Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

Started Sep 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,342
Or, a "full blown" KDE desktop ;-)

malch wrote:

Jen Yates wrote:

If they run XP they will likely as not run win 8 just as well if not better.

I doubt it. It depends how much RAM these systems have, and to a lesser extent what type of CPU.

If those XP systems have just 2GB of RAM, I can't see them running Win 8 very well. However, 2GB would be sufficient for a Linux system with a lightweight desktop like Xfce.

My wife's Dell Inspiron 1720 with an Intel Dual Core CPU and only 1GB of memory has no issues running distros with KDE desktops. I've got Mepis 11 on it right now, but it runs newer distros like Kubuntu 12.04 just fine (as I've tested it on that laptop and frankly, it's even "snappier" than Mepis 11, which is using an older KDE release).

I think most users underestimate just how lean and mean some of the newer KDE releases are on most hardware, with a very full featured desktop that can be more "comfortable" for users that have been using Windows for the most part.

Heck, here's an old post showing Kubuntu 12.04 running in a Virtual Machine setup for only 512MB of memory. Basically, just for giggles, I just changed the Virtual Machine settings for the Kubuntu 12.04 install I have in VirtualBox (running from an actual installation to a Virtual Hard Drive, not from a Live session using the .iso image), setting it so that the VM only has 512MB to work with (and it's got a 1GB Swap Partition created during the installation to help out).

With LibreOffice 3.5.3, Gimp 2.8 and Firefox 12 loaded running 8 tabs, including one playing a flash video from youtube.com at the same time, it's only using about 310MB of the 512MB of memory I allocated to the Virtual Machine. It's using around 200MB of the swap partition space, but performance is still fine that way.


You'll find more screen captures in this thread (showing some of the "tweaks" I typically make to KDE based distros, including installing the "Elegance" theme and installing a different menu launcher:


Note that Kubuntu also has an available low-fat-settings package that makes it even leaner for use on older hardware (disabling some of the features that eat up CPU and memory). But, if you've got a modern machine with 1GB or more of memory, just installing it using the defaults work fine, with no need to use the low-fat-settings package in the repos.

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