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I have been running this PC on Ubuntu 10.10 and it has been pretty great. With the HDD filling up and persistent messages about my version of Ubuntu not being supported I started again on 12.04. I am not really feeling the love with this version. Personally I despise the desktop with the icons down the left hand side so the first thing I do is install the classic version. Now I am not sure if this is the problem but the performance is pretty underwhelming compared to 10.10 and I will be the first to admit this PC is old (see below). Can someone suggest a build better suited for a more 'senior' computer?

SYSTEM INFORMATION
Running Ubuntu Linux, the Ubuntu 12.04 (precise) release.
GNOME: unknown (unknown)
Kernel version: 3.5.0-23-generic (#35~precise1-Ubuntu SMP Fri Jan 25 17:15:33 UTC 2013)
GCC: 4.6 (i686-linux-gnu)
Xorg: 1.13.0 (19 January 2013  12:41:05PM)
Hostname: kbox-workstation
Uptime: 0 days 0 h 43 min

  CPU INFORMATION
AuthenticAMD, AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3500+
Number of CPUs: 1
CPU clock currently at 1000.000 MHz with 512 KB cache
Numbering: family(15) model(47) stepping(2)
Bogomips: 2200.16
Flags: fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 syscall nx mmxext fxsr_opt lm 3dnowext 3dnow up pni lahf_lm

  MEMORY INFORMATION
Total memory: 2016 MB
Total swap: 19172 MB

  STORAGE INFORMATION
SCSI device -  scsi1
    Vendor:  ATA      
    Model:  WDC WD800JD-75MS 
SCSI device -  scsi3
    Vendor:  ATA      
    Model:  SAMSUNG HD103UJ  
SCSI device -  scsi4
    Vendor:  DVDRW    
    Model:  IDE 16X          
SCSI device -  scsi9
    Vendor:  USB2.0   
    Model:        HS-CF      

  HARDWARE INFORMATION
  MOTHERBOARD
Host bridge
    Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
PCI bridge(s)
    NVIDIA Corporation CK804 PCI Bridge (rev f2) (prog-if 01 [Subtractive decode])
    NVIDIA Corporation CK804 PCIE Bridge (rev f3) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
    NVIDIA Corporation CK804 PCIE Bridge (rev f3) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
    NVIDIA Corporation CK804 PCIE Bridge (rev f3) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
    NVIDIA Corporation CK804 PCIE Bridge (rev a3) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
ISA bridge
    NVIDIA Corporation CK804 ISA Bridge (rev f3)
    Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Device 815a
IDE interface
    NVIDIA Corporation CK804 Serial ATA Controller (rev f3) (prog-if 85 [Master SecO PriO])
    Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. K8N4-E or A8N-E Mainboard

  GRAPHIC CARD
VGA controller
    NVIDIA Corporation NV43 [GeForce 6600] (rev a2) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])

  SOUND CARD
Multimedia controller
    Creative Labs SB Audigy (rev 04)
    Subsystem: Creative Labs SB Audigy 2 ZS (SB0350)

  NETWORK
Ethernet controller
    Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
    Subsystem: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+

    NVIDIA GRAPHIC CARD INFORMATION
Model name: unknown
Card Type: unknown 16x
Video RAM: 256 MB
GPU Frequency: 300 MHz
Driver version: NVIDIA UNIX x86 Kernel Module  304.84  Wed Feb 27 05:03:32 PST 2013     
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2 Answers

They are plenty distributions adapted for old computers. If you want to stay within the Ubuntu realm, I recommend Lubuntu, which I really like. The main difference being that you would replace Unity by LXDE (as well as standard applications by lightweight ones, but you can always re-install the ones you really want since it is still ubuntu), which requires much less memory.
Check http://lubuntu.net/
Have fun,

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Would this be good for an old netbook, like the Acer Aspire One ZG5? –  Robert S. Barnes Apr 5 '13 at 14:29
    
yes. the requirements for lubuntu are the following: Lubuntu can be installed on a Pentium II or Celeron system with 128 MB of RAM, but such a system would not perform well enough for daily use. With 256MB - 384MB of RAM, the performance will be better and the system will be more usable. With 512MB of RAM, you don't need to worry much. The default "Desktop" installer requires 384-800 MB of RAM (depending on selected options.) If you have problems, please use the "Alternate" installer. –  Victor Apr 5 '13 at 14:32
    
Is there a way to get a 10.04 Netbook Remix style interface? This netbook has a 9 inch screen. –  Robert S. Barnes Apr 5 '13 at 15:10
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Currently, I am using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on an old Sony TX3XP laptop:

  • Celeron 1Ghz
  • 1.5 GB memory
  • 80 GB 5400rpm hard drive

It is working well. I tried 12.10 on this laptop, it was not powerful enough. But 12.04 is just fine.

What to do:

  • Install the nvidia restricted driver, and then, be sure to run the default Ubuntu session with desktop effects managed by the GPU (Ubuntu, not Ubuntu 2D)
  • In you Home directory, press ctrl+h to display hidden files and remove any file related to Compiz (.Compiz, Compiz-1, etc.) You will find files and directories in /home/username and /home/username/config. This way, Compiz will create again default setup of 12.04, wich are not the same than for the previous versions.
  • If you think that some other applications need a refresh, do the same with other configuration files and directories, just take care to save data if necessary.

This kind of cleanup should make your old computer more "fresh"

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