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Minimum requirements for live boot, installation(Mint)

Confused_nerd

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Okay so I wanted to try to use Linux mint as my first distro and would like to live boot it from a usb to try it out.
I have a old generation pc with Intel Pentium dual core processor, 3.00 GHz,and sadly only 2GB RAM.

Question 1. Will this be enough for using linux mint from usb or if later I wanted to install it permanently?
Question 2. I have some daily requirements like browsing Web, printing PDFs and I also need to occassionally connect my smartphone to the pc for file transfer. Does Linux mint support these(if not, what other distro do u recommend)

Background: I know some python but actually really new to Linux, so please go easy on the advanced stuff....Thanks:)
 


KGIII

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You will have abysmal performance with 2 GB of RAM in a live environment. In a live environment **EVERYTHING** (that is running) is loaded into RAM. It'll be fine for looking around, but painful if you wanted to do so all the time and actually do some work with the computer. Painful... So very, very painful.

If you install it, it'll run - but not very happily unless you have a light workload. Browsing the web will be your most difficult. You'll be (realistically) limited to just a few tabs of active content. It'll run and it'll run better than it will in a live environment.

Enable swap and keep swappiness at the default or greater. (After you install it.)

If you can, buy some more RAM. It's cheap. A PC from that generation may not say it on the box, but it probably supports at least 8 GB of RAM. It may even support 16. I've found many an OEM who said they're limited to 4 GB but actually supports twice as much.

You'd also do well to get an SSD - but probably only after using an HDD, just so you can see the wonderful performance boost and actually realize what a great idea it was to buy an SSD!. I've bought a few Team Group SSDs lately and have been really happy with the performance and price. An SSD will change your computing experience. Start times and application load times, as well as other read/write activities, will greatly improve. This of course assumes your computer isn't still using IDE. If that's the case, an SSD will still help but it's not going to reach the same speeds due to the limitations of IDE. Converters are available and your speeds will improve, just less drastically.

Now, all of that is true regardless of what distro you use. 2 GB of RAM isn't that much these days. You can do it, but you will be wanting more RAM. The above also assumes you use Mint - it'll run, but not as well as it could on that hardware. The RAM and SSD will breathe new life into your box.

There are many other lighter distros. MX Linux and Bodhi aren't bad. I've played with both in a VM and had good experiences. You'll likely have a better experience with a lighter distro. Mint with Cinnamon isn't all that heavy by default, but it can get pretty intensive and you really will need to tighten your computer-resource-usage-belt while you have such little RAM.
 

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Confused_nerd

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You will have abysmal performance with 2 GB of RAM in a live environment. In a live environment **EVERYTHING** (that is running) is loaded into RAM. It'll be fine for looking around, but painful if you wanted to do so all the time and actually do some work with the computer. Painful... So very, very painful.

If you install it, it'll run - but not very happily unless you have a light workload. Browsing the web will be your most difficult. You'll be (realistically) limited to just a few tabs of active content. It'll run and it'll run better than it will in a live environment.

Enable swap and keep swappiness at the default or greater. (After you install it.)

If you can, buy some more RAM. It's cheap. A PC from that generation may not say it on the box, but it probably supports at least 8 GB of RAM. It may even support 16. I've found many an OEM who said they're limited to 4 GB but actually supports twice as much.

You'd also do well to get an SSD - but probably only after using an HDD, just so you can see the wonderful performance boost and actually realize what a great idea it was to buy an SSD!. I've bought a few Team Group SSDs lately and have been really happy with the performance and price. An SSD will change your computing experience. Start times and application load times, as well as other read/write activities, will greatly improve. This of course assumes your computer isn't still using IDE. If that's the case, an SSD will still help but it's not going to reach the same speeds due to the limitations of IDE. Converters are available and your speeds will improve, just less drastically.

Now, all of that is true regardless of what distro you use. 2 GB of RAM isn't that much these days. You can do it, but you will be wanting more RAM. The above also assumes you use Mint - it'll run, but not as well as it could on that hardware. The RAM and SSD will breathe new life into your box.

There are many other lighter distros. MX Linux and Bodhi aren't bad. I've played with both in a VM and had good experiences. You'll likely have a better experience with a lighter distro. Mint with Cinnamon isn't all that heavy by default, but it can get pretty intensive and you really will need to tighten your computer-resource-usage-belt while you have such little RAM.
Thanks for the heads-up, I was actually planning on buying a new laptop for usage and just wanted to try Linux before that. I'll look to see if I can upgrade the RAM, on this machine too. I'll just go with a light weight distro for now.
 
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Confused_nerd

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You will have abysmal performance with 2 GB of RAM in a live environment. In a live environment **EVERYTHING** (that is running) is loaded into RAM. It'll be fine for looking around, but painful if you wanted to do so all the time and actually do some work with the computer. Painful... So very, very painful.

If you install it, it'll run - but not very happily unless you have a light workload. Browsing the web will be your most difficult. You'll be (realistically) limited to just a few tabs of active content. It'll run and it'll run better than it will in a live environment.

Enable swap and keep swappiness at the default or greater. (After you install it.)

If you can, buy some more RAM. It's cheap. A PC from that generation may not say it on the box, but it probably supports at least 8 GB of RAM. It may even support 16. I've found many an OEM who said they're limited to 4 GB but actually supports twice as much.

You'd also do well to get an SSD - but probably only after using an HDD, just so you can see the wonderful performance boost and actually realize what a great idea it was to buy an SSD!. I've bought a few Team Group SSDs lately and have been really happy with the performance and price. An SSD will change your computing experience. Start times and application load times, as well as other read/write activities, will greatly improve. This of course assumes your computer isn't still using IDE. If that's the case, an SSD will still help but it's not going to reach the same speeds due to the limitations of IDE. Converters are available and your speeds will improve, just less drastically.

Now, all of that is true regardless of what distro you use. 2 GB of RAM isn't that much these days. You can do it, but you will be wanting more RAM. The above also assumes you use Mint - it'll run, but not as well as it could on that hardware. The RAM and SSD will breathe new life into your box.

There are many other lighter distros. MX Linux and Bodhi aren't bad. I've played with both in a VM and had good experiences. You'll likely have a better experience with a lighter distro. Mint with Cinnamon isn't all that heavy by default, but it can get pretty intensive and you really will need to tighten your computer-resource-usage-belt while you have such little RAM.
Okay so I checked with the computer guy and he said that the RAM is upgradable, what specs do you recommend for using mint? I'm also gonna get a new processor(currently it's just 32 bit), would an Intel i3 suffice or should I aim for i5?
 

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be careful how much you spend vs a new pc
 

KGIII

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Okay so I checked with the computer guy and he said that the RAM is upgradable, what specs do you recommend for using mint? I'm also gonna get a new processor(currently it's just 32 bit), would an Intel i3 suffice or should I aim for i5?

I wouldn't bother putting a new CPU in that old device. Also, a modern CPU (like an i5) almost certainly is made for a different socket. I'd do no more than RAM and an SSD. Anything more than that and you'd be better of just buying a nice refurbished computer.
 
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Confused_nerd

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I wouldn't bother putting a new CPU in that old device. Also, a modern CPU (like an i5) almost certainly is made for a different socket. I'd do no more than RAM and an SSD. Anything more than that and you'd be better of just buying a nice refurbished computer.
Okay, so I've decided to go for 6-8 gb RAM, and a 128 GB SSD. Would that do?
 

KGIII

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That'll do wonderfully.

Many devices require that the RAM be paired with the same size stick o' RAM. So, if you put a 2 GB stick in one slot, they may want a matching size in the other slot. (Many folks will swear by using the same brand and model in each slot.) Sometimes, they're paired - meaning you can put 2 x 2 GB in 2 slots and 2 x 4 GB in another pair of slots.

I have absolutely no idea what your device takes. That's up for you to figure out. You'll also need to figure out what kind of RAM it takes. Not all RAM is equal, just like not all CPUs are equal.

At some point, the best value for dollar spent will be best spent just getting a more modern device. Your laptop may not even take SATA drives. It may have that old weird IDE setup that older laptops had. In some cases, ye olden laptops had proprietary drives sitting in bays that were semi-modular. So, do your research before spending any money.
 

stan

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Okay so I checked with the computer guy and he said that the RAM is upgradable, what specs do you recommend for using mint? I'm also gonna get a new processor(currently it's just 32 bit), would an Intel i3 suffice or should I aim for i5?
I'm sorry for butting in, but has anyone checked exactly what computer model this new RAM is for? Maybe I missed it above. If it has a 32-bit CPU, I would be surprised if it will allow that much RAM (6-8 GB), just as it is likely he could not add a 64-bit upgade either. I would hate to see his money go to waste.

Personally, I wouldn't spend any money on a 32-bit machine. I would go with a lightweight distro that can cope with 2GB until it dies. Apply money to something newer. Just my 2 cents.
 

Tolkem

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Okay, so I've decided to go for 6-8 gb RAM, and a 128 GB SSD. Would that do?
Yes, it would. I haven't used Mint or anything Cinnamon in a while, but I do use Debian plus KDE in this laptop:
Code:
CPU: Dual Core model: AMD E-300 APU with Radeon HD Graphics bits: 64 type: MCP L2 cache: 512 KiB 
Speed: 1201 MHz min/max: 780/1300 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1201 2: 1168
RAM: 2 GiB
HDD: 250 GB SATA disk
I don't know what you're planning to do with yours, but I don't do much heavy stuff, i.e. compiling software. I do browse the web, watch YouTube videos, live-streaming and it handles all of that quite well. Usually, I have 5-6 tabs open in the browser but can easily have 10 and never seen the system struggling too much. I think you should give Mint a try and see how it goes, the one thing that will not work that well while in live mode is web browsing, because it just demands too many resources, but once installed it will.
I'll just go with a light weight distro for now.
I would recommend you give a try to this one https://www.q4os.org/ it ships in two versions;
1. Trinity desktop:
minimum requirements: 300MHz CPU / 128MB RAM / 3GB disk
2. Plasma Desktop(which I use):
minimum requirements: 1GHz CPU / 1GB RAM / 5GB disk
 
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Confused_nerd

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I'm sorry for butting in, but has anyone checked exactly what computer model this new RAM is for? Maybe I missed it above. If it has a 32-bit CPU, I would be surprised if it will allow that much RAM (6-8 GB), just as it is likely he could not add a 64-bit upgade either. I would hate to see his money go to waste.

Personally, I wouldn't spend any money on a 32-bit machine. I would go with a lightweight distro that can cope with 2GB until it dies. Apply money to something newer. Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for bringing this to my notice. Since I'm not much experienced in the field rn, that leaves me vulnerable to money exploits. I won't lie I wasn't concious about that. Thanks so much. Looks like I have research to do over the weekend.
 

stan

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Thanks for bringing this to my notice. Since I'm not much experienced in the field rn, that leaves me vulnerable to money exploits. I won't lie I wasn't concious about that. Thanks so much. Looks like I have research to do over the weekend.
It may take that much RAM, some can and some can't, but please do check your computer specs before you purchase. And as @KGIII said, you will need to know very specific info on the memory too, DIMM, SODIMM, DDR2, or whatever.
 

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KGIII

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At some point, the best value for dollar spent will be best spent just getting a more modern device.

To elaborate on this - this is a very personal decision. You need to decide what it's worth to keep that old device running, what performance you're willing to live with, or if you simply want to invest in more modern hardware. As others have mentioned, it may not be worth investing any money. From a personal perspective, I'd have responsibly disposed of it long ago.
 

stan

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I have a old generation pc with Intel Pentium dual core processor, 3.00 GHz,and sadly only 2GB RAM.
Without knowing what model computer the OP has (or some other indicator), we really don't know whether he really has a 32-bit CPU either. I have seen people here "think" they have a 32-bit computer because their Windows is a 32-bit version, even though it is actually installed on a 64-bit CPU. This was once a very common practice, and it's fooled me many times before.

Here is a Wikipedia article on Dual Core Pentium CPU's, and it could be either 32- or 64-bit, if this is actually the CPU series. But it is indeed quite old, and as David said, you can't drop an i5 or other CPU into this socket. I certainly would not change the CPU under any circumstances, but RAM is a possibility when you determine what the maximum amount is allowed (based on computer model specs), and if you can get it for a good price.
 

KGIII

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I don't know of any 32 bit CPUs that hit the 3 GHz mark. They might exist, but I've never seen one.
 

Condobloke

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While we are throwing suggestions etc etc etc around......all of this depends on your $ocket....Personally I would abandon32 bit in a flash....but decisions like that cost money....So research carefully

((if you can afford to buy again...do so))
 
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Confused_nerd

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I don't know of any 32 bit CPUs that hit the 3 GHz mark. They might exist, but I've never seen one.
I believe x86 is 32 bit(also when I try to run 64 bit software, like vscode, it shows incompatibility error),
 

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