[SATLUG] Switching to Linux from Windows XP

Mark Mayfield mayfield_mark at gvtc.com
Sat Aug 1 13:22:47 CDT 2015


I have been using MATE pretty much exclusively and think its great. It 
is fairly friendly to old hardware

On 07/31/2015 11:21 PM, Alan Lesmerises wrote:
> I know the rest of the list can (and probably will) confirm or refute 
> this, but my experience has been that when it comes to older hardware 
> (slower CPUs, less RAM, less capable graphics cards, etc.), the main 
> driver behind whether you will have a positive experience with any 
> flavor of Linux will be the choice of desktop environment you use.  
> Unity was mentioned before, but Gnome & KDE can also place a load on 
> older hardware (again, that's been _my_ experience).  I've had good 
> luck running LXDE or XFCE in those cases, and they are definitely 
> quite usable and don't feel like you're giving up anything.
>
> However, I would say that in the long-term, having hardware that can 
> support a 64-bit operating system will become a more significant 
> concern.  It seems that several of the more major, mainstream distros 
> have already dropped support for 32-bit versions, or will soon do so.  
> To me, that has implications as far as long-term support (patches & 
> updates) for whatever distro you go with.
>
> However, I would bet that the various versions or derivatives of 
> Ubuntu will probably continue to package 32-bit versions for quite 
> some time to come.  For nothing else, I think that doing so is 
> entirely consistent with their main philosophy of trying to bring 
> affordable computing to the masses (including the 3rd world), and 
> older platforms like yours are the kind of tech they would want to be 
> compatible with.
>
> As far as one that has a generally similar look and feel as XP, I 
> really like Mint, especially since it looks like they put a lot of 
> emphasis on desktop usability for people who are switching from Windows.
>
> As always, YMMV.
>
> Al Lesmerises
>
>
> On 7/31/2015 6:12 PM, Travis England wrote:
>> I'm curious, what type of software running on Windows XP have you not 
>> been
>> able to find a decent replacement for?
>>
>> I agree with Peter, in that we'd need to have a better idea of your
>> hardware before making any solid recommendations.  I will, however, 
>> throw
>> out some love for elementaryOS.  I've always had good luck getting it to
>> work well, even on old hardware (my old gaming desktop I built around 
>> the
>> same time as your Dell XPS was released).
>>
>> On Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 5:58 PM, Peter Cross <pjcrux at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> What are the HW specs on the XPS? You may not enjoy Unity or other new
>>> GUI's due to hw limitations. YMMV.
>>>
>>> On Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 5:49 PM, Chris Montgomery 
>>> <chrisncats at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Greetings,
>>>>
>>>> I've been limping along on Windows XP on a 12-year old Dell 
>>>> Dimenion XPS since December 2003. For the most part, I haven't had 
>>>> any major issues. Now, after installing some MS updates about 10 
>>>> days ago I am having crashes and have lost all data on my external 
>>>> USB drive (mainly used for backups but there were some original 
>>>> media files on the drive). I have been considering moving to Linux 
>>>> on my desktop for a long time and it seems the time to make that 
>>>> move is now. The last time I had anything to do with Linux was in 
>>>> late 2000 to early 2001 when I ran Red Hat 7.1 on my previous 
>>>> desktop for about four months. Had to move back to Windows, 
>>>> however, since most of the software I needed to use didn't have 
>>>> compatible Linux versions back then. I believe the Linux software 
>>>> offerings have evolved quite a bit since then and I could do most 
>>>> of what I need to do on the computer these days by running Linux as 
>>>> my primary OS but also having the option to dual boot out to 
>>>> Windows for those few softare needs that aren't supported under 
>>>> Linux (mostly financial and tax packages).
>>>>
>>>> So, to get to the point, I have a rather urgent need to get a Linux 
>>>> install up and running on this machine (don't have the funds to buy 
>>>> new right now) because I don't want to lose anymore data. I also 
>>>> haven't been keeping up with what has been going on in the Linux 
>>>> world for the past several years other than occasionally noticing 
>>>> that there are lots of options for someone to choose from who wants 
>>>> to make the Windows to Linux switch. Folks, if you have a good 
>>>> recommendation or two that I can look at for making that switch in 
>>>> fairly short order, I would greatly appreciate knowing what you 
>>>> think. I have a brand new 500gb Seagate SATA drive that's been in a 
>>>> shrinkwrapped box sitting on the shelf for a few years that I plan 
>>>> to use when making the transition. I will temporarily pull the plug 
>>>> on my existing 120gb drive where all of my Windows programs are 
>>>> installed and which holds all of my data until I can get Linux 
>>>> running on the new drive. After that, I'll hook the old drive back 
>>>> up and migrate my data to the new drive and then either try to 
>>>> repair the WinXP install or do a fresh reinstall of WinXP to use 
>>>> for running the windows software that I will still need.
>>>>
>>>> All thoughts greatly appreciated!
>>>>
>>>> -- 
>>>> Best regards,
>>>>
>>>> Chris Montgomery
>>>> -- 
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