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I have a 9 year old computer packing the hardware listed below.

My question is, can I run 12.04 ( Ubuntu, Kubuntu, MINT or Xubuntu ) WELL?

I was running Ubuntu 10.10 and I upgraded to 12.04 by going through each release via the update manager: 11.04 -> 11.10 ->12.04

During the installation process for 12.04 I saw an error message that there was an error installing and setting up part of the kernel. Later, when I tried installing a package in synaptic, I got another error message mentioning the kernel. When I rebooted, I got told somehting about my video and graphics was not configured properly and that I would have to do it manually ( like I know ). It gave me the option to enter the system in low graphics mode, but it just hanged.

I had an old livecd of Xubuntu 10.10 around so I used that to get into my computer and copy data over to an external hard drive.

I think tried to install Xubuntu 10.10 from the livecd, with the option "download updates" checked. The install process moved along a bit, then halted for about 5 hours.

I rebooted my machine and tried the Xubuntu 10.10 installer WITHOUT the option to "download updates". The install completed in about 15 minutes.

So, all of that is making me wonder if there is someting about 12.04 that does not like my hardware. I'm willing to try again, but only if I know I will not have to spend hours just to get to an error message and a hosed up system like I did last night.

I also think I have a lot more RAM than is being reported in the output below. I had extra ram installed last year. I'm not good with the command line readouts, but there seems like there should be a lot more.

I wasn't thrilled with Unity. I am willing to try Kubuntu 12.04.

Will I run into the same problems?

What is the highest version of a *ubuntu can I upgrade to?

Thanks

CPU

Model:     Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.53GHz
Frequency: 2533.223 MHz
L2 Cache:  512 KB
Bogomips:  5066.44
Numbering: family(15) model(2) stepping(7)
Flags:     fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe up pebs bts cid

RAM

~$ free -mt
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          1506        891        615          0         91        521
-/+ buffers/cache:        278       1227
Swap:         1609          0       1609
Total:        3116        891       2225

Video Card

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV18 [GeForce4 MX 440 AGP 8x] (rev a2) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. V9180 Magic
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 16
Memory at fd000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]
Memory at f0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=64M]
Expansion ROM at fe9e0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
Kernel driver in use: nouveau
Kernel modules: nouveau, nvidiafb 

Motherboard

Intel 845PE ATX 533FSB DDR333 USB2
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Please add what errors you saw.. –  Uri Herrera May 8 '12 at 2:24
    
@Steve: When you post something preformatted, such as output from free, you need to format it as code. Either enclose text in backticks, indent each line with 4 spaces, or highlight it all and click the toolbar button. It's much more readable. I'll do yours this time. –  TechZilla May 8 '12 at 5:38
    
possible duplicate of What are the minimum system requirements for 12.04 LTS? –  Jacob Johan Edwards May 9 '12 at 12:44
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3 Answers

I read in a thread at ubuntuforums.org that between actions from Canononical and NVIDA, support for my video card likely got inadvertently dropped in 12.04. I'm guessing that led to a large part, if not all of my upgrade problems.

My system was running Ubuntu 10.10, which had updates turned off and support withdrawn this year.

I thought Unity was cool. However, I don't have a wide screen monitor and I'm doing more development at home these days. Learning new habits while programming would likely drive me bats right now since I am so busy.

So between the issue of Unity being very different and 12.04 not liking my hardware I decided not to upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04, but do a clean install of XUbuntu 11.10 instead.

I'm enjoying the simplicity of XUbuntu. Support for 11.10 only lasts until 2013 April. My computer will be 10 years old as of March that year.

At that point 1 of 3 things might happen:

  • the Nvidia support issue with 12.04 will be resolved
  • I will buy a new PC with new hardware that will be supported
  • I will go Mac

Either way the problem will be solved and as for right now I am back in business at home with a minimum of hassle.

share|improve this answer
    
Can you add the link to the thread about video card support? I just upgraded from 10.10 to 12.04, have a moderately old nvidia card, and can only use the "nouveau" (slow) driver. –  jrennie May 9 '12 at 13:48
1  
jrennie, the thread didn't have any practical information in it. Someone was just ranting about being frustrated with 12.04 and mentioned how after days of struggle he found out there are NVIDIA issues. Someone suggested doing an install unchecking the box to include 3rd party software( which also includes cool multmedi stuff ). On the chance that someone posted more inforation there since here is the url: ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1969249 –  Steve May 9 '12 at 14:06
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Yes it will work. Just to give you an idea, if I am running right now Ubuntu 12.04 using Unity 3D) in a Lenovo 3000 N200 laptop that has about 4 times less graphics than yours and a LOT slower CPU than you then you can be sure 12.04 will run smoothly on your PC.

In my case here to give you an idea it is an Intel Celeron M540 (You just read it right. A CELERON!) with an Intel video card. The only thing I changed was the HDD from the 80GB that it came with to a 120GB. The rest is the same thing and is running Unity with no problems. Obviously in Unity 2D it runs even better but this is just to give you a point.

In your case you have an Nvidia card so you should feel it even smoother and with the update to the Nvidia drivers today it will run even better.

You have more than enough memory (In my case I only have 1GB RAM) and a good CPU for it.

If you even want to try it out without installing it, run the Live CD and test drive Ubuntu 12.04 for a while.

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His nvidia Geforce 4 alone is OLDER than your computer so that might as well is what is causing his headaches. you in the other hand are using the Intel integrated graphics which come with better suport. –  Uri Herrera May 8 '12 at 2:28
    
not really. i have asus laptop with way newer hardware than both of yalls. the 11s and 12s dont like to work. 10.04 works fine though. but i did install it on my moms older lenovo laptop, my desktop and my sister desktop. idk if ubuntu hates asus or not. –  Alex May 8 '12 at 2:37
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Higher spec than one of my servers. It has 12.04 installed headless (no GUI) with LXDE added. This probably isn't the answer you were looking for, but I don't know what you use your computer for.

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I use Ubuntu as a desktop –  Steve May 8 '12 at 8:41
    
LXDE is a bit lighter than Xubuntu but not by much. I confirm I can run LXDE. Not tried Xubuntu. I only put the GUI on to see if it worked. –  gecko May 9 '12 at 19:39
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