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Lightweight Linux distros

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Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2017, 05:54:19 PM »
 

br1anstorm

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I was interested to browse this thread, as the discussion included comments on most of the Linux distros I have tried in the three to four years since I moved from Windows. 

I use various computers (mostly laptops) which are getting old and have modest CPUs.  One or two have processors without "pae" (which can be a constraint).  My usage is not particularly demanding (no gaming....).  For what it's worth, here are my current thoughts on the distros that have become my favourites:

Linux Lite:  my joint favourite (with Mint).  It's lightweight, uses XFCE, is visually pleasing, works out of the box on my various machines (no headaches with wifi or printers), has excellent help and guidance, and a very good forum.  My only gripe is that the 'tweaks' to GRUB2 (details are in other forum threads) mean that it doesn't play nicely with other distros in a dual/multiboot installation;

Linux Mint - XFCE version:  equal favourite, for much the same reasons.  A very reliable, easy to use distro.  Although Cinnamon is pretty, I actually prefer XFCE both for its appearance and its lower demands on processing power.  Mint's larger user-base might make the forum busier and bigger, but the discussions there are polite and constructive.

PCLinuxOS:  Interesting to see so many comments in this thread, most of them positive.  I like it for the fact that it is stable, secure and polished.  Developers and users are proud of the fact that PCLOS is not just another Ubuntu derivative.  The KDE version has all the bells and whistles but is too big and complex for my tastes.  So I use the MATE edition.  I haven't tried the XFCE one (which is community-developed rather than a totally 'official' release).  I installed PCLOS precisely because it was a rolling release, so I hoped never to have to upgrade or reinstall.  My huge recent disappointment is that support for 32-bit versions has ceased, so no further updates or improvements and no further availability.  For those still trying to prolong the active life of older computers, this is a real blow.  A breakaway group of users is aiming to keep PCLOS 32-bit going under the label of UPLOS - but I'm not sure that will prove sustainable.  But I hope PCLOS  itself keeps going.

Zorin:  Intended to appeal to former Windows users, the different display/interfaces were an interesting idea.  But as a distro, style seemed to matter more than substance, and the combination of rough edges and gimmickry (3D displays) put me off - I haven't looked at recent versions.

LXLE:  I tried it because it claimed to be among the most lightweight.  But I didn't really get used to the menu-display or desktop environment, and both Mint and Lite are easier to use and slicker.
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2017, 09:05:25 AM »
 

bermudalite

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Actually Jerry...I tried Linux Lite fairly early in the process, but needed to satisfy my curiosity about the other Linux flavors.  Then I came back to LL after all my testing and trials.
When all was said and done it really was a no-brainer.
Thanks for putting together such a De-Lite-ful distro!
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2017, 09:15:39 PM »
 

Jerry

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Thanks @bermudalite, looks like you tried some very popular distros there first before settling on LL :)
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2017, 08:12:22 PM »
 

rokytnji

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Quote
antiX 17 - It worked.  It's simple and quick.  It was certainly a consideration, but it felt a little too vanilla.

Depends on the user, I guess.


« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 10:18:50 AM by rokytnji »
LL 3.6,2.8
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Acer 150 > Desktop
I am who I am. Your approval is not needed.
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2017, 04:34:41 PM »
 

bermudalite

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First-timer here. 
I wanted to add my two cents on the topic of lightweight Linux distros.

First of all, I'm not "Linux proficient" by any stretch.  However I have used Linux off and on for 8 years...predominantly Linux Mint Cinnamon.  Lately Mint has been a bit slow on my old laptop and I thought I'd test drive some other distros to see if they were any faster.  To my delight this is how I discovered Linux Lite (hmm...maybe the name should be Linux DeLite instead.)  Anyhow here's a list of the distros I recently tried (in no particular order) with a brief description of my experience/impression.

Linux Mint - Cinnamon is great, but a little resource heavy for an older machine.  (I tried Mate, but it was not noticeably faster and I wasn't a fan of the layout.)
Anteros, Cinnamon - It worked and I considered it (because Cinnamon is a familiar place), but it was not super-fast and had a few style and layout quirks that bugged me.
Manjaro - It worked, but it too was not much faster and frankly in some ways it was just ugly.  I don't understand it's popularity....but I admit I am a Linux simpleton.
Solus, Budgie - Looked cool and seemed very quick!  Unfortunately it had glitches.  My wifi quit connecting and rebooting was a big issue.  I really wanted it to work, but could fix it.  Maybe next year.
Gecko, Budgie - After Solus I wanted that Budgie style, but Gecko didn't look as slick and had it's own glitches.  After a troubleshooting/reinstalling a few times I gave up.
SparkyLinux, Budgie - Again wanting the Budgie style...but had installation ISSUES! 
Vector 7.1 - It worked and it was fast...but way too simplistic.
Bodhi - It worked.  It was sufficiently quick, but the look and feel just wasn't right...and I was not too fond of the default Midori browser.
antiX 17 - It worked.  It's simple and quick.  It was certainly a consideration, but it felt a little too vanilla. [Modification - OK, vanilla maybe a little harsh because this distro was a close 2nd for me.]
Linux Lite 3.6 - Finally sweet bliss.  It worked right out of the box.  It is quick, but not too skinny.  I wasn't sure if I'd like Xfce, but I found it super-easy to customize.  I was sold.  I've been playing with it for over a week and now I have it on 2 machines.  Really really happy. 

Last thought:  This is probably sad to say, but I think I would have tried Linux Lite a lot sooner, if they had simply had a more stylish background image on the Distrowatch website.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 10:56:23 AM by bermudalite »
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2017, 05:54:35 AM »
 

m654321

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Review of Linux Mint - Xfce / Cinnamon versions

Curiosity got the better of me with this distro - it was always at the "number one" position in the Distrowatch rankings, so it has to be good - doesn't it?  So, I just had to try ..

POSITIVES
  • a very polished & professional-looking OS, nice sharp graphics, lovely wallpapers
  • recognised nVidia & Intel graphics cards in setup[1], in footer below) -  Optimus with its dual graphics card switcher was easy to install using the terminal
  • impressed by hardware compatibility, e.g. LM instantly recognised the two pairs of Fn keys that control backlight brightness for both the keyboard (F3+F4) and the display (F5+F6), with out the need to edit the file /etc/default/grub file
  • comes prepackaged with most, if not all, of the software you'll need   
  • a large archive of information from their forum community
NEGATIVES
  • I found the size of their forum community a bit overwhelming - you never really got to know anyone
  • the kernel is not updated automatically within a kernel release, as it is with LL & other distros - it more or less states that kernel updating is done at the user's own risk!  - a dangerous view as ignoring kernel updating will presumably lead to instability and increased vulnerability ...
  • LM crashed on me a few times in setup(1). According to a comment by Quidsup in his Youtube video review, entitled Linux Mint vs Ubuntu, LM is known not to always cope well with nVidia graphics cards, so this may have been the reason for it crashing a few times over several months
           In the end, the significant negatives outweighed the very impressive positives - a shame really as it's a                    distro with a lot going for it .

       
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 12:37:10 AM by m654321 »
64bit OS (32-bit on Samsung netbook) installed in Legacy mode on MBR-formatted SSDs (except pi which uses a micro SDHC card):
2017 - Raspberry pi 3B (4cores) ~ [email protected] - LibreElec, used for upgrading our Samsung TV (excellent for the task)  
2012 - Lenovo G580 2689 (2cores; 4threads] ~ [email protected] - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working smoothly)
2011 - Samsung NP-N145 Plus (1core; 2threads) ~ Intel Atom [email protected] - LL 3.8 32-bit (64-bit too 'laggy')
2008 - Asus X71Q (2cores) ~ Intel [email protected] - LL4.6/Win8.1 dual-boot, LL works fine with kernel 4.15
2007 - Dell Latitude D630 (2cores) ~ Intel [email protected] - LL4.6, works well with kernel 4.4; 4.15 doesn't work
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 06:26:59 PM »
 

Artim

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Sadly, I had to change my lesser machine from Linux Lite to PCLinuxOS. My newer machine is
happily Linux Lite, but with the continuous updating from Canonical and my obsession to maintain
a current live ISO with user data for insurance-- well, I was wearing this old man out and spending
hours online with no fun.

The Xfce-mini does fit on a CD.  It's not "sad" that you installed another distro that meets the need, though.  This is Linux, it's all good!  I remain a fan of both distros, and a few I don't even use anymore - but I'm no less a fan of Salix, Mint (Xfce), MX, AntiX, and even a homemade Openbox mixture reminiscent of Crunchbang Linux.
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 04:51:36 PM »
 

Coastie

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... I think what you mean Coastie, is the look of the desktop environment - a bit old-fashioned - ...

Yes, that is a better way to say it.


Left Mac OS X for Linux in Jan 2014
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 03:00:54 PM »
 

elelme

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Sadly, I had to change my lesser machine from Linux Lite to PCLinuxOS. My newer machine is
happily Linux Lite, but with the continuous updating from Canonical and my obsession to maintain
a current live ISO with user data for insurance-- well, I was wearing this old man out and spending
hours online with no fun. Maybe this way I can manage to actually read this forum and my emails
and newspages, and still be able to get out of my computer chair with less pain. Make no mistake,
I love Linux Lite as it is, a clever and quick and stable Operating System on my newer desktop.


 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 01:36:09 PM »
 

Jocklad

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Had a spare drive and successfully installed Archlinux last night.


When you do Arch you really appreciate how easy it is to install Linux lite.


Another rung climbed on the learning ladder. ;D
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 10:06:49 AM »
 

bitsnpcs

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You will be okay with dvd, it's 4.7GB.
I burn LL to dvd it is an easier process, and the discs are much cheaper than the usb sticks.
I have done sometimes to usb (LL 3.2), and also backup iso to usb.

Where one place I do go, the computers have zero usb ports, they will take a dvd (not rewritable) scan it then you can use the disk. One part of the other room is no desktops visible only monitors, kb and mouse.

The portable hard drive with boot for the distro, as well as having a partition for dumping/drag drop files separate from the distro would be ideal for carrying each day as its more space on the drive, it's what I'll try to do eventually.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 11:12:15 AM by bitsnpcs »
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 10:03:44 AM »
 

m654321

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Will Linux Lite still fit on cd.....?
Cant remember the last time I burned an ISO to disk.
Always use usb.
Jocklad.

It's a while ago now that LL (64-bit) was small enough for a CD ...

LL1.08 729.8MB
LL2.2   773.8MB
LL2.4   794.8MB
LL2.6   817.9MB
LL2.8   846.2MB
LL3.0, 3.2, 3.4  all 1GB

linux-lite-3.2-uefitest1a   1.1GB
 
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 01:50:07 AM by m654321 »
64bit OS (32-bit on Samsung netbook) installed in Legacy mode on MBR-formatted SSDs (except pi which uses a micro SDHC card):
2017 - Raspberry pi 3B (4cores) ~ [email protected] - LibreElec, used for upgrading our Samsung TV (excellent for the task)  
2012 - Lenovo G580 2689 (2cores; 4threads] ~ [email protected] - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working smoothly)
2011 - Samsung NP-N145 Plus (1core; 2threads) ~ Intel Atom [email protected] - LL 3.8 32-bit (64-bit too 'laggy')
2008 - Asus X71Q (2cores) ~ Intel [email protected] - LL4.6/Win8.1 dual-boot, LL works fine with kernel 4.15
2007 - Dell Latitude D630 (2cores) ~ Intel [email protected] - LL4.6, works well with kernel 4.4; 4.15 doesn't work
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 08:37:14 AM »
 

Jocklad

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Will Linux Lite still fit on cd.....?


Cant remember the last time I burned an ISO to disk.


Always use usb.


Jocklad.
 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 07:59:41 AM »
 

bitsnpcs

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Linux Lite can also be burned to a dvd to use as a Live disc to see/try it, and then this can later be used for installing LL.

 

Re: Lightweight Linux distros
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 03:27:00 AM »
 

m654321

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...  Outdated??  It's rolling-release, and my copy has quite up-to-date software.

I know. It is just something about it. I could not think of a better word than "outdated." :-\   Maybe it is because I am use to Ubuntu and Debian based distros.

Review of PCLinuxOS (a.k.a PCLOS) ...

I can only comment on the Xfce version - I have no experience of the other desktops for this OS.

I think what you mean Coastie, is the look of the desktop environment - a bit old-fashioned - the icons maybe don't look as polished as other distros and, if I remember correctly, it only comes with the one wallpaper or an extremely limited range.  PCLOS is a semi-rolling release - everything is updated 'for ever', except new stable versions of the kernel, though you will of course get updates within a kernel release, as you do with LL.  With a rolling release (e.g. Manjaro), the kernel is updated automatically to the more recent stable versions. I found installing a newer kernel straightforward for PCLOS,  using the Synaptic Package Manager.

A major difference, compared with other recent distro releases, is that PCLOS comes without  'system d'  pre-packaged, which can make it a bit 'old-fashioned' for some.  However, this appeared a good thing for my single-core 10" Samsung netbook (setup [2] in sig), which slowed down significantly when I went from LL2.8 to LL3, which I put down to 'system d', as this feature was introduced in the LL3 series..  That said, I don't think 'system d' is the whole story for the slowdown on low-powered PCs, as Manjaro 17 (Xfce)  seems runs like a dream on this single-core netbook, despite 'system d' being present, e.g. only 25 seconds boot-up time (compared to 50 seconds or longer for PCLOS & other distros) and it runs very snappily with all the apps on it (though needed to swap the laggy firefox browser for the faster chromium one).

Maybe a bit old-fashioned in looks, but PCLOS (Xfce) is excellent - runs fast & very smooth - even on my single-core Samsung netbook.  Also comes pre-packaged with loads of apps. Always up-to-date, and officially  fully-supported by the PCLOS repositories, with always  the latest stable software & kernel releases available.  It is the only distro (along with Manjaro [Xfce]) that would plug & play with our Samsung TV display, without having to fiddle around with video settings - I put this down to both distros coming pre-packaged with the latest kernel release (at the time this was kernel  4.6, now 4.9).  However, I gave up using this distro on setup(1) below in sig - noone on the PCLOS forum seemed to know  how to install nVidia Optimus (no help-manual available for this either) to enable me to switch between the nVidia & Intel graphics card. In fact, I gave up trying to get the nVidia driver alone to work.  With only the Intel driver working, I was unable to play the latest edition of my favourite game (Supertuxkart), and so ditched PCLOS on this setup.  I found the Ubuntu-based command line 'apt-get install nvidia-prime nvidia-361-updates nvidia-settings' did not work in PCLOS (for installing Optimus), as well as some other terminal commands that seem to be Ubuntu-specific.

I never had any problems with PCLOS: just a slightly abrasive and slightly closed-world view (in isolated pockets) amongst their forum community, which made my visit there a bit uncomfortable on occasion, e.g. I was berated and subjected to a monologue on the 'dos and donts' for mentioning another distro (i.e. Ubuntu & its derivatives) and making comparisons (not unfavourable ones, I should add) with PCLOS, amongst other things.  I should mention though that the experience was only down  to two or three impolite individuals who had a 'bee in their bonnet' - the vast majority at the PCLOS forum seemed really decent & helpful folk, but it's amazing how the behaviour of just one or two can spoil the entire experience - it's one of the reasons I changed to Manjaro on setup(2) below. As with LL, Manjaro have a great forum community who always seem to be able to quickly rescue me from whatever I'm stuck on ...

Every-now-and-then, with PCLOS,  you'll get a security check scan (diff check), with a pair of notifications flashing up on your display that it's in progress. The diff check is reassuring (though have no idea how effective it is or what it does exactly - I assume it some sort of malware checker), though the notifications popping up can be distracting in the middle of a video or TV programme, though there's probably a setting you can adjust to turn this off.

I found my learning curve with LL really helped for PCLOS, e.g. the knowledge I gained with the use of terminal commands, Synaptic Package Manager, familiarity with the Xfce layout, etc.  Even though it's not Ubuntu-based, it still uses  commands in the terminal in combination with apt-get (e.g. update, upgrade, dist-upgrade, install, etc), as well as  a wide range of  other Linux commands I used with LL. However, they don't use sudo - instead you type su, then enter your password.

So anyway, that's my personal experience of PCLOS -  very positive as an OS on low-powered equipment, as long as you don't have an nVidia graphics card or dual-graphics card setup !

I hope the above is of some use to someone ...

Regards
Mike
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 01:49:28 AM by m654321 »
64bit OS (32-bit on Samsung netbook) installed in Legacy mode on MBR-formatted SSDs (except pi which uses a micro SDHC card):
2017 - Raspberry pi 3B (4cores) ~ [email protected] - LibreElec, used for upgrading our Samsung TV (excellent for the task)  
2012 - Lenovo G580 2689 (2cores; 4threads] ~ [email protected] - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working smoothly)
2011 - Samsung NP-N145 Plus (1core; 2threads) ~ Intel Atom [email protected] - LL 3.8 32-bit (64-bit too 'laggy')
2008 - Asus X71Q (2cores) ~ Intel [email protected] - LL4.6/Win8.1 dual-boot, LL works fine with kernel 4.15
2007 - Dell Latitude D630 (2cores) ~ Intel [email protected] - LL4.6, works well with kernel 4.4; 4.15 doesn't work
 

 

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