Reviving an old Inspiron Mini with Lubuntu

I have an old Dell Inspiron Mini 1210 in a cupboard. The performances of the Atom based laptop or netbook have always been really dispointing even with Windows XP. To be precise the performances were OK but when I added an antivirus on top it was too much for this poor fellow.

So I started a quest to find a replacement OS. I’ve tried for a few months Ubuntu but performances were again too poor. Ubuntu is in a race with the latest OS like Windows and MacOS and its unity UI was too heavy.

I just found something interesting in Lubuntu. It is a Ubuntu with a LXDE desktop environment (Light Weight X11 Desktop Environment).

It has been a little tricky to install as when you install Lubuntu from a USB key you get a dark screen because of the GMA500 video card which came along many netbooks.

I had to plug a VGA cable to an external display to get something on half the screen of my Inspiron.

Then the WiFi didn’t work as I needed to download the right proprietary driver from the Internet. So I plugged an Ethernet cable to the netbook. Once the additional pilot and all the updates have been downloaded I had to fix the resolution.

Here it becomes tricky as I needed to enter commands in a terminal window to be able to edit the GRUB file.(I hate this!)

And change the parameters as follow:

Then I needed to come back again to the console and update the configuration with

At the end, I got the following message :

After a reboot, I got a nearly brand new laptop :

Dell Mini 1210 running Lubuntu

The performances are acceptable and it’s a nice desktop environment if not the classiest.


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