Use Linux – breathe new life into an old computer

Use Linux to breathe new life into an old computer

Use Linux - The Linux Mint - 18.1 Serena - Start menu

Use Linux – The Linux Mint – 18.1 Serena – Start menu. Click on the image to view its full size

If you want to use Linux, there are many distributions under constant development

If you want to use Linux, there are many distributions under constant development, most of which are free to download and use. Many distributions – separate developments around the main Linux kernel that is itself updated constantly – have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years in their user-friendliness. They can be used on the most up-to-date PC hardware and work very well indeed on old computers that are labouring under a version of Windows, such as Windows XP and Windows Vista.

How many people know that Google’s mobile operating system, Android, is a development of Linux, as is Google’s Chrome operating system used on web-based Chromebooks?

Most people have used a tablet or smartphone that uses Android and know how easy it is to use. Fully-featured versions on Linux, such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint, come with all the free software, such as the LibreOffice suite, that most users need and work in much the same way as they do when using a version of Windows and Apple’s OS X.

Ubuntu, Linux Mint and many other distributions of Linux can work from its boot disc

Ubuntu, Linux Mint and many other distributions of Linux can work from its boot disc, created from an ISO-file download, or a flash drive without being installed (very useful to use it as a troubleshooting tool if you can’t get Windows to boot) or it can be installed on its own partition to run alongside Windows.

Switch to free Linux Mint to enjoy a fast, secure operating system that has all of the free software that most users need – http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/blog/switch-to-linux-mint/

There are some small distributions that function wonderfully well from a USB flash drive

There are some small distributions that function wonderfully well from a USB flash drive, providing an office suite, various tools and apps. Some of them are self-contained and don’t use a PC’s hard drive or SSD storage space and others use the PC’s storage space temporarily without installing anything. If the Linux distribution is self-contained on a flash drive it is fully portable, that is, can be used on any computer with a USB port.

Such Linux distributions use generic device drivers wherever possible instead of brand-name drivers, thereby getting around the problems that would be created by incompatible drivers.

Here are some Linux distributions or information sites that you can try or explore:

1. – PuppyLinux – a complete operating system with a file size of only 300MB – very easy to install on a flash drive and use. Works very on computers designed to run Windows XP. – http://puppylinux.org/

2. – Linux Mint – “The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use.” – https://linuxmint.com/

3. – Ubuntu for desktops – provides all of the software that a home, school or other organisation would require, including built-in firewall and malware protection. It can boot and be run from its installation disc. – http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop

4. – “Pendrivelinux provides simplified information to make it easy for anyone to install, boot, and run their favorite Linux Distro from a portable flash drive!” – http://www.pendrivelinux.com/

5. – Distrowatch keeps track of all of the available distributions of Linux. Use its customisable Seach box to find what you want. – http://distrowatch.com/

6. – Neverware Cloudready is a customised distribution of Google’s Chrome operating system used on Chromebooks, which are specifically designed to be used online. Most old laptops will run it. Chrome is a distribution of Linux, so it is open-source and can be developed by any other developers, as in this case.

Online storage is used extensively and the software that Neverware Cloudready uses to provide word-processing, spreadsheets and presentations are Google’s online apps. Neverware provides a free and a paid-for version that provides more features.

Neverware Cloudready works on most computers dating back to 2007. Tutorials are available online on how to install and use it. – http://www.neverware.com/free/#freedetails