A suitable Linux distribution for my aging desktop

Well here I am finally finishing this project I’ve had going for several months…

As I mentioned previously, a Linux distro must have certain features. Did I find something that suits me and will run on my ancient machine.

In a word, Yes.

But it was quite a go’round to get there.

Firstly I decided on PCLinuxOS. Here’s why:
 – It is a Rolling Distribution – just the updates. I never have to download the entire OS again
 – Ease of installation – the Install Wizard was easy to follow and use
 – Ease of Configuration – nice easy to use Control Centre
 – Stability

I started with a KDE (mini) environment but KDE has advanced so much my poor old video card could not cope. Even all the fancy graphics options turned off, it sputtered and stalled.

My research led me to the Mate Desktop Environment.
Sounded good, made to work with older technology so I installed PCLinuxOS (Mate).

As well as being pleasing to the eye, it seemed to work fairly well. That is until I started to add some applications.
WINE is a primary example. I had not really noticed as I was busy installing, but as I went to use WINE, I could not find it. Last effort took me to the shell were I found that it was indeed installed and it was from there that I had to launch it.

This is fine for me, but some of the software is not just for me and not having WINE available on the desktop menu is a almost deal breaker. There were also some display issues (my old Intel card).

More research showed me I could add and remove “Desktop Environments” or “Windows Managers” at will. So I went to town…

Some were too minimal for other users, and others demanded too much of this aging system. (There is an option for OpenBox w/KDE, for instance which will not run at all. Though OpenBox itself runs fine.)

Final configuration is PCLinuxOS with LXDE as the default Desktop Environment.
It is stable, fast and not strange enough to threaten other (Windows) users.
I also have XFCE4, and OpenBox to choose from.

Final result is a 10 year old machine that is faster than the day it was delivered.

(Under 30 seconds from Power On to the login screen and and Under 20 seconds from there to my desktop!)

Support for my audio, video, printer/scanner, CD/DVD writer, trackball, cameras, SD Cards/Memory Sticks and odds and sods of mp3 players. Hopefully some programs for my radios… but that is another story.

So I am a happy camper.

The budget has room for a new computer next spring. Now I am debating whether or not to buy one without an OS? Hmm

Stay Tuned, there is more to come…

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4 thoughts on “A suitable Linux distribution for my aging desktop

  1. Are rolling distributions new to Linux then? Seems to me that downloading a whole new operating system for updates is a ridiculous idea. Of course, you need to refresh occasionally or you’ll be overwhelmed with bloat, and I’m not sure of a good way to do that without a fresh install. So yeah, ignore my mini-rant that was caught before it began…

    • “Are rolling distributions new to Linux then?”
      My knowledge of Linux history is not extensive enough to say.
      I ran across Rolling Distributions in my research and it is something that makes sense to me (especially now with a limited internet plan).
      Presumably they have been around for a while.
      Occasionally, I suppose, one may have to download a whole new OS if changes and upgrades are major enough(?).
      There is a little “Net” icon in the taskbar that lets me know if a component(s) has an update so it is almost a no-brainer.

      • Ah right. It sounded like this was a relatively new thing in your post, and I was like “Dude, why won’t tech companies get on board with that common sense stuff?”

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