I don't know much about Linux. I'm wondering what would be the ideal option for an an old XP laptop?
Depending on the hard drive, I'd either go with Bodhi, Linux mate or puppy.
If the hard drive is trashed, aka not working, puppy is great on older machines.
If the drive is a sata drive, and can be replaced, then you'd want to lean more towards linux mate, if your hardware can handle it's heavier weight requirements. IDE drives are hard to find, especially new and honestly, buying a IDE to sata converter for a laptop is not a great option, because of the limited space. I have used an IDE to Compact Flash adapter in the past, with decent results.
Best distro for all around general computing for beginners I think is Ubuntu Mate. Its fairly light weight too. I suggest using XanMod kernel to squeeze out extra performance and optimization https://xanmod.org
MATE is essentially heavily improved and optimized Gnome2.
If Mate DE is still too heavy....We can go even lighter...
Next on the lighter side I would try https://peppermintos.com which is using LXDE - Also install XanMod on this
LXDE (abbreviation for Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) is a free desktop environment with comparatively low resource requirements. This makes it especially suitable for use on older or resource-constrained personal computers such as netbooks or system on a chip computers.
if you still aren't happy with their performance we'll go even lighter for DE = Desktop Environment
And we'll base it on a much lighter Linux code base, Arch...Peppermint and Ubuntu Mate were based on Ubuntu which is based on Debian.
https://manjaro.org/download/openbox/ < Manjaro = Arch For Noobs + Stability + OpenBox
https://manjaro.org/download/architect/ < Build your own lightweight Manjaro/Arch installation.
- Linux Lite
- Tiny Core
- AntiX Linux
- Bodhi Linux
- Crunchbang ++
- Puppy Linux
- Trisquel Mini
- MX Linux
lubuntu or ubuntu mate - have a look and see which one you like.
I suggest using XanMod kernel to squeeze out extra performance and optimization https://xanmod.org
xanmod.org isn't resolving correctly
The creator of XanMod is Brazilian I think because whenever shit is popping off in Brazil he redirects his site to some Brazil news outlet.
So yea sometimes the domain goes down...All you need to do is visit google cache and get the two lines of text copy/pasted so you can install.
echo 'deb http://deb.xanmod.org releases main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xanmod-kernel.list && wget -qO - https://dl.xanmod.org/gpg.key | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt update && sudo apt install linux-xanmod