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Lite versions on older hardware

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:10 am
by hennmann
I have an IBM ThinkPad (2004/5 vintage) with an Intel Pentium M series 1500gHz processor and 1280 megs of RAM
As per this thread

I installed the 6.2/32 lite with great success and the system is running great with even the WIFI working. Surprisingly it is currently installing updates as I type this and by surprisingly I'm actually getting updates and it is going through the process for a discontinued version.
Okay this is working so I attempted to install 12.4/32 Lite and was greeted with PAE not activated for the CPU so I temporarily put this on hold pending a work around this situation.
After the update it is now 3.2.0-126-generic indicated at the boot menu.
Given the PAE what is and how is an additional upgrade possible past 6.2 (3.2.0-126) other than just locating newer versions past this 6.2?
I have 8.1 core 32 and 11 core 32 but havent tried them yet.

Re: Lite versions on older hardware

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:39 am
by zorinantwerp
Hi Zorin 6 came with the generic-pae kernel already installed.

plse check on PAE matter

good luck

Re: Lite versions on older hardware

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:05 pm
by Swarfendor437
You need to be aware that all Zorin releases tended to be PAE enabled. Worth looking here:

Now the notebook mentioned in the thread zorinantwerp pointed you too only has 512 Mb RAM and with Zorin Lite 12 ran worse than a three-legged dog. You may wish to consider AntiX 17 ( which runs on 256 Mb RAM or the community edition of SolydX ( There are other lightweight distributions you may also want to consider but I'll leave it with the two I have pointed you to if struggling with Zorin 12.1 Lite. ;)

Re: Lite versions on older hardware

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:15 am
by hennmann
Actually my Pentium M series IBM has 1280 Megs of RAM or 1.28GB and on the 6.2 it runs VERY well but my concern is no support other than the updates it did last night when I install. & 7 lite and 8.1 Core32 hang up on the boot menu. I can toggle up and down what options for boot IE Live, install, but when I select the choice it just sits or "hangs" and toggle options on the menu no longer function. Xenial Pup 7.5/32 boots and runs good but I prefer the fancier features of Zorin and 12.4 Lite would most certainly be likely to run decent but after watching at the logo of the modern version IE The person beside the keyboard at the bottom of the screen displayed while loading into the RAM, I'm greeted with the PAEn in the @$$ and boot is aborted. This is obviously hardware that can be worked with compared to what some others have including myself.

My other attempt, successful but most temperamental is an HP Omnibook XE3 with an 800mhz P3 with a massive 128 megs of RAM that originally had Win2000 Pro I successfully installed Puppy Anita OS4.31V1 and I had to permanently install on HHD due to the small amount of RAM with a swap of 3GB and it worked better than Win2000 but didn't have a working internet browser. I would have had to download on another computer and transfer with USB and install. With such a pathetic limitation of RAM, 128 and 256 MAX?? I mothballed it. The RAM limitation is questionable because I got some very cheap 256 and 512 and one worked kind of and the other didn't or 256 and 128 together but with RAM errors displayed but in reality it is questionable RAM if one tries to work and the other of the same make, size, refuses to boot? When it is only $4 and free shipping from China just the quality is in question? Also instead of using CD install I used a boot floppy and PLop to get it to boot off of USB. Live was dead @ 128 megs of RAM

Like a bird trying to fly around in a cage but it was an experiment to see if we can make this work think of how the lite would work on my Acer Aspire One 533 (2009/10) Atom 455 1.66 ghz and 2 gb of RAM and a 1 TB SSD!! Oh and this mighty little Atom Bomb has hyperthreading or so called dual core and is 64 bit so both 32&64 run on it.

Meanwhile the IBM circa 04/5 is somewhat comparable in a pathetic way to the Acer other than only 32 bit and has a much larger screen, good battery, and even a docking station as well. The Zorin 6.2 likes it including the WIFI but lack of full support and updates has me concerned and this is why I attempted to install 7, 8.1, and 11 to update in "baby steps" up to something that is still updateable.

Re: Lite versions on older hardware

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:25 am
by hennmann
Hi again Swarf
After reading your link
There is no boot option when I boot the USB just the image at the bottom of screen person with arms raised and spread and keyboard!
Okay perhaps a USB boot problem so I burn DVD except same thing appears and PAE not enabled appears much faster than using USB with no options for force PAE
WHY doesn't Zorin, Ubuntu, and all the other flavors GIVE option of running installation Media in a totally proper running OS like Windows?? You can slap a Windows Installation CD, USB while it is running and install from the running OS or boot from the CD/USB.
Here I have a very fine operating system in 6.2 that cannot be updated, meanwhile my ONLY option with limited knowledge is to try newer with:
7 Lite hanging up after selecting what task I want to perform at the boot menu
8.1 Core 32 doing the same
11 Core 32 doing the same
12.4/32 giving absolutely zero boot options followed with PAE nag and aborted installation.
Meanwhile Xenialpup 7.5 boots up fine.

If 6.2 installs like it was meant to be on this IBM why does 7, 8.1, and 11 hang after boot choice selection and Xenialpup 7.5 which is newer is happy and wagging tail in delight?
I checked my BIOS settings and couldnt find any settings for PAE enable or disable

Re: Lite versions on older hardware

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:35 pm
by zorinantwerp

some Linux distributions don't yet require PAE, and those are likely to be the same ones that would be usable with 128MB of ram. I suggest you stay with Zorin 6 or follow the lead of Swarfendor437 for a different OS.
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Re: Lite versions on older hardware

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:34 pm
by hennmann
Here is an update of much experimenting due to limited success and many versions tried and I might add "what is wrong with this picture??"

Zorin 6.2 Lite WORKS and even updates as far as it can due to not being supported or EOL

Zorin 7 Lite &8.2 all hang or freeze at selection of choice at the boot menu

Linux Lite including as early as 2.0 hang, freeze or stall upon selection.

Puppy Xenia7.5 including 4.3.1WORKS

Zorin 12.4 lite displays the circled man logo WITHOUT any boot options and then PAE disabled error displayed

Other flavors of Zorin and Ubuntu 16.04-18.04 crash and burn like the rest IE no forcepae option
Lubuntu at least gives me the forcepae option except I entered it wrong and a member on Ubuntu forum corrected my mistake but I haven't tried it yet. Lubuntu was the ONLY one that gave me a menue to perform this task.

NOW here is the "what's wrong with this picture"
After all of this and a while ago I was looking for something for my limited Acer Aspire One 533 Netbook with an Atom 455 1.66ghz 64bit with 2 gb of RAM. My brother who is a Linux geek suggested Ubuntu or Debian. I sided with Ubuntu and Zorin as the Debian is a bit more extensive to install for a NOOB. Some might disagree but it takes a bit more knowledge to install on a more older style installation graphics much like Mandrake 7 I have on hand was like. You have to do more manual settings with less automated install.

NOW here is the Debian result as I discovered their latest and greatest Debian 9 is also 32 bit labeled as i386 so I downloaded it last night, yes the latest figuring I have nothing to lose but time and everything to gain for kmowledge!!
My first attempt:
Made the mistake of selecting network install with limited graphics and guess what? No PAE error, installed without a hitch but was unable to configure my WIFI and eth. network (remember more manual settings) but it installed and when I restarted the computer I was greeted with full text login like working in a terminal. Login was successful but NOOB doesn't know how to talk in CLI.
Next I reinstalled but selected full graphics install.
This gave me a much better picture of steps required etc. and I was able to fully configure wifi and Ethernet all working. With this enabled MUCH software- everything, was downloaded and installed taking much time but it all installed with MANY software apps etc. in the menue including ALL updates.
Now it displays the GRUB boot loader as it should, my Windows XP is showing up and works very well I might add.
Now for the test!
Debian 9 boots up to a fancy desktop and the software or app menue is stuffed and bulging with many options.
Given the new installation there is much hard drive activity which is expected and performance?
This is a bit heavy on the hardware and is comparible to my Acer Aspire One 533 when I first got it being slow on Windows Starter Edition running with only 1 gb of RAM so it was slow. I upgraded to 2 and a SSD later on.
Yes it is a bit slow but fully modern on the software running the latest kernel.
Why isn't this a problem for Debian? No forcing, nagging, freezing etc. just a bit slow but very stable and when I checked for updates required, it was all done "right out of the box"

Re: Lite versions on older hardware

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:49 pm
by hennmann
Now I'm most certainly not knocking Zorin, Ubuntu, Linux lite, etc. etc. but when one doesn't have the knowledge to get past a freezing hanging up installation or no options for enabling the forcepae option one gets nowhere fast. Also I haven't located any support forums for the Debian flavor as well so this was flying by the seat of my pants. Also the graphical install is very much like the very early versions that I tried including the 2001 Mandrake 7 I have where you had to do everything from scratch including partitioning even if you are not booting multiple OS. It pretty much makes you learn how to set up proper partitions including the much needed swap for older systems with very little ram. My swap is only 1.2 gb the same as my RAM which is probably a bit on the small size?

The Mandrake 7? I ran it on my HP Omnibook XE3 with a Pentium 3/800 and 128 megs of ram and it performed fantastic! Of course it is extinct so I moved on because it is no longer supported on updates and Mandrake>Mandriva is no more.

Re: Lite versions on older hardware

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:38 am
by Swarfendor437
I would seriously give AntiX (which is based on Mepis if memory serves) 32-bit flavour ... shots.html

or the current stable release of SolydX community Edition (I think it is 9)

my video review of SolydX 8:

Re: Lite versions on older hardware

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:57 am
by hennmann
Just an update as I had performed a few additional attepmts.
My first was installation of Debian 9.6.0-i386 and with 1280 megs of ram only created a swap of 1.2 GB perhaps small I thought about after. System runs very well but a bit sluggish but VERY usable.
After reading the recommendations of my forcepae error that prevented me installing Lubuntu 18.04 I decided to give this another attempt. Using the correct procedure which only required a space on each side of "--" and booting into installation was now successful! This time I increased the swap to perhaps a larger than needed 3gb, tweaked the / larger and reduced /home partitions.
Lubuntu works very well, fast and stable and is making an IBM Thinkpad with Intel Pentium M 1.5ghz and 1280 megs of ram a very usable laptop running faster than my much newer Acer Aspire One 533 running Win 7 Starter Edition 32 bit with a bit faster hardware, an Atom 455 1.66ghz 64 bit processor with Hyperthreading that appears as a dual core and 2gb of ram.
Since I increased the swap to 3gb I decided to try the Debian 9.6.0 out and it appears to run a bit faster during various tasks such as Firefox. Opening it is now cut down to 5 seconds give or take from about 10.
Graphics are very good as well for an something ****** to about 2003/4 I'm guestimating. Otherwise yes slower but very usable to even the impatient.

I wouldn't mind trying Zorin 12.4 Lite but the immediate boot from BIOS boot to the circled man logo WITHOUT the option of forcepae didn't allow me to perform this step. Is there a workaround to solve this?
Otherwise the only way right now would be to compare on my Acer that doesn't have the PAE issue and will run pretty much anything 32/64 with the exception of performance for running heavier versions.
Some suggest running "live" but in reality this is a poor test on limited resources running only in ram. My HP Omnibook Xe3 with PIII800 and only 128 megs of ram was a perfect example. Puppy 4.3.1 live was totally useless except for installation only and permanently installed with swap made it out perform the Win2000. If there is this much difference, well this makes me decide to always test by installation. I'm sure Lubuntu would be much slower in live as well.