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It is on an older dell laptop( inspiron 1150 ) but it has 512mb ram, NVIDIA GeForce and an upgraded CPU. I am not an idiot and do not expect good performance on this OS but i just want to try it out and see if it is the right OS for college. I have booted this laptop in other Linux distros such as SliTaz and DSL. I suspect the problem has to do with drivers but unsure exactly what i should do.

Laptop does not have internet access ( it's IEEE 802.11a only )

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I would suggest a different OS that is less resource hungry Xubuntu

Xubuntu 12.04 is a Long Term Support release and will be supported for three years. This contrasts with Edubuntu, Kubuntu and Ubuntu 12.04 which, while also LTS releases, will all be supported for five years.

Xubuntu 12.04 incorporates many changes including that the i386 images use a non-PAE kernel, some default shortcuts were altered and new ones added, plus there were many appearance changes, including a new logo and wallpaper. Fixes were included for Greybird, Ubiquity, Plymouth, LightDM, and Terminal themes.

The release shipped with the Linux v3.2.14 Linux kernel. Pavucontrol was introduced to replace xfce4-mixer as it did not support Pulseaudio. The Alacarte menu editor was used by default.

The minimum system requirements for this release were 512 MiB of RAM, 5 GB of hard disk space and a graphics card and monitor capable of at least 800x600 pixel resolution

An official derivative of Ubuntu using Xfce. Xubuntu is intended for use on less-powerful computers or those who seek a highly efficient desktop environment on faster systems, and uses mostly GTK+ applications.

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I think I'll try Xubuntu and I will just install ubuntu on this desktop. –  wyatt beier Oct 10 '12 at 5:22

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