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raymac46

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raymac46

It is now 7 years since I installed Arch Linux on my pathetic Toshiba NB-305 netbook. All I have done in the meantime is switch to LXQt desktop from Xfce. I just upgraded everything and it's running as good as it ever did. With 2 GB of memory as the maximum and a 1024X600 screen resolution I don't watch many videos but hey..it still works.

It is a testament to how stable and reliable Arch Linux is that it continues to keep a 14 year old Netbook out of the landfill.

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I still have an ASUS EeePC 900 which has 1GB RAM. antiX works fine on it but it's relegated to a cupboard most of the time since I got a ThinkPad Yoga 11e.

It's probably more testament to any lightweight Linux rather than any specific one.

Arch has always been too high maintenance for me with constant upgrades. Sure the upgrades mostly go smoothly but they still need to be done. It's the same reason I switched from using siduction for many years to now using Debian Stable.

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securitybreach

Im amazed that you have an EeePC running still. I had the original model of those

 

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securitybreach
Just now, securitybreach said:

Im amazed that you have an EeePC running still. I had the original model of those

 

 

It came with Xandros but I immediately replaced that with Debian

 

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35 minutes ago, securitybreach said:

Im amazed that you have an EeePC running still. I had the original model of those

 

The battery is basically defunct and I had to replace the keyboard but it does still work on mains power. I bought the original EeePC 701 when it came out but replaced it as soon as the 900 was available.

And yeah, the default OS sucked. I replaced it with Sidux immediately.

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raymac46

I had a couple of 32 bit netbooks - 1 Acer and 1 Dell. They have been recycled.

The Toshiba is really a nice little piece of hardware. Battery still works after a fashion and it has a 64 bit Atom processor so I could use Arch with it. I needed to replace the hard drive with a cheap SSD to avoid going insane.

I wanted to have a non critical machine to experience an Arch install and afterwards keep it up to date. The only thing I had was the Toshiba.

Arch has behaved as advertised - and then some. I occasionally get glitches in updating but I have been able to fix them.

I now have a second junker in the Arch universe but I simply installed EndeavourOS on that one.

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securitybreach

The problem with 32bit or atom machines is the lack of ram due to their age. Browing the internet is almost impossible on them. I have a neat little netbook from like 2009 that has a 64bit atom but the 2gb of ram makes the machine unusable.

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raymac46
Posted (edited)

I agree it's not worth much time getting a netbook to run Linux when even a cheap laptop from 8 years ago will have a quad core CPU and 8 GB of RAM. The netbook is pretty snappy with LXQt and you can get a light browser like Falkon or Midori that will allow you to browse text based sites. Don't try opening more than a couple of tabs though.

Edited by raymac46
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securitybreach

Yeah, javascript heavy sites is what lock up the browser on low ram machines.

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a few years ago I took an SSD and installed it with W10 into a netbook from Acer. It was quite usable, W10 did a very good job of working with the capabilities limits of the netbook - except for web browsing with any graphical browser. 

An ad blocker was required to keep all the scripts of advertisements at bay but that didn't quite do enough. Had to turn off the automatic display of images as well.

I kept the setup going for a bit until I needed the SSD for a laptop.

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securitybreach
8 hours ago, crp said:

a few years ago I took an SSD and installed it with W10 into a netbook from Acer. It was quite usable, W10 did a very good job of working with the capabilities limits of the netbook - except for web browsing with any graphical browser.

 

Well most linux distros are very fast on an old 32 bit or atom computer up until you fire open the browser. Applications and console things are very snappy except for the browser. Nowadays without a browser, the machine is all but useless.

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raymac46
Posted (edited)

I have just updated the Toshiba and I am now posting this message from the Falkon browser.

RAM usage is 600 MB of 2 GB accoring to htop. That seems OK to me. Of course only one tab open on the browser, and Scot's isn't all that taxing a website.

EDIT: Tried running a Youtube video and it was pretty painful.

Edited by raymac46
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raymac46

I found a site called Frogfind that is a search engine/browser addon that strips away everything but basic HTML. You can inspect SNF with it but you can't post anything.

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What about text only browsers like Lynx or Links?

Edited by wa4chq
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securitybreach
3 hours ago, wa4chq said:

What about text only browsers like Lynx or Links?

They work but break most sites due to how JavaScript heavy they are.

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10 minutes ago, securitybreach said:

That and they're a pain to navigate

You're only suppose to scan the headlines and pretend to have read it....lol

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securitybreach
4 hours ago, wa4chq said:

You're only suppose to scan the headlines and pretend to have read it....lol

 

Sounds accurate for the majority of folks nowadays, kind of sad.

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13 hours ago, securitybreach said:

 

Sounds accurate for the majority of folks nowadays, kind of sad.

Yeah....I don't do that.....lol.

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raymac46
Posted (edited)

I've tried the basic browsers like Dillo and Lynx - even NetSurf - but I just can't use them. You need a little JS just to post on a site like this. Middleweight browsers like Midori or Falkon are OK.

But honestly - Netbooks were - and are - underpowered in both RAM and CPU by design. A more traditional desktop or laptop can be upgraded enough to be useful. A Netbook cannot - aside from putting in an SSD.

It makes more sense to choose an early generation i5 laptop for your Linux experiments. That said, I still think it's great that the latest Arch can be installed and stable on a 14-year-old Netbook.

Edited by raymac46
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raymac46
Posted (edited)

I've been playing around with Dillo and the Gnome Web browser on my Netbook and they are non-starters. Dillo launches and runs OK but I cannot login to SNF with it. The Gnome Web Browser (AKA Epiphany) just crashes when I try to launch it. I tried a deinstall and remove .local Epiphany files then reinstall but that didn't work. I would have to check the logs I guess to see what is going on. Maybe Gnome Web just doesn't like LXQt or Xfce.

For now Falkon is the best solution followed by Midori.

Edited by raymac46
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Hedon James
10 minutes ago, raymac46 said:

I've been playing around with Dillo and the Gnome Web browser on my Netbook and they are non-starters. Dillo launches and runs OK but I cannot login to SNF with it. The Gnome Web Browser (AKA Epiphany) just crashes when I try to launch it. I tried a deinstall and remove .local Epiphany files then reinstall but that didn't work. I would have to check the logs I guess to see what is going on. Maybe Gnome Web just doesn't like LXQt or Xfce.

For now Falkon is the best solution followed by Midori.

Google Chrome doesn't like LXQt desktop.  It WILL NOT launch.  I have to launch Chrome with flag "--disable-features=AllowQt", which works perfectly; so I created a custom launcher for Chrome-QT and all is good.  Don't know why, but it works and I moved on.  I wonder if the Gnome Browser doesn't like LXQt for a similar reason?  I wonder if the Chrome flag would work on Gnome Browser? 

 

Alternatively, maybe something like PaleMoon (lightweight Firefox derivate) would be a good choice?

https://developer.palemoon.org/docs/linux-installation/

Edited by Hedon James
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raymac46
I have installed NetSurf and it did allow me to log in and reply to your post @HJ but for some reason I don't have a cursor in the response text box. NetSurf looks a bit glitchy in its display as well. I will take a look into PaleMoon.
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Hedon James
5 minutes ago, raymac46 said:

I have installed NetSurf and it did allow me to log in and reply to your post @HJ but for some reason I don't have a cursor in the response text box. NetSurf looks a bit glitchy in its display as well. I will take a look into PaleMoon.

You seem to be aware of most options for lightweight web browsers, and I did the same once upon a time; but have forgotten most of them.  I remembered PaleMoon, but here's a good list (many of which you already tried):

https://itsfoss.com/lightweight-web-browsers-linux/

 

I remember Waterfox, but have completely forgotten about SeaMonkey, which I found interesting.  Viper is a new one to my ears, but sounds like a match for you maybe?  Enjoy!

 

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raymac46
Posted (edited)

I am trying to install PaleMoon into arch using the yay AUR build helper but it is very slow on the Atom powered Netbook. I'll let you know how it goes.

I've not had any problems with Chrome in Xfce based distros.

Edited by raymac46
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raymac46
Posted (edited)

Viper is another browser which I have to build from the AUR. It's a brutal process on the Netbook.

Really all of this is just for fun, as I already have a pretty good pair of lightweight browsers (Midori and Falkon.)

Edited by raymac46
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raymac46

I installed epiphany on a Gnome desktop I have  on my Thinkpad and it's running great here. So it may be a problem with LXQt.

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raymac46

I don't think I can get Pale Moon or Epiphany to work in Arch Linux on the Netbook. Epiphany is giving me segmentation faults possibly due to the ancient graphics solution I have there. Also I got build errors with yay when trying to install Pale Moon. I have another junk laptop with EndeavourOS on it so I can try them there.

Any other Arch users with different laptops/desktops can give Pale Moon/ Epiphany a whirl if they want.

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