I’ve been wanting to try out Linux for a while now, but I’ve never had a compelling reason to dig in. Turns out that my kids are the compelling reason. We just don’t have enough computers that can connect to the Internet, do homework, Chat on MSN, play games, etc. I’ve decided to try to resurrect old laptops with Xubuntu for kid use.
So far they think Xubuntu is very cool. It looks good and has all the stuff they want: Firefox, Chat, image editing, wordprocessor, and office. It took “zero time” for them to figure out the basics. Firefox just works. Chat (via Gaim) was configured in seconds. Word processors were tested. They set up their own user accounts. They like this account feature that we use on our Macs. Their mission this week is to find Linux games. I’m thinking they’ll have good success.
Xubuntu — Minimum system requirements
To run the Desktop CD (LiveCD + Install CD), you need 128 MB RAM to run or 192 MB RAM to install. The Alternate Install CD only required you to have 64 MB RAM.
To install Xubuntu, you need 1.5 GB of free space on your hard disk.
Once installed, Xubuntu can run with 64 MB RAM, but it is strongly recommended to use at least 128 MB RAM.
Installation was fairly painless. I downloaded an install CD image of the “alternate install for old systems” (did this via Torrent … was very fast … came down at my max download rate of ~10 Mbit/sec+), burned it to CD (via Disk Utility… I’m a Mac guy at home), and then ran the install. It took a couple hours. The only tricky thing was that I had to hold down “Shift-C” to get the 3110CT to boot from an external CD Drive. I found the notes on these sites helpful
- http://www.edginet.org/techie/linux/laptop.html — I never needed all this detail, but it was good to see it. the Shift-C notes are here.
- http://developer.novell.com/wiki/index.php/HOWTO:_Install_Ubuntu — this is useful because alternate install is in “text mode”