I would like to switch to Linux and have so far relied on Windows privately and also in my SME. Maybe you are at this point and have already thought about using Linux? In the first post of this series, we already discussed the advantages of Linux – there are quite a few. Now it should be about choosing the right device. Can the old laptop continue to be used or must a new device be purchased? In short, Linux often runs great on older devices and a new purchase is not necessary! Join me in my transition and let’s find out together which solution suits you best. Are you ready? Then let’s get started!

Before considering the hardware, what is actually important to me? I want to have full control over my data – it should not be able to be used unintentionally by third parties. After all, I want to focus on my work and not have to worry about who has access to my information. But I also need a reliable device for everyday life and family communication that is easy to use and works well on the go. I’m all about managing documents and photos, using home banking and other Internet applications, and team collaboration. My laptop is already a few years old and Windows runs rather ponderously. Actually, I also want a second one so my wife and I can work at the same time and hope to continue using the old one.

Advantages of Linux on older laptops

Linux offers many advantages for use on older laptops. Compared to other operating systems, it is more resource-efficient, faster and offers more privacy. There are even many so-called distributions (adapted Linux variants) that are optimized especially for older laptops. Ubuntu MATE and Linux MINT are among these distributions. They have been adapted so that the hardware requirements are low and they work well even on older devices – on which Windows is not an option, for example:

  • 1 GB RAM
  • CPU from 2006 or newer
  • 8GB hard disk space
  • Screen with 1024 x 768 resolution

Almost any of these distributions can be tested in advance on the laptop or desktop computer. For this purpose, for example, a USB stick can be prepared as a live Linux. Linux can then be started from the USB stick with all applications and tested. Theoretically, Linux could even be used as a portable operating system on several computers. With the USB stick you can work normally and you can test if the webcam works, the SD card reader, CD-ROM, etc. So you find out directly if your old computer works well with Linux.

Conclusion on further use

Linux runs even on older devices and makes them fit again for daily work. Because of the moderate demands on the device, be it laptop or PC, Linux feels really fast on newer computers. A live CD can be used to test in advance whether everything works and then start the installation. However, sometimes graphics cards cause problems or there are other reasons to buy a new laptop.

Everything worked fine for me and I can use my laptop with Linux from now on – better said, my wife uses the “old” device now. I would like a secondary device so that we can work in the family at the same time. In the next article, I’ll give an overview of what to look for when making a purchase.