Want to re-use an old Laptop that is to slow for modern Windows? Use modern Lubuntu!


Severeal lightweight Linux distributions are available, but Lubuntu is a good compromise with many features but still working on a P4 CPU with 1GB (even with only 512MB) RAM.
Use a "LTS" (Long Term Supported) version. These are the least problematic.
e.g. Lubuntu 17.01 is only supported for 1 year and has some missing functionality, so use 16.04 which is supported for 4 years until a new LTS version comes around.

Get the 32b or 64b version as ISO from lubuntu.net/downloads/
Then use RUFUS to create a bootable USB stick.

--- FORCEPAE for Pentium M and Celeron M ---
CPU's older than Pentium M-750 have a non-PAE kernel, and need some special treatment during installing.
It was needed for my IBM Thinkpad T42 but not for my T43.
Fortunately this has become quite easy since Ubuntu v 14.04:

Boot from USB and start the installer, select to delete all other stuff on your hdd.
After selecting language you arrive at the main menu of the installer. Click on F6
At the boot menu screen the options are
- Try Lubuntu without installing (in the desktop installer but not in the alternate installer]
- Install
- ...
With the Install choice high-lighted press F6.
A menu with a number of options appears. The option 'forcepae' is not there, so press Escape to close the list.
Now a string of options is visible, often with 'quiet' or 'quiet splash --' at the end. Add 'forcepae' to the string before and after the two dashes.
(that is done by using your arrow keys to get there and then just write. Remember the spaces.)
... quiet splash forcepae -- forcepae
(more info about this is found here BootOptions/before--after)

Press return, and the installation begins.

Important finetunings

--- LibreOffice Installation ---
Lubuntu 16.04 has a preinstalled lightweight Office program called "AbiWord", but that has issues opening docx files when just renaming them to doc.
So instead install LibreOffice Writer v5. (use Lubuntu Software Center)
It is still leightweight enough to run fine on a IBM T42.

--- LibreOffice default save format ---

--- LibreOffice association with DOC files ---
Default, doubleclicking on a .doc or .docx file will try open it with Abiword.

--- LibreOffice default folder ---

--- Desktop shortcuts ---
Make the following often-used shortcuts on your desktop.
It is done by rightclicking> add to desktop

Libreoffice Writer
LX Terminal

--- Multiple Desktops ---
Lubuntu comes default with 2 or 4 desktops.
That is really nice, but for some people it is annoying because they accidently change to another desktop and than thier stuff has disappeared.
Also, default there is a toolbar button that minimises all your desktops but the same button doesn't restore them.

An easy fix is to set the amount of dektops to 1 and to remove the minimize button.

--- Swappiness ---
A very important tuning that you should do if you have 1GB RAM or less, it to reduce "swappiness".

Default value of swappiness is 60, which means that the PC starts swapping data to harddisk when less than 60% of your RAM is free.
That is a real pain when you e.g. start Firefox, because the PC will instantly start swapping and everything gets really slow.

You can check the value of your OS like this:
Open a LXterminal
cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness (don't forget the space after cat)

It is a good idea to reduce swappiness to 10%, as this will make things much faster.
That implicates editing your sysctl.conf, which can be done like this:

sudo leafpad (this opens a text editor as root)
Open> /etc/sysctl.conf (browse to this file and open it)
add the following line at the end of the file: vm.swappiness=10
Close leafpad
sudo sysctl -p (this refreshes your OS with the sysctl content)(you could also just reboot instead)
cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness (shows the content of this VirtualMemory configuration)
the result will now be 10

--- Blower control ---


still under construction.....