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So my daughter got one of these - https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Inspiron-Laptop-Celeron-I3162-0000BLU/dp/B01BTW4QNE  for Christmas last year and used it for about 9 months before she got upgraded to a real desktop.  Since she wasn't using it anymore I took it and put mint 18.3 on it.

For about 2 months it was a great little couch-side browser, even with only 2 GB of ram.  I put chrome on it and taught myself some terminal commands without fear of repercussions because, hey it was not being used by anyone else anymore right?

 

But last night I updated the system through the normal update manager like always, and after the update Cinnamon was using over 100mb of ram non-stop.  For the first time since using mint, I had the swap file accessed for extra memory.  I did some experimenting and removed cinnamon, all the way gone, and now the system loads to the log in screen but after entering credentials it says cinnamon is not available and just goes to a black screen with the mouse cursor.  No keypad commands are accepted. 

Looks like I will be reinstalling.

And that is the question, what?  Is there a lighter weight distro?  MATE?  Lubuntu?  I really only need a browser and terminal as I am just playing on this machine. 

Thanks for the advice and be gentle in the comments.  I know it was a dumb-ass thing to remove cinnamon, at least now I do... 9_9

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Yeah I like MATE.

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Both MATE and Lubuntu are good options, imo. I tend to gravitate towards MATE but that's just nostalgia (I guess you could call it that?) for the old Ubuntu days before Unity. Definitely since you're just using it for browsing and terminal, you could really just do any distro with a GUI.

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1 minute ago, TheGlenlivet said:

And that is the question, what?  Is there a lighter weight distro?  MATE?  Lubuntu?  I really only need a browser and terminal as I am just playing on this machine.

Xubuntu uses XFCE, Lubuntu uses LXDE, and both are rather borebanes, lightweight distros. Might wanna try either of those. Mate has grown quite a bit over the years and while it's still lighter than e.g. Cinnamon, it's a tad heavier than those two aforementioned ones.

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ubuntu MATE (tried that on a VM for a bit and kinda like it - also available for old PPC apple computers and some ARM single board computers - a big plus in my book) 

 

xubuntu

 

lubuntu

 

mint MATE (don't like the start menu that much but it's ok) 

 

mint XFCE (nice distro to breathe some new life into old aptops - and i mean OLD, like pentium M old ) 

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23 hours ago, KenjiUmino said:

ubuntu MATE (tried that on a VM for a bit and kinda like it - also available for old PPC apple computers and some ARM single board computers - a big plus in my book) 

 

xubuntu

 

lubuntu

 

mint MATE (don't like the start menu that much but it's ok) 

 

mint XFCE (nice distro to breathe some new life into old aptops - and i mean OLD, like pentium M old ) 

Mint xfce installed.  idles at 30% ram usage (of 2GB), 3 chrome tabs open and its about 50%.  Looking good!  Thanks for the  suggestion.

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Mint MATE works well on my old-ass rig with a failing hard drive. I'd give it a try.

Wow, just saw this was posted last week. Oh well, it might still be useful.

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4 minutes ago, Jamiec1130 said:

Mint MATE works well on my old-ass rig with a failing hard drive. I'd give it a try.

Wow, just saw this was posted last week. Oh well, it might still be useful.

No worries.  I went XFCE and it is great.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You uninstall the desktop??? Oh no!!! you just brick your computer!!! Naw, just kidding. I uninstall desktops all the time whenever I wish to experiment with other desktop environment on the same distros. Currently I like cinnamon best. It is more resource heavy than mate but still much lighter weight than the unity desktop found on the former ubuntu. Some people install two or more desktops and had the options to choose which to use on login. 

 

In any case, you need the terminal now that a desktop GUI is gone. Use the hotkey ctrl+alt+f1 to launch a terminal. Install whatever desktop you desire. You can google for the commands. Reboot after you’re done

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1 minute ago, wasab said:

You uninstall the desktop??? Oh no!!! you just brick your computer!!! Naw, just kidding. I uninstall desktops all the time whenever I wish to experiment with other desktop environment on the same distros. Currently I like cinnamon best. It is more resource heavy than mate but still much lighter weight than the unity desktop found on the former ubuntu. Some people install two or more desktops and had the options to choose which to use on login. 

 

In any case, you need the terminal now that a desktop GUI is gone. Use the hotkey ctrl+alt+f1 to launch a terminal. Install whatever desktop you desire. You can google for the commands. Reboot after you’re done

So, I couldn't get back to a place where the keyboard would work to bring up a terminal. 

It loaded from post to the log in screen, but after logging in it gave an error saying cinnamon wasn't found and an option to go to a default desktop, but that desktop never loaded.  Just a mouse cursor on a black screen.  It's ok, reinstalled with XFCE and good to go.

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6 minutes ago, TheGlenlivet said:

So, I couldn't get back to a place where the keyboard would work to bring up a terminal. 

It loaded from post to the log in screen, but after logging in it gave an error saying cinnamon wasn't found and an option to go to a default desktop, but that desktop never loaded.  Just a mouse cursor on a black screen.  It's ok, reinstalled with XFCE and good to go.

What he's referring to are the TTY (1-7) shortcuts (Ctrl+Alt+F1 to F7). They work without needing a DE, WM or even an X server.

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Just now, noahdvs said:

What he's referring to are the TTY (1-7) shortcuts (Ctrl+Alt+F1 to F7). They work without needing a DE, WM or even an X server.

Yeah I understand, but when do you use them?  at the log in screen?

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1 hour ago, TheGlenlivet said:

Yeah I understand, but when do you use them?  at the log in screen?

Any screen even if you have no screen at all lol. I use it often whenever my desktop is frozen and nothing worked. It is always my last go to step before hard rebooting.

 

cinnmaon is mint’s flagship desktop btw. It is more feature rich and customizable. I use a custom theme on my cinnamon and the desktop look absolutely glorious.

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18 hours ago, wasab said:

Any screen even if you have no screen at all lol. I use it often whenever my desktop is frozen and nothing worked. It is always my last go to step before hard rebooting.

 

cinnmaon is mint’s flagship desktop btw. It is more feature rich and customizable. I use a custom theme on my cinnamon and the desktop look absolutely glorious.

I liked Cinnamon, but like I said, on a 2GB memory system it got too heavy. 

When I booted to what should have been the desktop after the log in screen I couldn't get anything to work from the keyboard.  I was stuck.  Oh well.

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10 hours ago, TheGlenlivet said:

I liked Cinnamon, but like I said, on a 2GB memory system it got too heavy. 

When I booted to what should have been the desktop after the log in screen I couldn't get anything to work from the keyboard.  I was stuck.  Oh well.

Yeah, I know what you are talking about. I used to have the same issue once after an apt-get —auto-remove command had mistakenly uninstall cinnamon somehow, I had no idea how that happened. Lol. Crtl alt f1 will exit you out of the black screen and into the terminal so you can fix the issue.

 

you already reinstall the distro so no use talking about it now but you may want to remembered  that hot key, it is incredibly useful.

 

Generally, lighter desktop enviorment is barebones basics, lacking many features, utilities and pretty eye candies such as animations, themes, widgets ect that heavier desktop enviorment have. Same rule applies to distros, they are generally very minimium in features in order to shrink down to such tiny size. It is up to you to decide if you want feature rich or light weight.

 

cinnamon fits into 2gb very well. I don’t believe cinnamon had an update since 18.2 Sarah either. If your ram usuage went up after distro upgrade,it might be other issues.

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Don't use a desktop environment, they're inefficient and bloated. Use a tiling window manager like i3wm instead. 

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1 hour ago, EPENEX said:

Don't use a desktop environment, they're inefficient and bloated. Use a tiling window manager like i3wm instead. 

IceWM would be more appropriate for the OP than i3wm.

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1 hour ago, EPENEX said:

Don't use a desktop environment, they're inefficient and bloated. Use a tiling window manager like i3wm instead. 

 

23 minutes ago, noahdvs said:

IceWM would be more appropriate for the OP than i3wm.

Already rocking XFCE and it's just fine.

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12 hours ago, TheGlenlivet said:

 

Already rocking XFCE and it's just fine.

I know and that's good. I wasn't telling you to use IceWM, just telling @EPENEX that i3wm is not a good thing to recommend here. You seem like someone who just wants something light and simple with no hassles. i3wm is a highly configurable tiling window manager, so it would be quite different from what you're used to.

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for something like that, Lubuntu all the way. i've mamaged to get that running on a pc from 1998 with 400MB of ram and a pentium 3. it was slow as hell, but it did work. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • press ctrl+alt+F2
  • Login at the prompt with your usual username and password
  • type sudo apt install -y cinnamon-desktop-environment
  • Then reboot or sudo systemctl restart lightdm
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