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Problems Installing Linux Mint 19.3 on Older Hardware


Cluttermagnet
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Cluttermagnet

Hi, All-

 

This is about a week old now, and is resolved, but I thought folks might be

interested in hearing briefly about my misadventures with Linux Mint 19.3.

 

I ran it as a live DVD session (Mate 64bit version) and it had some trouble

finding things. I could see it searching at various 'cookbook' addresses

and it eventually got itself going as a live session- but the whole thing

seemed shaky. This was with my oldest Lenovo laptop, an ancient R-61.

The laptop had developed troubles so far as grabbing the list of updates

for Mint and had thus become non-updatable.

 

I decided I wanted to install the latest Mint version which happened to

be 19.3 at the time I burned the image to DVD. I would save my /home

partition and overwrite root with the updated OS. At the time, BTW,

I had noted that the laptop had trouble reading some DVD's placed in

the drive but could read some others. Long story short, this being a

less critical computer, just something I keep over at Casa David for net

access when I'm over there, I was a lot less cautious than usual. Having

no backup of my /home proved unwise. Anyway, I installed Mint 19.3

over top of Mint 17 whatever, overwriting root and keeping /home

intact...

 

When the install had finished and I booted into Mint 19.3, my desktop

looked different. Older. Some files and graphics were no longer on the

desktop. I really haven't followed up with a detailed search of /home,

but it was as if the new install had pushed my desktop status back

nearly three years. Weird. Things were working so-so, not too well...

 

I ended up doing yet another install, this time with Linux Mint 18

because that's what I could get the drive to recognize and boot into.

After that second install, plus about another 450MB(!) of updates,

all was OK and my laptop seemed happy- and usable. Hurumph!

 

So my little misadventure may have lost some files in my /home.

Not sure yet, haven't checked. It's a lower priority issue presently.

That laptop is back over at Casa David and seems to be working

normally. Strange, though. Linux in general is usually better behaved

around installs. Dunno what happened but 19.3 seems to not like

my hardware with the R-61.

 

Also, I haven't yet tried that particular install disk with any other

computers so far. Eventually I will fire it up again in live session

on one of my desktop towers and see if it plays well with them...

 

Clutter

 

Edited by Cluttermagnet
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securitybreach

Well in your defense, linux is not like it used to be as far as being compatible with older hardware. There are lighter distros available and other versions with lighter environments but your average linux distro will not run very well on older hardware as its designed for more up to date machines (graphics and memory wise).

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securitybreach

Ok, maybe I was wrong (about linuxmint with their xfce or cinnamon setup)

 

  • 1GB RAM (2GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 15GB of disk space (20GB recommended).
  • 1024×768 resolution (on lower resolutions, press ALT to drag windows with the mouse if they don’t fit in the screen).[/code]

https://blog.linuxmint.com/?s=System+requirements

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Cluttermagnet

That may now be true, Josh. FWIW I do remember the Linux community

prided itself on being very backwards compatible with all the ancient

gear out there. I started in 2007. By then they had graphical desktops,

thank goodness. Started with Ubuntu Dapper Drake 6.06. (grin)

 

Clutter

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securitybreach
2 minutes ago, Cluttermagnet said:

That may now be true, Josh. FWIW I do remember the Linux community

prided itself on being very backwards compatible with all the ancient

gear out there. I started in 2007. By then they had graphical desktops,

thank goodness. Started with Ubuntu Dapper Drake 6.06. (grin)

 

Clutter

 

Yeah but it has changed a lot since the days of tinkers only. For instance, Ubuntu Desktop requires 4gb of ram to run. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements

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Cluttermagnet

Yeah, well I got into a rut of always downloading the Mate desktop.

FWIW. Both Betty and I felt that Cinnamon was trying to do too

many things. We didn't like 'mouse gestures' at all, or whatever

that was at the time.

 

I'm getting rusty, haven't tried Xfce in a good while. I should...

 

Clutter

 

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Cluttermagnet
1 minute ago, securitybreach said:

 

Yeah but it has changed a lot since the days of tinkers only. For instance, Ubuntu Desktop requires 4gb of ram to run. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements

 You may have just put your finger on it, Josh! For gosh sakes! My R-61

Lenovo is only running 2G of RAM. Heh!

 

Clutter

 

P.S. A majority of my old T3400 Dell Precision towers only have 4GB.

 

Edited by Cluttermagnet
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V.T. Eric Layton

Remember the Rule of Thumb for Live Linuxes...

 

If the Live version won't run properly on your machines, the chances are pretty darn good that they won't run when installed, either.

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As Josh has pointed out many times, it's not so much the problem of running Linux on memory challenged machines, it

is trying to do something like surf the web or stream music that causes issues. Old hardware still works OK with light Linuxes like Antix.

I am running Linux Mint 19 on a desktop with 16 GB of RAM. My CPU is about 7 years old, (AMD Piledriver) but I have a rather ancient discrete GPU and an SSD. As hardware goes, pretty old but LM runs well.

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V.T. Eric Layton

Only 12Gig of RAM? Wasn't so long ago that we all thought we were doing well with 2Gig of RAM on our systems. My, how times change. ;)

 

vtel57@ericsbane07~:$ free
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:       12271384     1290300    10124756      119324      856328    10496476
Swap:      14147576           0    14147576

 

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Three of my notebooks have only 2 GB RAM each. These are three old Compaq Presario notebooks, similar except with different processors. I don't know much about this stuff but the processor seems to have a noticeable affect on performance. One CQ56 model and two CQ57 models. Linux runs ok even on the slowest one, as long as I don't have too many tabs open in the web browser.

 

As you can see below, not all of the 2 GB RAM is available or whatever. I'm typing from the CQ56 now, from Arch with Xfce.

Xfce and LXQt are the "heaviest" DEs I use on any of those machines, and also I go without a DE and use Openbox or Fluxbox on them. The one I call "Ish's CQ57" is my slowest one, so that's the one I've used the most for testing light-weight distros like BunsenLabs. The CQ56 is the fastest of the three. Snapshots with inxi from December 1st:

 

CQ56

$ inxi
CPU: Single Core Intel Celeron 900 (-MCP-) speed: 2194 MHz Kernel: 5.3.13-arch1-1 x86_64
Up: 1d 46m Mem: 238.9/1919.0 MiB (12.4%) Storage: 232.89 GiB (5.1% used) Procs: 117
Shell: bash 5.0.11 inxi: 3.0.36


CQ57

$ inxi
CPU: Dual Core Intel Celeron B800 (-MCP-) speed/min/max: 798/800/1500 MHz
Kernel: 5.3.13-arch1-1 x86_64 Up: 1m Mem: 318.9/1774.0 MiB (18.0%)
Storage: 298.09 GiB (2.3% used) Procs: 133 Shell: bash 5.0.11 inxi: 3.0.36


Ish's CQ57

$ inxi
CPU: Dual Core AMD E-300 APU with Radeon HD Graphics (-MCP-) speed/min/max: 780/780/1300 MHz
Kernel: 4.19.0-6-amd64 x86_64 Up: 1m Mem: 328.6/1595.5 MiB (20.6%)
Storage: 298.09 GiB (2.1% used) Procs: 125 Shell: bash 5.0.3 inxi: 3.0.32

 

Edited by saturnian
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securitybreach

Well since everyone else is doing it:

 

Desktop:

 

Quote

Cerberus :: ~ » inxi
CPU: 8-Core AMD Ryzen 7 2700X (-MT MCP-) speed/min/max: 3374/2200/3700 MHz Kernel: 5.4.7-zen1-1-zen x86_64 Up: 2d 8h 04m
Mem: 9249.4/32082.1 MiB (28.8%) Storage: 22.06 TiB (59.5% used) Procs: 372 Shell: zsh 5.7.1 inxi: 3.0.37

 

 

Server:

 

Quote

megatron :: ~ » inxi
CPU: 2x 6-Core Intel Xeon E5-2630 v2 (-MT MCP SMP-) speed/min/max: 1611/1200/3100 MHz Kernel: 5.4.6.a-1-hardened x86_64
Up: 6d 11h 51m Mem: 14147.6/128858.0 MiB (11.0%) Storage: 5.46 TiB (1.4% used) Procs: 358 Shell: zsh 5.7.1 inxi: 3.0.37

 

(Yes, 128gb of ram)

 

HP Z15 Mobile Workstation:

 

Quote

comhack@saturn ~ % inxi CPU: Quad Core Intel Core i7-4800MQ (-MT MCP-) speed/min/max: 1995/800/3700 MHz Kernel: 5.3.1-zen1-1-zen x86_64 Up: 31d 5h 26m Mem: 1811.6/32048.5 MiB (5.7%) Storage: 847.69 GiB (2.2% used) Procs: 172 Shell: zsh 5.7.1 inxi: 3.0.37

 

Main carry laptop (HP Eliteboot 830 G5):

 

Quote

CPU: Quad Core Intel Core i5-8350U (-MT MCP-) speed/min/max: 600/400/3600 MHz Kernel: 5.4.1-zen2-1-zen x86_64 Up: 1d 4h 34m Mem: 721.9/15384.4 MiB (4.7%) Storage: 953.87 GiB (14.4% used) Procs: 246 Shell: zsh 5.7.1 inxi: 3.0.37

 

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securitybreach
1 hour ago, raymac46 said:

The first machine I installed Linux Dapper Drake on was a Dell Dimension 4100 Pentium III with 512 MB of RAM, maxed out.

 

There was another before but the first one I posted about here was a

 

Quote

Dell Inspiron 8100-P3 1.13, 512ram, NvIDIA Geforce 2 Go, 40gig HD, Netgear Wireless PCMCIA card, Maestro Audio.

 

I know that it was a bottom of the barrel Toshiba that my mom got me for college.

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V.T. Eric Layton

If I remember correctly, I first installed Ubuntu Dapper Drake (6.06) in ericsbane02. It was an AMD Thunderbird K7 processor with a 10Gig hard drive and 256M X 2 RAM. And I still think that Thunderbird K7 was one of the finest CPUs ever manufactured. I still have a working T-Bird K7 out in my shop (brother's old computer). I also have a spare K7 processor and fan/mount.

 

This machine I'm on now (ericsbane07):

 

vtel57@ericsbane07~:$ inxi
CPU~Hexa core AMD Phenom II X6 1090T (-MCP-) speed/max~800/3200 MHz

Kernel~4.4.14 x86_64

Up~3:09

Mem~1427.3/11983.8MB

HDD~1640.4GB(7.5% used)

Procs~269

Client~Shell inxi~2.2.31

 

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securitybreach
12 minutes ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

If I remember correctly, I first installed Ubuntu Dapper Drake (6.06) in ericsbane02. It was an AMD Thunderbird K7 processor with a 10Gig hard drive and 256M X 2 RAM. And I still think that Thunderbird K7 was one of the finest CPUs ever manufactured. I still have a working T-Bird K7 out in my shop (brother's old computer). I also have a spare K7 processor and fan/mount.

 

This machine I'm on now (ericsbane07):

 

vtel57@ericsbane07~:$ inxi
CPU~Hexa core AMD Phenom II X6 1090T (-MCP-) speed/max~800/3200 MHz

Kernel~4.4.14 x86_64

Up~3:09

Mem~1427.3/11983.8MB

HDD~1640.4GB(7.5% used)

Procs~269

Client~Shell inxi~2.2.31

 


I mostly felt the same with the K6 back in the day.

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On 1/4/2020 at 2:53 PM, Cluttermagnet said:

I ran it as a live DVD session (Mate 64bit version) and it had some trouble

finding things. I could see it searching at various 'cookbook' addresses

and it eventually got itself going as a live session- but the whole thing

seemed shaky.

 

 

I think I'd want to take another look at that live session. Maybe from a flash drive instead of from a DVD. And for doing an installation preserving /home,  maybe it's too much of a jump between Mint 17 and Mint 19. I don't know, I've never preserved /home, as far as I can recall, but I'd expect some issues in that situation.

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securitybreach

About the only problem you might run into is configuration files (dot files)from previous versions of applications but that is kind of rare nowadays.

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V.T. Eric Layton

Regardless of upgrade jumps, you can always preserve /home because there are no critical configuration files in /home that would affect a newer installation of the OS. However, there are config files in /home for desktop setup and browser/email clients, etc. Sometimes, the newer versions of the OS will not like the older configs for these items. Regardless, they should NOT cause critical issues.

 

I've preserved my /home partition through numerous upgrades of Slack over the years. I even copy my /home for use on other systems; usually without major issues. That, folks, is the wonderfulness of the /home directory in Linux operating systems. Try that trick with Windows. ;)

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