My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Reviving old x86 machines using Ubuntu, Fedora, Zorin, Mint, KXStudio and Tails OS


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reviving old x86 machines using Ubuntu, Fedora, Zorin, Mint, KXStudio and Tails OS

Have an old x86 machines that's super slow when running Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP or even Windows 7?

A Linux distribution might just be what the doctor ordered for your PC as noted in the Geezam blog article “Linux and Other Open Source Technologies: The Benefits for Jamaica”. Linux is an open-source (and free) OS that can breathe new life into your old machines.

Because it’s based on the Linux Kernel, Linux Operating Systems, which are called flavours, have much lower system requirements and fewer security issues. But with hundreds of flavours of Linux, which one do you choose?

Ubuntu and Fedora – the Obvious Choice for Linux lovers

The most obvious choice will be to use an OS that has the look and feel of Linux and windows and may be capable of running Windows programs.

To this end, I usually recommend Ubuntu OS or Fedora, which can all be installed on the same machine and has some interesting benefits as noted in my blog article entitled “How to install Windows, Fedora Linux and Ubuntu Linux on the same Computer”. 

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After all, Ubuntu is the choice for Xiaomi's US$200 Mi Notebook as I'd explained in my blog article entitled “How Xiaomi's US$200 Mi Notebook is a Linux Ubuntu Laptop for Christmas 2016”, so it's natural.

Zorin OS - Windows paintjob with a heart of a Linux

If you want a Linux OS that looks like Windows then Zorin OS is your best bet.

It has a GUI (graphical user interface) that can be tailored to look like a Mac or a PC. Like Windows it has a Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen with a programs list and search tool, just like Windows.

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In the lower-right corner there's a notification area, clock, volume control, again borrowed from the Windows OS. But aside from the Windows-like appearance, the fact that it comes pre-loaded with WINE as described in my blog article entitled “How to install Windows, Fedora Linux and Ubuntu Linux on the same Computer”  means it can run pretty much any window program with ease.

Mint OS, KXStudio OS and Tails OS - Linux flavours with a Dash of Cinnamon, Music and Privacy

Other distros are more Linux-like and make the transition to Linux that much easier. One such is Mint OS, a great option if you want to dive into Linux. The Linux distro UI (User Interface) comes in four desktop flavours:

1.      Cinnamon
2.      KDE
3.      Mate
4.      Xfce

If you a first time to Linux OS, choose the Cinnamon desktop. Xfce is for the control-loving persons who like menu-configuration options. Xfce is lightweight and will run very well on x86 machines designed to run Windows 95, 98, 2000 or XP.

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If Music is your thing, then KXStudio OS is the Linux Distro for you. It comes preloaded with custom audio applications and utilities. KXStudio OS uses both Debian and Ubuntu software repositories, so updates are never far away.

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Tails OS is for the spies among us who love privacy online and want to remain anonymous and secret. It can run from a USB Thumb Drive, DVD or even a memory card. The tools are also very barebones, with traffic from its browser, email client, instant messenger being routed through Tor Servers akin to how the Tor Messenger works as explained in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How Tor Messenger Beta keeps your Messages Private”.

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So with so many choices, you can visit the LIVECD list and download a bootable Linux OS and use it to revive you old PC. Sharing is caring so share this with as many of your friends as you like.

Here’s the link:

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