[xubuntu-users] Running Ubuntu or Xubuntu with 550 Mhz and 186 MB RAM?

Bas Roufs basroufs at gmail.com
Tue Oct 21 11:21:15 UTC 2008

Dear Everybody
> Re: Running Ubuntu or Xubuntu with 550 Mhz and 186 MB RAM?
Thanks for all the input so far in this thread at both the Ubuntu and 
Xubuntu user forums.

> Get a 256 PC-133 chip and add it to the machine and you'll be happy.

In many cases this could be a useful advise, but the memory bar(s?) of 
my old Compaq laptop are immediately under the key board - it is too 
complicated and too expensive to do something there.

> ... I have a 350Mhz 128MB Clevo (Lap-Note) with both standard Ubuntu (Gnome) and xubutu installed. It is primarily only used as a print server for my USB printer, but it does work...
This sounds really interesting.... How did you install this software, 
NoOp? Via a 'minimal CD image' (see below)? Or in some other way? How 
much Hard Disk space do you use for the system files on your 'Clevo Lap 

> you might also consider the Ubuntu minimal CD image
> (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/MinimalCD). With this image, you can install only the packages you need.
This option looks interesting - I already bookmarked the link. Is this a 
viable way to use Ubuntu with:
* a slow processor (+/- 550Mhz, Pentium II)
* a small internal memory? (186 MB)
* a limited disk space (< 4 GB)?

With respect to this 'minimal CD image', a bit of other useful feedback 
came in.

> Plus, with the mini.iso your getting a completely updated system out 
> the gate as it uses the network to download and install all the packages.

This is an important advantage.

> Quick question about this method that we're advocating, how to you get 
> a minimal X environment?

What means 'X environment' in this context?

>   When I do the minimal install I typically install xubuntu-desktop, 
> so how do you go about getting the minimal stuff while avoiding that 
> massive metapackage?

This is an important question.

>   When I use the mini.iso I'm usually using the cli option to get 
> really lean.

What means 'cli option'?

Also other options have been suggested.

> There is a lot of alternative Window Managers, which are even more light than any Desktop Environment (including Xfce), for example Openbox or Fluxbox. These need a bit more experience/hacking skills/time/configuring, but are also worth considering.

Thanks for this advise. I keep it in mind in case less complicated 
alternatives do not work.
> To the best of my knowledge the best fuxbox based linux running excellently on low spec linux is TinyME. Admittedly, it is not based on Ubuntu, but it is looking good, indeed.
> http://www.tinymelinux.com/doku.php
> http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/v/tinyme20080/
Also this alternative I keep in mind in case I do not manage to run the 
laptop with some minimal Ubuntu or Xubuntu configuration.

> To the best of my knowledge, the live cd will not work with 128MB Ram. Installing from the alternate cd should work, I have installed on 128MB ram with it. It will run a bit slower (maybe a lot) slower than you are used to, and the install will take forever (maybe 2 hours). I have used openoffice and firefox on it, with evolution.
Does also Xubuntu have a so-called 'minimal CD image'?

This is it for this moment. Respectfully Yours,


Bas G. Roufs M.A.
Van 't Hoffstraat 1
NL-3514 VT  Utrecht
E.:  BasRoufs at gmail.com
M.: +31.6.446.835.10.

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