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How do I find out which version and derivate of Ubuntu is right for my hardware in terms of minmal system requirements?

I have a PC with 512MB of RAM, an Intel Pentium 4 processor(2GHz), SiS 651 video card(32MB) and a SiS C-Media AC'97 sound controller.

I know that my video card is not and will not be supported for Linux. But I wonder if my PC is able to install and start Ubuntu, not just 10.04 LTS, because I'm willing to download 12.04 LTS when it's released. Will unity work?

I searched on the internet but I couldn't find a good answer.

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marked as duplicate by con-f-use, Ringtail, Mik, Mitch, Jorge Castro Oct 26 '12 at 21:55

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Download a couple of ISO images, make Live CDs and test. If it boots from CD, loads the desktop and doesn't crash after loading a few application, it probably will install and work. Xubuntu will likely be a better choice, regardless of release.

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Xubuntu or Lubuntu should work. I think Lubuntu has less requirements but either of them are great! – lqlarry Apr 11 '12 at 5:42

512 is sufficient for 10.04 but not that much, and for 12.04 and later, you should try to get more RAM. Of course it depends on what you do, beside starting the OS.

A live CD should help in getting a first impression without persistent changes to the system.

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Your RAM will need to be upped to at least 1 GB for 11.04 and after for optimal performance.

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