Ubuntu on pentium4 + Nvidia geforce FX5700

i'm gonna keep this one short and to the point:

i got in an old rig, thats in surprisingly good state (10 years old, flawless) and i'd like to toss something like ubuntu on it.

the issue is that appareantly ubuntu 13.04 (the one i had laying around) doesnt seem to work on my FX5700.

the installing works just fine, the entire desktop enviroment looks as it should (as far as the monitor i'm testing on allows) but after installing, booting into the installed OS leaves me at a purple screen with a mouse cursor.

when i ctrl-alt-F1 to get into console everything works fine, but states "display driver crashed, switching to software rendering"

i did some quick googling, and it appears that theres an issue with Xorg configs used in ubuntu 12.04 (and up) and the driver needed for the graphics card (geforce FX5700, on AGP)

to the question: is there an easy(ish) fix for this, or are there alternatives?

(i took ubuntu 13.04 or up for its easy to use UI so i could maybe use it as a media center my parents can operate as well)

Well if you can boot normally on the LiveCD then you should be able to manually edit the config files from there instead of trying to do it from the terminal.

At the very least you could force the VESA driver to get a desktop.


That said, straight up Ubuntu is going to be very slow on that kind of setup as I've had a similar experience on a 2.4Ghz P4 Northwood and an OC'd to 2Ghz 1800+ Sempron Thoroughbred, both on Geforce 6200s w/ 2Gb of ram each. I'd say if you want Ubuntu then you'll want to use a much lighter desktop like the Mate, LXDE or XFCE desktops, if you want it built in just grab Mint 17.1(*) instead of Ubuntu.

* Mint as of 17 will no longer be following Ubuntu's development cycle directly, instead they are only going with the LTS releases so that they can further stabilize their own software like Cinnamon.

i managed to install lubuntu on the computer without any issues, and its running like a dream. 

(after the fact i realised i should have tried lubuntu to begin with)

Yeah, Lubuntu and Xubuntu both run better in older hardware the Straight Ubuntu. Unity is fairly resource heavy.