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Best Low Memory OS?

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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October 23, 2013 9:36:27 AM

I have a grandmother that wants to tether her android phone to save money on the internet. I noticed she still has XP and installed Windows 7. When going through updates and experiencing a whole lot of freezes I noticed the computer has 512MB of DDR ram. My DDR3 sticks don't fit (because the plastic slot as conspicuously moved about 2CM since updating.

I don't want to spend anymore money on this thing that I already have. So I plan on installing a low memory OS. My options are as follows.

Windows XP (Pirating = risk)
Puppy Linux
Slitaz (Linux)
Damn Small Linux
Zeniz OS

What do you think is the best idea for tethering and ease of use?

More about : low memory

a b 5 Linux
October 23, 2013 9:49:15 AM

Does your grandmother know how to use a Linux operating system?
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October 23, 2013 11:07:38 AM

ksham said:
Does your grandmother know how to use a Linux operating system?


All she would need is shortcuts to Firefox and a quick tutorial on how to navigate the menus. Personally I've used Ubuntu and Fedora which are pretty straight forward, even for someone like her. Unless those options are more complicated, I thnk it'd be fairly safe.

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a b 5 Linux
October 23, 2013 11:10:44 AM

Sure, but that's the window manager. GNOME and KDE aren't exactly lightweight window managers. I was just wondering.

Anyway, Puppy Linux is really lightweight. Alpine and Debian are good options as well. You can probably even run Knoppix.
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Best solution

October 23, 2013 11:11:50 AM

I would recommend either Kubuntu (KDE is closer to a windows environment and may be easier for her to adapt to), or Linux Mint...which are both based on Ubuntu.

If you wanted a super lightweight install, you could put her on Arch Linux, which would allow you to select the DE to run, as well as the window servers, etc. It's a bit more tedious to setup, however, you can have as light weight or powerful an OS as you want.
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a b 5 Linux
October 24, 2013 12:23:33 AM

Lubuntu is also a good option, the menu and desktop are similar to what she wants and will run fine on those specs. I've installed it on many old systems. It's Ubuntu but with lighter programs and desktop.
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November 5, 2013 6:12:03 AM

Puppy Linux or as a matter of fact any Linux with LXDE desktop will be light and fast!!!
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a b 5 Linux
November 5, 2013 7:39:38 PM

@Thorax,

Did you check with your grandma' operator whether she can tether on her plan? Tethering is a sure way to use way more data than one actually is thinking. Imagine playing a movie on Netflix/Youtube, or some nasty flash game which is not optimised for low internet data - your grandma could run into big troubles.
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