Old Linux on Space Desktops

As far as I can tell, the version of ubuntu on the desktops is old enough that (some of) the software repositories aren’t online for it any more (I can’t remember which version is installed - I can confirm this on Wednesday). If this is the case then we’ll need a newer version installed - I think the least controversial option would be the most recent ubuntu LTS version.

A less straight-forward choice is which desktop environment (de) to install (in ubuntu speak, which “flavour”). The reason I bring this up is that the default ubuntu desktop environment (gnome3?) is pretty alien to non-ubuntu users (and I say this as a long-term linux user!). If we put Xubuntu on instead (and so used the XFCE de) then it’s a lot closer to a typical de, albeit still some distance from win or mac. It also has the benefit of being very light weight.

In part I suppose it depends on who the desktop machines are for. However, my personal view is that win, mac, and non-gnome3-linux users will find gnome3 odd. What are other peoples thoughts? If it’s agreed that looking at different des is sensible, then are there any other contenders? Of course, it might just be me!

(I’m happy to install, or help install, whatever is chosen)

Adding @Adding @9600 @RoboGuy @Giles

I agree. I’d be happy with either Xubuntu or Mint. I put Mint 18 (Ubuntu 16.04 package base) with Mate de onto the 3D Printer PC last year, and use it at home. I chose Mint because it was easiest for me to use (general Windows user), and is mainstream enough to have lots of support. Does anyone have any objections to using that?

I’m not familiar with any versions of Linux. So, if that would be easiest for a “general Windows user”, it’s fine by me, @paul123 and @Freddie

Fine also with Xubuntu or Mint. The only machine with a particular purpose is the one attached to the 3D printer, whereas the others are for general use. That said, wouldn’t be a bad idea to have them all set up for use with Inkscape. Happy for whoever to reinstall etc. and take them under their wing!

Actually, maybe there’s only two of those Dell machines? I forget… Those to the right belong to @Giles and are being used with the mass spec. That bench could do with a bit of a physical tidy up too, to make it look a bit less of a rats nest of wires.

I’ve probably got another one of those Dell PCs at work I can donate (bought a bunch of them used all at the same time, some for areas of the workshop and some for the space).

Hiya, there is one non Dell PC there that should be running Windows XP, I would like to keep that as is. I have ordered a couple of extra more uptodate PC from the computer dude in Salem Mill.


Okay, sounds like putting mint (mate) onto the two dells running ubuntu is on the cards. Adding inkscape once they’re installed will be easy enough, if it’s not installed by default.

Regarding talk of extra PCs: is there room for more? Where would they go? The bench with current desktops on is pretty full now (and yes, a tidy would be sensible).

Am I right in thinking that Windows XP (at 15 years!) is older than some of the people that come along to the space?!

Hahaha :joy: The windoze XP can go it was a temporary stop gap, I baught it cheap on ebay but then it died I need to check it out. The other PC I have ordered are Windoze 7 Pro but they dont have to be there all the time, I just wanted to configure them for the two mass specs on that bench. The smaller mass spec can go as well either under a bench or in the other room no problem.

Planning on popping down to the space either later today or for tomorrow evening, I have some gas et cetera most likley tomorrow evening followed by the pub! :smile:

Good point and so I’ll hold off bringing that other one in for now. There’s a load of old carcases under the racking with the WiFi router on it that need sorting through also. These could at least be stored outside the space, maybe down the wall with the fire exit. More racking required…

Keen to keep the bench on the opposite side free for a vice and power tools etc. I think @Martin said he’d up for building some wide shelving under a section of it, for storing the sheet material (on top is just temporary and a waste of good workbench space).

So we’ve got the three Linux laptops all running Inkscape on Mint now. The old partitions have been shrunk to 20 GB so in the unlikely event there is some needed data on them, we can still access it. This means they are dual-booting. Mint is the default option, auto-selected after a few seconds.

A USB keyboard & mouse, and IEC mains cable might be needed for one of the machines, didn’t have time to find one last night.

Nice! Didn’t know we had any working laptops…

Oops - previous post should have said desktops, not laptops… I have brain-fade :blush:

1 Like