As most of you know, I am running POP OS 21.04 on my main gaming machine. However, I did tell you guys that if I were to use Zorin OS 16, I would purchase the PRO version, cause it supports the dev's, and it gives me extra goodies.
Yes, I know a lot of stuff is dirty in my room, I don't operate in a CDC testing laboratory, no clean rooms here. lol - This computer is old guys, and thats what makes this so interesting to me.
Intel Pentium Dual-Core P6200 / 2.13 GHz CPU.
Came with 4GB of DDR3 1066 RAM - Upgraded To 8GB.
Came with a mechanical 320GB 5400 RPM drive, it now has a Samsung 850 PRO 512GB SSD drive.
Intel HD Graphics <<<--- A Challenge, I accept!
Acer InviLink Nplify WIFI adapter.
10/100 ethernet port.
Its got a tiny 65W power brick, and it gets hot as heck!
If you guessed it, yes, were going to be installing Zorin OS 16 PRO to this old dual core machine, and see if it croaks, for science! Connected to it is a 128GB Vectotech SSD drive. Lets begin!
I aint gonna lie, it took quite a few minutes to load up on that drive, cause its over a USB 2.0 port. I know, how scandalice, connecting a wicked fast SSD drive to a 2.0 port, there auda be a law against it!
Left or right? Does it make you think of the RED or BLUE pill in the Matrix? It was my first thought! Lets go with the RED pill, install, and see how deep this rabbit hole goes.
Because this is an older dual core machine, the installation process took a long time. But it reminded me of the days on how long it took to install Windows XP on a early 2000's computer. But this is not Windows folks, this is Linux.
Now, take the breaks off, cause we don't break for nobody. Activate ludicriss speed, and hit that restart button!
There it is, I am being welcomed by the Zorin team, and yes, that looks like a tablet on a stand to me, ohhhhh, those Zorin's and their fancy technical doodads and doohickies.
So what is the first thing that I notice? The trackpad is completely useless, screw it. Where is a simple mouse I can quickly plug into this thing. Oh here's one, a cheapo 10 dollar mouse with no side buttons, plug it in, plug it in.
OK, so I have a working mouse, but what in the actual heck, my cursor keeps leaping across the screen, why is it doing that? OK, we have our first issue guys. And I had to disable the trackpad cause I felt like that was making it worse.
Is it the mouse, should I try another mouse? Or do you guys have some info on how to fix a mouse cursor suddenly leaping across to the other side of the screen without me causing that. Yes, I have natural scrolling disabled, and I have mouse acceleration disabled.
Of course, cause this is such a low DPI mouse, I gotta have the sensitivity put all the way up, since I got acceleration off. Don't know whats causing it or how to fix it, maybe you guys know?
I am literally giving this machine its best chance at Zorin OS. I am running a hard drive that is far newer and better then the machine came with, an SSD, which means ULTIMATE POWER in speed! HAHA YES! And 8GB of RAM, far beyond Zorin's requirements, and totally maxed out to its abilities of accepting RAM.
So how is it running? Its most certainly running slower then on modern machines, no doubt there, but there is much more testing to be done guys! But I fear, if I don't get this jumping/leaping mouse cursor issue solved, I just don't have the drive to test further.
I've run it long enough to customize some of the settings and appearance. And this is where I am at now...
So can you guys help me out with the mouse cursor deal?
EDIT: The science was adding up, so I decided to try another mouse. I got a Logitech MX Master 3, AKA a very productive and expensive wireless mouse. And you know what that means folks, its time to play with our dongles. Plug in your Logi's!
Begin the merchandising production, we got work to do my little minions. Ahhh dang it, Fred burned himself with the flame thrower again, you just can't get good help these days.
RAM 7.5GB out of 8GB, darn you mysterious system reserve!
I tell you what, I've never heard of a Pentium R P6200 CPU before, its one of those super value nobody gives a crud about ones. Ironlake, any relation to Iron man? Did he make this CPU?
ZORIN OS BABY YEAH!
Believe it or not guys, performance on this machine has not been terrible, provided you have an SSD. If you still got a 5400 RPM mechanical drive, performance will suffer greatly. But the mechanical HD was failing in this computer long ago, so it had to well, go. And so it did, with Samsung at the rescue, dont' worry poor computer, SSD will save you.
I have been further setting this computer up, and installing apps. I gotta tell ya, typing on this notebook computer is no picnic, you got to press these keys down hard and true, or they refuse to register. I'd take my MSI Steel Series mechanical keyboard in my notebook over this anyday! But this project is about testing, and so test we shall!
Lets see what we are dealing with and get some CPU info from CPU-X.
OK, so this CPU was made on the 32NM process, a real farcry from 14NM process that 10th gen CPU's are built on. 2.1GZ is not a bad operating frequency for a dual core though. Only 2-threads ha, explains a lot too. So now you know what were dealing with here, which can help explain any speed issues that I run into while using this computer.
All these screenshots are taken at this notebooks itty bitty screen resolution, which was common for notebooks of this ara. Manufacturers back in those days, were not interested in providing 1080P displays in value machines, and 4K was way far off! Lets now have a look at resource use with Firefox open.
As you can see, beings this is an older computer, more CPU is being used while sitting at idle, with Firefox open. 4% CPU usage, which I admit isn't a ton, but is going to add a bit to the overall heat index generated. Zorin OS 16 PRO with Gome, is using 2.9GB of RAM out of my 8GB. With a few extra apps installed since OS installation, I am just about at 20GB of usage on my 512GB SSD drive.
Zorin OS 16 PRO is using the 5.11 kernel I see, which is good, a good modern kernal will be able to help you interface with more modern hardware. Its most certainly not needed for this old machine, but is required for new computers these days, so thats a major plus in my book!
While I was searching through the OS, I did discover that Zorin no longer packages a ton of games with the OS as they used to in previous OS versions. I knew about this before hand however, because I frequent the forum. Zorin did provide a few simple games that you would also find on Windows however, games like Solitaire, and Minds,
We gamers get most of our games from Steam anyways, so it really doesn't matter. And if we want any games provided by the community, like Super Tux Kart, we can get that from the REPO so no big deal. Lets have a look at thermals!
Oh my, look how short that list is, only 2-cores! And no discreet GPU! The computer is idling at the time this screenshot was taken, were running 45C on both cores on Zorin OS 16 PRO. The Samsung SSD drive is remaining extremely cool at 27C. This is impressive to me!
The reason I say that, is the Western Digital M.2 NVME 1TB SSD drive that is in my MSI computer idles at 40C, and can easily thermal up to 60C when under heavy loads, like gaming for example. You know the general rule when it comes to electronics folks, the lower the temperature, the longer it lasts.
In testing this computer with this OS, I needed to load up GIMP to see how this machine handled photo editing, well, in this case screenshots. I used GIMP to crop the screenshots, do a little sharpening up and all that. I was surprised how well GIMP was running on this OS with only 2-cores 2-threads, and integrated Intel GPU.
So my view is, if all your going to be doing is light photo editing, Zorin OS 16 has got you covered with old machines like this. Kdenlive is pretty much going to push this computer to the limit. With only 2-CPU cores, 2-threads, and integrated GPU, you'll be lucky to move 1080P footage through the timeline, and the rendering time would be atrociously bad!
This computer came out pretty much when we were still a bit in the 720P ara, so I recommend if you do anything video editing with this machine on Zorin OS, you should stick to 720P. And if it were not already obvious by viewing the system specs, no, your not gaming with old Intel HD graphics!
Because this is for science, were going to push it anyways. Testing Youtube video streaming, in 1080P, over WIFI N connection! Well, I gotta say I am impressed. It did take several seconds longer to load into the Youtube home page, and it takes a few seconds longer to load Youtube video's.
But IMO, Zorin OS 16 performance is nothing short of stellar on such an old machine, that it actually allows me to stream that footage without stutters, lags, or buffers. It just works. General internet surfing you can expect the same performance. So if you have a machine with at least these SPECS, your machine should be able to handle it.
I've had a couple of strange issues that I don't remember having on POP OS though. Zorin OS 16 uses Gnome shell 3.38, which is the same version that POP OS 21.04 uses. However, I tried to install several Gnome extensions through the browser integration, and I was getting errors, the extensions were not able to run after installation. I never had this issue on POP OS, so not sure what is going on there.
The reason I was trying to install extensions, is because I wasn't able to adjust my screen brightness, either by the notebooks function control on the hardware level, or Zorin OS on the software level. The screen is just too bright at full brightness, so I went searching on Zorin OS, found the post from Kedric, and found Aravisians solution.
This works perfectly! I wanted to make sure that Aravisian got my appreciation in this, cause if it were not for his post, I don't know if I would have found a working solution otherwise. Got the brightness turned down to 3/4, which was all that I needed to make the screen viewable and not overbearing on the eyes.
The screen is not super sharp clear cause its older tech, but its fairly sharp for what it is. What really hurts the screen, is it suffers from major viewing angle. If you've ever used old TFT panels from back in the day, you will know what I am talking about. Gotta have that screen positioned at the perfect angle, otherwise, we fade into grayscale, noooooooooo!
Alright, lets have a look at our CPU BLOWFISH score, and I will provide my final words.
Oh boy, were so low on the list its laughable! But we beat out a Phenom quad core, if that means anything. I don't think Phenom quad cores were any good, so thats not really saying a lot, that a dual core is beating it lol. So what is my final verdict?
I've been telling people that they can't really run Zorin OS on a dual core machine, since reports came in, that other's were having issues. I am happy to admit that I was wrong, but there is a caviet to that. What I have proven today, is if all your doing is website surfing, light video streaming, light photo editing, super light video editing, dual cores like this can handle it.
However, its important to mention, if your one of those folks trying to get Zorin OS to run on only 1GB to 2GB of RAM, that is just not going to happen. Your going to want to have at least 4GB of RAM installed, and preferably 8GB of RAM if you can manage it. If your computer gets a CPU BLOWFISH score in HARD INFO like mine above, Zorin OS 16 is a go!
I got to admit, this was a really fun experience. I am happy to report that I have been able to run Zorin OS 16 PRO on this old machine. I have not had a single crash yet, and the only weird thing I encountered was the inability to adjust brightness via OS controls or notebook controls, nor able to install and run those extensions. But Aravisians solution worked for me.
I got to do some science in testing this OS on a old machine, plus, Zorin OS brought life back into this machine. Zorin saved this machine from going to E-waste. As most certainly nobody would be willing to buy this computer for no more then 30-bucks, so wouldn't have been worth it to try and sell anyways. The cost to ship the notebook would be at least 50-bucks alone!
Also, as I continue to mess around with Zorin OS, enjoy all the pretty graphics, the delicious Jelly Mode, I am thinking now that this computer has been saved, I think I will make this be my new workshop computer. Its such an old machine, what do I care if I get oil on it and dirt? lol
I hope this has been an entertaining adventure for you guys checking out this post, as it was for me to writing it. I'd like to thank you all for your time, I think you are all positively stellar! And lastly, the question you all want to know, as a POP OS 21.04 user, do I like Zorin OS 16 PRO? The answer is most positively YES.
Glad to see you are enjoying the latest version. I have now come to the point that I can't see the point of including a Windows 11 Menu which to all intents and purposes is just basically a Mac Grid that has been put in a box! Personally I have found Devuan 3.1.1 xfce really fast on an old Dell Latitude E6500 with existing 2 Gb RAM and original spin drive of 250 Gb.
Good to see you here SWARF! I been missing you dude. Each time I see you though, your usually trying out a different distro hehe. I am glad to hear that you are enjoying Devuan, which apparently is an XFCE build, cool. Yeah, I figured trying out Zorin OS 16 on this old computer would bring life back into it again.
Thats one of the great things about Linux, it often supports older computers, doesn't require the latest tech like Windows does. As far as the layouts in OS 16, I am using the first one right now cause it looks good. I am curious, if you don't mind me asking, what is the biggest purpose you use your Linux machine for?
Well since working from Home from 20.03.2020 until 31st August 2021 - work! To receive communications from work I had to use the godawful Outlook365 (can't understand why some distros still use Geary which is like godawful Outlook365!) which has no bell when new email arrives - so I forked out for a second 27" monitor as when modifying documents you need to see the original and have a text processor open to create the amended version. Subsequently one day I had missed an email that neede urgent attention - 3 hours later I saw it! Then I installed Evolution and everything was hunky dory - I managed to even work out the Outlook365 myself settings.
Fortunately, 4-5 months before lockdown I purchase a 5 computer licence of SoftMaker Office (runs on Windows, Mac and Linux) and more compatible with Word 2019 than LibreOffice. In March this year I bought a Commercial Linux version of pdf Studio Pro 2020 (recently upgraded to 2021 edition) which I needed to modify an AS Physics Paper for a student who needed it in Arial 18 font - the pdf Studio Pro was brilliant for this, as was GIMP and Inkscape for editing the diagrams. Then disaster struck - my hard drive began to fail and ended up with a corrupt modified pdf - this was soon solved though once new hard drive arrived and fresh install of latest Devuan 3.1.1. I used 'pdftk' command line tool to 'repair' and named it 'fixed pdf'. I then used Okular to extract all the text into pdf Studio Pro and then opened the fixed.pdf in LibreOffice Draw - this was so I could extract all the diagrams I had modified in Inkscape without having to start from scratch - I just managed to complete the exam paper by the deadline needed! Phew!
For games it is great now that you can access old interactive story games using ScummVM to run 'Beneath a Steel Sky', and 'Flight of the Amazon Queen'. I don't use Steam and don't use any Wine apps - I prefer to keep a secure OS. I do intend to get some old Windows Machines up and running to play things like Grand Touring, Formula 1 2000, Ultimate Race Pro and Megarace2 (Loved the compare guy who played the characer 'Lance Boyle'!:
Never realised there was Megarace 3 - until now!
Oh and the Wing Commander Series - got 1 on Amiga and Amiga CD32, and the rest for PC! LOL!
Forgot to mention that the last week of term I managed to use Remmina remote desktop to access my workplace Windows desktop to upload to Office365 - all you do is point Remmina to the .rdp file and this meant only ever having to login once - not three times as I had to do when using Windows 8.1 Pro and Edge! (Had to install Windows 8.1 Pro in Qemu because of the work request inbox not accessible via Evolution.
WOW, I mean seriously, wow! Not only have I realized just how ingenuitive you truly are at excellent levels of problem solving, but you know Linux far better then I do! lol - I am really happy to hear that your computer was able to keep you functioning during the pandemic when you had to work from home, well, up until the drive decided to take a deep dive to Davy Jones Locker.
But thats one of the ways I say you are smarter then I about Linux, and how ingenuitive you are, is cause you found a way to save the data, run a repair operation to fix the files. And now your computer is back at being the awesome machine that it is, with the new drive in there, and working awesomely.
I also think its cool how you were like, so you all require me to have this piece of junk software for communication. Well, I am going to find better software to do the same thing, and your all gonna like it. HEHE - Yeah, I was never a fan of Outlook either, its a very narrow minded software, couldn't be more linearly stupid then it is.
You know what I think SWARF? I think you need to write a guide on how to do all this stuff, I think people here could find it useful. Telling people about your experience and how to do stuff, is most certainly appreciated. And remember, if nothing else, at the end of the day, I appreciate you. Have a stellar day!
Hey guys, check this out. I am watching a video on Youtube, and I am streaming it only in 720P. I decided to load up Psensor to see what where my temps were, and thats when I discovered something more interesting...
Having the latest and greatest may not be all that great. There will be many bugs that must be ironed out. That's why zorin is based on the lts version of the kernel, and only in 5.11. There may be some mouth watering features coming, but it will be some time before they are ready for the stable branch.
Could you imagine a distro that constantly broke? It would be no better than windows! I'm glad there is a part of the Linux community that continues moving forward... what sets Linux apart though are all the people in the community that are constantly working to make it stable and compatible. Without them it would be no better than windows... or worse.
Which is exactly why I am glad that distro's like Zorin OS and POP OS, don't immediately jump onto the latest new thing. The truth is, the 5.11 kernel supports all modern computers sold last year and this year. And at the end of the day, that is all that matters.
Now as far as next year's computers, well, who knows, but I have a feeling the 5.11 kernel might support them too. Its always a good idea to wait till a kernel gets all the bugs out and make sure its polished, then one can update the kernel, as long as it doesn't break the system.
Windows 11 is not the only upcoming major premiere in the operating system market. A week after the release of the new Microsoft system on Canonical servers there will be an Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri download. This Linux-based system, like Windows 11, is currently in the public beta test phase. And although it should be emphasized that in both cases we are dealing with unfinished works, there is so little time until the premiere that nothing will fundamentally change in them.
And you wonder why some people get confused with this stuff on Linux? I mean honestly....
OK, I really was confused, I supposed it was a brain freeze, its easy to get lost in the numbers if your brain is not 100% with it. I was wrong, both numbers clearly match up.
Additionally, I must have hit APPLY afterall, as my package locks are still engaged on the 5.13 kernel. Stay away from my Zorin OS installation you 5.13 kernel, don't you dare break my OS, or I swear to God, I will fragmatise your megabytes into the ether.
I see kernel 5.13 there. Truth is, my POP OS installation updated the kernel to 5.13, I have a Nvidia GPU, and its running perfectly. Aravisian said that some people don't have issues with it, while some others do.
But I didn't want my Zorin installation to update to 5.13, so I got locks on it ahead of time. Like I've said before, the machine that has Zorin on it is old, there is absolutely no possible need whatsoever, for it to need the 5.13 kernel.