Ubuntu – Ubuntu or XUbuntu on old computer


We've got an old computer at home which has really been left unused for a few years. It was the 'family computer' for a few years, and it is absolutely clogged down with programs, and runs so slowly it is almost useless – I'm sure you know the type. I think we got it new in 2004, and from memory, the specs are:

512 mb RAM

40 GB harddrive

2.0 GHz processor

I'll have to double check about the graphics card, but I'm pretty sure it's less than 128 MB

Anyway, a friend recommended Ubuntu to give this old computer a new lease on life, but I just wanted to ask here if there's anything I ought to know before going ahead with this. In particular, should I use an older version of Ubuntu, or possibly XUbuntu (which I've seen people talk about here), as for me quick response is far more important than flashy icons that may lag when you click them.

I'd rather not spend any more money on hardware. As I say, this computer is effectively unused today, and if we could just restore it for lag-less web browsing and word processing I think we'd call this a success.

Thanks for your help!

Best Answer

  • Based upon your specifications, Xubuntu will be a better fit since the minimum requirement is 256Mb RAM.

    RAM is the key - your processor is fine to run any version of Ubuntu.

    If you can invest in some more RAM then Unity 2D will work for you. If you have a 3D Accelerated graphics card then you could also use Unity-3D or Gnome-Shell.

    Xubuntu has a great compositor built-in - so you can get fairly good visual effects without the "lag". Since this is a "family" computer - I presume you previously have had MS Windows installed. You'll find the Xubuntu interface fairly similar - a panel based desktop with a "start" button and icons for open windows on the panel.

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