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Help Choosing a Linux distro for old notebook

Hello guys, first time posting here, so sorry if I'm doing anything wrong.

 

I currently use an old notebook mainly as an improvised media server as well as an internet browsing box. I run windows 8.1, but since it will stop receiving security updates I'm looking for a distro to replace it with. The notebook in question is an old Samsung with an i7 3630qm, 8GB ddr3, Nvidia Optimus GT630m. I will be replacing the HDD with a SSD and will use an external HDD for my dvds and brs, I also like using Universal Media Server (I rather keep using this since I never used Plex, or any other server for that matter, I always used UMS since the days of PS3 Media Server).

 

So yeah, I would like tips on which would be the most efficient distro for this hardware, preferably something that run the most out of the box (I don't have patience to configure stuff anymore, reason why I just use windows, I would get a new PC, but i'm kinda short on money atm). I always kinda leaned more towards OpenSUSE or Slackware back when I used linux, I never really got into Debian and other Debian based systems, but I'm willing to give any system a try.

 

Hope I posted this in the right place and thanks to anyone able to lend a hand here.

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32 minutes ago, AleAug said:

I currently use an old notebook mainly as an improvised media server as well as an internet browsing box. I run windows 8.1, but since it will stop receiving security updates I'm looking for a distro to replace it with. The notebook in question is an old Samsung with an i7 3630qm, 8GB ddr3, Nvidia Optimus GT630m. I will be replacing the HDD with a SSD...

Old? That's not old. The oldest I've done would be a 2008 laptop a few days ago.

 

I have done dozens, yes dozens, of laptops and some desktops, replaced the HD with an SSD and installed Linux Mint with Cinnamon desktop. The HD data is then copied to the SSD using a SATA to USB cable.

 

Doing the software installation takes about 8 minutes. Updates, maybe about the same time. As it comes as an installation there will be, web browser, office suite, audio and video viewing and a range of other items. There is a vast number of additional apps available if wanted.

 

Yes, deb. Installation of such a file is very similar to installing an exe file. You will however need the password to allow installation. You do not need a password to boot up if you tell it you don't want to have to use one, tick a wee box below the password boxes during installation of the system.

 

There is a very good Mint discussion forum if more information is wanted.

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Personally I use Linux Mint, it’s super easy to use, especially if you’re used to windows. 
the software center is pretty rich, and honestly I love it as my everyday computer.

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depending on your experience with linux and the amount of effort your willing to put in

if the answer is allot and allot , theres only one real contender : gentoo

but assuming you want a more ease of use and peace of mind experience, im not gonna suggest any particular distro but some points you might want to considder when eliminating choices:

look for a distro that has official support for a light weight desktop env (assuming you want a full fledged desktop environment ofc if not ... why not gentoo? 😄)

  • lxqt
  • lxde
  • xfce
  • some honorable mentions in this category:
    • mate (gnome 2 continued)
    • trinity (a fork of kde3)
    • enlightenment (dunno where to categorise this)
    • fvwm
    • Deepin (qt-based with a apple look but not worthy of a fully fledged de imho maybe in some time)

look for a distro that has a fast package manager (both for resolving depencies as for actually installing packages)

  • the arch based distro's score best in this category (with some niche exeptions )
  • debian base distros are probably the worst with a big leap in this category,
  • previous point is not counting gentoo that  is  since its package installation time wil trump any other by miles (in the bad sense) but at the cost of blazing fast actual runtimes of those packages as they all will be compiled for that exact system and your exact needs...

if i wer you id also avoid distro's that heavely depend on :

  • snap packages
  • flatpak packages
  • Appimage packages

this will eliminate any ubuntu based distro's if not already disguarded by my previous point (ubuntu is debian based so)

 

 

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Linux Mint Mate or Cinnamon is going to work like a charm on that laptop. If you really want to go lightweight, you can use the Xfce version as well.

Ryzen 1600x @4GHz

Asus GTX 1070 8GB @1900MHz

16 GB HyperX DDR4 @3000MHz

Asus Prime X370 Pro

Samsung 860 EVO 500GB

Noctua NH-U14S

Seasonic M12II 620W

+ four different mechanical drives.

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As Giganthrax says Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop. As for light weight, why and how much lighter? If I can put Mint Cinnamon on everything from old slow 2GB RAM laptops to modern  desktops with plenty of RAM, the OP should have no problems.

 

Oldest laptop? A 2008 HP a week ago.

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i use Garuda Xfce on my 10 and 15 years old laptop and it running great.

You Know games don't make you violent, lag does. and I'm not a player. I'm a gamer. Players get chicks. I get achievements. So just so you know Failure doesn't mean the game is over, it means try again with experience and I'm the hero of a thousand stories. I'm a superhero, an assassin a soldier. I've slain dragons and traveled through portals. I am a spartan, a commander. A king. I've saved a thousand worlds and countless more lives. What am I? I'm a gamer.

 

My youtube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrNO2liFw3M85GZWP6e9CQg

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