Thinking of putting Ubuntu on my hack laptop, is it worth the hassle?
I’m just trying the beta for 13.10 – I like it a lot, seems faster than 12.04 which I was using before.
Some things to note:
* Wait a few days for 13.10 to come out proper.
* Adobe have pulled flash support for Linux, and stopped GPU hardware support so playing HD flash content in browser is a bit of a slog.
* iTunes isn’t available on Linux so if you are syncing with newer iPods, phones or tablets I’d check compatibility first.
* Dual booting is really easy – the installer has come on a lot in recent years and does everything for you. I’d reconsider this option just to see whether you can get on with the OS.
Lastly that laptop is more than capable of running Ubuntu happily (And Windows for that matter – maybe have a clear up before doing anything drastic?).
EDIT: Last thing, just check compatibility with your wireless card as well. I don’t think this is really a problem these days but you can never be too careful.Posted 4 years ago
Best thing is that you can burn the image to a USB key, and boot it, and play. No need to immediately install until you’re happy to do so.
OK it’ll be a bit slow, but you’ll immediately know that the sound card, wifi, LAN, etc. all work fine.
Youtube can do HTML5/CSS3/JS instead of Flash, but used to need a setting somewhere on Youtube site (same for Vimeo). Don’t recall for iPlayer (think I’m using flash there?).
Also consider Mint 15 instead of Ubuntu (it’s based largely on the same codebase, but with much of the media codecs etc. bundled, and with different default UI). That’s my task for this weekend.Posted 4 years agobrassneckSubscriber
There are many alternatives to iTunes on Linux, but beware if you have bought a lot of content from the store.
Personally I don’t get on with Mint but it is definitely worth trying as well, won’t take long to download both and burn a bootable try out setup to a key drive. It’s a live distro, not a dual boot so you lose and risk nothing.Posted 4 years agospursn17Member
I’ve put Mint on my laptop and it was really easy, the only issues I have with it is that some Windows stuff such as games won’t play (a lot do though through the Wine program).
It takes a bit of getting used to (think changing from MTB to road bike) but once you do you may find Windows really irritating. Load Libre Office (free) as an alternative to Win Office, and Gimp is a good free alternative to Photoshop.
I recentely had to load Win7 back on to the house desktop PC (Mrs spursn17 couldn’t play one of her games on Mint) and I spent half a day saying very, very, bad words as it was driving me nuts loading drivers for this and that on it. Mint did the whole lot in one go and everything worked.
Mint does offer a dual boot option when loading.Posted 4 years ago
Don’t get on with that Unity interface (always though it was dumb from day 1), but liking Cinnamon which ships as default with Mint.
Of course, this is Linux, so you can also have Cinnamon on Ubuntu, or Unity on Mint (or indeed several UI and try them all out) on any distro. It’s just they’ll all have one default that ships.
Can’t help on the iTunes side of things – all my stuff is DRM free ogg, mp3 or flac, and all e-books are in .mobi etc. format that Calibre handles.Posted 4 years agojimmersSubscriber
I’ve got Ubuntu on my Netbook. Works fine on there and it connects to my iStuff without needing iTunes (which I loathe).
My recommendation would be to stick with 12.04 LTS. This the long term stable version. I’ve tried the more recent ones but these can buggy especially with weird hardware you get on laptops. They install ok, but when you update software it can cause some things to break.Posted 4 years ago
Funiily enough, I installed 13.04 on my EEEPC 901 netbook the other morning before work. It takes 20 mins on that – 2Gb RAM, 1.6Ghz Atom processor, 16GD SSD.
Before I installed it, I created a bootable USB and you can just run it from that to try without installing. There are instructions on the Ubuntu website for creating the USB stick and then trying it – it’s very very simple. The only issue I had was that the pendrivelinux usb stick generator software wouldn’t see the ISO file within the specified folder, but navigating to the folder and typing in the filename rather than clicking the file like you normally would worked fine.
Everything works perfectly – it’s fast (faster than Win XP before) it shuts down almost instantly, and there are no graphics bugs with the Intel 945 integrated chipset. It even recognises the integrated 3G modem.
Highly recommend. As I say, the actual install for me took 20 mins before work one morning 🙂Posted 4 years agochambordMember
I think the Unity interface has really come on since its introduction. Is very stable now and fast. People will always disagree about window managers in the Linux world but I’m perfectly happy with it.
To add another spanner in the works I also recommend looking at ElementaryOS. Haven’t tried it myself but have heard good things about it.Posted 4 years ago
As above, have an old HP G42 laptop I keep at home for general internet browsing, iTunes stuff and watching the odd ***cough**** torrent-ed video content.Posted 4 years ago
I am thinking about putting Ubuntu on it just to see if I can speed it up a little plus just to see what the experience is like.
It has an i3 processor with 4GB RAM (edit), 350GB H/D and I am reasonably competent around a PC, is it worth the faffing around (don’t want to go dual boot)?OllyMember
my main computer is lower spec than the OPs hack machine, and my hack laptop is 10 years old and obviously much much lower spec.
run straight up ubuntu on both machines. main machine dual boots to windows purely for the Steam service on windows.
If you want to give it a poke, try this:
You use it as if you were installing a program, and it uninstalls just as easily, but it shuffles the partitions and installs it next to windows. once you reboot, you get to choose what to boot into.
it will take a little while to get used to, but if you look up any issue on the ubuntu forums someone will have sorted it.
i love it: fast, doesnt breakdown (suffer from slow down like windows does) and is prettier than iOS. and all the programs are free! (and good!)
Gimp for a photoshop clone, libre office, rhythmbox to replace itunes. companies like skype and dropbox provide proper programs for it too.Posted 4 years agogravity-slaveMember
Is a complete install and fettle possible in under a few hours?
I stuck Mint 15 on a much lower spec machine (but with SSD upgrade) last night in about 30 minutes from booting into the DVD to logging on and getting on line.
If you want to try either, download the DVD iso, burn and boot into it as a live trial then you can try before you install.
Mint is pretty much set up for all regular tasks out the box, all my hardware worked including gestures on the trackpad, the WiFi n card and webcam.
I’m a fan and it works well with minimal knowledge. A bit like Android – you don’t have to tinker at all to have a good experience as stock, but you can if you want to you can do anything.Posted 4 years ago
If you just want to get on with stuff then leave it alone
Not my experience at all, though it can be picky about some hardware – my dad has had a nightmare with Linux in general on a recent Fujitsu laptop. Seems to be centred around an issue with Nvidia graphics chipsets.Posted 4 years ago
Same. It just works, on all my machines (other than remembering what I did to get Flash working last time).
Never got my ATI card working properly in Windows though. Seemed to work best with all 3D stuff turned off.
As above… you can tinker as much as you like from plug+play and use as is, up to full commandline personalised configuration. But there will be things that are “different” (I complain about Windows for exactly that reason – so many things are just retarded imho, that others will see as normal)Posted 4 years agobigyinnMember
Just resurrect this thread a little.
Was playing around with an old laptop I have. Its ok on XP, but it struggles when playing videos. My plan is to use it for web browsing and playing videos, outputting to the main TV, connected to the main PC via LAN.
I’ve tried this setup with an old desktop PC connected to the TV and it worked well. Obviously the desktop is too bulky to have sat in the front room.
So Im thinking Mint might be what Im looking for. However, I have a few questions, so Im hoping Linus experts on here might be able to help before I start.
Will putting Mint on help on video playback i.e. less resources needed?
At the moment Im using a plug in wireless card (PMCA??) as the laptop doesn’t have native wireless. How easy will it be to get the drivers for the card? (not the end if the world as I can always use a network cable.)
How easy will it be for the laptop to the main PC (Win 8) and vice versa on the Network?
Thanks all.Posted 4 years agocranberryMember
The wireless card may/may not work – as stated above, you can boot Ubuntu from a DVD or memory stick and you should get an idea if there is any sort of hardware issue. If you do have a device for which no drivers exist, then you can just buy a cheap usb wifi adapter that is supported to save you needing to use a network cable.
I installed 13.10 on a Thinkpad last night and it took about 30 mins or so ( they are well supported and everything seems to be working well ).Posted 4 years ago
As mentioned just try a live CD or stick (will be faster as reading from CD is sloooow). It’ll let you see what drivers work out of the box and then you can google around for ones that don’t and see how difficult it’ll be to get them installed.
molgrips – I use mint 15 as my host OS (just preference and ease for drivers etc..) and run various linux and windows VM’s and it works well. I have a lot of ram and processor power on it though.Posted 4 years agomolgrips wrote:
Just not sure if it’s any better than just going with Windows as a host – in terms of startup, shutdown, stability and whatnot.
I hate Windows, so for me yes! For me my host (regardless of OS) is pretty much simply for communications (skype, irc etc..) and chrome. All the work I do is done in various VMs so I just chose an OS that was going to use least resources whilst not getting in my way which is why I wound up on Mint. I was using something much more cut down (crunchbang) but some bits of the hardware didn’t work 100% and things like Skype screenshare just outright didn’t work.
I guess it all depends on your use case!Posted 4 years agomogrimMember
Connecting to other machines isn’t that hard, google “Samba” (and I don’t mean Brazilian girls in tight dresses, although that would be more entertaining…)
Dells are usually Linux friendly, though it might be worth a quick google for your particular model before starting.
In my experience the only thing that didn’t work “out of the box” was the DVD – for legal reasons Ubuntu doesn’t include the codec needed to read them. It took about 2 minutes to fix, once again google came up trumps.
One last thing: while most (all?) admin tasks can be done using point and click, it’s usually a lot quicker if you use the terminal.Posted 4 years agoStoatsbrotherMember
I use a really old version of Ubuntu (10.4 Karmic Koala) on an old spare laptop with a much lower spec than yours. It allows me to do internet stuff, and documents/spreadsheets, and boots up in under a minute when windows XP used to take 5.
I don’t use that laptop for music/photos etc and found that if I went beyond KK it wouldn’t work with my processor, but there are easily available retro versions out there – which will burn onto a single CD with all the basic software you might need.
The best thing was being able to run the different OS from different partitions initally to compare. No idea on iTunes I’m afraid.Posted 4 years ago
No idea on iTunes I’m afraid.
Not native and probably won’t work great under wine either (http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=application&iId=1347) however there are alternatives if you just need to talk to an ipod or the such. If it’s for music bought through it then might be out of luck there.Posted 4 years ago
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