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Discussion on: Tips for Programming with a low end PC.

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fernandomaia profile image
Fernando Maia

Nowadays, most distros usually installs everything out-of-the-box for their users, which is ok in most cases, but this comes with a cost: some of this stuff isn't necessary for your use. It basically install what it thinks might be useful for their userbase.

Arch is somewhat different: it's pure. It doesn't come bloated with unnecessary software, or even a Desktop Manager. It gives you the option to choose what you wanna use. And that's where the idea of Arch being available only for hard users comes from. It's installation might not be as easy as an Ubuntu installation but it's still a Linux distro after all.
They have probably the best wiki available with detailed explanations on multiple subjects, which saved me many times, that has a complete Installation guide which covers probably everything regarding this topic.

The description provided by Matthieu is my current setup for a while now, and I'm pretty happy with it. It's entirely optional, since my PC specs are pretty decent (Intel i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) for a 2015 Dell laptop, but it's my go-to setup.

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adeleke5140 profile image
Kehinde Adeleke

Thanks for the explanation. I'm currently using Xubuntu with XFCE on a old 2015 Hp laptop. I've got only 2GB of ram and an old i3-4005U processor. A few tabs in Firefox developer's edition freezes everything and it's a real pain.

What would you advice? I've heard of stuff like openbox and i3, but don't really know if they'd run smoothly on my old pc.

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fernandomaia profile image
Fernando Maia

I'm a little bit biased on this, because I've never used openbox before, and I've been using i3 for quite some time, so I'd probably suggest i3 here.

I must say that even though it's a better option for your situation, the browser you'll be using is still the same, and browsers loves some RAM, so you might be able to open more tabs, but don't expect much or you'll get disappointed.

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adeleke5140 profile image
Kehinde Adeleke

Thank you. I just installed Regolith that comes packaged with i3-gaps and it's been okay-ish

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phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude

Only okay-ish? What don't you like?

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adeleke5140 profile image
Kehinde Adeleke

Lol, Regolith is quite good. It's based off Ubuntu and it's not difficult to understand for a noob. I especially love the workspaces and keyboard-centered navigation.

The okay-ish part is just how complex it is to customise. I saw a lot of rices on reddit and wanted copy it but I've been stuck for 2days trying to install Polybar. I'd go to github and read the docs but it's either I don't get it or I get errors. That's why it's been okay-ish

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phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude

Thanks! It's difficult to jump directly in this kind of customization, and sometimes it's not very well explained for beginners. You can check my article on i3. I'm not using polybar, but maybe it can help.

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adeleke5140 profile image