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#1 2020-07-26 17:41:15

GalacticStone
Member
From: Oort Cloud
Registered: 2020-07-26
Posts: 28
Website

Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

Hi Folks,

My name is MikeG and I am a meteorite dealer who runs his business from an underpowered Lenovo laptop. I am always looking to squeeze a little more performance out of a RAM-starved system (only 4G), so I have been looking around the internet for light-weight distros. Bunsenlabs is a name that I kept running across and I think it might be the medicine I am searching for. I would like some first-hand information about the latest version (Lithium) from current users before I make the leap and install it.

First, some info about my requirements : I am not a gamer and use this laptop as my daily driver. I have simple needs for my PC - web browsing (Firefox and/or Chrome mostly), Libre Office Writer, VLC, and GIMP. I write descriptions for the specimens I sell using the word processor, tweak my specimen photos using GIMP, and manage my website via the browser. Outside of that, I have a lot of books and scientific journals I read (mostly PDF format), and I like to watch streaming shows on Netflix and Hulu via the browser. That's about it.

I came from Windows about 3 years ago after being Linux-curious for a long long time. Fun fact : I once worked for a janitorial service that cleaned the office of SAIR Linux company back in 2001. So far, I am the only one in my circle of friends and family that uses Linux. I guess they will come around eventually and they have already noticed how I no longer stress about forced Windows updates breaking my system. LOL.

I am moderately-comfortable using the command line for things. I am no coder by any stretch of the imagination, but I know how to copy-paste other people's code and edit config files. I prefer using a GUI for tweaking things whenever possible - I'm lazy like that.

As you can see in my signature, I am currently using Ubuntu. Well, it was my first serious Linux installation and it's been good to me. But, I don't like the direction Canonical is going in and I've gotten a bit bored with Gnome and it's resource-hungry appetites. After trying LXDE, I became fascinated with the simplicity and potential of OpenBox. The fact that Bunsenlabs is built around OpenBox as the DM is a plus to me.

So, I guess what I am getting at is : can I stream video (ala Netflix) in my browser, can I play my MP4 files, can I read my PDF files, will my headphones be recognized (have issues with this), and can I use multiple monitors or HDMI-out with Bunsenlabs? If yes to those, then count me in.  smile

Thanks in advance!

MikeG

Last edited by GalacticStone (2020-07-26 23:50:44)


Lenovo Ideapad Laptop (81CW) - Linux User #624832
Pentium CPU 4415U (2.30GHz x4), 4G RAM
Intel HD Graphics 610 Kabylake GT1 (1366x768, 14" LCD)
Western Digital 500g HDD, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

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#2 2020-07-26 18:06:55

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,881
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

First of all, welcome to the forums!
There's no absolute answer to your questions.
I'd say yes; it depends a little on the hardware; all-Intel is essentially good but some of those low-power laptop CPU/GPU's have caused trouble in the past.
Linux is always a little behind adopting new hardware, and Debian Stable a little more. 1-2 years.
If this machine ran Ubuntu 3 years ago, I don't see a problem.
Bunsenlabs is mostly Debian Stable; don't pine for the latest Software updates, the point is stability.
About your headphones: Need more information.

Be careful when installing software, a little fore- and afterthought might be prudent wrt resources.

Netflix: should be possible. Chromium + chromium-widevine, or Chrome itself (not recommended). I'm sure the Debian Wiki has answers there.


BL quote proposals to this thread please.
my repos / my repos
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#3 2020-07-26 19:49:12

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 661

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

Wellcome GalacticStone!

BunsenLabs is nice, that it's good for old lowspec machines and powerfull pc's as well.
Lenovo is one firm that use hardware with good linux support.

I gues you have BlueTooth headphones and you want to use them wireless, not atach cable. I have three "over one ear" phones that works both with BunsenLabs and the android phone. Have two other stereo bt phones that works with BunsenLabs. Have not encountered any bt headphonmes that do not work with BunsenLabs...


// Regards rbh

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#4 2020-07-26 23:39:14

GalacticStone
Member
From: Oort Cloud
Registered: 2020-07-26
Posts: 28
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

ohnonot wrote:

First of all, welcome to the forums!
There's no absolute answer to your questions.
I'd say yes; it depends a little on the hardware; all-Intel is essentially good but some of those low-power laptop CPU/GPU's have caused trouble in the past.
Linux is always a little behind adopting new hardware, and Debian Stable a little more. 1-2 years.
If this machine ran Ubuntu 3 years ago, I don't see a problem.
Bunsenlabs is mostly Debian Stable; don't pine for the latest Software updates, the point is stability.
About your headphones: Need more information.

Be careful when installing software, a little fore- and afterthought might be prudent wrt resources.

Netflix: should be possible. Chromium + chromium-widevine, or Chrome itself (not recommended). I'm sure the Debian Wiki has answers there.

I received this laptop as a Xmas gift in 2018, so not quite three years yet. The first thing I did was wipe all traces of Windows from it and installed Ubuntu 16.04 and then did a fresh install of 18.04 after that. I've tried different desktops (Xfce, LXDE, Gnome, Unity, Gnome Flashback, OpenBox, and MATE) and I think I have just grown bored of Ubuntu. I don't think my PC should be chewing up almost a gig of RAM just sitting idle. SNAP irritates me. There are some aspects of Gnome that I do like, but not enough for me to keep using it.

My headphones issue is a weird one and I think it's hardware-related on my end. These are regular wired headphones that plug into the headphone jack - no audio mixer I have tried will recognize them and route the audio to the headphones exclusively. Either they don't work at all, or the headphones work but the audio also comes out of the PC speakers - muting the latter mutes both the headphones and the speakers. Weird. It's that way on every desktop environment I tried. I wouldn't use my headphones often, but it's still an annoyance.

Weirdly also, Netflix and Hulu streaming will work in Firefox or Chrome, but streaming HBO will only work through Chrome. Something about HBO doesn't like Firefox or my installation of it.

I am mainly looking for stability, hence the Debian base here.

Last edited by GalacticStone (2020-07-26 23:40:26)


Lenovo Ideapad Laptop (81CW) - Linux User #624832
Pentium CPU 4415U (2.30GHz x4), 4G RAM
Intel HD Graphics 610 Kabylake GT1 (1366x768, 14" LCD)
Western Digital 500g HDD, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

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#5 2020-07-26 23:46:35

GalacticStone
Member
From: Oort Cloud
Registered: 2020-07-26
Posts: 28
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

ohnonot wrote:

First of all, welcome to the forums!
There's no absolute answer to your questions.
I'd say yes; it depends a little on the hardware; all-Intel is essentially good but some of those low-power laptop CPU/GPU's have caused trouble in the past.
Linux is always a little behind adopting new hardware, and Debian Stable a little more. 1-2 years.
If this machine ran Ubuntu 3 years ago, I don't see a problem.
Bunsenlabs is mostly Debian Stable; don't pine for the latest Software updates, the point is stability.
About your headphones: Need more information.

Be careful when installing software, a little fore- and afterthought might be prudent wrt resources.

Netflix: should be possible. Chromium + chromium-widevine, or Chrome itself (not recommended). I'm sure the Debian Wiki has answers there.

I'm really careful installing software and I don't experiment much. Once I got comfortable with Linux, I quickly figured out which software I need and prefer : VLC for my media, GIMP for my photos, Libre Writer, Firefox, etc. Even though I currently use Gnome (Nautilus), I prefer PCManFM because it's snappier. Once I get my handful of programs installed, I leave it alone.


Lenovo Ideapad Laptop (81CW) - Linux User #624832
Pentium CPU 4415U (2.30GHz x4), 4G RAM
Intel HD Graphics 610 Kabylake GT1 (1366x768, 14" LCD)
Western Digital 500g HDD, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

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#6 2020-07-27 00:16:53

hhh
Meep!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 10,505
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

GalacticStone wrote:

... who runs his business from an underpowered Lenovo laptop.

I ran one with BunsenLabs, it was very compatible. A few system tweaks for graphics and laptop battery savings, IIRC, though it will depend upon your specific hardware. Anyway, it should be an easy install to get up and running.

I have simple needs for my PC - web browsing (Firefox and/or Chrome mostly), Libre Office Writer, VLC, and GIMP. I write descriptions for the specimens I sell using the word processor, tweak my specimen photos using GIMP, and manage my website via the browser. Outside of that, I have a lot of books and scientific journals I read (mostly PDF format), and I like to watch streaming shows on Netflix and Hulu via the browser. That's about it.

All easily done with BL Lithium, except for maybe Netflix (I don't use it, so I don't know one way or the other). Spotify, for example, provides a Debian application and it runs great. Hulu can run in a browser without issues, as you said.

You can check headphone/sound issues, as well as most other hardware compatibility, by downloading the Lithium ISO, either 64 or 32 bit, transfer it it to USB or DVD or CD as appropriate, and running the system from the inserted media in "Live" mode (the default boot option).

Downloads are on the forums, though our release is mere days away...

amd64

https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic.php?id=6733

CD-sized i386 non-PAE (upgradeable to PAE and full package list via our bl-welcome script)

https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic.php?id=6754

Instructions for transferring the ISO to your removable media are on our website...

https://www.bunsenlabs.org/installation … dvdusb-key

Post any questions in this thread, we can split them to their own threads if necessary. Let's try and nip the hardware issues from you testing the Live session, then we can move onto installation. Unless you're feeling froggy, in which case go for it.

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#7 2020-07-27 09:44:15

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,881
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

GalacticStone, you should open  dedicated thread for your headphone problem.

rbh wrote:

Lenovo is one firm that use hardware with good linux support.

This is certainly true for the ThinkPad series, but I'm not so sure about the rest.


BL quote proposals to this thread please.
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#8 2020-07-27 11:30:45

rbh
Member
From: Sweden/Vasterbotten/Rusfors
Registered: 2016-08-11
Posts: 661

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

ohnonot wrote:

GalacticStone, you should open  dedicated thread for your headphone problem.

rbh wrote:

Lenovo is one firm that use hardware with good linux support.

This is certainly true for the ThinkPad series, but I'm not so sure about the rest.

I have good experience with the enterprice models as ThinkCentres too.


// Regards rbh

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#9 2020-07-27 14:31:21

GalacticStone
Member
From: Oort Cloud
Registered: 2020-07-26
Posts: 28
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

hhh wrote:
GalacticStone wrote:

... who runs his business from an underpowered Lenovo laptop.

I ran one with BunsenLabs, it was very compatible. A few system tweaks for graphics and laptop battery savings, IIRC, though it will depend upon your specific hardware. Anyway, it should be an easy install to get up and running.

I have simple needs for my PC - web browsing (Firefox and/or Chrome mostly), Libre Office Writer, VLC, and GIMP. I write descriptions for the specimens I sell using the word processor, tweak my specimen photos using GIMP, and manage my website via the browser. Outside of that, I have a lot of books and scientific journals I read (mostly PDF format), and I like to watch streaming shows on Netflix and Hulu via the browser. That's about it.

All easily done with BL Lithium, except for maybe Netflix (I don't use it, so I don't know one way or the other). Spotify, for example, provides a Debian application and it runs great. Hulu can run in a browser without issues, as you said.

You can check headphone/sound issues, as well as most other hardware compatibility, by downloading the Lithium ISO, either 64 or 32 bit, transfer it it to USB or DVD or CD as appropriate, and running the system from the inserted media in "Live" mode (the default boot option).

Downloads are on the forums, though our release is mere days away...

amd64

https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic.php?id=6733

CD-sized i386 non-PAE (upgradeable to PAE and full package list via our bl-welcome script)

https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic.php?id=6754

Instructions for transferring the ISO to your removable media are on our website...

https://www.bunsenlabs.org/installation … dvdusb-key

Post any questions in this thread, we can split them to their own threads if necessary. Let's try and nip the hardware issues from you testing the Live session, then we can move onto installation. Unless you're feeling froggy, in which case go for it.

The timing of my discovery of Bunsenlabs is fortunate, since the new Lithium release is very close. So it makes sense to just wait until the new final release comes out. I'm not in a big rush because my current installation is working fine. Thanks for the links - that will make the task a lot easier.

The headphone issue is not a deal-breaker for me. I rarely want to use them, but it would be nice to have the option if needed. Mainly when I have that rare urge to rock out to some of my old metal music and my wife hates it. LOL.

I still need to buy a new thumb-drive to backup my data on (my current one died) and then I'll install Lithium when it drops.  smile


Lenovo Ideapad Laptop (81CW) - Linux User #624832
Pentium CPU 4415U (2.30GHz x4), 4G RAM
Intel HD Graphics 610 Kabylake GT1 (1366x768, 14" LCD)
Western Digital 500g HDD, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

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#10 2020-07-27 14:38:41

GalacticStone
Member
From: Oort Cloud
Registered: 2020-07-26
Posts: 28
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

This is the hardware I am using. As you can see from the reviews, the main complaint is how slow it is. With only 4G of RAM, that's pretty low for a Windoze machine nowadays. Ubuntu runs pretty quick even when considering how bloated Gnome is - I don't know how this laptop performed under Windows because I never used it with Windows. I wiped it and installed Linux on the same day I received it. But, 4G of RAM seems like it is becoming the new 2G. Years ago, on my last laptop, I never felt strained for RAM much and it only had 2G. Now, I find myself wishing I had at least 8G. Software just seems to be getting more and more top-heavy over the years and much of it seems a bit unjustified considering the mundane applications in question. That's another thing that drew me to Bunsenlabs.

Link - https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-IdeaPad-1 … B076V27FYB

Last edited by GalacticStone (2020-07-27 14:38:58)


Lenovo Ideapad Laptop (81CW) - Linux User #624832
Pentium CPU 4415U (2.30GHz x4), 4G RAM
Intel HD Graphics 610 Kabylake GT1 (1366x768, 14" LCD)
Western Digital 500g HDD, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

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#11 2020-07-28 18:57:01

GalacticStone
Member
From: Oort Cloud
Registered: 2020-07-26
Posts: 28
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

Here is a screenshot of my current desktop. This is my daily driver. It was slow when it was new and it's not getting any younger. Hence my interest in Bunsenlabs. smile

I will be keeping an eye on this forum for a release announcement for Lithium. I just ordered a new 64gb memory card to backup my data and I have a 8gb USB stick on standby for the install. I have all but made up my mind to make the jump. Seeing this forum and the quality of posts and personalities has also helped sway me. This level of engagement and support inspires confidence in the distro as a whole. smile

ss.jpg?t=1595962672

Last edited by GalacticStone (2020-07-28 18:57:44)


Lenovo Ideapad Laptop (81CW) - Linux User #624832
Pentium CPU 4415U (2.30GHz x4), 4G RAM
Intel HD Graphics 610 Kabylake GT1 (1366x768, 14" LCD)
Western Digital 500g HDD, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

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#12 2020-07-29 02:11:30

DeepDayze
Like sands through an hourglass...
From: In Linux Land
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 992

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

You should be able to upgrade your particular laptop to 8GB and that's where Linux really shines at and where even Win10 struggles a bit. BL will really rock on that machine at 8GB RAM. My daily driver HP 8460p laptop (from 2011) has 8GB and a256GB SSD and a 500GB HD in CDROM bay and that machine really flies with BL.

Last edited by DeepDayze (2020-07-29 02:11:44)


Real Men Use Linux

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#13 2020-07-29 03:08:14

hhh
Meep!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 10,505
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

BL rocks with 2G or less RAM. But having just upgraded from a laptop with 3G to 4G, more RAM rocks. 3G is enough to make lithium really sing though, IMO. 1G for the new 32 bit ISO.

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#14 2020-07-29 08:31:50

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,881
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

What movie is that from?


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#15 2020-07-29 13:06:37

GalacticStone
Member
From: Oort Cloud
Registered: 2020-07-26
Posts: 28
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

DeepDayze wrote:

You should be able to upgrade your particular laptop to 8GB and that's where Linux really shines at and where even Win10 struggles a bit. BL will really rock on that machine at 8GB RAM. My daily driver HP 8460p laptop (from 2011) has 8GB and a256GB SSD and a 500GB HD in CDROM bay and that machine really flies with BL.

I've thought about upgrading the RAM, but I have never bought RAM or installed any, so I am a bit of a noob in that regard. I searched the web for compatible RAM, but quickly got confused by the apparent wide range of RAM chip types, vendors, etc. I wasn't sure which RAM to get and didn't want to get the wrong one.


Lenovo Ideapad Laptop (81CW) - Linux User #624832
Pentium CPU 4415U (2.30GHz x4), 4G RAM
Intel HD Graphics 610 Kabylake GT1 (1366x768, 14" LCD)
Western Digital 500g HDD, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

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#16 2020-07-29 13:08:11

GalacticStone
Member
From: Oort Cloud
Registered: 2020-07-26
Posts: 28
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

hhh wrote:

BL rocks with 2G or less RAM. But having just upgraded from a laptop with 3G to 4G, more RAM rocks. 3G is enough to make lithium really sing though, IMO. 1G for the new 32 bit ISO.

I'm kinda thinking that BL should fly like the wind on my 4G. Ubuntu with Gnome runs acceptably decent and it's a lot more top-heavy than BL or OpenBox.


Lenovo Ideapad Laptop (81CW) - Linux User #624832
Pentium CPU 4415U (2.30GHz x4), 4G RAM
Intel HD Graphics 610 Kabylake GT1 (1366x768, 14" LCD)
Western Digital 500g HDD, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

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#17 2020-07-29 13:10:59

GalacticStone
Member
From: Oort Cloud
Registered: 2020-07-26
Posts: 28
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

ohnonot wrote:

What movie is that from?

I don't recall. I did an image search for "cyberpunk" wallpapers and I stumbled across it. A friend/client of mine who is really into anime told me it where it was from, but I don't remember what it was. He recognized it right away. It looks like some kind of scientist's bunker with a plague or pandemic happening outside. I thought it was appropriate given the current situation in the USA. I'm in Florida and I feel like I need a bunker right now. LOL.


Lenovo Ideapad Laptop (81CW) - Linux User #624832
Pentium CPU 4415U (2.30GHz x4), 4G RAM
Intel HD Graphics 610 Kabylake GT1 (1366x768, 14" LCD)
Western Digital 500g HDD, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

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#18 2020-07-29 13:49:27

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,881
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

^ definitely something dystopian.
If you remember, give us a call!


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#19 2020-07-29 14:09:41

eight.bit.al
Member
From: Prison
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 627

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

^^  See if TinyEye finds any hits for it,

8bit


Fly, for a white guy.

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#20 2020-07-29 14:22:03

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,881
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

^ thanks, it did.
Apparently it's from the Deus Ex video game, not a movie. I feel old now. Suitably, I accidentally found this nice wallpaper


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#21 2020-07-29 15:27:05

eight.bit.al
Member
From: Prison
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 627

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

^ That's a card sorter on the far left. Cut my teeth on punch cards and paper tape. There's another card handling machine in the center, but I can't see enough of it to make out what it is. Probably a card data input device.

8bit

Last edited by eight.bit.al (2020-07-29 15:32:56)


Fly, for a white guy.

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#22 2020-07-29 19:22:59

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,881
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

eight.bit.al wrote:

Cut my teeth on punch cards and paper tape.

You had to bite holes in them?   wink


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#23 2020-07-29 19:26:42

hhh
Meep!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 10,505
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Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

His teeth are uniformly shaped like either an IBM keypunch or Devil's Tower.

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#24 2020-07-29 20:07:47

eight.bit.al
Member
From: Prison
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 627

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

^ Still picking out the chads. ;-)

8bit

Last edited by eight.bit.al (2020-07-29 20:08:08)


Fly, for a white guy.

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#25 2020-07-29 20:08:01

GalacticStone
Member
From: Oort Cloud
Registered: 2020-07-26
Posts: 28
Website

Re: Looking hard at Bunsenlabs

ohnonot wrote:

^ thanks, it did.
Apparently it's from the Deus Ex video game, not a movie. I feel old now. Suitably, I accidentally found this nice wallpaper

Deus Ex - that rings a bell. I must have been confused and thought it was from anime.

I love that IBM wallpaper and I am stealing the crap out of it.  LOL.


Lenovo Ideapad Laptop (81CW) - Linux User #624832
Pentium CPU 4415U (2.30GHz x4), 4G RAM
Intel HD Graphics 610 Kabylake GT1 (1366x768, 14" LCD)
Western Digital 500g HDD, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

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