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Though Ubuntu still works well on those old PCs, my goal had been to keep PCs running as a cost efficiency thing.
But lately I've started working from home, and the fan noise issue is now an issue.
The problem likely isn't strictly Ubuntu persay, it is probably the graphical environment (Gnome/KDE) sucking up memory.
Unfortunately setting up an alternate one may not be easy with the easy installation.
It wasn't an issue when I just used my home PCs on the weekend and after work.
I have a fanless ultra-book from my company for work, and wanted a second PC on my desk for personal stuff that I want to keep off my work computer, like music/Pandora, personal browsing and video.
Perhaps for professional uses Ubuntu may be slow - I'm just a home user serving family needs here - but for basic home computing it's pretty snappy, even on the low-end computers I tend to buy for my family. Right now I'm using Kubuntu, which is a resource hog but I favor Xbuntu which uses less resources than Ubuntu. Xubuntu uses less memory because the window manager/gui/graphical shell/desktop environment (the Windows equivalent is explorer.exe, which is different than iexplore.exe) is XFCE, which is less memory heavy, instead of Gnome/Unity or KDE.
This is almost hilariously coincidental, because I was just given an identical "broken" Inspiron 1525 a few days ago. Michael must be using his own cash to float the company. As long as you have 2 Gigs of RAM - a very cheap upgrade, recent versions of full Ubuntu run A OK. It's my go-to home machine for financial transactions - i.e. And it's doing it on just a 15 Gig partition within a 60 Gig SCSI (yes, SCSI) hard drive. Attached is screenshot - browser open, displaying the info window from settings to show what it's running.
In my experience, most Dells come that way out of the box (note the caveat before trolling, please). Right now for this response I am using the HP zd8000 set-up I talked about - full Ubuntu on a 2004 computer - screenshot attached. I do all the basics with it - browsing, email, the occasional document, spreadsheet and Linux game. Youtube works great, but the one only area where it has issues is streaming Netflix or Hulu, which still works but comes in at a low frame rate.
You should be happy to pay for any of them given that they are complete systems. What differs is the user application software end and if you were willing to compile things rather than expecting a pretty installer application you'd find that most software can be installed on any of them, Maybe for big spreadsheets or busy servers, but for basic home machines, as a family man buy pcs for wife and kids, I tend to buy low-spec stuff for home use. If your concerns are writing documents or small spreadsheets, surfing the web, watching Youtube, and email, it's not slow at all.
One of the PCs I run Ubuntu on I bought for 5 (desktop with monitor!
Breathe New Life into an Old Computer with Simple Hardware Upgrades and Linux Do you have an old 'junker' computer lying around the house that you have not gotten around to sending to the recycle plant? Breathe new life into an old computer by installing a new (free) Linux operating system on it and making small inexpensive hardware upgrades. It only takes about 30-45 min and it will have any older computer (suggest 2003 and later) feeling like new.