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My previous question on this was closed, but I am posting it again as the solution which my son eventually found may assist other users of the forum, or someone may be able to tweak the solution to improve the performance.

Having installed Kubuntu 12.04.01 from a live USB onto my desktop, I wanted to do the same on my laptop, an Acer Aspire 1362 Laptop, which has 256MB RAM (actually 512 "on the box", but a good deal can be borrowed by the graphics!). I found Kubuntu wouldn't run on so little memory but downloaded: Lubuntu-12.04-alternate-i386.iso, which I understood was light enough to go.

The laptop has one internal 40GB Toshiba hard drive divided into 3 partitions: C,19GB with Windows XP, Windows program files and some data, D, 19GB mostly data, and a small 2GB partition with some Acer software, which XP can't normally “see”. I transferred most of the contents of D to a memory stick, leaving 16GB free for Lubuntu. I did not want to dump XP yet, though it is painfully slow. I installed Lubuntu from then USB stick, accepting the default answers to most of the questions. The D: partition was further partitioned into a 500MB boot partition, 10GB for Linux, 2GB Swap and 6GB for data shareable between Linux and Windows.

I had no error messages during installation, rebooted, was offered the choice of Ubuntu or XP, and selected the former. After a few minutes, I get a dark blue screen announcing Lubuntu with five dots underneath which lighten in turn. Eventually the lights stopped, and whatever I try the screen remains blank apart from “Lubuntu”

I tried several solutions suggested on the forum for “identical” questions but without success.

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I just posted [5-12-14] the same question here. askubuntu.com/questions/464822/… I do not get the blue screen, but just hang. I was under the impression that Ubuntu would boot, and then analyze the drive for available space, then offer create partitions and/or format the drive. Am I wrong? How were you able to boot from a usb thumb drive, as my Phoenix bios does not recognize the usb drive? Thanks for your post –  user280838 May 12 at 14:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Eventually my son got Lubuntu going, though there can be no guarantee that his solution will be effective on any other make of Laptop. He added a file:

/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/70-vesa.conf

with contents as follows

 Section "Device"
 Identifier "Configured Video Device"
 Driver "vesa"
 EndSection

 Section "Monitor"
 Identifier "Configured Monitor"
 VendorName "Monitor Vendor"
 ModelName "Monitor Model"
 HorizSync 30.0 - 53.0
 VertRefresh 50.0 - 60.0

 EndSection

 #Section
 "Module"

 #Load
 "vesa” 

 #EndSection


 Section "Screen"
 Identifier "Default Screen"
 Monitor "Configured Monitor"
 Device "Configured Video Device"
    Subsection "Display"
    Modes "1024x768"
    EndSubsection
 EndSection

He commented further: The command sudo lshw (list hardware - as a mnemonic) will show you what the hardware itself claims to be - this is how we saw you acer laptop actually has the ye-olde unichrome S3 display built into the motherboard. I would be interested to see if windows claims to have the same display adapter. My reading suggests it should work with the 'openchrome' adapter, but our experience was clearly that it does not work. The motherboard is relevant. I think we might have eventually got somewhere by forcing the openchrome adapter and simultaneously forcing the screen configuration, but the setup of /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d was such that it was determining the number of screens and display adapters at boot time. Incidentially the file /home/”username”/.config/Xorg.config.new was written, even though running Xorg -configure didn't work. There were some clues in here - but it was wanting to set up three graphics drivers and associate them with the one screen. I think that was fundamentally the complaint lightdm was having with the xorg configuration, but I cannot be completely certain. Forcing a single display adapter that was openchrome without forcing the resolution didn't work so I fell back to 'vesa' rendering - this is more basic and doesn't fully exploit the graphical processing capability, but at least works.

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I think the problem is that 512MB of RAM (including graphics) was quite respectable when my ACER Laptop was designed, and people designed operating systems and other software round that. However in the intervening 12 years it is no longer enough, and even a lightweight system like Lubuntu will struggle. Even a smartphone has at least 1MB these days! I'm afraid I've given up on the Laptop and now use an Android tablet when I want something portable.

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