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#1 2018-12-31 16:06:28

sveMir
New Member
Registered: 2018-12-31
Posts: 2

Greetings from potential new user

Hi Everyone,

First of all, thank you for a great distro and even greater community. smile

I'm planning to bring back to life my very old laptop (HP Compaq nx8220 from 2006), and bunsenlabs seems like one of the best choices for such an old hardware. I plan to use it mainly for web browsing, reading books, and teaching my 10y old son basics of python programming. Plus, I would also like to get more familiar with linux command line environment (currently I am faithful user of ubuntu and I know the basics, but I would like to bring my skills to higher level).
So, my question is - will bunsenlabs run smoothly on such an old laptop and is it a good fit for my requirements? (see specs here: https://www.cnet.com/products/hp-compaq … dd-series/ )

Thank you.

Cheers,
Sven

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#2 2018-12-31 16:27:12

damo
....moderator....
Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 4,877

Re: Greetings from potential new user

Hi there and a potential welcome to BL smile

Try running a Live session, and see how it goes on your hardware.


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#3 2018-12-31 17:56:28

yoda
Member
Registered: 2018-12-28
Posts: 15

Re: Greetings from potential new user

I come from the Macintosh and later on windows world. Former IT consultant. And for the last 10+ years became linux addict.

I tried several distro ( distro hopper)  and depending of my neeeds and harware, BL (I recently discover too) is one of the fastest, most stable and " simply working out of the box" distro I tried.. It is now on my laptop and I intend to leave it there :-)

I tried many Ubuntu distros, Debian ones too ( KDE, Gnome and so on) and several light distros for my HP Stream (32 gig ssd 2 gig ram) from puppy linux, peppermint, elementary os,  lubuntu, xubuntu and for now after 2 years of trying different distros for my laptop, I just felt in love with bunsenlabs !

Enjoy and give yourself the time to learn find how to do things with BL. (cutomize menus, keybindings/shortcuts).  I am still learning ( trying to see how to customize my DESKTOP ( add a calender, weather LOL )

JF
MTl, Canada

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#4 2018-12-31 21:40:50

plemil
Member
From: Värnamo, SWEDEN
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 41

Re: Greetings from potential new user

Welcome to a excellent forum and I would say "Go for it!".
My main box is a NX9420 in the same time frame and I have no problem, I would suspect similar spec.

/Per

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#5 2019-01-01 08:31:51

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 5,229
Website

Re: Greetings from potential new user

It should run OK - I've got a couple of laptops perhaps even older, and they work.

Web browsing is the one point you might get stuck on, because web pages are using more and more resources these days. If that machine has only 500MB of RAM, you might consider going up to 1G, or even the maximum of 2G depending on how cheaply you can get it.

(On my laptops regular BunsenLabs usually starts up using just under ~200MB out of the 1G they have.)


John
--------------------
( a boring Japan blog , Japan Links, idle twitterings  and GitStuff )
In case you forget, the rules.

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#6 2019-01-01 10:17:00

Bearded_Blunder
Dodging A Bullet
From: Seat: seat0; vc7
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 730

Re: Greetings from potential new user

I had Bunsen on a Thinkpad with the same processor & 1 gig of RAM, was running nicely till i distro hopped to Gentoo with it, for the learning experience..  Just if you plan to open youtube, don't be expecting to be able to keep many more tabs open, do much of anything else at the same time.

Also runs OK on my ancient Acer Aspire One clone (which is the 32 bit version) great just as long as you don't get too many tabs open in your browser.

And welcome BTW, which is how I should have started this post.


Blessed is he who expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed...
If there's an obscure or silly way to break it, but you don't know what.. Just ask me

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#7 2019-01-01 20:41:17

BLizgreat!
Resident Babbler - vll!
Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,000

Re: Greetings from potential new user

^ Yep welome sveMir and happy new year to all the great nixers here. Been out of the loop for awhile.

To answer the question, agree with John-san. Give it a try and see. With that limited of hardware any distro you go with is going to need some tweaking to make it run smoothly and Bunsenlabs has a great community around one of the best polished minimalist gnu/Linux distro's around so well worth a first hand try. While there are distro's which use less memory out-of-box, once you start using that system for general web browsing you'll wind up in much the same boat as choosing any other and that's where your skills and Nix knowledge will come into play to get the most out of that hardware.

Couple general pointers: ( which all goes towards your wanting to improve your gnu/Nix skillset.)

Would lower your operating systems swappiness to be 10, rather than the 60 it's usually set at default. Would also give yourself a decent sized swap partition, like 1.5-2gbs. Something else a person can do to cut system overhead is to see which startup services/daemons are automatically starting and running whenever you boot your computer and then learning how to disable or mask the one's you don't need or want running, to speed up boot and lower memory use. Getting rid of unwanted eye candy if it adds more overhead than it's worth. Compositioning or bling, bling ... bells and whistles.

Other areas are swapping out heavier apps and system utilities for lighter ones. ie: I've long since taken to masking gnome network manager and always get rid of it's nm-applet and prefer using ceni. It's a simple but really easy to use commandline network manager that uses a lot less resources than Gnome's. Just giving that general idea and not sure if that fits the way you use your system and your preferences.

When it comes to web browsers it's been my experience that the so called "minimal" browsers use as much or more resources as the main stream full featured one's. For the major browsers there are tweaks and extensions someone can use to mitigate the web development bloat John mentioned. ie: For Firefox I've long used Noscript and similar tweaks to reduce how many system resources get used.

It's just the way of the world now. Most hardware comes off the shelf with plenty of system resources. So it's not just web developers, logically more programmers period are designing for modern day hardware now vs ancient low spec one's that are fading. Gnu/Linux being what it is obviously takes pains to accommodate outdated hardware and with the know-how you can still get a decent user experience out of old hardware for some time to come.

So whichever way you decide to go, happy Nixing ! smile

Last edited by BLizgreat! (2019-01-01 20:44:27)

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#8 2019-01-01 21:32:04

BLizgreat!
Resident Babbler - vll!
Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,000

Re: Greetings from potential new user

Oops good work around for viewing youtube-etc content on a low spec system. At least heckuva lot better than flashplayer. See this thread for some useful ideas on it. Am using Ohnonot's idea right now and it still works fine in latest version of Firefox 64. Uses A LOT less CPU/RAM than just viewing the same video in the web browser. Prefer doing this on good spec hardware too just cause. It's convenient and easy, why use more to accomplish the same goal? Less system overhead also means less heat, longer battery charge etc.

Then there's always +1 John-raff in upgrading RAM if possible. Cheap and fast if you find memory compatible with your hardware. Though feels like somewhat of a cop-out.

One more random and oddball thought on this. Mozilla maintains an archive where a person can download every version of Firefox since there's been a Firefox. It's possible to run those, even several versions side by side ( each with it's own mozilla profile.) on any gnu/Linux OS. Have done it for the novelty many a time without problems. Given the choice between running one of these obscure fringe browsers or a reasonably outdated version of Firefox from a time when they weren't so system resource hungry, would definitley give Mozilla a go first.

Alright shutting it ... Vll! folks. smile

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#9 2019-01-02 05:56:16

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 5,229
Website

Re: Greetings from potential new user

Bearded_Blunder wrote:

And welcome BTW, which is how I should have started this post.

Yes! Welcome to the community sveMir, and thanks B_B for the reminder.

(And welcome back  BLizgreat!)


John
--------------------
( a boring Japan blog , Japan Links, idle twitterings  and GitStuff )
In case you forget, the rules.

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#10 2019-01-03 16:03:10

sveMir
New Member
Registered: 2018-12-31
Posts: 2

Re: Greetings from potential new user

Thank you everyone for very good advices smile
I will play with it on following weekends when I have a lot of free time.
Wish you all the best in new year!

Cheers,
Sven

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