Ubuntu 12.04 good for older Acer laptop?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by bbhaag, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    I've got an older, ok very old Acer Aspire 3002LCi laptop that I want to put Ubuntu on and just mess around with. The problem is it only has a 1.6 ghz Sempron and just 256mb of shared ram. The HDD is a measly 40gig.

    Will that be enough to get Ubuntu going on this laptop or not? If not is there something else that I can try that might be a little bit lighter and easier that this setup can handle?
    Any Windows OS is out. I want to learn something new and this will provide me with the perfect avenue to do it because if I mess up this old lappy all I do is wipe it and start over.
     
  2. Jodell88

    Jodell88 Diamond Member

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    Lubuntu would be a good choice. Ubuntu needs more ram than that to even install.
     
  3. theevilsharpie

    theevilsharpie Platinum Member

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    No. Ubuntu 12.04 is a modern operating system with modern operating system requirements.

    You can try Lubuntu 12.04, but quite frankly, you'd be better messing around with Ubuntu in a virtual machine on something more powerful.
     
  4. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check out Lubuntu and see if it's right for me.

    I'm not against VM's. I tried Win8 that way and it worked really well but I gave my 1.5tb drive to my son for his PC. I don't really have the space on my computer because it only has a 60gig SSD w/ Win8.
    Plus this laptop is just sitting here and thought it would be fun to try something different.:)
     
  5. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    There's lots of distros that would work well on that machine, but some may be a little fiddly to get going, especially if you aren't already familiar with GNU/Linux. Here's the list of what I'd try...

    Lubuntu
    Bodhi
    Crunchbang
    Puppy

    And for some ultralights(generally require more skill)

    SliTaz
    TinyCore
    DamnSmallLinux(DSL)
     
  6. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    Awesome man. I was hoping you would reply. I see your posts a lot on the boards and it seems you really know your stuff when comes to non Windows applications.

    I'll take a closer look at that list to try and figure out which one I want to try first.
     
  7. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    Post count != skill level :^D

    I'm enthusiastic, but just a dummy. This board has a lot of skilled people that aren't as vocal as me :^)

    The first part of learning is doing, and it never ends. I still have miles to go, but it's a fun process. Free software is a virtually limitless world; literally. The only limitations are technical. There's nobody saying you can't do something just because they don't want you to. If you can imagine it, and it doesn't violate the physical laws of the universe, you can make it happen if you learn. Oh yea, you can also reinstall your O/S without calling anyone, or having your computer phone home to ask permission :^D
     
  8. Steltek

    Steltek Golden Member

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    That laptop is expandable to 2GB of PC2700 or PC3200 memory, which is more than sufficient to run about any Linux distro that you want to. The processor would be a little weak, but it still ought to run just fine for browsing the internet and for use as a learning tool.

    You might look at eBay or a 3rd party memory seller to pick up a couple of cheap modules if you were so inclined.
     
  9. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    Well I just got this thing to boot after a year of sitting in my closet. I had to dig out an old adjustable power cord that I could set to 19v because the oem one was dead. When I go into system under the control panel it says the laptop has 704mb of ram. I'm assuming the gpu is taking up the remaining ram for its use. 704 seams like an odd number for ram.

    I'll keep an eye out in the FS forums and Ebay for some compatible ram. If the price is right ie:dirt cheap I might bite but for now I'll try out some of the suggested OS's above.
     
  10. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    I'm guessing it's 512mb+256mb=768mb-64mb video. Honestly, that's a pretty decent machine as-is. I'd be reluctant to spend money on something so old with the usefulness of the existing setup. You may not be able to comfortably run anything you want, but there's still a lot of good choices.
     
  11. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    Ya I'm not going to spend money on this thing. It's just way to old. The extra ram was a nice supprise though. Like I said this was just something I could learn on that's what I intend to do with it.

    Do you guys think Ubuntu 12.04 would work on this thing or is that pushing it?
     
  12. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    I think it would be pushing it. You definitely wouldn't get a proper experience. Having that extra ram makes Xubuntu more feasible though. That's more like the Gnome2 experience of Ubuntu 10.x, and is my preferred desktop. I'm using Debian with Xfce, which is basically Xubuntu for all intents and purposes.
     
  13. ScoobMaster

    ScoobMaster Platinum Member

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    A really nice small and lightweight distribution is Peppermint:

    http://www.peppermintos.com

    I run it on netbooks with great success (boots fast and takes little resources)
    It is based upon Ubuntu/Linux Mint

    Give it a try - You can run it from USB to try it without even installing it on the hard drive
    ( by using tools at http://www.pendrivelinux.com )
     
  14. kevinthenerd

    kevinthenerd Platinum Member

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    Lubuntu is nice, and supposedly 256MB is doable, but I doubt it would be enjoyable for you. I have a Dell Inspiron 4000 kicking around with 256MB, and I ended up just keeping it for console work. (Project Gutenberg is pretty cool if you use Lynx.)
     
  15. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    I cannot get this thing to boot with any ISO image I make. So far I've tried Lubuntu and it gave me and error message about firmware being incorrect then I tried the Peppermint distro and it just gets stuck at a black screen.

    Any ideas? I tried using Gparted to reformat the drive but even that wouldn't work. Right now I'm getting the last BIOS revision from '08 and I'm going to try and flash it but if anyone has any other ideas I'm all ears.
     
    #15 bbhaag, Nov 14, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  16. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    Have you successfully run a live session?
     
  17. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    No. I've tried that to and I get the same results. It always just sticks at a black screen.
     
  18. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    USB or disc? Try the one you haven't done yet. Unetbootin or Linux Live USB Creator should work for USB. For a disc, I liked imgburn using the provided defaults.
     
  19. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    So far the only media I've tried is optical. I use PowerISO to create the image then burn it to disk. I would try a usb drive but the BIOS does not support booting from it.

    I don't think it's the media. Something is not right with this laptop and that's why I got it for free. Now I just need to figure out what it is that isn't right.
     
  20. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    FWIW, a quick DuckDuckGo said it should work. You may have to play around to get wireless working, but the machine should go. If your image is good, I'm guessing you have a hardware problem.
     
  21. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    Well I got Gparted to load and I thought I deleted all the existing partitions and reformated the drive to a single NTSF format. But...still a no go when I try load an OS.

    Damn this old bird has got me scratching my head haha. Thanks for the help/suggestions. I think I'll try again tomorrow and see if I can get anywhere.
     
  22. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    You where right this is a hardware issue. I get the error codes b43-ucode.fw and b43-open/ucode.fw and then the installation fails. It looks like this is an issue with the Broadcom wifi adapter on the board.

    My google fu is a little shaky this morning but man this looks a little complicated to get working. So much for a simple install haha.:(
     
  23. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    I probably won't be able to look into this until Friday night, but don't give up hope. I think skipping the wifi for now would get it installed, and you could get the wifi working later.
     
  24. bbhaag

    bbhaag Platinum Member

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    How do I skip it? The installation halts when it can't load the firmware for the card and no matter what button I push it just sits there.
    Is there some secret way to do that on ubuntu? Some comination of bottons that I need to push maybe?

    I understand if you don't get back to me till Friday. I'm just throwing this out there in case somebody else knows.
     
  25. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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