Is my laptop too old to run Mint 19.1?


My friends,
sorry to repeat same subject but I need your help.
As you know, I’m trying to back again to Linux OS and, few months ago, I installed mint 19 in my laptop but this ins’t my main PC and I didn’t had time to use it, so I’m just start testing Mint since 2 weeks ago.
All my tests are to trying to have laptop working at 100% without faults before install programs.
Last week I did the upgrade the Mint to 19.1 and I “wasted” all my free time to solve error with USB Mouse and suspending mode and because of this problem I installled the last kernel available to Mint

yesterday, I “wasted” all day to install and tuning an Epson printer with scanner (not finished yet) and I realized, when I tryed to to download the drivers, the browser just freezed until opened the download windows, it freezed again, let me choose the option to save instead of open with some program, it freezed again, enabled OK button, I clicked OK button, it freezed again, and finally download the driver with 464KB - during this frezees I cannot did nothing in the browser, an I had only drivers page open and it tooks > 5 minutes to this proccess. I download other drivers more 3 times with same result.

Now I’m too tired, frustrated and after read @cliffsloane 's topic Updating in an old computer? I suspect my laptop is too old to run Mint 19.1

Here’s my laptop specifications:
ACER Aspire E1-522 64 bit
CPU: AMD E1-2500 APU with Radeon ™ HD Graphics
Memory: 4GB
SSD: 240 GB

Is this laptop too old to run Mint 19.1?

I have Cinnamon version installed
Could be MATE really lighter than Cinnamon to this laptop?
and is XFCE really lighter than MATE and Cinammon too?

I already did the changes suggested by @anon56357095 and @ElectricDandySlider in
LinuxMint slows then hangs topic but I think the DE is now slower than before…

I already decided to reinstall OS today and ask to you, my friends, if I keep trying using Mint, which version should I install for my laptop?

  • Cinnamon
  • Mate
  • XFCE

Or It’s better to choose another distro?

Another question, do I need to use the last kernel or it’s better to use an older kernel with last distro?

Thank you in advanced for your suggestions

P.S.: sorry my English, I know is too bad. I answered some posts with my son’s help but this post could be have some errors, sorry about that.

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Is my lap too old?

This is my opinion on the topic.
With that machine I would go with either Mate or XFCE they are both good Desktops but are lighter on resources than Cinnamon. You may want to read the following tips about making your mint run better. Easy Tips


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Firstly, don’t apologise for your English there is no need to do so. We understand that not everyone is a native speaker and there are differences even with-in the spelling of words between various forms of English as I am constantly having to tell google I am spell in English, English (UK as it calls it). That is off topic . To answer your question the minimum requirements for Mint can be found here - I have just used this as an example you can check the others from here. Hope that helps solve that bit for you.


Thanks for your replies

thanks for your kind words.
I saw the link you sent to me and I guess my laptop has the requirements to run Mint, so I’ll keep trying put Mint work at 100%
My goal is to use Linux in my main PC has I used before but I want to know if Mint is the correct option for me, that’s why I first do these tests it in the laptop.

Yes, it’s Firefox.
I’ll try change wap and cache and I’ll post the results heres
I’ll try optimize Firefox - thanks for the link

If @anon56357095 's tip results I’ll test Mate and XFCE to check if works faster the Cinnamon - Thanks for the link

One question,
I think can I have several DE’s a switch between them, correct?
If I can do that, can I correctly test the speed each DE with my hardware or is better to install just one distro at time?

And about Kernel, do you know if are difference or is better to use an old kernel or the newest kernel in this machine?


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Absolutely not too old.

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Jorge, the answer to the kernel question is keep to the one that installs with the version you choose. This I think will be the 14.5.0-45, it will be the active kernel. Don’t change that if everything works for you, until there is an update through the update manager.

Cinnamon has proven in test to be the fastest, I believe that is in the Mint blog somewhere, may be a year or two back.

Regarding the DE, you would be better doing a Live Trial of things rather than doing the installs. The Live will give you all the bench marks you need to have. You could do it the hard of installing various versions if you really want to do so.


I would recommend against installing more than one Desktop at a time. It can be done but that can also create problems of it’s own and cause extra files to be installed that aren’t needed. Try the live sessions. There is no reason that that machine should not work ok for you.


To me ,the above is a MODERN laptop.
With it you should be able to run any Linux distro…and very comfortably.

Frank in County Wicklow Ireland


Thanks for all yours replies
you’re right: I need to “format” my ideas to KISS

@anon56357095 an @kc1di,
OK, I thought the “core” was the same and only DE programs would be installed and did not create conflicts - my mistake

My motherboard only have 1 DIMM slot. The original motherboard has damaged and I bought another board for Aspire E1 -522 but brings AMD E1-2500, not A4-5000 and only one DIMM slot

OK, I’ll keep the kernel

It’s time to start testing again :grinning:

I’ll post the results



Back again to “original” kernel for Mint 19.1

CPU: Dual Core AMD E1-2500 APU with Radeon HD Graphics (-MCP-) speed/min/max: 798/800/1400 MHz 
Kernel: 4.15.0-45-generic x86_64 Up: 34m Mem: 1469.0/3382.0 MiB (43.4%) Storage: 223.57 GiB (17.1% used) Procs: 182 
Shell: bash 4.4.19 inxi: 3.0.27

I did the tips to optimize firefox except test FF with a clean slate because I didn’t found /etc/skel/.mozilla

Above screenshots shows FF at 100% just selecting “open with” to “Save File”
With initial values for vm.swappiness60 and vm.vfs_cache_pressure=100:

After change values for vm.swappiness=10 and vm.vfs_cache_pressure=50:

This operation took ~5 minutes and can’t see any difference after changes

I’ll try with Live distros now


Okay have you followed the advice here regarding the SSD? and here for with the specs you are giving Mint should work very well.

My advice is to take a look at what is said here and follow the link about How to Clean as well, because I really think that perhaps you are in danger of over complicating and getting yourself in a twist.


ok, thanks!
I’ll stop the tests for now.
The laptop doesn’t even reads the pen drive to test a Live Distro
I’m gathering all of your information, to start again.
I realize there are a lot of settings to modify to tune Mint and I might have already modded something wrong.
I’ll resume this tomorrow or Wednesday with a clear head

Thanks again for all your support

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It’s okay Jorge, we’ve all been there and sometimes don’t see the wood for trees, if you can understand that saying. Stand back and pause for a moment even a day and then re-look at things with a clearer head.


not to be a contrarian or even to disagree with the advice given, but sometimes making mistakes and fixing them or not fixing them and just doing a clean install is a great way to learn. i just hope you are enjoying the journey :slight_smile:


It is and probably the route that so many of us have been down which is why we are able to show others better ways. We’ve done the worst ways. The perhaps it’s like being a teenager, we all know what it’s like to experience it when we passed through it, but at a the time we haven’t a clue


I believe I understood what you said
I’m electronics technician and one of the worst things that can happen during a difficult repair is keep trying to solve it without a break. In most cases, a break makes miracles :wink:


you’re right!
I’ve learned a lot with these faults and it’s good to remember commands I’ve already forgotten.
I left Linux almost 9 years ago and I Think my problem now is I thought Linux was already more “friendly” and I didn’t expect to have to make changes again on the OS
Now, after “first contact” with Mint, I will restart my tests but keeping in mind that I need to change OS if I want it to work at 100%

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I am running Ubuntu 18.04 on an HP Elitebook 6930 with Core 2 Duo P8700 at 2.5GHz * 2, 4MB memory and 155GB HDD. Not sure if this counts as an old laptop but hope this helps. Typically run with Firefox, Evolution, terminal and System Monitor open plus Python3, vim, QOwnNotes, Files etc as needed. Originally had 2MB memory but that was almost unusable when browsing, with 4MB no problems. It is slow to boot and load apps.