Jump to content

Running Linux on Real Junk


raymac46
 Share

Recommended Posts

I remember a few years ago I tried to classify the sort of candidate machines for running Linux into a few categories, namely:

  • Leading Edge - latest laptops from Dell, Lenovo, System 76 etc. - some gaming rigs in this category would have the latest Ryzen and Intel CPUs, AMD 6000 GPUs, Nvidia 3000 GPUs - but they are mostly vaporware with the silicon shortage and cryptomining going on.
  • Trailing Edge - Earlier gen "Lake" CPUs and Ryzen CPUs, last gen GPUS, DDR4, NVME - pretty new stuff.
  • Aging - Intel "Bridge" CPUs, pre-Ryzen AMD, DDR3, SATA3 but no NVME or M.2, a few gens back on the GPU.
  • Junk - C2D or Phenom II, old GPUs, DDR2, Intel Atom 64 bit, integrated graphics.
  • Real Junk -32 bit Pentium 4, AMD Athlon 2800 or so 32 bit without SSE2, DDR or early DDR2, SATA1 or IDE... you get the idea.

Lately I've seen some YouTube vids on running Linux on real junk. Caution..it's painful.

Aside from brutal boot times and slowness, most browsers won't even launch. I know Linux is supposed to be excellent for refurbishing older hardware, but some times you need to know when to fold up, as The Gambler would say.

 

 

 

Edited by raymac46
  • +1 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For sure. Real Junk is something that many distros won't support, or lacking in some instruction set that a current browser like Chromium needs to launch. Might even upgrade it to "Aging."

Edited by raymac46
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awww, you classified my daily driver as "Junk" - C2D 8500. 😬 It works great with siduction for email, browsing, music and videos. I'll concede my much newer "production" system is "Trailing Edge"; i5 6500 works great for music production and heavy duty stuff.

I'd consider my EeePC900 netbook to be "Real Junk" - it sits on the shelf although it runs AntiX just fine including videos. Right next to it also gathering dust is a ThinkPad Yoga 11e which occasionally sees some electrons run through it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Junk is good. My granddaughter's Dell Inspiron 530 desktop is junk. I installed LInux on it in 2012 when it was already in bad shape with a botched Windows 7 upgrade. It served a 90+ year old lady for years. After she passed away I upgraded processor to an E8400, DDR2 to 8GB, added SSD and new wifi dongle. Now it's a daily driver for remote learning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking personally, I have one trailing edge, 4 aging, and 2 junk machines in the computer museum here. My real junk stuff got recycled a few years ago. My two junkers are either impossible to upgrade or not worth the aggravation. They both run OK with Linux.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hedon James
16 hours ago, saturnian said:

I think this one qualifies as "junk":

 

Compaq Presario CQ57-489WM
HDD - 320.1GB; RAM - 2 GB; CPU - Dual core AMD E-300 APU with Radeon HD Graphics (-MCP-)
https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03316666


Running Debian Buster (LXQt with Openbox) on this one. It's slow, but I can work with it.

 

If you grow frustrated with LXQt on that machine, you can login to a "naked" OB session, autostart the LXQT panels (located at /.config/lxqt/panel.conf), and it will LOOK and act like LXQT, but with half the RAM usage.  FWIW...

  • +1 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main problem with these old underpowered machines like my Toshiba netbook is not that you can't get some flavor of Linux to work, but that they don't have the technology or memory to run a browser unless it is one of the very lightweight ones like Midori. And no, I don't want to surf the Net with Lynx or Dillo.

Edited by raymac46
  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Hedon James said:

If you grow frustrated with LXQt on that machine, you can login to a "naked" OB session, autostart the LXQT panels (located at /.config/lxqt/panel.conf), and it will LOOK and act like LXQT, but with half the RAM usage.  FWIW...

 

Actually, on any installation where I have Openbox and a DE, I log into the Openbox session at least as often as I log into the DE. Started doing this a long time ago (around 2006 or 2007) with Kubuntu and another old laptop/notebook (another piece of junk!). Except in that case, I added Fluxbox, not Openbox. That machine struggled terribly under KDE, but I found that I could log into Fluxbox and then I could use the KDE apps with no problems.

 

All these years later, I've currently got Kubuntu LTS 20.04 installed, and I added Fluxbox to that. I happen to be typing this from the Fluxbox session.'

 

As for the Buster LXQt/Openbox installation on the piece of junk CQ57, I can't say that I ever grow frustrated with LXQt. I simply like Openbox better. LXDE only used Openbox, but you can use other WMs with LXQt; still, I go with Openbox just because I like having the session available to use. I have lots of saved config files and stuff, so setting up my Openbox desktop is a breeze these days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hedon James

I like Openbox for it's lightweight characteristics, but I loathe it's configuration in html format, with tags, brackets, etc...  I need a helper like ObMenu-generator just to tolerate it.  After that, I'm golden.

 

I MUCH prefer Fluxbox and PekWM, both easily configurable in plain text format; and both having tabbed windows.  I hide the Flux toolbar though.  I still use the Tint2 toolbar I stole from you(?) a LONG time ago, but for me it's a combination workspace switcher & open application toolbar.  Tint2 is SOOO configurable, the options are almost overwhelming.  Naked WMs and Tint2 for the win!

 

If I can ever figure out how to get jgmenu to "import" the Flux, Pek, and Openbox "native" config/settings dialogue, I'll roll all 3 WM menus into a single jgmenu.  Right now, I maintain 3 separate but nearly identical and homogeneous root menus, and it sure would be nice to just have to maintain only 1.  Anyone else using jgmenu?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, you frugal window manager types LOL.

I just install GNOME Shell, crank up the Shell Extensions and take 2 GB just to run the system. Let the good times roll, I always say. :sorcerer:

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hedon James, I still use tint2 with Fluxbox! Except in the installation I'm typing from at the moment, I decided to keep the Fluxbox toolbar, horizontal across the bottom, just for kicks. I feel like I have a more comfortable workflow with my tint2 setup, but I must have been in some kind of funky mood when I did this Fluxbox setup, wanted do a few things I hadn't been doing.

 

I used Fluxbox before I knew about Openbox. One reason I started using Openbox more than Fluxbox was obmenu, that very simple menu editor. I kinda fell in love with obmenu, and haven't wanted or needed anything else for setting up the Openbox menu.

 

Sadly, looks like obmenu will no longer be available in Debian as of Bullseye. In Arch, I'm still able to get obmenu from AUR.

 

But that's okay; I've been at this for a long time now, and I can take an old menu.xml file that I've saved (I've even still got some from CrunchBang!), pop it in, edit for a few minutes, done.  

 

I am not feeling it for jgmenu. And, by the way, I don't think I've tried obmenu-generator. Nothing against it, just haven't felt that I needed it. I read up on it a little more when I found out that obmenu wouldn't be in the Bullseye repos. I'll revisit everything when I start using Openbox in Bullseye, but I think I'm most likely to stick with the copy/paste/edit routine for the menu.

 

I'll have to take a look at PeKWM sometime. Another one I've used in the past, don't recall seeing it mentioned here, was AwesomeWM. A number of others besides that, but in the end kept only Fluxbox and Openbox. I can't say that I have a favorite between those two. I've done a lot more stuff with Openbox themes than I've done with Fluxbox "styles". The tabbed window thing in Fluxbox, always thought that was very cool; as it turns out, I almost never use that feature anymore.

Edited by saturnian
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to run Linux on a Toshiba Satellite Pro 430...I think I used Netscape (dillo and links too) for browsing.  Man, what a clunky machine.  Back then I thought it looked cool...lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The cruddiest machine I ever put Linux on was a Fujitsu Lifebook 635Tx from 1997. Pentium 133, 96 MB RAM, no ethernet, no optical drive. It did have a PCMCIA slot and a floppy disk so I was able to plug in an ethernet PC card and install a running Deli Linux system by getting the base off a floppy and then the rest via the Internet. And yes it ran Dillo.

These things probably cost $3500 when new. Boggles the mind.

Edited by raymac46
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...