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To make a little more sense of my question, here are specs:

Pentium III 933 MHz / 640 MB PC133 SDRAM / 20 GB IDE HDD / 128 MB GeForce FX5200 / Windows XP Pro SP3

So, I was looking into Ubuntu and it 'appears' that it would run lighter than XP on my Pentium III machine. However, I know that Ubuntu is a very flexible operating system that may be advantageous to developers or advanced users.

I don't know much about Ubuntu at all, but assuming that it'd run lighter, would installing it be like a Windows installation where you could clean install it off a disk or something? Also, are there any good beginners tutorials for Ubuntu?

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On a older machine like that, you might find that Xubuntu runs faster - it's got a much lighter interface, that it better with low RAM. –  Dentrasi Jan 24 '10 at 10:31
    
That spec machine will run Gnome quite okay, actually. It's when you get down to CPU of 500MHz and memory of 128Mb that you'll start seeing a difference. –  staticsan Feb 4 '10 at 1:08
    
You can try ubuntu from a live CD and see how it goes before you commit. –  user12889 Jan 31 '11 at 22:07

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

For installation, its pretty, you can try it before installing, installing with windows (DualBoot) and a clean install, like Windows

For tutorials, checkout this page:

http://ubuntu-tutorials.com/

also, be sure to join the forums, community is huge and is always willing to help.

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Is there an actual post showing how to install (link?) or do I have to post a thread? Looking at the forums though, it doesn't look be big and seems to be fairly new... Any other websites that may be helpful? –  Wesley Jan 24 '10 at 6:05
    
ubuntuforums.org - Have been up since their first release, and i guess you can use youtube, this one, look rally good youtube.com/watch?v=w8a-smrPlvE –  Fladur Jan 24 '10 at 7:32
    
It should be similar, but the interface is different, so I can't say for sure, by the way, It uses Xfce instead od GNOME so it should be better for your specs. –  Fladur Jan 24 '10 at 20:26
    
Don't really know what that means, but thanks for the suggestion. –  Wesley Jan 25 '10 at 6:20
    
GNOME and XFCE is the desktop environment, that means the sotfware that the operative system uses to display the desktop, for example in Windows XP is called Luna (Not sure really), in Windows Vista and Se7en its called aero, but for linux, you have some choices, GNOME, XFCE KDE, and more, and XFCE is more lightweight than GNOME and KDE –  Fladur Jan 25 '10 at 19:05

The easiest way to try Ununtu is by running Wubi http://wubi-installer.org/

It will set up a virtual partition and a dual boot on your machine. It is a very easy automated install. If you try Ubuntu and don't like it running Wubi a second time will restore your machine to its original configuration.

Other options require actually partitioning your hard disk or running off of a live CD, which works but is very slow.

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See, the thing is I'm extremely limited on hard drive space, and would rather do a "clean install" and just mess around and get to know how to use Ubuntu right away. Could I do that using Wubi? –  Wesley Jan 24 '10 at 6:07

You are probably best off using Xubuntu, it will be lighter than the standard Ubuntu install. Or even the Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

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What would be the biggest difference? Which one is optimized best for slower systems? –  Wesley Jan 24 '10 at 19:36
1  
Xubuntu is recommended for low-spec systems. Compare the system requirements for both on this page: help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements –  ta.speot.is Jan 24 '10 at 21:36
    
Yep that definitely seems to be the best. –  Wesley Jan 25 '10 at 6:19
    
Xubuntu uses the Xfce desktop environment instead of Gnome. Xfce is much lighter than Gnome and therefore it runs much smoother on low spec PC's –  BloodPhilia Jan 31 '11 at 22:08

Since you're limited on drive space, maybe you should go with Linux booting on a USB key..

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/linux/create-a-bootable-ubuntu-usb-flash-drive-the-easy-way/

Just be careful to pick a USB key with decent performance, some of them are ridiculously slow.

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Could be a problem on a machine as old as a P3/933 though... I'm not sure motherboards of that era typically supported booting from USB-MSC. –  bobince Jan 24 '10 at 13:54
    
Yeah I can't boot from USB... I would rather just install one OS and get rid of XP. –  Wesley Jan 24 '10 at 19:26
    
You can boot from an USB drive on old computers. I have a P3 here (almost dead), which could be booted from an USB drive. For this to work, I installed GRUB on a diskette. –  Lekensteyn Dec 16 '10 at 21:20

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