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What should I install on an older PC with a Pentium 4 2.8 Ghz processor and 2GB RAM? Ubuntu 12.04 or Xubuntu 12.04? Or lets ask: would Xubuntu run much smoother than Ubuntu on this old computer?

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Hi - please fire up a live CD of ubuntu and give us some details of your graphics card (lspci | grep VGA) as well as the graphics support test (askubuntu.com/questions/106788/…) - this will allow use to give you a more accurate answer than a general "xubuntu vs lubuntu vs unity" etc. –  fossfreedom Apr 26 '12 at 19:20
    
Cant use the computer this day, but I know that the card should be a radeon x1900 –  Lisa Apr 26 '12 at 19:23
    
possible duplicate of askubuntu.com/questions/333795/… –  Braiam Dec 31 '13 at 21:15

4 Answers 4

Xubuntu, or possibly Lubuntu, but Xubuntu has a nice look and feel. I run Xubuntu on my 1Ghz 1GB RAM machine, and it runs wonderfully. On the other hand Ubuntu with Unity runs noticeably slow on it (maybe this would be less of a problem on a 2.8 Ghz machine). Anyways, Xubuntu is a very nice lightweight desktop system.

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LXDE-based distros such as Lubuntu would work well. Lubuntu has a "newer" look than Xfce or Puppy Linux.

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Xubuntu and Lubuntu use Xfce and LXDE, very lightweight desktop environments.

You should prefer these Ubuntu variants, if you're on an old PC.

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I run ubuntu 10.04 on my 1 GB circa 2000 AMD XP and it works fine. It wouldn't run 12.04 because that version requires the PAE processor capability. An Ubuntu forum post from someone with a 2.5Gz P4 has PAE, so I would assume you could too. 2GB should be more than enough memory. The forum item is: http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=5465713&postcount=10. The discussion is about whether he can run 64 bit Ubuntu, and the answer to that was no, but he does have PAE, so that's good to go for standard Ubuntu 12.04.

If you have any doubts you can run the code he does on a Linux live cd and make sure you have PAE and therefore can run Ubuntu 12.04.

I've tried Xubuntu and I liked it. As time goes on and Ubuntu needs faster CPU's and more memory (that happens with every operating system) the lighter weight Xubuntu and Lubuntu might run on it for more releases, and if you might have to eventually switch if you go with Ubuntu now, maybe it makes more sense to run Xubuntu or Lubuntu from the start.

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that there is a big element of personal taste to this decision. I think you should try out the Live CD's of each and see what you like. I mean, why not? Actually, that's how I would decide.

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