Q: using LinuxMint LiveDVD on older laptop

I’m thinking of getting a cheap/free older laptop to use only as a dedicated word-processor.

If the laptop has a DVD drive and a USB port, can I boot using a Linux Mint LiveDVD, create files with LibreOffice Writer [included on Mint LiveDVD], then save the LO Writer files to the USB drive?

Related Q:
For use on an older laptop, would it be safer to get the 32-bit version of Linux Mint, in case the laptop doesn’t have a 64-bit CPU? I assume there’s no difference between LibreOffice included on the 32-bit vs 64-bit Mint LiveDVD.

That can work but wouldn’t be the way I go. You should be able to figure out the processor if its still got any OS on it (or even looking up model numbers from the case.)

If you can boot from USB that’s likely the better performance option. Also the default desktop environment might be a touch heavy depending on hardware. There’s Mint variants with lower overhead desktop environments. There’s also some distros set up for older/slower systems to maximize speed. Since you are only talking about using it for word processing you might want a distro that’s lighter. Check out distrowatch under “netbook” or “old computers”

I just went through a cycle of picking a distro for an old pentium 4 system my parents use. Yumi - multiboot usb creator was awesome for installing multiple distros to USB from WIN10 while I tested different environment and distro combinations.

DinoR handled it all but just wanted to re-iterate this. Assuming the laptop isn’t so old it can’t boot from USB this will be much faster.

Understanding that Linux isn’t for everyone, something that I’ve had a lot of luck with lately is CloudReady, which allows you to convert a laptop (or desktop) into a Chromebook. Even if your laptop isn’t on the Certified Model list, if it’s not too old (made after 2007) and of modest specs, you can still run it. It can either just run from a USB boot drive, or you can install it on the hard drive.

OP here–thx for info, but I’m still not clear:

If I use a Mint [or other distro] LiveDVD or Live/boot USB, I ***can ***save files created with LibreOffice Writer to a USB drive?

Yes you should be able to. A better question is why not install the Linux to the hard drive if there is one? Or install the Linux to a USB drive and store the files there as well? Gives you your entire system on a portable drive you can run on most any PC you can boot. In this case I’d go with a lighter weight Linux distro. I try to avoid running from live CD’s / DVD’s since they boot much slower and are not as readily updated or customized.

I keep trying with Linux, despite its distros for home use being hopelessly amateurish crap*, and went back to WinXP yesterday because once I managed to install the driver for my USB wi-fi dongle it worked poorly, with little or no reception when ten feet from the hub. Research showed that to be a common complaint. But any OS aimed at a general market that makes you modify the MAKE file and compile the driver–and Ubuntu as used by Mint is supposed to be for us common folk–rather than having a general Ubuntu installation program is not ready for prime time. If Windows is acting stupid it’s easier to just re-install it.

    • Whadya want for nothing, rubber bisquit?

I have done this with several old laptops, albeit by installing a lightweight distro on a small HD (6-10 GB). I recommend the LXLE distro, which was put together for exactly this purpose and seems to serve quite well. Depending how old you mean by old, you will probably have to go with the 32-bit distro, but in any case unless the laptop has more than 2 GB of memory there’s little point in using a 64-bit distro.

My experience with Ubuntu since 14.04 has been the opposite. I put Ubuntu on my mother’s laptop (who is as far from a savvy user as you can imagine) and she has no problems with it. The only thing that keeps me from recommending it to everybody is that it still doesn’t run iTunes (and most Windows games, of course).

Your mom, an un-savvy user who only wants a pre-setup computer to surf and post on Facebook, doesn’t have to worry about getting a wi-fi dongle operating on it and would have freaked if she was told she had to edit the make file. If I didn’t have another computer to search for why the driver didn’t work even though it compiled, and THEN figure out a solution based on one for a different problem, I’d’ve been in deep shit. Even worse if I were less pissed off and not willing to devote hours to fixing it just to show it who’s boss. Even then, my signal strength hovered in the low single digits which, as I mentioned above, turns out to be a common problem with this product and Linux.

I will modify “amateurish.” Linux is fine for turnkey systems like your mom’s and for professional systems, like server farms, where people are paid to do the least interesting, but most vital, crap from the ground up. IMHO, where it falls down is with people like me, people who want more than turnkey but are sick of having to work to get more than that. I’ve been doing this for 35 years and after your eighth operating system learning a new one stops being fun. Plug and Play is a good thing, having a generic Ubuntu installer is good, and Linux will never be ready for prime time until it enters the 1990s.

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I’ve put Linux (mostly Ubuntu but occasionally Mint) on lots of laptops and PCs, including some that I’ve built myself. I haven’t found it much different from Windows or OSX in the last few years (caveat: the most recent Windows I’ve installed is Win 7).

And I’ve been using XP for so damn long that I don’t notice its flaws. :slight_smile:

Heh, I hear you. I’m still running XP on my gaming machine. I need to update it if I’m ever going to play Fallout 4.