• [Solved] Which version for an older computer?

    Hi all,
    I have an old computer that was donated to the group home where I work. It has, I believe a P4 2.8 ghz cpu, and only 512mb of ram. I am really enjoying my time with Antergos and was wondering if it would run well on this hardware? I assume openbox would be the best option if so but would appreciate any input. I know I could go with Lubuntu in a pinch but was hoping to go with Antergos and Arch.

    Any thoughts and/or suggestions on what’s the best way to go with this? Thanks!

  • The way I see it, your main problem is your low RAM. Neither Gnome or KDE will behave as it should with such amount of it (and if you add firefox or Chrome to the equation… well, forget about it).

    If I were you I would try the Openbox version for sure. If you feel that is too bland for your taste you can also try Mate, but it will be less responsive (at least that’s what I would expect).

    Oh, and if you could get your hands on 512MB more, that really would make a difference.


  • Great choices have been talked about already… hmm…
    *Antergos Openbox

    Let me add one from my side before I leave.
    Try Bodhi linux or Arch with enlightenment.
    The Enlightenment DE should run decently on that hardware (Turn off OpenGL rendering and composting if it doesn’t)
    Bodhi further uses Midori as the browser making the distro almost completely suitable for underpowered machines.

    Otherwise try Ubuntu Mate, that one’s doing really well I’ve heard cuz its trying to run even on lower hardware than what Lubuntu supports…
    or try Antergos Mate (Ive never tried or heard about how well it performs)…(Go with Antergos Mate if you dont waana be confused between pacman -S and apt-get install as you switch between systems)

    I personally would’ve installed Windows XP on that system. Even though its dead but it can outperform Lubuntu or anyother Openbox DE any day!
    How? I have old Pentium4 computer that runs on 96MB RAM (128 minus 32MB for Video output, 96 it is!) and I dont think any thing from the linux world would allow me to browse internet, listen to songs, watch movies on a computer with 96MB RAM, I can do all that with Window XP.

    on 512MB RAM+Windows XP, you can play GTA Vice City, GTA Sanandreas, NFS Mostwanted, NFS unerground(I remember those days).

  • Not to be anti-Antergos, I have run it and it’s ok, but I run Manjaro with OpenRC.
    Boot up and it’s about 190-210mb.
    Right now I have Firefox and Thunderbird open and I am using about 512mb.
    Now obviously that is pushing on your systems’ limit, but still manageable.
    My system is responsive, even more so since moving to OpenRC.
    Of course the choice is yours as Linux is all about choice.
    Perhaps someone here could help you remover Systemd and replace it with OpenRC.
    Manjaro has a tutorial and it takes about 1/2hr to convert.
    I also remove PulseAudio and use Alsa only.
    So far, no problems at all.
    I found that just removing Systemd lowered my memory usage, alot.

  • Crap, I meant to tell you I run Xfce.
    A mind is a terrible thing to waste… lol

  • Good information y’all and much appreciated. I am going to speak with our director in the morning and see if he’ll spring for another 512k stick. I may be able to find some on an older project PC I have laying around here too.

    Had a friend suggest Elementary OS too but it looks like you’ll need at least a gig of ram to run smoothly. The computer will mostly be used for internet access for our residents and entering shift/log reports by out staff. I am thinking we can use Libre Office cloud instead of a traditional install if needed but share some of the concerns mentioned here about the browser.

    I haven’t used Midori before. Is it a suitable choice for daily use?

  • Oh, assuming I can get another 512mb stick what do y’all think of going with mate?

  • @Mike-Smith I was using PCLinuxOS KDE-mini x86 , but with MATE desktop , and web browser Pale Moon : 120 . 130 MB . That’s my suggestion . And , yes , I know , we are at Antergos Forum :)

  • Hi,

    Don’t go Elementary OS if you don’t have AT LEAST 1GB. That’s my advice.


  • Thanks for all the input!

  • @Mike-Smith
    I know you already marked this as solved. But thought i would just chime in anyways. I’m a distro hopper at heart, and love putting life into old machines. If you can add more RAM, then definatly do this.
    I think the MATE desktop is a great choice. I haven’t tried ubuntu mate, though i’ve heard great things. Linux mint mate has been great to me. My thinking is that on an old computer (which i would say you have), once it is setup, then you probably don’t want to make many changes.
    BODHI has been great to me also, I can’t believe it’s not as popular as it should be. Elementary desktop is a little different, but man is it lightning fast. In fact, it has been one of the quickest expierences i’ve had and the most beautiful out of the box. They have a minimist aproach, so once installed you will be adding what you need.

    Performance wise, my expierence with mate vs lxde vs xfce, there hasn’t been much difference and mate had more polish and is one of the reasons i liked it. Some say it is even faster now. The one thing that xfce or lxde did not have, was an indicator after clicking on something as it loads (spinning mouse). On an old computer, i really helps to know that it is doing something rather than just waiting.

  • dont be wasting your precious ram on those DE’s go openbox :bowtie:

  • Yeah, but openbox is just a window manager, not a DE.
    *Should I guess Antergos` openbox version is based on lxde?

  • I used to be on something a little less performant a year ago and running CrunchBang. Someone mentioned Elementary - Freya is totally out of the question, it barely runs on 1GB DDR3.

    I don’t think another 512k stick is worth it. Just go with the right software, midori, abiword, etc.

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