[clug] Removing older kernels -> Ubuntu on a legacy PC

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com
Sat Aug 15 08:47:15 UTC 2015

On 15/08/15 18:02, Bryan Kilgallin wrote:
> Hi Scott:
>> NOTE: 64-bit is not necessarily better (it's a matter of context).
>>> And therefore unable to run Ubuntu 14.04.
>> Oh Reilly? ;)
>> You have been misinformed. Trusty Tahr *is* available in 32-bit (which
>> you should have noticed anyway given that you *are* running the kernel
>> from that release.
> So I ran Update Manager. Against "New Ubuntu release '14.04.3 LTS' is
> available", I clicked "Upgrade". Resulting in the following warning. So
> I clicked "No".
> {Your graphics hardware may not be fully supported in Ubuntu 14.04.

What is the output of:-
lspci | grep VGA

> Running the 'unity' desktop environment is not fully supported by your
> graphics hardware. You will maybe end up in a very slow environment
> after the upgrade. Our advice is to keep the LTS version for now. For
> more information see
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Bugs/UpdateManagerWarningForUnity3D Do you
> still want to continue with the upgrade?}
> I visited the recommended site. Which said the following. Being true, as
> my PC is an old hand-me-down!
> {While llvmpipe is pretty good on modern CPUs, if your video card is old
> your CPU is likely old too, and it may result in unusable performance.}
> After which I noted the following.
> {Alternatives may include sticking with an old ubuntu release or
> switching to one of the lighter weight derivatives or Debian. For 12.04
> and 12.10, ubuntu-classic (no effects) is also a feasible option. To do
> this, install the gnome-session-fallback package, and then on the login
> screen click the gear icon and select "Ubuntu-classic (no effects)".}
> What do you advise?

A bird in the hand is not to be undervalued(?).

Install virtualbox, then try trusty with another flavour of desktop i.e.

> I am beginning to think that it may be time to get a more modern PC.

Do you have a compelling reason for needing a high-end video card? e.g.
you like sitting on the cutting edge, you play a lot of recent games, etc.

I can't advise on GNOME - though others on this list can.

With the other "big DE" (KDE) hardware accelerated graphics is only
required if you want "bling".

I have a 14-yo Thinkpad T22 I use to test DE configuration optimisations
- it has 256MB of RAM and runs KDE "OK" (not the KDE meta packages). The
only things that are not stock is an SSD, and a custom kernel.

Running the latest software is good *if* you need the latest features,
or the latest hardware support *if* that support has not been backported
(or you suffer from a need to keep up with the neighbours benchmarks).
Otherwise, one of the strengths of FOSS is that it can get much more
life out of old hardware. Provided you're prepared to do more than a
"feather-brain" install. Feather-brain install = stick bread crumb to
Enter key, let a chicken do the install. You don't even need to tell the
chicken it's a genius (bonus!).

> Which as a pensioner I had avoided for budgetary reasons!

You likely only need to upgrade your video card if you want to use later
GNOME. Suitable graphics cards for that are sometimes offered free to
list subscribers.

Kind regards

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