Linux confused Sony Notebook, Itel Atom 1gb Ram

Having very little experiance of ubuntu and lack of knowledge ive got so lost on forums.
Im not neccassary ro use ubuntul.
Q. What Version should I run?

So many distrobutions. I need it to run well, not
Here is what I hope to achive.

I will be using the notebook for music, browsing tje internet, vector graphics desktop publishing and audio djing. I wish to install software.

Mixx audio


Nicotiene Plus

I have this computer:

  • Processor: Intel Atom N450 Processor 1.66GHz (667MHz FSB, 512KB Cache, 64-bit instruction set)
  • RAM: 1GB DDR2 RAM (800MHz)
  • Hard Disk: 250GB
  • Screen: 10.1-inch WSVGA LED TFT (1024x600)
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • OS: Windows 7 Starter Edition (32-bit)
  • Ports: 3 USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, VGA out,

Im looking for best options to get me online, quick driver match possible boot from usb.

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i’m not sure i quite understand. it seems like you are looking for suggestions of linux distributions that will work on your computer and run the three programs you have listed. can you clarify what you are asking?

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Welcome to “It’s Foss” @Susan_Smethurst. Actually, you have ask a tough question. Just doing a quick search on the internet for Lightweight Linux and I could list maybe 15 different Diistro just between 2 sites. And of course each person has their own favorite. There are 3 strikes for your notebook.
1 - The processor is very slow, 2 - low amount of Ram, and 3 - 32 bit system (I’m sure). I know b/c I had a HP Mini 1105 notebook with about the same specs. Good news the HDD has plenty of space, but most likely it is sata one.

The notebook should be fine for music and browsing the internet. I don’t know anything about the other 2 software packages. And you will have to look for a Distro that support 32 bit architecture. Here are my 2 recommendations for you.

  1. Xubuntu 18.04 which you can d/l here:
  2. Linux Mint 19.03 which you can d/l here:
    Both of these Distro will support 32 bit. I believe both OS’s are supported until April 2023. I think Mint is more user friendly and comes in 3 different desktop environments (options) of Cinnamon, Mate, and Xfce with Xfce being the smallest version.
    Final note: You did not said whether you wanted to keep Windows 7 and Linux (dual boot) or just have Linux (easier to install) on this PC. Good Luck and come back with any questions.

are you saying the motherboard is limited to 32-bit? because the processor is stated to be 64-bit:


Yes, that was my thinking. The MB is limit to 32 bit and b/c the Windows was installed as 32 bit.
@Susan_Smethurst, if you know how, please verify if your PC can support 64 bit. My HP Mini would not.
If you reply with your PC make and model, maybe we can verify if indeed it can support 64 bit.


as a satisfied user of #1 on that list, i would caution that (from here):

  • Note: the installer runs best with the availability of greater than 1 GB of RAM – if your system does not meet this specification, please ensure your swap space + RAM capacity is large enough to accommodate before running the installer. You can adjust your swap to a smaller size post install if desired. Also, closer to 2 GB of RAM (or swap space + RAM) for the installer will ensure optimal performance.

any of the systems (ubuntu variants: mint and bodhi included) that use the ubiquity installer might have trouble with that 1 gb of ram.

that isn’t meant to convey that none of those will install on a system with that little ram, but recommending

is indeed


Sony : Model pcg-21313m vmpcm11m1e

Im mostly wanting to use for internet, music programs such as clemintime, mixx audio older versions? Virtual box.

i am looking to use this to be more compatible for internet and nicotiene + app, clemintime with the view of getting a new laptop soon.

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i didn’t find much information running a web search for that. so the question remains as to whether or not your system will run a 64-bit distro (linux distribution). one of the main reasons that matters is because a lot of the easier to use ones that are available in 32-bit will only be supported for about another 2.5 years.

i have a couple of 32-bit systems with processors similar to yours. they both connect to the internet just fine, but modern browsers (firefox or chrome) like most people are used to will be slow. there are more lightweight options in linux like falkon or seamonkey (to name just two) which might perform better on your machine.

i use a version of clementine called strawberry. just to open it uses about 500 mb of ram. so with a lightweight distro like xubuntu or mint xfce which use about 500 mb just to run (plus adding some swap space to your system), that might work.

i don’t do much with music other than listen to it, but my understanding is that creating it or manipulating audio files can be very resource heavy so i’m not sure how well this would work.

according to this page your processor doesn’t support virtualization.

that would work with both xubuntu 18.04 and mint 19.3 xfce as far as i can tell. i have never used it so i can’t say how well it would or would not work depending on how resource heavy it is.

taking all of those things into account, i would suggest by starting with trying at least a couple of different distros from a live usb. the system will run slower from the usb than from your hard drive, but it may be able to give you a sense of whether or not you like that distro and how well it works with your system.

my two first suggestions are xubuntu 18.04 (linked above, but you need to scroll down to find 18.04 - nicknamed bionic beaver) and mint 19.3 xfce:


Crossfade GNU/Linux is setup with a realtime Linux kernel for optimal performance. It includes the Xfce graphical desktop environment, Midori web browser, and Clementine music player.

Would this work?

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unfortunately that question is still virtually impossible to answer without simply trying it on your system. i will share these two bits of info which might be helpful in deciding:

  1. Crossfade GNU/Linux is a Fedora® Remix (from here)
  2. Registration Date: Mon 16 Mar 2015 06:48:02 AM UTC
    License: GNU General Public License v3 or later
    Development Status: 4 - Beta (from here)

fedora is neither worse nor better than ubuntu (or mint), but there aren’t a lot of fedora users here who might be able to support its use if you have problems. #2 contains a couple of decent sized red flags: a. no recent development noted means it is probably full of security issues b. beta means the bugs were never worked out so you have those to contend with if you get it to install.

suggesting mint or xubuntu in part also comes down to the fact that they are both actively and well (in my opinion) maintained and present no threat to your system like crossfade possibly well could considering those two points.


Here are some spec I found for it.
The motherboard has Intel NM10 Express Chipset. I might be wrong, but all the info I was able to find only talked about 32 bit support.
Sony Vaio Netbook for sale.
Model PCG-21313m
Operating System: Genuine Windows 7 Starter (32-bit) Chipset: Intel NM10 Express Chipset
Processor Name: Intel Atom Processor N450
Processor Speed (GHz): 1.66
L2/L3 Cache (KB): 512 KB
Wi-Fi on off switch
Cover Colour: Silver
Memory Size (GB): 1
Memory Type: DDR2 SDRAM
Memory Speed (MHz): 667
Max. Supported Memory (GB): 1
Hard Drive Type: Serial ATA
Hard Drive Capacity (GB): 225
Hard Drive Speed (rpm): 5400
Screen Type: LED backlight


For me with a similar book
I have mint mate version 32 bit
But I put a bigger memory in so it’s 2gb as I found 1 slow and limiting
Hard bit getting the cover off to change the memory card
And it’s 19 mint


In the HP Mini 1105 I had, not only did I increase the memory to 2GB, but also replaced the HDD with a 60GB SSD. Also had Mint 19 install, but still slow. I found out it was a 32 bit MB after I try to boot a Mint 19 64 bit USB drive. It did not work.


Note - the Atom is a 64 bit capable processor, and technically capable of running a 64 distro - but would you want to? I’d say no…

I “inherited” my daughter’s Samsung N150 Netbook a few years back, Atom (dual core), with 1 GB of RAM and 300 GB mechanical HDD… it had Windows 7 32 bit “starter edition”…

Of course I wiped Win7 off it - it was pretty un-usable…

Installed a 64 bit Ubuntu release (12.04?) and it was also unusable (but still more capable than Win7 "starter edition)…

Gave up on it for a while… I tend to stockpile things like this… anyway - I ended up having some spare SODIMM’s around the place, and boosted it to 2 GB of RAM and a 64 GB SSD - much better!

Having said all the above, this thing runs heaps better with a 32 bit distro… The last time I used for it for more than a day or two (it’s really just a “test thingie”) - was around 2017, I installed Manjaro 17.x 32 bit XFCE on it - and it was VERY usable! But I’ve got i7 laptops with 16 GB of RAM, and an AMD desktop with 16 GB RAM.

So - summary : there’s not much you can do with such a low powered device, as the web (never mind which browser you’re using) will slam it to its limits… There’s not much you can do in a desktop environment with only 1 GB of RAM…

The closest thing I can think of to this in specs, is my NTC CHIP computers, these are single core, and 512 MB of RAM - yeah - you can do stuff on them, but would you want to? I only run them out of curiosity (and maybe even perversity :smiley: )…

Manjaro don’t to a 32 bit release any more… I think there are “remixes” - but these look to be non-standard and probably hard to debug/troubleshoot - not recommended.

Summary : TL;DR - for plug and play, I’d suggest locate a 32 bit (i386/i686) release of xubuntu - probably 18.04, e.g. here :

or via the web :
(making an assumption you’re in the US, if it was for me I’d go Australia :

Also - I’d strongly suggest you resign yourself to NOT running any virtualisation (e.g. VirtualBox) on this device - the trouble and pain simply won’t be worth the effort…

Another “similar” spec device I was “recently” running (i.e. daily for a while) was an old iMac, among the first generation of Intel based Macs - Intel “coreduo” with 2 GB of RAM, and it was VERY usable with xubuntu 18.04 i386, and could even run Chromium with 3-4 tabs open (forget about anything more)…

Note - people seem to think Firefox is “easier” on resources than Chromium, but in my experience, e.g. on NTC CHIP, Chromium runs better and snappier than Firefox…

There’s lots of other browser choices that should be a simple “sudo apt install {browser}” away…

  • Midori
  • Vivaldi
    come to mind…

And I reckon Inkscape on Xubuntu on that Atom device would probably still be usable - for vector drawing… Can’t think of a media player to recommend… I think anything based on Clementine would still be too sluggish in such a tiny amount of RAM… VLC?