Advice for OS needed

Hello altogether,

I´m using Lubuntu 18.04.5 LTS, 64 bit at the moment and I´m quite content with it. Yet it seems I´ll have to part with it next April as this version of the distro will be EOL then.

I´m not quite sure whether I should stick to Lubuntu as they dropped LXDE in favour of LXQt, which I consider to be a bit of a shame.
But that´s just one point to take into account.

Another one is the fact that the LTS-version of Lubuntu gets updates for just 3 years (versus the 5-years-support for Ubuntu). So if I use bionic until April next year I´ll have to do the following installation in another two years time.

So what I´m looking for is a distro which gives me the 5-years-support instead of the 3-years one. This would mean I´d have to choose Ubuntu, I guess.

My computer is “Lenovo-H520e”, the specs of which can be found here: https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/desktops/lenovo/h-series/h520e/ .
I think the most important characteristics are:

CPU:
  Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i3-3240T bits: 64 type: MT MCP 
  L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
  Speed: 1598 MHz min/max: 1600/2900 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1596 2: 1596 
  3: 1596 4: 1596 

RAM: 4 GB

I´m pretty sure Ubuntu is heavier on resources than lightweight Lubuntu and I´m not quite sure whether Ubuntu may be considered as well-suited for my computer.
Perhaps I could install another (lighter) desktop environment on top of what is already installed on Ubuntu. Yet I´m not sure whether this would make a significant difference.

So I´d be interested to know what others might think about my “problem”. On the one hand I´d like to enjoy the 5-years-support, on the other hand I´d like to have a resource-friendly system.

I´m well aware of the fact I cannot have both at the same time but would there be a good compromise out there?

Thanks a lot in advance for your help.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hello Rosika, I loved Lubuntu many years ago, but now using Linux Mint 20 the XFCE environment it’s nice and fast, customizable too. Plus with Linux Mint it is five years support, based on Ubuntu. Looking at the specs of your computer and thinking about my Lenovo Yoga Laptop. I recently upgraded the ram to 8GB DDR3 and swapped hard drive for a SSD drive, which improved the speed even more. On your computer you too can do the same upgrade which would benefit you in my opinion.

Linux is so vast with it’s different environments and it took me years to stick with just one, hopping to distro to distro, trying to find that thing that nobody knows or can explain clearly as to why Linux hopping exists. I would like to point out that Linux hopping is very contagious and takes a lot of time to find the right Desktop that suits your needs, but as you’ve already been using Lubuntu I’m sure you’ll find the right one for you. I’d start with Linux Mint and try all of their environments from Cinnamon, Mate and XFCE. I’d also consider upgrading computer to it’s max 8GB of Ram and install a 1TB SSD.

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Hi Rosika, Hey me too – same with ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Could I suggest that before you deciding anything you take a look at

Like me, this may give you an alternative look at what most people call Linux – its history concept and direction are quite interesting and even refreshing.
However if you wish to get straight to the OS – go here and take a look.

If you wish to view some relevant topics then please visit the following to get some idea compared to others. As you will see My old HP G60 Dual Core HDD Notebook is similar to your specs and runs so reliably and updates come through regularly even though Trisquel 9.0 is now the current release. There is also Trisquel Mini for older machines or low powered devices – from the community - My current daily driver is Lubuntu 18.04, whch I use on both 32-bit and 64-bit computers. I’ve been trying Trisquel Mini (and loving it) as a replacement for Lubuntu, which is dropping support for both LXDE and 32-bit.
However I feel your mini tower will handle the full version – installation is so easy too and the OS is so reliable and bug free to the point of being boring.
Not sure which country you reside or language but know the language support is mega.

ps There is no need to update your machine as noted above – my 13 year old HP HDD boots up in 34s. Perhaps get on over to DistroWatch where you will probably find MX-Linux is still top of the hit parade :smiley:
Best Wishes - Stay Safe

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You have more time then you think.
Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS Bionic Beaver Changes August 13, 2020 April 2023 April 2028
End of support is not until April 2023 and end of life is April 2028.

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I would go with Linux mint

But the mate version as on older machines it tends to work out of the usb installation first time without issues.

No memory or disk upgrades needed. Yes it may be slower at loading than your current version, but not by much and you may not even notice.

Support for 5 years on latest version 20, and if it follows the same rules 19 did there was a upgrade path from one to the next. But it’s easy to just install new for totally clean system

Biased opinion as I have been using mint for over 10 years and lubuntu only on very old underpowered machines that gave the only choice of that or puppy … not ideal

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Mint mate version should run well on your machine. 5 yrs. support. Also Xfce would be good choice. There are many alternatives out there but if you are looking for stability Mint will provide that for you. Happy hunting :slight_smile:
PClinuxOS is also a possibility even their KDE Desktop is fairly low on resource needs. But their Mate version is very good. And it’s what I would call a semi rolling release which you will not have to reinstall for many years.

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I have a similarly weak Laptop and I use Debian with KDE without issues, as long as you are realistic about performance (keep only 1 program at a time running; keep only a single YouTube tab open; etc.).

Perhaps you can try Kubuntu. My friend uses it on his Laptop and Computer, who has completely replaced Windows with it. Yes, he does have no access to the to any Windows, at all. So Kubuntu must be pretty fine if he can live with it, considering he is not only a power user but also has to work with it every single day.

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@all:

Hello to you all.
Thank you so much for replying and giving so much advice. I´m looking into all of your suggestions and links. :grinning: :+1:

@clatterfordslim:
Hi Mark,

thanks so much

for your reply.

I really didn´t know that Mint receives 5 years of support. Thanks for letting me know.

I once had Mint running in a VM but was a bit disappointed as I ran into difficulties at the time.
Mint entered what was called “Rückfallmodus” (fallback-mode?) and I simply coouldn´t get out of it, no matter what I tried. :slightly_frowning_face:
As far as the desktop is concerned I was of the opinion that cinnamon is a bit heavy on resources (I think I read that somewhere).
But XFCE sounds good.

Good suggestion.
However I´m not quite sure I could perform such advanced actions myself. Plus: there´s the monetary aspect to consider as well.
So I think I´ll stick to my present configuration.

But thanks a lot anyway.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

I am also running Kubuntu on my laptop and my computer and I have ditched Windows totally. I am extremely happy with this environment as KDE has become really light weight over the years, despite looking good, being very powerful and highly customizable.

Still, with your hardware, I would probably rather go for xcfe as desktop, probably under Manjaro. It is a rolling release with an extremely easy upgrade process, so version numbers do not really matter.

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@Andy2:

Hi Andy,
thanks for a bulk of information. I´m really impressed. :wink:

I´ll look up all the links you provided, especially trisquel.
I have to admit I´ve never heard of that OS before.

Good to know. If choosing Trisquel I´d go for the full version.
So I´ve got a bit of reading ahead of me. Thanks so much again.

Stay safe as well.
Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

@easyt50:

Hi Howard,

thanks to you as well.

Well, that´s good to know. Yet I was of the opinion that Lubuntu bionic would be EOL by April next year. :confused:
On https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubuntu#Lubuntu_18.10 Lubuntu 18.04 is listed with the remark:
“Supported until: 2021”.
So I think I´ll have to act upon it anyway.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

@callpaul.eu:

Hello Paul,

thank you for your reply.

That sounds good. Plus the 5 years support pleases me a lot.
I think despite my sad experience with fallback mode I might consider Mint.

All the best.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

@kc1di:

Hi Dave,

thanks for your reply.
So you´d recommend Mint as well. That´s nice. Xfce would definitively be my choice if I´d go for Mint.

Good; I´ll look into it.

Thanks a lot again.
Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

@Akito:

Hello and thanks a lot for your answer as well.

That´ quite a new path for me. I wouldn´t have occurred to me to use Debian. Very interesting. :wink:

As far as Kubuntu is concerned: I tried it once in a VM and got the impression that is was a bit slow in responding to whatever I tried to accomplish with it.
That said I think it might have something to do with the fact that I assigned just 1 GB of virtual RAM to Kubuntu.
Thanks for the suggestion.

Keep safe and greetings from
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Mina,

thank you so much for your reply.

Manjaro might me worth considering but there seem to be two major points that may not be well-suited for my puposes:
https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=manjaro says:

1.) package management: Pacman, snap.
I´d rather stick to DEB package management if possible as I´ve grown accustomed to the respective commands.

2.) Release model: rolling
I´m not sure whether that would suit me well. The thing is: My only means of internet connection is a UMTS-stick.
It gives me 4.5 GB of high-speed connection per 28 days.
With Lubuntu I do it like that: If I was able to “save up” a certain amount of data the preceeding days I´ll look for updates and install them. So it´s basically up to me if and when I install them.

Due to lack of respective knowledge I´m not sure how a Rolling Release behaves for that matter.
To me it´s important to have control over the update mechanism.

Thanks anyway for your suggestion.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

My bad. I was looking at Ubuntu.
Have you look at Xubuntu? Found this comment on the web.
" Which is lighter lubuntu or Xubuntu?
Xubuntu is relatively lightweight, as in, it’s lighter than Ubuntu and Kubuntu but Lubuntu is actually lightweight. … Xubuntu is more elegant and better looking, and it comes with more features and is more user-friendly than Lubuntu which looks outdated and bare allowing very minimal customization.May 23, 2017"

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Excellent points, Rosika!

You have really put a lot of thought into that matter. Sorry, that my suggestion wasn’t really thought through.

Sometimes, it seems almost overwhelming but isn’t it cool that we have so many choices!?

:kiss:

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Hi again to all and thanks a lot for your new replies :slightly_smiling_face:

@easyt50:

Don´t worry. No harm done whatsoever.

xubuntu: Good suggestion, Howard. Xubuntu may be a good choice after all.
I think the LTS-version gets 3 years support here as well. But on the other hand I wouldn´t have to deal with the LXQt desktop.
It´s not that I hate LXQt but I simply don´t understand why LXDE had to be given up.
Anyhow, I´ll look into it.

Thanks and many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

@Mina:

Thanks for your praise, Mina. I feel very honoured. :relaxed:

Don´t feel sorry. I love to consider at least theoretically any options. If nothing else I can always learn something new.

I couldn´t agree more. Despite having to put a lot more thought into what´s to be installed I prefer to have as many choices as possible. :+1:

Thanks again for your help.
Many greetings and keep safe.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Rosika, thank you for such kind words; I have also received so much help and time from it’sFOSS community that the only way I know to respond is to try to help others even though my knowledge is so limited and being 70 not so SocMedia orientated – dependant. Your analytic, methodical approach serves you well; I find this so refreshing in these go grab something times. :clap:
It is good to see that you have hooked up with DistroWatch which I find to be an invaluable resource from time to time. I can see that you have made good use of it too :ok_hand:
Another resource I regularly use, which also takes me away from the screen is LinuxFormat magazine from the newsagent shop. (also online) Issue 270, December - on sale now has a review of a Debian distro FossaPup64 9.5 which is almost understandable…! Another community member is a mega enthusiast and our Akito uses Debian; any-ways extremely light and very fast by all accounts with a very helpful membership.

I was so pleased when I read your comments on updates…

We are on the same wavelength here; as when you start to use Trisquel and naturally explore a little, you find that support and updates last for ever but to my surprise that out of the box it is set up so sweet. For example I was surprised that it was initially set up not to automatically update anything… Never – it is for yourself to decide if, what and when or take the option to choose automatic; even then Daily, Every two days, Weekly or Fortnight. I left it set to Never and I decide when. :slightly_smiling_face:

The installed browser is a variant of FireFox called Abrowser which also is set up so sweet that after all this time I do not feel the need to tweak a single setting – cool.
Don’t get me wrong - I am not a gnu FSF purist - I run windows :astonished:software Serif PagePlus and PhotoPlus under wine :wine_glass: cheers Happy Xmas :snowman_with_snow:
I suppose you have noted the endless it’sFOSS Topics-Posts about bloat and problems, associated with using mint and ubuntu…? :cold_sweat: This really put me off :woozy_face: so perhaps the Debian version of Mint known as Debbie might be an outside choice even if just as bloated?

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@Andy2:

Hi again and thank you for your post.

Thanks for your praise. I feel very much honoured indeed. :smiley:
Like you I consider DistroWatch to be very informative and pay the site a visit on a more or less regular basis.
Thanks also for your reference to LinuxFormat magazine. I managed to download
Issue 214 - Feature: Linux Mint 18 - (Jonni Bidwell) as a pdf from there. It gives me 8 pages of the corresponding issue but will still be interesting to read I guess :wink:

Thanks. Good to know I´m not alone with my opionion.
Having full control over updates was one of the main reasons I switched from WIN (WIN 8.1. at the time) to a Linux distro (Lubuntu xenial).
That point is extremely important to me.

One has to take into account the fact that we - the customers - have paid for our device (PC, laptop etc.) and it should be a matter of course that we (and only we) have the power to tell the computer what to do and when we want it to do certain things.

Thank you for mentioning abrowser.
I´ve never heard of it before and looked for a respective reference on ubuntuusers.de (a very good resource for finding anything related to ubuntu and derivatives, yet in German only):

[…] Alternatively, there would be only the possibility to deliver Firefox without logos and graphics of Mozilla under a different name.

This alternative already has a name, “ABrowser”.

This browser is already the second Firefox fork alongside Iceweasel.

(translated from https://ikhaya.ubuntuusers.de/2008/09/16/anzeige-der-firefox-eula-sorgt-fuer-unbehagen-in-der-community/ )
Sounds interesting.

I´ve been dealing with wine as well recently (using playonlinux as a graphical frontend) for trying to get a certain tax-programm to run. I have to admit I´m intrigued. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks for mentioning Debbie. I found the respective download on https://www.linuxmint.com/download_lmde.php . I´ll look into it as well; have to do a bit of reading up first.

So thanks once more for all those good suggestions of yours which should help me a lot in finding the right distro for me.
Happy Christmas to you as well and keep safe.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face: :christmas_tree:

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I really enjoy this thread and I find it really inspiring. Distro hopping was never my cup of tea - when I like something, I tend to stick - but I got intrigued by the discussion here and I tried a couple of distributions on virtual machines with purposely meagre resources (2CPU/4GB of RAM) in order to compare how well they performed under stress: One browser tab with a heavy Javascript program (a simulation), another with a youtube video playing and opening LibreOffice, all in parallel.

Linux Mint with Cinnamon
Plain Ubuntu with Gnome
Kubuntu with KDE
OpenSUSE with xcfe
All the most recent versions, fully patched.

The results were partly rather surprising:

Mint with Cinnamon was the most resource hungry and the video hardly played at all.
Ubuntu with Gnome performed far better than expected: Despite the heavy load, it was still usable.
Kubuntu, not so surprising, was less demanding and managed to balance resources pretty well, even the video still played rather smoothly.
OpenSUSE with xcfe was the best in terms of performance but, to be honest, the user experience and the general look and feel brought me right back to the 90s.

I still want to try the Arch Linux based MX and KDE Neon.

Just my 2¢

PS: @Rosika The ubuntuusers article you cited is from 2008. Is it still relevant?

I didn’t try wine or playonlinux on the virtual machines nor do I have them on my real computer. I really don’t have any need for Windows based software. Fortunately, the Swiss as well as the German tax programs work fine under Linux nowadays.

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Hi @Mina,

thank you so much for your post.

Uff, actually I didn´t notice the date. You´re very attentive :+1:
I´d think as it´s just a rudimentary description or definition of what abrowser is it should still be relevant.
Plus: @Andy2 pointed out:

So it really should apply.

Thanks. I´m delighted to hear that. :slightly_smiling_face:

Me, too.
As I´ve been using Lubuntu ever since I switched to Linux there´s still the possibility for me to stick to it even though they switched to LXQt.
Oh, and the installer changed, too. They´re using calamares instead of ubiquity, I think.

But: I´m still taking other Linux distros into account. That´s why I started this thread in the first place, looking for suggestions.
Thanks to you all for that. :smiley:

Mina, you put quite a lot of work into trying out various distros in a VM. That´s really great and informative.
Your findings are very interesting.
I´d have thought Ubuntu would have done worse. But still “usable”, as you pointed out. Impressive.

I think I´ve read somewhere that cinnamon is pretty resource-hungry. So that was to be expected, I suppose.

Oh? That´s new to me. I was of the opinion there were no Linux tax-programmes.
Or are you referring to the possibility of doing one´s taxes via the browser interface (i.e. idependently of the OS)?

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Looks to me like there were:

But you can also do it online. Then, the only thing you need, is a browser.