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I had an old Intel Desktop Board D410PT (mini-itx with Atom processor) that I decided to set up with Linux and chose Ubuntu 12.04.

Seems its was a bad idea, because the 32 bit server version did not install at all, blew up at installing base.

The desktop is installed, but takes 10s of seconds to react to mouse clicks. I have to watch while the menus paint 3 odd times (getting more intense etc) before I get an active menu.

I read problems and lack of support for the board might be the issue. Graphics chipset is Intel® GMA 3150 if that helps.

Is there a version of Ubuntu that will run on these old Atom boards? I actually just want to be able to run Python as I am working on robotics doodles using ROS and I just wanted to get away from VMPlayer on my laptop.

How far back do I need go?

Do I need to move away from Ubuntu?

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I have 12.04 desktop running on an Atom box and it's very slow for me too. 11.10 worked better and was much more useable. I didn't want to go backward, so installed Lubuntu... much better performance. You may want to consider the same. –  Kendor Nov 10 '12 at 15:05
    
The answer hwerts provided should be enough but i want to add that you could let the effects on gnome desktop cause in my opinion would look more smoother than gnome desktop without effect.Also in addition to gnome-session-fallback you can try installing lxde which is another extreme-light desktop environment. lxde.org/lxde –  adi Nov 27 '12 at 8:19
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I would recommend installing gnome-session-fallback, log out of your desktop session and click the "foot" to the right of your username and password.

The fastest is Gnome classic (no effects), and that is what I use. Gnome classic is pretty light on the bling and also seems to run well right on down through i845s and such. I think Unity's fundamental problem here is it assumes excessively hefty openGL hardware.

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