Currently, the computer is running windows 8
Equipped with amd E1-6010 APU, task manager shows 3,4gb of ram
Currently also equipped only with a hdd
Is it worth going through installing a linux distro to this unit? Win8, a browser and task manager gets it to its knees (96-98%).
I would consider this machine at the current state a security risk, just because the OS so outdated.
What do you think
What is the machine used for? Switching to Linux generally depends on what applications need to run and who will be using it. If all it does is browse the web, then sure. Browsers work fine in Linux.
Found that APU from 2014 in the list on Wiki. It’s a dual core CPU (one thread per core) with a 10W TDP. So, ultra-low power territory. I expect your system has the full 4GB of RAM, Win-OS reserves quite a bit for itself and won’t release it to other programs. As said, Linux on this machine is perfectly feasible, the saying “Linux runs on a toaster” is actually true: if you have a somewhat intelligent toaster, it’ll run Linux Just make sure you choose a lean desktop environment (DE). That means the mainstream ones (Gnome, KDE, Mate, etc) are pretty much off limits. I’m not familiar with those lean DE’s so can’t recommend one.
My advise is to install Linux in 2 stages:
install the basic system from Debian, Ubuntu, Mint or Fedora, without a DE. This’ll leave you on the cli (the (in)famous Linux command line). If you’ve done DOS before, it’s not much different in feel, but a heck lot more powerful then DOS ever was!
Install a DE of choice. Your choice may not suit the hardware, if so, just remove it from the system and start again. Or it may not suit your taste or requirements. Again, purge it from your system and try something different. That’s the power of Linux: the freedom to choose, experiment and even write your own.
Enjoy your computer for a little longer
Basicly a web browser
Althought It needs to have a GUI
That’s an APU. 3.4 gigs sounds like four gigs total, half a gig for the iGPU and a rounding error.
I agree with @Dutch_Master that it should be perfectly usable with a lightweight DE. 4GB of RAM is plenty sufficient, but I’d recommend swapping the HDD out with a cheap 128GB SSD ($20-$25)… it’ll make a world of difference in boot time and responsiveness.
If you’re new to linux I’d suggest giving Linux Mint 20.3 Xfce a try first. It’s Mint’s leanest desktop environment and is newcomer friendly.
I have experience with the Cinnamon mint, but I have worked with XFCE a little bit in the past.
And I can agree on that SSD
Althought here, it is usually worth it to just buy a 240gb ssd instead, since the price difference is a couple of Euro’s.
However, should I also consider the hassle of adding an additional firewall. This laptop won’t be used outside the office, and the use is just web browsing, and a document here and there.
Mint comes preloaded with a ‘Firewall Configuration’ tool (front-end for UFW). All you need to do is toggle the status to ‘On’ and you’re done. No further configuration needed for your use-case and will even be safe for use outside your office.
Get some light-weight distro with xfce . Will work like a charm…Swap will be necessary as it is required for PCs of this era. Many modern applications use a lot of memory, but there are usually more light-weight alternatives out there.
I wouldn’t suggest installing anything until you test out some lightweight live images on a usb drive. Depending on the machine hardware you may not have wireless, bluetooth, sound, etc.
Don’t waste your time without knowing if it’s really worth it or not.
Definitely worth it for a machine like that. Put something light like mx on it and it will run smooth as butter.
I would say it’s definitely worth it.
And it doesn’t have to be a hassle at all.
But you should install a distro with a lightweight DE.
I have a laptop with only a dual core i5 with igpu and 4GB of ram.
I installed Ubuntu Mate on it like 4 years ago and it runs totally fine,
for a bit of browsing, emailing and office like work.
And even watching video’s is totally fine.
The only thing i did was replacing the hdd with a cheap 128GB ssd,
which is plenty enough for running Linux.
And will definitely be an improvement.
- Ubuntu Mate.
- Linux Mint Mate.
- MX Linux.
- Linux Lite.
Some good choices there which are easy to setup.
Is it worth it? This question should always be followed with “Compared to what?”
Is it worth it to hold off replacing that machine for another year or two? Yes, probably. What would be the alternative?
Let’s see what an Alder Lake build can do here. Presenting the el-cheapo:
InWin Chopin + Core i3 12100 + 8GB RAM
Now, is it worth the hassle with installing Linux on the old machine, or is it better to go with an Alder Lake Windows 10/11 machine? Or is it better to go with Linux on the Alder Lake machine? This I cannot answer. It depends on your needs and what you want to do with it.
Do I believe your current system would be capable of running Linux for another couple of years without significant slowdown? Yes, especially if you install something lightweight like Lubuntu.