Linux newbie install issues

JACsdad

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Hello im rather new to the Linux os world. I currently am using Mint on my one laptop that i use regulary and I love it so far. SO much more user friendly than any windows system i have ever used and even for somone like myself who is very tech savvy I find it relativly straight forward to get to grips with it. Anything im unsure of or any issues I have come across with setting up the system have pretty much been resolved thanks to the advice and guidance of fellow linux users.

So on to the problem at hand here. OK so i have an old spare laptop that is able to run with all the background jargon Microsoft systems come with so in the world of windows this laptop is dead. However I believe that It would be more than able to be brought back to life using a Linux distro. The laptop in question would be used as basically a media centre which would be hooked up to my living room tv and used essentially to run iptv and other streaming formats and also my back catalgoue of media I have on hdd. so this notebook is a Zoostorm freedom 10-270 it has a Intel Atom 1.6 processor and it has 2gb RAM, and i have 250gb ssd for storage. So what distro would you suggest would be best suited for myself?

I have atttempted to install mint 20.1 however i have the 64 bit version which isnt any good for this laptop. I also tried puppy 5.2.8 i succesfully got it to boot on a cpl of occasions but i couldnt quiet understand how to install on to my hard drive. now when i am trying to run the distro i am just met with this.

/bin/sh: cant access tty; job control turned off.

I am now stuck i do not know how to get around this and i cant really find much inforamtion on what it is im looking at. please can someone help me here. Can anybody talk me through what i need to do to get it running again and somehow install it on to my hdd. Or even suggest a distro that may suit my needs and my laptop spec better please. Thanks in advance for ny help and info given i appreciate it

Thanks JACsdad
 


KGIII

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1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor
So, it's a 32 bit processor. You need a 32 bit OS. You can run a 32 bit OS on 64 bit hardware, but the reverse isn't true. So, it has to be 32 bit.

You'll want some decent features and software availability. Debian is alright. But, you can stick with Mint.


LMDE has a 32 bit version that has all the bells and whistles.

Note that your browser isn't going to work well on that old hardware. I forget the instruction set, but your CPU doesn't have it and most modern browsers rely on it and don't perform well without it. So, you won't be comfortably opening a few dozen tabs.

If you can add RAM, that'd help with performance overall.
 

stan

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@KGIII is right, you seem to have an Atom N270, and that is 32-bit only. Atom CPU's were never a powerhouse. And 2 GB of RAM is kind of marginal these days, but that is already the maximum you can use, from what I found online.

Besides LMDE, I might try Zorin Linux Lite, or Peppermint Linux Respin. Both of these have a 32-bit version... for now. And they are pretty easy on system requirements. But each year more and more distros drop support for 32-bit computers, so you never know when you'll have to seek out something else, no matter which you choose now.

Get something to work first, then think about what you can do with it. If none of these 3 suggestions above work, there are still a few options left, but they start to dwindle quickly.
 

KGIII

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Long-term feasibility is one of the reasons I mention LMDE. It's based on Debian (including 32 bit) and Debian has 'no current plans' to stop 32 bit development. It's further 'up the tree' if they go for straight Debian, which is an option, but they're already familiar with Mint.
 

stan

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It looks like LMDE uses the Cinnamon desktop though, and that is pretty resource heavy for this computer, I think, but it's certainly worth trying. Zorin and Peppermint both use a customized XFCE, which may help just a bit. Perhaps every little bit will be needed to run comfortably.

@Nelson Muntz's suggestion of MX-Linux is also a good 32-bit possibility, as well as it's cousin, antiX Linux. Now we're up to 5 pretty solid recommendations... maybe @JACsdad can give them all a live USB test to see which works best and is most appealing.
 

stan

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Pure Debian would be another option, but it seems to generally be more difficult for new users, even with the non-free firmware included. But there are even lighter desktop options with Debian, if none of the above work out.
 

KGIII

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and that is pretty resource heavy for this computer, I think,
Cinnamon is actually quite light. Less than 100 mb more than LXQt and less than 150 mb more than LXQt.

I was remarkably surprised by this when I tested. (At the default settings.)
 

stan

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I was remarkably surprised by this when I tested.
I'm surprised too! I like Cinnamon... it's beautiful. But I've had issues with it, even with 8 GB of RAM on my old desktop (circa 2009). My trouble may be more about video card capabilities or specs. But that may be trouble for the OP also.
 

Nelson Muntz

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My trouble may be more about video card capabilities or specs. But that may be trouble for the OP also.
My experience with any Gnome3 desktop environment a powerful graphics is a must or it can load the processor down.

My computers are around the same circa as what you posted @stan .

Another problem for the OP may be the fact of only having 2.0 GB of memory which will be shared with the integrated graphics adapter so really less than 2.0 GB.
 

KGIII

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But I've had issues with it,
Hmm... Even back in its early days it was pretty good on the hardware of the time. I'm not sure why it'd have issues. You can check the RAM usage if you want to compare.

Also, I've often not had a dedicated graphics card. I never really have a reason for a dedicated card. This computer has one, but I think it was stuffed in their by default when I ordered it. I don't do anything graphics-intensive.
 

wizardfromoz

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@KGIII - what about Lubuntu, David? Supports 32-bit.

Wiz
 

KGIII

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@KGIII - what about Lubuntu, David? Supports 32-bit.

Wiz
Not worth it. Support for 32 bit Lubuntu ends in about a month. 18.04 only gets 3 years of support - for official flavors. 18.04 Ubuntu gets 5 years (plus ESM). Some parts of the system will (likely) continue getting updates, but all the Lubuntu bits will not - including not getting any security updates.

As much as I love LXDE, it's dead as an official Ubuntu image. It's still in the repos, but I'm not going to suggest that to a new person. LXQt is surprisingly light, but there's no 32 bit version.

The reason there's no 32 bit version isn't because Ubuntu hates 32 bit. It's because there weren't enough people testing with 32 bit machines. Learning that was one of the reasons I decided to get involved. Not that I have 32 bit hardware, but because I saw what happened when there wasn't enough testing.
 

stan

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As much as I love LXDE, it's dead as an official Ubuntu image. It's still in the repos, but I'm not going to suggest that to a new person. LXQt is surprisingly light, but there's no 32 bit version.
The latest Debian (10.8, Live, non-free) still offers 32-bit LXDE and LXQT... here. These may be a nice alternative for the OP too.
 

stan

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Also, I've often not had a dedicated graphics card. I never really have a reason for a dedicated card. This computer has one, but I think it was stuffed in their by default when I ordered it. I don't do anything graphics-intensive.
Maybe I shouldn't have said "video card"... oops. Mine is simple onboard ATI, and I don't do anything intensive either. The trouble was screen tearing with the web browser. It was annoying enough to move on and use MATE, which worked better for me. I did investigate some workarounds for Cinnamon first, but nothing I found seemed to help. I think I always have an issue with Cinnamon in VirtualBox too, but if I wasn't so lazy that may could be overcome. ;)
 

KGIII

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The latest Debian (10.8, Live, non-free) still offers 32-bit LXDE and LXQT... here. These may be a nice alternative for the OP too.
Maybe, but as a new person I'd push them away from 'community' maintained, 'unofficial', or anything where they're expected to install their own desktop. I'd push them towards things that are standard and well-supported, so that they can more easily process search results and have consistency when asking for support.

That was my thinking, at any rate. I ain't sure that it's good thinking - but it was a part of my thinking process. Basically, "What can I do to make it the path of least resistance?"

I try to think back to when I was new and approach it like that.

It was annoying enough to move on and use MATE, which worked better for me.
IIRC, and this is a head-scratcher, MATE used more default RAM than even Cinnamon.

Seeing as we're tossing out ideas, Xfce is also surprisingly light.
 

stan

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Maybe, but as a new person I'd push them away from 'community' maintained, 'unofficial', or anything where they're expected to install their own desktop. I'd push them towards things that are standard and well-supported, so that they can more easily process search results and have consistency when asking for support.
Yes and no. Isn't all of Linux "community maintained?" Although I'm not qualified, anyone who is smart enough can even join the kernel development team. But the Debian non-free .iso files in my link each run live to test first, just like most popular distros, and they can be installed completely... including the named desktop on the file. I've tried all or most of them at one time, and they work the same as any other typical distro. Honestly, my opinion is that I don't think Debian would survive without these, except maybe in a very narrow niche. The strict ideology of "free software" falls flat when no one can get their wireless internet to work. :oops:;)
 

KGIII

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Yes and no. Isn't all of Linux "community maintained?"
They are indeed, but some communities are much more robust and have much better support due to market penetration and adequate resources (including people).

If you want support for Ubuntu, you can get it. If you want support from an unofficial distro used by 80 people, you're gonna find a lot fewer resources.
 

jglen490

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Just looking at my Downloads folder, there's AntiX, Bohdi, Debian, and Peppermint - all of which are or have 32 bit variants. You might try looking at Distrowatch.com, which has a good search facility to select parameters such i386, i486, i586, i686 all of which are 32 bit, or by CPU. Or you could search with Google for "lightweight Linux".

I've used Peppermint on my old Toshiba laptop with no problems. Not exactly the same specs, but worth a try anyway. They're all free, just takes a little time to download.
 
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