Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

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bester69
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Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#1 Post by bester69 »

Hi,
My pc is a 2008's laptop very old with.:
- 1Intel CPU575@2GHz
- 4Gb RAM

I have Strecth and KDE, and my system is very well balanced (It all feels very smooth and good):
- Kernel 4.4
- microcode, and firmware holded to a vey specific versions

..I would like to move on to Buster, but I worry Buster and KDE5 eats more CPU and RAM..furthermore I would have to install kernel 4.4 if possible, and downgrade video firmware and perhaps remove or downgrade also microcode...last security patches downgrade my cpu and its a gap very thin before it comes into obsolecence performance (needs to stay very precise calibrated).

I dont know what to do if its worths to upgrade, or should hold on at stretch and buy a new computer eventually.
:?: Do you know if new KDE is more CPU and RAM demanding?
:?: is buster more demanding than strecth?, and does it performance better similar?

:roll:
thanks.
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anticapitalista
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#2 Post by anticapitalista »

Stay with Stretch - it is supported until 2022.

What you want to do with buster install isn't worth the hassle.

Stretch is much lighter (overall) than buster is.
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#3 Post by Bulkley »

I'm still using Stretch basically because I like it. I have played with Buster and don't see any advantages to upgrading. There is the old axiom, "If it works, don't fix it."

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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#4 Post by No_windows »

There are probably better qualified people to answer than I, but here are my thoughts, experiences, and decisions.

My main computer is an old server that I have setup as a desktop PC. I installed Jessie in 2015 and never upgraded to Stretch or Buster, for fear of ending up with a slower system, and the simple hassle of taking a working system down in favor of starting over. I have since obtained two newer computers to take it's place, and have installed newer software at my leisure.

My laptop is very old and under powered.... slow processor (32-bit), awful screen resolution, 1gb memory. I started with Stretch on this machine. My use of this machine is limited, so starting with a fresh reinstall is not a problem. I decided to install Buster, and the machine is even slower. I've been considering discontinuing it's use altogether.

I am of the opinion that it you are dealing with significantly older hardware that keeping an existing system running as is, is the way to go, as long as the current OS is kept up to date with security fixes. Jessie, will cease to be maintained this year, and I will have completely transitioned my usage to my newer/faster hardware by that time.

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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#5 Post by bester69 »

anticapitalista wrote:Stay with Stretch - it is supported until 2022.

What you want to do with buster install isn't worth the hassle.

Stretch is much lighter (overall) than buster is.
OK, then you convinced me..
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#6 Post by bester69 »

Bulkley wrote:I'm still using Stretch basically because I like it. I have played with Buster and don't see any advantages to upgrading. There is the old axiom, "If it works, don't fix it."
new video codecs, and stuff like that..you start to miss

I also would like to enjoy last apps improvements
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#7 Post by bester69 »

Bulkley wrote:I'm still using Stretch basically because I like it. I have played with Buster and don't see any advantages to upgrading. There is the old axiom, "If it works, don't fix it."
new video codecs, and stuff like that..you start to miss I also would like to enjoy last apps improvements

but we must recognize, snaps and flatpaks help a lot...I installed last meld version in flatpak, also okular pdf reader, and also tested last kate in flatpaks, and they all work excellent fast and smooth..

I also have installed kodi18(flatpak) for streaming TV cos kodi17 crashed when swithing some tv channels, so I use kodi17 (with addons) for watching torrent movies and kodi18 (cleanned of addons) for streaming TV
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#8 Post by Bulkley »

bester69 wrote: . . . snaps and flatpaks help a lot . . .
Also, appimages. I have several of those, including Thunderbird, running in my ~/.user/ directory.

You are right about some up-to-date programs for an older distro but there's usually a way either through backports or other sources or alternative programs.

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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#9 Post by anticapitalista »

You never mentioned snaps and flatpaks in your first post.
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#10 Post by stevepusser »

You already have KDE 5 in Stretch. I have seen many reports that the Buster KDE 5 is even lighter weight than Stretch's in RAM use, about equal to xfce-4.14, in fact, and certainly lighter than KDE 4.

There are plenty of Buster based KDE Live ISOs out there on the Net that you can boot on your machine to test that out. You should also be able to upgrade your spinning rust hard drive to an SSD inexpensively nowadays, which is the best performance bang for the buck that you can give it.
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#11 Post by bester69 »

stevepusser wrote:You already have KDE 5 in Stretch. I have seen many reports that the Buster KDE 5 is even lighter weight than Stretch's in RAM use, about equal to xfce-4.14, in fact, and certainly lighter than KDE 4.

There are plenty of Buster based KDE Live ISOs out there on the Net that you can boot on your machine to test that out. You should also be able to upgrade your spinning rust hard drive to an SSD inexpensively nowadays, which is the best performance bang for the buck that you can give it.
An SSD would be the solution., for sure.. Now, I can use fsarchiver to backup my system compressed in another partition, and also move some data to get more free space for getting ready the upgrade..,
But , last time, I had the problem I couldnt make upgrade at once step, cos disk got full... I would need to upgrade some packages and clean cache packages.. doing the upgrade in some few stages... Can I upgrade system without keeping any new packages in apt/archives/cache?

Is there anything like: sudo apt-get upgrade --no-keep-package :?:
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#12 Post by peer »

I have an old eeepc (100h) It has a SSD and extra memory. It is running debian 8 minimal LXDE.
I upgraded to debian 9 and it worked ok. It seemed a little bit slower but was still usable.
Then I upgraded to debian 10 and again it worked ok. But is was also a bit slower then debian 9.

I went back to debian 8 and will stay there with this old eeepc!!!

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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#13 Post by Hallvor »

The biggest problem would be potential lost hardware support.

I would not run KDE Plasma on it, but I suspect TDE would run just fine. I run it on obsolete hardware myself, and Buster with TDE is not much different from Stretch with TDE when it comes to resource usage.
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#14 Post by arzgi »

You can install Buster to old PC, but you can not use most resource hungry DEs and other programs.

I long had Samsung NC10 notebook, which max memory was 2G. Run Buster i386 without any problems, Xfce as DE, Abiword and Gnumeric instead of LibreOffice and so on.

It is trade of, how much to tolerate, when the next guy has a modern PC.

If the PC is very old, you can find newer and better performing quite cheaply from the 2nd hand market. Companies sometimes even give away computers when they buy new ones.

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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#15 Post by LE_746F6D617A7A69 »

I have HP Elite Book 2530p, with Core2Duo @1.6GHz, 2GB RAM.
The original 1.8 inch HDD have died, and its impossible get a *really* new one - so I've replaced the DVD-reader with a 2'5 inch HDD bay with GoodRAM CX120 SSD inside.

Buster i386 +XFCE works like a crazy in this configuration - complete boot time, including POST, around 6-7 seconds, shutdown <1s (really, I can't even count from 0 to 1 before it's completely powered off, but perhaps I'm counting too slow :) )
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#16 Post by bester69 »

LE_746F6D617A7A69 wrote:I have HP Elite Book 2530p, with Core2Duo @1.6GHz, 2GB RAM.
The original 1.8 inch HDD have died, and its impossible get a *really* new one - so I've replaced the DVD-reader with a 2'5 inch HDD bay with GoodRAM CX120 SSD inside.

Buster i386 +XFCE works like a crazy in this configuration - complete boot time, including POST, around 6-7 seconds, shutdown <1s (really, I can't even count from 0 to 1 before it's completely powered off, but perhaps I'm counting too slow :) )
Its a good idea, I was thinking of buying a small SDD an DVD adapter just for the system installlation (cache and swap)..Im not sure if you can put home outside of SDD and not losing much speed..
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#17 Post by Nili »

Yes, Upgrade it, it will make your old hardware flying.
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#18 Post by cuckooflew »

A friend has a HP pavillion notebook, laptop it originally shipped with windows 7, has less ram then the one you show, 2gb Since I don't have it here, handy I don't remember all the specs, but any way just a few days ago I installed Debian 10 (Buster), with the Mate DE, everything works fine, I think you should be ok with upgrading.
I do have some of the details on file here:

Code: Select all

 
real mem = 4175867904 (3982MB)
avail mem = 4039675904 (3852MB)
vendor Hewlett-Packard version "F.07" date 07/13/2009
bios0: Hewlett-Packard HP Pavilion dv3 Notebook PC
cpu1: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T6500 @ 2.10GHz, 2094.75 MHz, 06-17-0a
cpu1: FPU,VME,DE,PSE,TSC,MSR,PAE,MCE,CX8,APIC,SEP,MTRR,P 
sd0 at scsibus1 targ 0 lun 0: <ATA, WDC WD5000BEVT-6, 02.0> SCSI3 0/direct fixed naa.50014ee2adc59d6c
sd0: 476940MB, 512 bytes/sector, 976773168 sectors
cd0 at scsibus1 targ 4 lun 0: <Optiarc, DVD RW AD-7581S, 4H03> ATAPI 5/cdrom removable 
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#19 Post by bester69 »

cuckooflew wrote:A friend has a HP pavillion notebook, laptop it originally shipped with windows 7, has less ram then the one you show, 2gb Since I don't have it here, handy I don't remember all the specs, but any way just a few days ago I installed Debian 10 (Buster), with the Mate DE, everything works fine, I think you should be ok with upgrading.
I do have some of the details on file here:
cpu1: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T6500 @ 2.10GHz, 2094.75 MHz, 06-17-0a
Thats a very powefull CPU for a simple linux, normal It works fine.,,
My CPU only have one core..there's a big difference in performance between a multi-core cpu and a single one.

I already installed in past buster for testing, but I think to remember It used some litle more RAM..and new kernel, drivers and microcode gave me the usuall performance issues I got with my hardware..thing likes meltdown patches and other isolation security patches downgrade my hardware cpu.. so I would have try to downgrade kenerl, microcode and firmware to ancient versions..

microcode could perhaps disabled it.. and firmware and kernel install older versions, but I dont know if thats possible..I think firmware, only need i965 folder to be overwrited with and firmaware's older versions, I think it could work out.

I would do Need to apply this after installing buster.:
0 - Overwrite microcode with an stretch's version (dont know if possible) or unistalled it.
I need; 3.20171117.1~bpo9+1 microcode version

1- Install older ubuntu's kernel 4.4.39 (its the version that feel good to my cpu), I think I need to install some modules to be able to installes, I dont know if ii would be able to install this kernel in buster
https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.4.39/

2- Overwrite intel graphics drivers, by overwriting i965 folder, with older firmware (firmware-linux-nonfree_20161130-5_all.deb).. I think, this is possible.:
sudo rsync --delete -av i915/ /lib/firmware/i915/
sudo update-initramfs -u -t

with theses three steps of tweaking I think I could make buster feeld and performance similar to my stretch's installation.. :roll:
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Re: Very Old PC, Should I upgrade to Buster?

#20 Post by arzgi »

bester69 wrote: cpu1: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T6500 @ 2.10GHz, 2094.75 MHz, 06-17-0a
Thats a very powefull CPU for a simple linux, normal It works fine.,,
My CPU only have one core..there's a big difference in performance between a multi-core cpu and a single one.
My previous notebook, Samsung NC10, which i already mentioned in the thread, had singe core Intel Atom CPU. After upgrading to Buster, kernel created virtual second core. When I first time booted to Xfce on Buster, surprised a lot when gkrellm showed I have a two core cpu :shock:

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