Currently trying WatOSs R5 as a live CD on a Dell Inspiron 8000 (laptop) with Pentium III (Coppermine) processor, 20GB hard drive, 512 MB RAM (max for this machine).
Hello all. I recently tried Zorin-Lite on this box. I was amazed that I could get any version of Ubuntu to run on it as previous attempts at Lubuntu failed with graphics problems. It ran decently until I decided to do a distribution upgrade to Precise Pangolin 12.04, then it got decidedly more sluggish, as several other “smarter” computers have done when I upgraded from 10.10 to 12.04.
So I decided to give WattOS a try. So far, I’ve been very impressed with its speed, even though I’m only running it as a live CD. After allowing for the normal 2-3 second spool-up of the disc, I'm truly surprised at the speed of execution of each command – even the internet! The only glitch so far is having to boot out of safe graphics mode which is certainly no big deal. I will do a permanent install of this OS (probably this weekend) to see just how fast it actually is as delivered.
All this leads to several questions if you please. Is it necessary to constantly update this through update manager or synaptic, or can I wait until the next version of Watt OS comes out and upgrade then? I’m straddling both sides of the fence on this: I have two Ubuntu boxes that I upgrade constantly, and I previously had Puppy Linux on this old Dell for several years and never upgraded anything. On this machine, I’m thinking of the resource creep that comes with constant updating. Let the security debate begin! Also, I found that Midori played Youtube videos as well or better than anything else I’ve tried on this computer. In fact, I used to have to download most of them through downloadhelper to get decent playback. I was under the impression that Midori didn’t use Flash. Is this running through HTML5? If not, how is this possible? Just curious. Does anyone know if or how well Firefox will run with this? I’ll report back on how it plays once installed. Thanks.
Greetings Daniel - the update manager in R5 will close mirror what R6 will do. it is setup to only check for security updates manually initiated by you. If you want to see how that is setup, just open the menu and go to preferences/update manager. You can control that how you like. I prefer to control things myself, and minimize any surprises by automagic things :) My suggestion is to periodically check here for security related stuff, read what they are, and decide for yourself (which is why I love Linux).
It really depends what you do with your system and what type of activities you do with it. I have some Linux systems running on old 600MHz systems that have run for years with zero updates or reboots or problems. But I do update my desktop system periodically only because I am solving a problem, or want a new "thing" additionally I do some higher risk work with my work systems.
wattOS follows ubuntu, so wattOS R5 will continue to get regular updates via the repos like ubuntu 11.10 until April 2013. wattOS R6 is based on 12.04LTS which will receive updates until April 2017 so you have long legs on that one.
Most people (myself included on some systems) load the latest version, leave it alone (save for things I want) and use it until the next release without issue. I release a new version every 6-8 months following ubuntu typically by 90-120 days for each release.
Hope that helps clarify a little.
Thanks Biff Baxter - that gives me the exact information I was looking for concerning updates. I'll take all of that under advisement.
Since I have your attention, I just thought I would report my first attempt at installing WattOS on this old Dell. The installation seemed to go without a hitch, but a gremlin I noticed in the Live CD persisted. When I logged onto any web page (using the native Midori), the browser would crash and return to the desktop abruptly and without without notice. I tried to download Firefox but couldn't (got an error message that Ubuntu repositories couldn't be accessed), I'm assuming for the reason that the internet connection couldn't hold. By the way, I was accessing the internet using my trusty SMC wireless dongle which was properly recognized and logged onto through the network manager. In short, internet use was just impossible.
I then copied and pasted a National Geographic special I had downloaded via Youtube (on a different box) from a flashdrive and tried to play it via the native media player. It did play normally on minimized screen, but when I tried to switch to full screen view, it sort of hung up in a spilt screen.
I didn't spend a lot more time after that determining what did and didn't work in this particular installation - it was already buggy enough to be unusable to me. This is certainly no knock on WattOS, it's rather a continuing and on-going struggle trying to get an Ubuntu based OS to work on this ancient, coal burning computer.
I think I'll try re-burning this iso file, and if that doesn't work I may try downloading from a different source (this one came from "Distro Watch"). I would appreciate any suggestions or advice that anyone may offer. I would certainly like to get this up and running - from what I've seen of WattOS so far, me likey!
Hey Daniel The best thing to do is to use Synaptic to install the Chromium browser (or firefox for that matter).
Synaptic is under the menu-Preferences then synaptic package manager. Additionally, you can install from the terminal by entering the command sudo apt-get install chromium-browser
Before you do either on a fresh install, you likely just need to update the repositories and the "repositories being accessed" error will likely disappear. In synaptic that is done by hitting the reload button in the upper left corner of the app. From the terminal its the command sudo apt-get update
There are several forum entries with Midori being problematic, and it will not be installed by default in wattOS R6. tks...biff
Just to keep you posted, last night I did re-burn the iso from my original downloaded file. I reinstalled the OS (too late, I already bulled ahead) and this time Midori seemed to work fine. I didn’t spend a lot of time with it, but opened several rather problematic web pages that usually make this old box grunt and had no problems.
I then turned my attention to downloading Firefox and got the same error message about not being able to access the Ubuntu repositories, and then had an epiphany for my own bad self – hit the reload button, stupid! (You are an absolute prophet, biff!) That seemed to work fine until I tried to install downloadhelper which gave me an error message and wouldn’t install. In fact, any add-on I tried gave the same results. Not sure what’s going on there, but when I have time, I’ll try to get them straight from the Mozilla site and see if that works. Any other suggestions here appreciated. Other than that, Firefox appears to be working flawlessly.
After that, I ran out of time. It seems to be working good enough now to keep this install and try to work with it. I didn’t try the media player in full screen mode, so that’s something for another day as well. So far, I’m absolutely thrilled with being able to run (any version of) Ubuntu on this tired old machine which I had thought totally impossible till now. I’ll continue to post my progress here in the hopes it will help other newbs who follow in my tracks.
A final follow-up…
I took some time last night to revisit my problems with WattOS. First on the list was downloadhelper. I opened Firefox – tools – add-ons and searched for “ video download” and downloadhelper came up at the top of the list. I hit the install button just to get the exact message that popped up when it failed, and it didn’t! It installed normally. The only thing that had changed was that the computer had been shut down and re-started. I have seen this before when a newly installed program only requires for itself to be closed and restarted, but actually doesn’t become functional until a restart of the whole system. Anyway, downloadhelper is working normally now.
I then went on to tackle my other bug-a-boo – a partially functioning media player. To review, the native SM Player worked great except that it wouldn’t open in full screen mode on this machine, so I started cruising through Synaptic to see what else was available. My first stop was Gnome Player as that has worked extremely well on a couple of Powerpc Mac’s that I have Ubuntu installed on. However on this box, it wouldn’t open at all…dead on arrival. So I uninstalled it. Next I installed Totem as I had never tried it, but had heard good things about it. It would just begin to open the video, then abruptly crash try after try. I uninstalled that too.
I then decided to try VLC. I had previously had mixed results with this program. On some installations, it performed like a rock star but on my Mac’s, Gnome Player worked better. But I gave it a try here and Bingo! I now have full screen Youtube videos running at or near HD quality. For anyone suffering from choppy or poor image quality videos, I highly recommend you try this. While downloading is kind of a pain (takes about as long as to run the video for the first time), afterward you have a file which you can replay over and over with a couple of clicks at vastly superior quality.
I think what all this points up to is that, try as they might, Linux developers and re-mastering code writers are simply unable to come up with a “One Size Fits All” flavor of Linux. What works on most machines certainly can’t work on all, and the exact combination of software and hardware that will work is often very user specific and interesting, I think. Still, It’s a testament to their efforts that we have available such a wide variety of operating systems that will work across so many different platforms. Again, I want to restate that I believe most of my problems here stem from the fact that I’m using Abraham Lincoln’s computer.
Since I’ve addressed all the major issues I had, I’m going to go ahead and mark this thread as “Solved”. If I discover any further issues, I’ll re-post under a different title. Thanks to all who weighed in and tried to help.
(edit) Could someone please tell me how to mark this thread as "Solved"? I thought I could figure it out, but no luck so far.
I think the same thing, I do not want to be pessimistic or bad vibes but what is the advantage of use WattOS over Lubuntu?. Please if someone want to respond maintaining respect, I would appreciate. Regards
I think its a good question and yes I am friendly and sometimes to busy :). I am the distro maintainer. wattOS actually was released before Lubuntu and has been around for nearly 5 years. (July 2008 first release)
I made wattOS because I wanted something lightweight and functional and could bring old computers back to life, and require less horsepower than others - nothing more... Previously I actually was using Vector Linux to ressurect and sell/donate old computers for a long time, and started using linux a very long time ago (slackware 2.1).
I liked Debian and Ubuntu and switched to that platform. I cannot speak on authority, but I think the Lubuntu teams goal was to become a sponsored separate distro recognized by Canonical (which they achieved). I am not interested in recognition or anything else other than a light, clean, functional desktop that I can tweak how I like.
wattOS will never be the smallest, or fastest, or XXX. But its another choice that people can consider and use while not being cornered into something without lots of options (upstream ubuntu packages).
I try to make a functional foundation that people can add and build on, or if they dont want to, or dont have the time or skills to, can at least have a reasonably functional desktop that runs quickly on old equipment.
If I can save a few systems from being thrown in a landfill, or give a computer to someone who might not have one otherwise, then I am a happy camper.
Hope that helps...