I´ve here a few years old netbook Acer Aspire One, 1GB RAM, 16GB HDD, Intel Atom 1,6GHz.

Original OS was Windows XP, but with XPs the system is so slowly. Now, before I trash that, I´d like to try it with Ubuntu. But what Ubuntu I should try into?

When I compare older Ubuntu with the newer ones (or the newest one), how with performance? Should I try to install there any older? Let´s say Ubuntu 8 or 10?

I´ve found a few benchmarks comparing WinXP and Ubuntu 8.04, but it was test with unstandard operations and Ubuntu was there faster. But how with normal using for non-IT, not for me? Just conect to internet, read&write mails and work with MS Word (or Writer in LibreOffice)?

Thanks for advices.

PS. I´m using Ubuntu 12.04 for last two years, so I have no option how to compare previous versions with older ones. But I suppose in currect (or newer) version whould be effects which could be too much for that old netbook.


Have a look at Lubuntu. It uses the LXDE Desktop Environment. You can download it here: http://www.lubuntu.net

Let us know if Lubuntu works with the netbook.

  • Thanks, Lubuntu seems to be exactly what I looked for. I try it and let you know. – panther Jun 28 '14 at 14:47
  • I also wanted to add that if Lubuntu doesn't suit your needs, Xubuntu is another lightweight alternative, it can be downloaded here: xubuntu.org Xubuntu uses the XFCE Desktop Environment. – Netdude21 Jun 28 '14 at 17:00
  • I´ve installed Lubuntu, first steps seems to be quite fast. Give me week, two and than I send here a short brief. – panther Jun 28 '14 at 17:04

If you don't wish to upgrade every 9 months, I would recommend you to opt for an LTS version of Ubuntu.

You should first try the latest LTS version (14.04) of Ubuntu. Since you have only 1 GB of RAM, I would suggest the 32-bit edition. Use an external DVD drive or a USB key to try Ubuntu without installing it first (it will be very very slow from a DVD, but that's completely normal). Check that everything (Wi-Fi, integrated soundcard, integrated wired network card, ...) is working properly. If that's the case, you can install Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. You shouldn't have performance problems.

Ubuntu is generally faster in comparison to Windows on the same hardware. Moreover, according to the technical specification of your computer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_Aspire_One), you have a SSD of 16 GB, so you really should opt for Ubuntu 14.04 which includes improvements for SSD handling (TRIM is enabled by default).

However, if the UI effects are really slow after install, you may wish to install a lighter user interface like LXDE from Ubuntu Software Centre. You can also try gnome (fallback), xfce or MATE.

Once it is installed you can switch to that UI at logon, before entering your password. You just have to click on the Ubuntu logo next to your user name and choose LXDE instead of Ubuntu.

I've run LXDE without any problem on Pentium III computers and even older with less than 512 MB of RAM.

Notes :

  • Don't forget to make a backup of your data before replacing Windows by Ubuntu on your Netbook ;
  • Don't try to install older versions of Ubuntu which have reached their end of life. Use one fully supported version of Ubuntu instead. If you really wish to try an older version of Ubuntu, use Ubuntu 12.04 LTS which is supported until April 2017.
  • @Mateo : For sure, a 64-bit os will work with less than 2 GB of RAM, but if you launch several applications and use them simultaneously, your system may swap more quickly, because the same application in 64-bit takes more memory than its 32-bit version. It is especially true if an application uses a lot of integers. One of the pros of 64-bit is the possibility to use more than 3GB of RAM without PAE. Not all applications may benefit from 64-bit features, but with x86-64 architecture they will at least get access to more registers. panther wishes high performance, so 32-bit is the best bet. – Golboth Jun 29 '14 at 8:28
  • For Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Desktop), 32-bit flavour is listed as "32-bit (for machines with less than 2GB RAM)" in the drop down list of the official download page at ubuntu.com/download/desktop. – Golboth Jun 29 '14 at 8:47
  • Sure... But before editing you said "you have to take" which isn't true. – Mateo Jun 29 '14 at 10:41
  • @Mateo: That's precisely why I totally agree with your edit. However I wanted (through my comments) to explain why I had written it that way. Since "panther" cares about performances, I really think that using a flavour with hardware configuration below the recommended requirements is not the best way to get the expected result. Thus I used "you have to take" instead of "I would suggest"... I'm somewhat disappointed to see that using just a few words instead of others may deserve down vote when trying to help someone to find a solution to a given problem... – Golboth Jun 29 '14 at 18:13

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