down bot time and response time
 
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#12
im sry i must add one thing! with linux u have no problems with defragmenting
In normal use Linux won't let fragmentation occur. However if hard drive is 80-90% full, you'll start to see some fragmentation.
 
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#14
LXDE for the desktop env. very fast
 
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#15
spec? 8-yo hardware should be well-supported if they're mainstream.

Also, Arch Linux all the way!
Isn't Arch a bit too technical for someone who seems to be a newbie with Linux? Last time I read about it, it was decribed as "for competent users" (distrowatch.com). I think that Debian with LXDE or XFCE is El Mayo's best bet (LXDE tends to be a little bit lighter than XFCE).
 

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#17
All I've tried don't work.

Individual experiences don't really count for much :laugh:
i've used linux a lot and i have never a had i prob with wifi cards. pci, usb and laptop have all worked 4 me without downloading a driver
 
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#18
Where linux really struggles is in the compatibility with peripherals. Some people follow the school of thought that "if you set it up for them, and they only do routine internet and word processing tasks, it will be ok" - but in this day and age, it's just not worth it.

I would put windows 7 on it - w7 runs fine on atoms and really old hardware, and with a bit of ram she would be better off than a linux distro.

If you were to go, I would go ubuntu + Gnome, but honestly it will not run much faster than a clean install of XP from what I remember. Windows 8 is supposed to be super light and meant for tablets, maybe that route would be even better.
seriously? are you kidding me? :eek:
what do you mean with a bit of ram she'd be better off than linux? does it mean, it will run faster than linux?
what programs or software did you use for comparing speed of linux and windows xp? or it was just booting process?
 
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#19
Linux Mint will have the support you need. Use the DVD version if it has a DVD rom otherwise use the CD.The DVD had flash already installed and more drivers
 
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#20
I say Lubuntu or Debian net-install + LXDE (or other lightweght DE like XFCE)
 
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#21
Need the system spec dude so we can help ya out more.

I run ubuntu on a very old laptop (2002-3 machine) and it runs fine on it.

Specs are a P4 2.0GHz, 1GB RAM, 30GB HDD IDE, some mega ass crappy intel graphics 64MB or less? i cant remember and i use one of those old school wireless cards that you slide down into the side of the laptop? all working perfectly.

The laptop doesnt have a DVD/CD drive, and wont boot from a USB drive, you ask how did you install the OS on it? i installed it from another computer, my old desktop, then put the HDD back into the laptop after it finished installing Ubuntu onto the laptop HDD via a USB connection and it booted up normally.

Linux rocks!!
 
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#22
Linux itself might not be able to detect or install the appropriate drivers for an older WiFi card, but shouldn't NDIS Wrapper overcome that? Or just buy a WiFi dongle.
 

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#23
provide specific brand, make, model number and the part number code from bottom
 
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#24
Would Linux be straightforward to use coming from Windows?
Also does it have lower spec requirements? I want it to run faster than XP does atm!
Also which version of Linux should I download?
No.
Some do, generally, especially those designated "for old computers"
Depends on hardware specs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That taken care of, general recommendations based on typical hardware specs for the day (2004)

If mobo maxes out at 512MB RAM
antiX or crunchbang or zenwalk-7-Openbox

If at least 768MB-1GB RAM
includes any of the above plus peppermint3
 
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#25
If AntiX is based on Debian testing, getting Debian Sid with the LXDE desktop may be a better choice (the Sid branch is likely to be more stable than the testing branch while it is still pretty modern in terms of the recency of the software). LXDE is also a bit like old school Windows interfaces so that may be practical for the user of the laptop. Doing computer management will still not be "straightforward" compared to Windows though, as chamaecyparis stated.

But because the topic starter has no Linux experience, installing Lubuntu or Linux Mint LXDE may be a better choice.