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I have a somewhat old computer with mid-range hardware. Here's what my computer has:

1.8 Ghz Willamette Pentium 4 256 Kb L2 Cache nVidia Geforce 6200 LE 256 mB DDR2 1024 mB DDR at 133 mhz 40 GB HD 5400 RPM

Before, I used Fedora 17 with my computer, and installation was somewhat long, about 25% (All night installation) longer than Windows XP (Which took 2 hours). It ran at an OK speed, but it was slow and constantly lagged in all areas. This included starting LibreOffice in Fedora 17, loading the Applications screen, scrolling down the Applications screen, and even when switching a wallpaper and it took more than 15 seconds just for Mozilla Firefox to start up, so I eventually switched back to Windows XP in frustration with disappointment at the speed of Fedora 17.

However, I've gotten tired of XP and I want to go back to Linux. I'm looking at the Ubuntu 12.10 & 12.04 requirements which demand 512 mB of RAM and a 1.0 Ghz Pentium 4 processor, but I'm not sure if I should install Ubuntu, or try going with another desktop environment such as Lubuntu, which I've been looking into. With my previous experience with Fedora 17, I'm not sure whether or not my computer will run very smoothly using Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10. As a result, I'm kind of stuck between Lubuntu and Ubuntu...

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I run Ubuntu 12.04 with desktop effects on a good old Sony tx3xp: - Celeron 1,2 Ghz, - 1 Gb ram - 80 Gb 1,8" 5400 rpm - Integrated Intel express graphic card It's running fast and fine with desktop effects enabled (I mean standard Ubuntu session, not Unity 2D). Smoothly could be the good word ;-) However, I tried 12.10 and it was very slow on this laptop. –  ttoine Mar 18 '13 at 16:49
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Please create a Ubuntu USB disk (see here how, help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/FromUSBStick) and boot your computer from it. You will get some rough idea how your computer will behave with these Ubuntu versions. My general impression is, I have not seen any computer doing specially bad with Ubuntu. –  MMA Mar 18 '13 at 16:52
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I'd suggest going directly to Lubuntu (but try the Lubuntu live USB before) because of your hardware specs. I currently use Lubuntu 12.10 on an older computer and it runs very smooth.

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the livecd installation requires 400-800 mb of memory. which the OP doesnt have. he need the alternate cd. if you use the livecd to install on low-ram pcs, you get paused installs (which the op mentioned) –  marinara Mar 24 '13 at 12:15
    
@marinara The OP says that he has 1024MB ram, that's more than enough for the liveCD to be installed. I have done it successfully in lower specs machines. –  user123492 Mar 25 '13 at 2:42
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