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recently I got an old laptop with 1 GB ram and 1.7 GHz proccessor. also I have found the terrible windows! I will be glad if I can completely destroy the installation of Windows XP and download the beautiful Ubuntu, but I'm confused... would it be okay if I download 12.10 32bit? because I think it will be slow. any idea about that? or should I use Xubuntu?

thanks advance.

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marked as duplicate by Alvar, Lucio, belacqua, Oli Feb 28 '14 at 22:49

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

go with the latest release of any version if it's Xubuntu or Lubuntu doesn't matter much. I would go with 13.10 Ubuntu, you can always just install the xubuntu desktop or lubuntu desktop if normal ubuntu is too heavy. So just go with what you feel is the best. – Alvar Feb 28 '14 at 15:31
I did not try it yet. for the first time in my life I have seen such a laptop. so I really dont know that is it okay to download normal 32 bit 12.04 ubuntu or not? if one GB RAM is enough for ubuntu 12.04, then why not download it,right? – Rıza Feb 28 '14 at 15:41
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is no way in hell I'd install ubuntu with the unity desktop on a windows xp machine with 1Gb memory. You didn't specify the cpu ... it may be single core ... but even if it was a dual core, no way. I installed unity on my 4Gb i3 laptop and it was too slow for me.

On my netbook, which has a dual core atom and 1Gb, I've never considered installing unity but I've used the other 3 ubuntu desktops plus mint with the Mate desktop. Mate was actually rather slow and Mint tech support is as bad as ubuntu's is good. I wouldn't recommend mint for linux novices, period.

KDE (kubuntu) actually isn't bad in a 1Gb space (especially considering it's considered bloated) if you tweak it for speed. But it still has a bit lof latency. Faster than the windows 7 starter that the netbook came with though. KDE is endlessly configurable, which I like but many wouldn't, and it's usually done through GUI tools rather than editing config files. Which is nice.

XFCE (xubuntu) is pretty fast and light, and it works well in 1Gb. But I didn't find it balzingly fast, and it doesn't have the features of KDE. Which means I have to do a number of things by running separate apps, which slows me down.

LXDE is really fast and light. Really fast. I'm running Lubuntu 13.10 on my netbook now. It's the only one I've tried that has such a major speed difference. But there are a lot of configuration things that you can't do from a GUI, which means editing config files. Not so easy for a novice.

But I'm finding lubuntu a little clunky, the support doesn't seem to be as good as with other ubuntu desktops, the development seems stagnant from what I've read, and I have to wonder why lubuntu installs the XFCE power manager.

I may keep using lubuntu ... I'm willing to forgive some rough edges for this kind of speed. But I may upgrade the netbook RAM to 2Gb when the 14.04 lts comes out in a couplle of months and reinstall kubuntu.

Don't install multiple desktops. That can introduce hard to diagnose problems. Better to just download and burn the iso's for different desktops and try them in live mode.

If you install lubuntu ... which is probably a good idea on an old 1Gb machine, don't install 12.04. Unlike other versions, it wasn't a long term support version. Lubuntu 14.04 is going to be their first lts. I'd wait for that, though you could install 13.10 and upgrade later.

LXDE (and XFCE to a lesser extent) do not have the eye candy. I've seen lots of forum entries by people who add things to try to put eye candy into lxde. They seem to have all kinds of problems, and it won' be a small and light desktop anymore. The reason the newer flashy looking desktops don't work properly on old hardware is mostly because of the eye candy. These desktops like unity and cinnamon require 3D hardware accel just by themselves.

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Plus one for the Lubuntu conclusion! Maybe you should bold that so people reading this can skip to the conclusion. – Aaron Hall Mar 1 '14 at 23:15

I'd recommend Ubuntu 12.04 32-bit since it's a long term support release. You don't need the 64-bit version as you've only got 1 GB of RAM installed. If you are looking for a flavor of Ubuntu that is a little more light weight and will run a little quicker on slower hardware, I'd recommend Xubuntu which uses the XFCE window manager.

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I highly recommend Xubuntu especially for lower-end and old computers. – OSE Feb 28 '14 at 21:06
I think, for the niche of a lightweight performant OS, Lubuntu beats Xubuntu hands down. – Aaron Hall Mar 1 '14 at 23:11

I tried Xubuntu and Lubuntu, and found that on computers with little resources, Lubuntu performed the best, installing and working successfully on machines in a community center with less than 256 MBs of RAM. It became my choice for computers with less than 2 GBs of RAM.

Source: My experience as assistant director of a non-profit community center.

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I totally agree that lubuntu is better than xubuntu in terms of speed and RAM. But I went from kubuntu 13.10 to lubuntu 13.10 on my 1Gb netbook and I don't feel that much more productive on it. KDE has so many more built in features it makes ME less of a bottleneck. For old hardware though, lubuntu rules. – user138156 Mar 5 '14 at 19:41
@user138156 Fair enough, thanks for the feedback! So you're saying that KDE gives you a good experience on 1 GB RAM level hardware? I was consistently having problems with video glitching with Ubuntu on up to 2 GB of RAM, so I moved all of their hardware to Lubuntu, mostly because I didn't have the time to deal with complaints. – Aaron Hall Mar 5 '14 at 19:52

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