What should I know before installing Linux on an old Dell OptiPlex G270 and which virus scanner do you recommend?

Joseph Videtto December 21, 2012
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What tips can you share before I try to install Linux on a really old Dell OptiPlex G270, and what virus scanner is best on Linux?

I’ve never installed Linux ever, but want to try and salvage some old machines available to me for Internet Web Browsing and editing docs with open office. What particular Linux version would have the best chance of having all the legacy drivers I will need, and what are some tips you could give before I start?

What are the chance I will not have all the drivers necessary to install on this old machine?

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  1. Adriel Tan
    January 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    How old is old? For machines made about 10 years ago, Puppy Linux is my ideal choice as it is fast and not to hard to use. For machines that are made in the past 6-7 years ago, I prefer Linux mint as it is very easy to use though it requires more power.

    Drivers wise, most of the time you should not need to install drivers (especially for legacy hardware).

    If it is old hardware, I personally do not like running anti-virus scanners as it slows down the computer. Linux does not have to many viruses anyway, so as long as you play safe when you browse the web, you should be OK.

  2. Eugen Jinga
    January 9, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    install linux mint 13 mate,antivirus clamwin is easy to use,use the default specifications,good chance to succeed

  3. Vivek Yadav
    January 7, 2013 at 9:02 am

    ill suggest you to learn basic commands, which u can gen from any of the 100's of sites...and viruses u dnt have to worry abt...

  4. Dragonmouth
    January 3, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    The gentleman asked for Linux distro suggestions. Virtual Box is not an O/S, it is an application. It requires an O/S to be installed before you can even download it, let alone run it.

  5. Dragonmouth
    January 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    I am currently running the latest version of SimplyMEPIS Linux on my OptiPlex G270. Puppy, Bodhi, Zorin will also run well on that PC.

    You can use ClamAV anti-virus with most Linux distributions. It is probably the most popular one. If you are familiar with AVG for Windows, they also have a version for Linux. However, viruses are not much of a concern when using Linux.

    In spite of what many people say, you should have no problems installing Linux. Most distributions have well documented graphic installers. If you are going to use the G270 as a dedicated Linux box, just use the suggested default answers during the install. The install program will ask you your time zone, which drive to install to and if you want to use the entire drive, user name and password you want to use, and maybe the root password. Then it will start installing everything that an average uses could need.. When the install is finished, you will be asked to re-boot the PC. Once you sign on with your user ID, all that is left to do is to configure the System Settings to your specs.

  6. Vishal Srivastava
    December 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Here is what I'll recommend-
    1) Download Virtual Box and any Linux distribution you like. Read MUO Guide to Virtual Box and set up your Linux distribution in it.
    2) If you like it, make a DVD or CD of your OS. Restart your laptop/desktop and insert the CD/DVD in your DVD/CD drive. Go to boot menu and make sure your CD/DVD drive has the highest priority.
    3) (I have tried this for Kubuntu only.) Once loaded, the installer will take you through the installation process with simple steps such as configuring your keyboard and time to setting your username/password and partitioning the disk.
    4) If in case you don't like the disto, choose another one. All you have to do is make the 700 MiB odd download and you'll be running a completely new OS. There are so many 'flavors' of Linux that at least 1 is bound to meet your needs. If you still can't find what you need, go to slax website (use google to search it first) and build your own OS.
    5) As far as the drivers come, most drivers will either be supported right off the start from your distro (if they are popular) or else you can download some packages to make it compatible. You can always ask help in forums around the Internet, including this for a specific driver.
    6) Finally, for the Anti Virus, I will leave you with a google search- http://tinyurl.com/c3hnd4r. Choose whatever you think is best for you.

  7. Atman Shah
    December 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Well use virtual box because you can uninstall after you want to..

  8. ha14
    December 22, 2012 at 8:55 am

    How To Install linux on Dell Optiplex GX270
    http://www.ioi.knaw.nl/~heimel/computers/HowToLinuxOptiplexGX270.html

  9. Rajaa Chowdhury
    December 22, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Look into Joli OS, cloud based and very similar to Chrome OS but I personally think it is much better than Chrome OS. They give access to Office Web Apps (Free) for all MS Office work. Checkout : http://www.jolicloud.com/jolios

  10. Sonny Bass
    December 22, 2012 at 12:20 am

    On an old machine my personal favorites are Puppy lupu 5.2.8.005 or linux Mint13 xfce. Either of those will run fine on 320MB of ram. Just be sure to create a swapfile equal to the amount of ram you have.Puppy I have ran with only 128MB ram with a 256MB swapfile. The only drivers I have had to work to find are occasional wireless devices

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