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  1. #1

    Can I add Linux to this old desktop?


    Few years back I purchased this from B.B.
    newIMG_1797.jpg
    newIMG_1802.jpg
    newIMG_1799.jpg
    newIMG_1801.jpg

    HP p2-1334
    AMD E1-1200 Accelerated processor
    4GB DDR3
    500GB HDD
    AMD Radeon HD7310 Graphics ( integrated into the APU I assume, but maybe not? )
    Super Multi DVD burner
    Windows 8

    It was less then $300.
    I since have done a build but am looking to play with ( Linux virgin ) Ubuntu or Mint.
    This will be an offline computer just to fool around with until Im comfortable then I will ditch Windows.


    I tossed out the RAM ( stupid me ) and the HDD.

    1. If I want to install Linux can it be done n this system ( whats left of it ).
    2. I assume I just need to buy 4gb RAM. Any DDR3 4gb RAM will do correct?
    newIMG_1799.jpg
    newIMG_1804.jpg
    3. Add a new HDD?
    4. Since I tossed the old HDD there is no O.S on this right? So by adding a new HDD I can then install my own O.S ( Linux ) and I will be good to go correct?
    5. There are 2 connections left. I assume the bigger one is for the HDD. But what does the extra SATA cable go to? Do both connections go to the HDD?

    6. Or is the extra SATA connection just an extra in case I wanted to add something in the future?


    Thank you everyone.
    I'm looking forward to Linux

    *My goal with this set-up is just buy the bare minimum that it needs then install Linux ( Ubuntu or a mint )

  2. #2

  3. #3
    This is a rather modern PC, should have no issue supporting it. Yes you'll need RAM and HD. 4GB of RAM will be fine and a typical install will be 1-20GB depending on what all gets installed. Another 500GB HD is fine too.

    The GPU is supported with the radeon drivers, PALM (Wrestler) chipset.

    I can't see your images on my phone so I can't comment on the hardware install part.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

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  5. #4
    Your image links appear broken. But considering you can install ARM based linux distros on an rpi, you'll be fine.

    RAM is obviously needed. You can get some cheap brand x on newegg for next to nothing. Just make sure it's the right spec (DDR3 I presume, possible DDR2, and stick to 800/1066MHz depending on the DDR rev- some older chipsets don't support newer, faster DDR.)

    You only need 2GB of RAM, 4GB recommended. (Although 1GB could even be enough, you'll have a lot of performance issues.) If using less than 8GB, make sure to set up a swap space of at least 8GB. You'll be able to do this during install. The legacy installers still usually recommend putting swap on a separate disk, but that's unnecessary if you're using an SSD.

    The second SATA port is for any other SATA device, probably originally a CD/DVD drive, but since you can boot from USB, unless you need a CD/DVD drive, I'd use them both for drives. 1 for a cheap 128GB-256GB SSD, and a cheap 500GB-1TB HDD for storage.

    You can get a SATAIII 128GB Seagate SSD for $25 from best buy and a 512GB HDD for about the same. Newegg will have better prices, but for prices that low, the $10 you may save is almost worth the convenience of being able to just grab one today.

    Download RufusUSB and the iso of your choice. CentOS is nice and lightweight, but even Ubuntu will have no issues running.

    You'll need an ~8GB flash drive ($6) to be your installation media. If your machine has (U)EFI, turn off the "CSM" and go with an EFI boot. Otherwise, use Bios Boot. Select the appropriate option in rufus, if the disk image is a dd/iso hybrid, use iso mode and if you have trouble booting, then do dd.

    You can do automatic partitioning, but I suggest manual so you can mount your /home directory on the HDD, and put the swap and root (/) filesystems on the SDD, along with the boot partition. Don't go beyond that. Just stick to a single mountpoint for root (/) that contains the other partitions rather than giving them all unique mountpoint which tends to mess up booting, especially on early EFI firmware systems.

    Bios boot/CSM requires an MBR formatted disk and EFI needs a gpt formatted disk with an FAT32 boot partition (there are cases where the system expects an NTFS boot partition, called UEFI:NTFS, but I've only encountered that on servers.

    The default graphics drivers should allow you to get a GUI but probably with limited 640x480 resolution. You will need to use your package manager (apt/dnf/yum/etc to find the correct drivers. A <package manager> search <graphics card model> query should bring up the driver you need. It may involve multiple packages and I always also install the dev package for good measure. If for whatever reason you get stuck at the shell on first boot, it just means that you need to install VGA drivers first. So just do that via the shell and then reboot. My rule of thumb is as long as you have the space and the packages don't conflict, it's better to install whatever you think you might need.

    A final note is that for some distros, the apt config doesn't get updated automatically to include the online mirror. If you find a search returning limited results that are all already installed, you can use (for any debian based release) apt-sources to update the apt.sources file. Just pick your editor and search for the repo specific to your distro online and ass the config file and save, then try again. Also remember to run apt-get update (or yum update or dnf update, depending on your distribution) before you search for new packages. If there's a conflict, it will halt the install. Also run apt-get dist-upgrade to fo a full system upgrade on first use.

    I would recommend straight Debian or ubuntu for someone not too well versed in linux, due to the mass amounts of support available. For a lightweight desktop environment I would go with MATE, although gnome is the standard and is fully featured- and you should have no issue running it.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  6. #5
    -->
    Quote Originally Posted by frldyz View Post
    Few years back I purchased this from B.B.
    newIMG_1797.jpg
    newIMG_1802.jpg
    newIMG_1799.jpg
    newIMG_1801.jpg

    HP p2-1334
    AMD E1-1200 Accelerated processor
    4GB DDR3
    500GB HDD
    AMD Radeon HD7310 Graphics ( integrated into the APU I assume, but maybe not? )
    Super Multi DVD burner
    Windows 8

    It was less then $300.
    I since have done a build but am looking to play with ( Linux virgin ) Ubuntu or Mint.
    This will be an offline computer just to fool around with until Im comfortable then I will ditch Windows.


    I tossed out the RAM ( stupid me ) and the HDD.

    1. If I want to install Linux can it be done n this system ( whats left of it ).
    2. I assume I just need to buy 4gb RAM. Any DDR3 4gb RAM will do correct?
    newIMG_1799.jpg
    newIMG_1804.jpg
    3. Add a new HDD?
    4. Since I tossed the old HDD there is no O.S on this right? So by adding a new HDD I can then install my own O.S ( Linux ) and I will be good to go correct?
    5. There are 2 connections left. I assume the bigger one is for the HDD. But what does the extra SATA cable go to? Do both connections go to the HDD?

    6. Or is the extra SATA connection just an extra in case I wanted to add something in the future?


    Thank you everyone.
    I'm looking forward to Linux

    *My goal with this set-up is just buy the bare minimum that it needs then install Linux ( Ubuntu or a mint )
    Just some extra info, since I forgot some of your OP when I was writing my response and I'm on my phone so I couldn't look without discarding.
    2GB DDR3 will be sufficient as long as you have 8-16GB swap on an SSD. If you don't need too much storage, and want great performance, use Linux's built in mdam (mdraid) utility, buy two 128GB SSDs for $50 total and run them in RAID0 (striped). Since SSDs fail much less often than HDDs and give advanced warning, RAID0 is safe for non-mission critical applications and you get 2x the IO throughput. Set the stripe size as small as possible, 512B is usually the minimum and the physical sector size of 99% of SSDs. 1024B may be acceptable too depending on if your system has a DMI bus or not (if in doubt go with 1024B, most files you deal with will be over 1K anyway, so you'll still see striping performance without potentially bottlenecking the queue.) Larger stripe sizes are for HDDs or applications dealing exclusively with large files.
    Make sure you get regular PC3 RAM (PC3=DDR3, the numbers after DDR3- are the speed in MHZ) ECC and Registered DIMMS are for (almost exclusively) servers. For instance DDR3-1066E is ECC and PC3-12800R is Registered Dimms and will not work.
    Go with Ubuntu over CentOS (if you want there are "lite" versions of Ubuntu), Debian is also a good choice. I'd recommend trying a few distros in "live" mode first. What you pick will probably become your distro of choice for decades, so choose wisely.
    For a desktop environment, again, you can't go wrong with Gnome. XFCE kinda has a "MS Windows" feel to it, but I don't like it. Mate is lighter, but again, it's uncommon.
    When you say a "larger plug", do you mean a completely different plug? Because then that's probably an IDE connector. Used for legacy removable disk drives and HDDs. Unless you're using IDE for a DVD burner (which you can't get an IDE anything new anymore), just so you can use both SATA for storage and have a disk/DVD drive too, just leave that port empty. IDE has long been superceded and is slow as shi*.

    Again, I highly suggest 2 SATA SSDs configured with mdraid for the best noticable performance benefits. You can always get an external USB HDD for storage space in the TB range.

    Remember, you will need to access your bios to change boot devices to the USB in order to install the OS. You'll also need to change from either Bios Boot/CSM or UEFI (if supported). Now, while UEFI offers some enhancements, and faster booting time, early implementations were flawed. You may run into boot issues trying to deal with UEFI. Using Legacy Bios/CSM boot is a safer option, with minimal tradeoff for a system that's not designed for performance purposes to begin with and doesn't use dual boot. To access your BIOS, you need to press the keys it shows as you boot. Some systems blast past this, requiring you to fast-tap the key as soon as you start up or hold it down through startup. You should be able to look up online how to access the bios for your model if you have any issues. Don't forget to also connect the SATA power cables as well. And, while this was only present on old drives, if there's two power connectors, SATA and legacy Molex, only use one, never both!

    HOPE THIS HELPS! GOOD LUCK!

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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