Old netbook unusable, even with AntiX

Forum Forums New users New Users and General Questions Old netbook unusable, even with AntiX

  • This topic has 35 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated Dec 6-6:12 pm by blur13.
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  • #125017
    Member
    jfm30204

      I have flirted with Linux many times in the past so am not a total noob, yet I am pretty much a functional noob.

      Presently, I am working on an Asus Eee PC Seashell 1015. It has an AMD V105 processor, 1 GB of ram, and a WD2500 250G 5400 rpm hard drive that tested under Crystal Disk Info as good. It formerly had an installation of Windows 7 Ultimate that gave a black screen on loading but would work in Safe Mode and actually had decent performance. I couldn’t manage to fix the display driver issue so thought to try a lightweight Linux to fix that and get better speed.

      I went though the following: Zorin Lite – wouldn’t even load; Lubunto – was a dog (on this machine); and finally AntiX 23 x64 Full. The machine is also a total dog with AntiX – completely unusable – and that was a surprise. Shouldn’t it be able to run AntiX fairly well with this hardware? Shouldn’t it work better than the Win 7 Ultimate in Safe Mode? Are there tweaks that I probably should know to do but haven’t – maybe regarding swap file, etc.?

      All help and/or suggestions gratefully received.

      • This topic was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by jfm30204.
      #125019
      Member
      PPC

        Well, I run antiX 32bits perfectly well on a 32bits laptop with 1GB of RAM, so anything with 1Gb of RAM and a processor faster than some 1.333mhz should work.
        Of course that you have reasonable expectations of what running an OS on very old hardware implies – use lighter browser and office programs (like seamonkey web browser and openoffice appimage, etc).
        You should expect that the system takes about 1 minute to load and firefox should take about 30 seconds to load. with 1 GB of RAM do not try to multitask much (ex: have 1 or 2 browser tabs open, don’t have many programs, specially heavy ones running at the same time), don’t expect to be able to watch youtube inside a browser at a high resolution, etc…

        You don’t give enough details about what makes antiX “a total dog” on that hardware…
        You may have problems with your graphics driver (like you seemed to had in Windows), etc- if you provide more details, about your system and what does not work well, people here may try to help…

        EDIT: I took a look at the “picture” of your computer- I installed, about a couple of years ago, antiX 19.X 32bits on an older, but very similar 32bits Asus netbook, of a friend of mine – it runs great there, he can even watch youtube on firefox, etc.

        EDIT 2: On tips: when installing antiX, enable the creation of swap file (or swap partition, on older versions). You can try seeing if enabling zram helps a bit (it usually does):
        antiX Menu > Terminal :
        sudo zram start
        Enter your password if asked to. After that you can close the terminal, zram remains running.
        You can try disabling desktop icons, by using the “IceWM” desktop (you may choose desktops in the antiX Menu > desktops > Other desktops); you can also turn off, on the system tray, the flag that shows the keyboard language and even volumeicon (you can always restart volumeicon any time you want, running the “volumeicon” command)- all this saves some dozens of Mb of idle RAM…
        Final tip: 32bits OSes and apps use a little less of RAM than 64bits ones… (and probably a tiny bit of CPU too, but I’m just guessing on that).

        • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by PPC.
        • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by PPC.
        • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by PPC.
        #125021
        Member
        anti-apXos

          You haven’t said what exactly makes it unusable for you and everyone has different standards and expectations when it comes to how a computer should run.

          If there is indeed a hardware issue, my guess would be the HDD. I don’t know what CrystalDiskInfo’s “good” means exactly, but I’d want to test with another drive or a live USB to see if it makes a difference.

          #125023
          Member
          PPC

            but I’d want to test with another drive or a live USB

            antiX runs faster from my Live USB flash-drive than when installed in my crappy 64bits netbook’s Hard Drive- so yeah, disk speed may be a factor in making the system harder to use.

            #125024
            Member
            enrique

              Hello,
              I have an ASUS Eee PC 1005 HA. With processor Intel Atom N270, 32 bits. The CPU with a maximum of 1.6 GHz clock. It has 1 GB of RAM. It has the original Hard drive with 150 GB. It has a small screen with resolution 1024 x 600 points (10 inches). I have removed the battery time ago, It works without battery.

              I have installed Antix 23 Full 32bits and it works reasonably. Well, there are not miracles. It boots in more than 1 minute. The firefox works well on heavy sites, of course it is not fast. I had Swap partition, but it is barely used, no more than 10 MB.

              Maybe with 64bits something is different. Or there is some kind of problem.
              I am not an expertise, only an happy user. I can not help.
              Sincerely

              #125027
              Member
              jfm30204

                Well, I run antiX 32bits perfectly well on a 32bits laptop with 1GB of RAM, so anything with 1Gb of RAM and a processor faster than some 1.33mhz should work.
                Of course that you have reasonable expectations of what running an OS on very old hardware implies – use lighter browser and office programs (like seamonkey web browser and openoffice appimage, etc).
                You should expect that the system takes about 1 minute to load and firefox should take about 30 seconds to load. with 1 GB of RAM do not try to multitask much (ex: have 1 or 2 browser tabs open, don’t have many programs, specially heavy ones running at the same time), don’t expect to be able to watch youtube inside a browser at a high resolution, etc…

                You don’t give enough details about what makes antiX “a total dog” on that hardware…
                You may have problems with your graphics driver (like you seemed to had in Windows), etc- if you provide more details, about your system and what does not work well, people here may try to help…

                EDIT: I took a look at the “picture” of your computer- I installed, about a couple of years ago, antiX 19.X 32bits on an older, but very similar 32bits Asus netbook, of a friend of mine – it runs great there, he can even watch youtube on firefox, etc.

                EDIT 2: On tips: when installing antiX, enable the creation of swap file (or swap partition, on older versions). You can try seeing if enabling zram helps a bit (it usually does):
                antiX Menu > Terminal :
                sudo zram start
                Enter your password if asked to. After that you can close the terminal, zram remains running.
                You can try disabling desktop icons, by using the “IceWM” desktop (you may choose desktops in the antiX Menu > desktops > Other desktops); you can also turn off, on the system tray, the flag that shows the keyboard language and even volumeicon (you can always restart volumeicon any time you want, running the “volumeicon” command)- all this saves some dozens of Mb of idle RAM…
                Final tip: 32bits OSes and apps use a little less of RAM than 64bits ones… (and probably a tiny bit of CPU too, but I’m just guessing on that).

                I wasn’t implying that AntiX was a dog, as I know that isn’t the case. I think it’s a total hardware thing. I will try your suggestions later and also post load times, etc. Thanks.

                #125028
                Moderator
                Brian Masinick

                  @enrique Your system is just right for a distribution like antiX.

                  Regarding “speed”, I can still recall what “fast” systems in the past
                  would be capable of versus what the latest systems can do. I’d say,
                  while there is no illusion that an Intel Atom N270, 32 bits would
                  ever be considered a “fast” system, what antiX is able to do with
                  that, to me, is excellent; glad it’s working for you!

                  Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

                  --
                  Brian Masinick

                  #125047
                  Member
                  Xunzi_23

                    The biggest bottleneck is the slow rotating drive, my eepc 1215 was transformed by fitting an ssd.
                    It will never be a very fast machine but now good enough for day to day and travel usage.
                    As has already been suggested booting from USB may be faster than from present internal drive.

                    Make sure the device is not cold when you open it or you will have broken clips, I used a thin piece
                    of hard plastic shaped like a plectrum as an opener. Still had to use some superglue and baking soda
                    to fix case as couple of the very flimsy clips snapped off.

                    #125052
                    Moderator
                    Brian Masinick

                      I agree with you @Xunzi_23. The first time I actually had an SSD as my primary drive it really
                      opened my eyes. When I got a faster system with SSD, even more so. I took an otherwise
                      solid system that had a high capacity HDD and replaced it with an SSD and that system today
                      is nearly as fast as some of my newer systems because everything else in that system was
                      and is of good quality.

                      Thanks also for the tips and care as the work is performed.

                      --
                      Brian Masinick

                      #125059
                      Member
                      blur13

                        Asus Eee PC Seashell 1015 is the exact model I have. I have been running antiX on it for three years. Here are my tips:

                        – Change the HDD to a SSD
                        – Clean the fan and change the thermal paste while you’re at it
                        – Install 32-bit OS
                        – TUI programs are your friend. Try mutt for email, cmus for music, mpv for video, etc.
                        – Try using Links2 instead of Firefox for browsing. Takes some getting used to, but pages load instantly.

                        If you change your mindset, lower your expectations, and optimize your workflow its amazing what a 12 yr old netbook can accomplish. Eg, can you check your gmail? Yes, but dont open up firefox and go to gmail.com. Use Alpine or Mutt. Can you check your google calendar? Yes, but again, dont use firefox. Try gcalcli (its in the repos). Want to read the news? Try https://text.npr.org/ in links2 instead of npr.org in firefox. Just making up examples off the top of my head, but you get the point.

                        #125066
                        Moderator
                        Brian Masinick

                          I knew we have people who have eeePC models and they have spoken. antiX works for many different systems including small netbooks.

                          --
                          Brian Masinick

                          #125068
                          Member
                          marcelocripe

                            Hello jfm30204.

                            Welcome to antiX Linux and the Forum.

                            I don’t know how to write in English and I send my texts translated by the internet translator. I hope you can understand everything. If your native language is not English, please translate my original Brazilian Portuguese text directly into your language with the help of internet translators and you will get a much better result.

                            Please read my real welcome in the Welcome to antiX Linux and the forum (antiX 23) and Welcome to antiX Linux and the forum (antiX 19, 21 and 22) thread.

                            The machine is also a total dog with AntiX – completely unusable – and that was a surprise.

                            Please clarify what this phrase means.
                            Was antiX able to start in graphical mode?
                            Yes or no?
                            What’s the problem?
                            No one here is forced to guess what a dog has to do with the functioning of a computer.
                            Unless it’s Puppy Linux.

                            marcelocripe
                            (Original text in Brazilian Portuguese language)

                            – – – – –

                            Olá, jfm30204.

                            Seja bem-vindo(a) ao antiX Linux e ao fórum.

                            Eu não sei escrever em idioma Inglês e envio os meus textos traduzidos pelo tradutor da internet. Eu espero que você consiga compreender tudo. Se o seu idioma nativo não for o Inglês, por favor, traduza o meu texto original em Português no Brasil diretamente para o seu idioma com a ajuda dos tradutores da internet que você obterá um resultado muito melhor.
                            Por favor, leia a minha verdadeira boas-vindas no tópico Seja bem-vindo (a) ao antiX Linux e ao fórum (antiX 23) e Seja bem-vindo (a) ao antiX Linux e ao fórum (antiX 19, 21 e 22).

                            The machine is also a total dog with AntiX – completely unusable – and that was a surprise.

                            Por favor, esclareça o que esta frase significa.
                            O antiX conseguiu iniciar com o modo gráfico?
                            Sim, ou não?
                            Qual foi o problema?
                            Ninguém aqui é obrigado a adivinhar o que um cachorro tem haver com o funcionamento do computador.
                            A não ser que seja o Puppy Linux.

                            marcelocripe
                            (Texto original em idioma Português do Brasil)

                            #125079
                            Member
                            fatmac

                              When installing on a 1GB ram machine include a 2GB swap partition, Firefox will then work, but slowly, I used to do it, (todays FF might just work, it’s bigger now than back then) – failing that try using Dillo, doesn’t work on all websites, but most of mine worked OK. (Also Midori might work better).

                              Linux (& BSD) since 1999
                              Ultra Small Form Factor & thin client computers

                              #125081
                              Member
                              PPC

                                – Change the HDD to a SSD
                                – Clean the fan and change the thermal paste while you’re at it
                                – Install 32-bit OS
                                – TUI programs are your friend. Try mutt for email, cmus for music, mpv for video, etc.
                                – Try using Links2 instead of Firefox for browsing. Takes some getting used to, but pages load instantly.

                                Great tips!
                                But not everyone can buy SSDs or have the technical skills to install them (or change thermal pastes). Most people can’t even install an OS, much less open laptops/netbooks and install/fix hardware…
                                I like some TUI (Terminal User Interface) apps, but even so, for people that like to use only GUI’s light apps like Seamonkey should work fine to access most webpages (but not all) and also access e-mail (it works even with gmail, without any problems, I even have an how-to about that here in the forum).
                                Links2 is great for simple sites, like reading news, blogs, the forum, etc – it’s does change the layout of most complex webpages, but once you get used to it, it’s one of the fastest ways to access web pages, on very slow computers.
                                Also, the new Finder app, available here in the forum, does allow users to perform fast web searches without requiring using a browser (and even interacting with an AI, to find answers to questions).
                                antiX’s cloud app allows users to access cloud drives without requiring them to use web browsers (other than originally allowing access to the cloud account)
                                If you want to use an e-mail client, the default one, claws is tiny and fast, but I’ve never been able to configure it to use gmail- it should work on most mail providers (not webmail, I mean)
                                Smtube should provide access to youtube videos, at 360p, they are easy to watch on netbook screens. If the hardware can handle it, 480p is almost perfect.
                                For office work, OpenOffice does work, but it takes ages to open and load large files – that’s why I recommend OpenOffice’s appimage, available here in the forum, or using other lighter word processors, etc.
                                For video playing MPV can be configured to skip frames, etc… but on my low powered laptop and netbook, Xine media player (available in Package Installer) works perfectly out of the box, allowing me to watch even Full HD videos (at least those I tried, recorded with my phone)
                                Simple games, like solitaire, etc, can be installed from Package Installer.
                                Dosbox, included out of the box (pun intended) allows users to play almost 100% of DOS games.

                                I made similar suggestion here in the past – they allow users of almost any still functioning computer to use it from usual day to day tasks, using the lightest possible GUI tools. If you don’t mind using TUI tools, they are usually the lightest ones…

                                #125099
                                Forum Admin
                                dolphin_oracle

                                  the one thing about those older amd sempron class machines that people don’t think about is that the graphics parts may be causing more of the issue than the processor. You didnt’ mention the graphics hardware, but if its an amd part, its very possible that graphics acceleration doens’t work anymore under current mesa. an older antiX would probaly work better if that is the case. the fact that win7 in safe mode works is sort of a misnomer…it probably has the correct older graphics drivers.

                                  all that is supposition, but worth checking out. even intel graphics parts of that vintage have seen there support diminished in mesa.

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