Monday, 23 February 2015

How To Speed Up That Old Netbook With LXLE

Posted by Gary Newell  |  at  21:43 9 comments

Introduction

LXLE stands for Lubuntu Xtra Life Extension.

As you probably know Lubuntu is a lightweight Linux distribution that breathes life into older computers.

The purpose of LXLE is to take Lubuntu and add packages and options to make it more useful.

Based on data for the past 6 months, LXLE is proving to be more popular than Lubuntu and is currently the 10th most popular distribution on Distrowatch.

LXLE isn't really a distribution in its own right but a respin taking the Lubuntu LTS base and adding value to it.

This article shows you how to download LXLE and how to install it on an old laptop, desktop computer or netbook.

How To Get LXLE

You can download an image of LXLE by visiting http://lxle.net/download/.

The first thing you need to do is choose the version of LXLE you wish to download. The options are as follows:

  • LXLE 14.04.1 64-bit direct download
  • LXLE 14.04.1 64-bit torrent
  • LXLE 12.04.5 32-bit direct download
  • LXLE 12.04.5 32-bit torrent
You will also be required to either enter the words into the solvemedia box provided or answer a question.

This will take you to a sourceforge page and your download will begin. I found the download to be quite slow.

Creating A USB Drive


You will need a blank USB drive in order to follow this section.

Insert the USB drive into your computer and then visit http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/

Towards the bottom of the page you will see a box with the title "Download UUI". Click on this button. Make sure you don't accidentally click any of the other green install boxes as they are used to install completely differently applications.

When the download is complete double click on the downloaded file.

A license agreement will appear.

Click "I Agree" to get to the main application.







The actual GUI for the Universal USB Installer has 4 steps built into one screen.

The first step requires you to choose the Linux distribution you wish to install to your USB drive.

Select LXLE Desktop. Click on the Browse button and navigate to the downloaded LXLE ISO image.



In step 3 check the box to show all drives and choose the USB drive you wish to install LXLE to.

Note: Make sure you choose the correct drive otherwise you may accidentally lose important data

Check the "We will format as Fat32" checkbox so that it has a tick in it.

Click "Create" to continue.

Note: You can make the drive persistent by dragging the slider across. This means any changes you make whilst using the USB in live mode will be saved for future sessions.

A message will appear telling you what is about to happen.

Make sure you have chosen the correct drive and that you are happy to continue.

When you are ready to go click "Yes".

LXLE will now be extracted to the USB drive.




Restart your computer and leave the USB drive plugged in.

A menu will appear with an option to "Try LXLE". Select this option and press return.

Buying an LXLE USB Drive or DVD

If you don't have a blank USB drive then you either buy one from your local store or you can buy a USB drive with LXLE already installed to it.

Click here to buy an LXLE USB drive

How To Install LXLE


Hopefully you should have a screen similar to the one above.

Click on the icon in the top left corner with the caption "Install LXLE 14.04.1" (or 12.04.5 if 32-bit).

The first thing to do is choose your installation language.

Unless you feel like a challenge I would go for your native language. In my case English worked well as my grasp of Estonian is a little off kilter.

When you have selected your language click "Continue".


The next step is to choose whether to connect to the internet or not.

If you have a slow internet connection I would choose not to connect at this stage.

Click "Continue"



A list of pre-requisites will now appear.

You need to be connected to the internet, have 7.5 gigabytes of space and be connected to a power source.

Actually the only one of those you really absolutely need is to have 7.5 gigabytes of space.


Being connected to the internet makes it possible to download updates on the fly and a power source is only needed if you are using a desktop computer. I suppose strictly speaking a laptop needs some form of power source but it's battery suffices. 

Make sure you have enough battery to last until the installation is finished or plug your computer in. It takes about 20 minutes to install LXLE on an old netbook.

Note that there is a box that asks whether you want to install third party tools which enable you to play Flash videos and listen to MP3s. It is worth ticking this box.

Click "Continue".

Your next screen may appear to be slightly different to mine at this stage.

My computer had Peppermint 5 on it. Yours will either have Windows or the Linux distribution you are using on the device.




Basically there will be options to install alongside the current operating system, replace the current operating system with LXLE or something else.

Select the "Replace <current operating system> with LXLE" option.

You will notice that there are a couple of other options available.

Encrypting the LXLE partition is useful if you keep any sort of sensitive data on your computer and you are worried about the device being stolen. This is of course particularly useful if you are using a laptop or netbook which is more likely to go missing than a desktop computer.

I will be looking into the LVM option during a later tutorial but for reference purposes visit the following site.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_Volume_Manager_%28Linux%29

When you have selected the installation type click continue.

A summary screen will appear stating what is about to happen to your drive and the drive that is going to be used.

Click "Install Now".

Note: This is the point of no return, make sure you are happy to continue.


Almost there now. Just three more steps.

Choose your timezone by clicking on the map.

Click "Continue".




Now select your keyboard layout.

In the left pane choose the keyboard's language and in the right pane choose the number of keys and physical layout.

Click "Continue".



The final installation step is to create a default user.

Enter your name into the box provided and give your computer a name to identify it on a home network.

Choose a username and enter a password to be associated with the username. (Repeat it in the box provided).

You can now choose whether to allow your computer to login automatically or require a user to login. I would always recommend the latter.

There is another checkbox provided enabling you to choose to encrypt your home folder.

Click "Continue".


The files will now be copied to your computer and the system will be installed.

A message will appear when the installation is complete asking whether you want to restart the computer or continue testing LXLE.

Choose the "Restart your computer" option and when the computer begins to reboot remove the USB drive. (Don't remove the USB drive too early).

Summary

Your computer should now be running LXLE and if you have ever used Lubuntu you will begin to appreciate the advantages that LXLE brings to the table.

For those of you new to Linux altogether my next article is going to be a full review of LXLE.

Thankyou for reading.

Reader's Suggestion

I received this email with a suggestion for how to use the default users screen and how to add subsequent users and logins.
 
Very nice.

On the final installation step (Who Are You?) screen, I would recommend creating a "SysAdmin" account there rather than a single default "User Account".
After install completes, you can then login as SysAdmin to create one or more "User Accounts (via System Tools/Users and Groups)". At that same time, change each Account's default "Account type" (i.e. SysAdmin account to "Administrator" and each User Account Name to "Desktop user").

It will be important later to separate the more-privileged "SysAdmin" activities from the more-restricted daily "User Account" activities. Just something we need to do these days to help protect ourselves from bad things happening. That cautionary approach applies equally well to a Netbook, notebook, laptop or desktop PCs. 


I agree with your positive assessment of the LXLE distribution. I have installed on several different PCs with success on every attempt.

Thankyou Dennis K for this suggestion. 

About the Author

Gary Newell started the Everyday Linux User blog in 2010 and has written reviews on dozens of different Linux based operating systems. He has also written a number of tutorials.

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9 comments:

  1. I've used LXLE some lately and I found it very pleasant to use. It has many beautiful wallpaper choices at the click of a button, tons of software, and it allows for easy configuration changes that will keep just about anyone from getting bored with this OS for a long time. LXLE is user friendly and is the perfect choice for replacing the outdated Windows XP.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with ken also would like to use the same system that I could use on any computer with all my settings from usb with my user account from the installed one on laptop.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Simply introduced LXLE 32bit on an eeepc netbook for my companions fiance.The netbook windows-loader was borked conceivably because of an infection. I needed to utilize Unebootin as the Netbook had no disc/dvd drive. Along these lines, on the off chance that anybody is thinking about whether it meets expectations with iota processors - it does.

    Not as quick as on a tablet but rather it isn't slow either so the woman's cheerful.
    click here

    ReplyDelete
  4. I installed 14.04.4 on a laptop and cannot find the power options to keep the laptop on when the lid is closed. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Success (after one failed attempt)!! Because the computer (HP compaq nx6310) I was going to install the LXLE on was having it´s problems (being slooooow),
    I had the plan to make it easier and faster by downloading and making the booting USB-drive on another Windows XP laptop (not sure if necessary...doing this kind of a thing for the first time). What happened was that
    LEXL´s own site i googled was so slow it would have taken over one hour to download, so I downloaded the file from elsewhere google suggested and made the USB-drive as explained on this page.
    When booting the Compaq laptop on the USB-drive all seemed to go as it should at first, but at the last stage it informed me of error and could not go further. I panicked and shut down the laptop. Restarted it and only one line cursor blinking...nothing happening...completely stuck.
    At this point I deleted the contents in the USB stick, went back to LXLE´s page where I proceeded with another download try (less slow this time) + making the USB-drive stick all over again.
    After trying restarts on the Compaq and very quick F2´s or F8´s, F10´s and F12´s I did get to a menu in which I found the options >which drive to use 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. when booting<. I changed the order and VOILÁ, the new installing process started and was a success this time. The Compaq computer is running smoother now, the MozillaSeamonkey browser has a lot of add-ons installed now and there will be good use for it in the future. The LXLE seems quite nice at this first day of using it, though it´s logic of use differs from windows but not too difficult at all.

    ReplyDelete
  6. saved my old 512 MB RAM XP, it didn't run mint-xfce fast enough, but LXLE is doing better than xp has ever done (even in 2003 when I bought it)

    ReplyDelete
  7. At the how to install LXLE step. Not seeing that traffic screen, but different version (16.04.1), so perhaps that is why.
    Anyway, two different netbooks with the same issue. When I select install, it gives the following:

    no caching mode page found
    assuming drive cache: write through
    /init: line 3: can't open /dev/sdc: No medium found

    repeats the /init line over and over for about a minute and then says:

    BusyBox v1.22.1 (Ubuntu 1:1.22.0-15ubuntu1) built-in-shell (ash)
    Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

    (initramfs) Unable to find a medium containing a live file system


    Can anyone advise?

    ReplyDelete

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