What is the best netbook operating system for performance for a HP Mini 210?

Tina April 26, 2011
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I have a HP Mini 210 running Windows 7 and the performance is killing me.

I’m looking for a fast operating system that will support the HP Mini hardware without too much tweaking.

While I almost only use a browser on this device, I don’t want to go with a cloud-based operating system. I do want to learn a little more about Linux and keep my options open. Thus I find ChromeOS and Jolicloud are too restrictive.

I’m a Linux newbie and don’t want to spend hours, for example just to get the WiFi working. So I’m unsure which Linux edition to try. I hear that Ubuntu Netbook Edition and Linux Mint are great for performance. Any experience whether they work with this netbook or how can I find out beforehand? Should I look into any other operating systems?

  1. Danny Stieben
    May 1, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Well, it seems that each distro has its own strength. All of the above suggestions are fine; here's just my list.

    Performance and ease-of-use: Ubuntu/Mint
    Better hardware support: Fedora (still pretty fast) / OpenSuse (slow in my experience)

    Those are the pros when installing on a netbook. If it were a desktop, I might have the distros under different categories.

  2. Sonny Bass
    April 30, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Please try several before even considering installing one.YUMI http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/ can load several on one USB drive with a nice boot menu.
    http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ will only put one per drive, but works well also.

    • Tina
      April 30, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      I will do that. Thank you for YUMI!

      • Sonny Bass
        June 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm

        Hi, I thought you would find this interesting. http://www.muktware.com/man/1284
        I tried it with a 16 Gb usb and it works great. After first boot from it I edited the boot menu for 0 time out. I have booted it on 5 different machines. I gave mine 1.25 Gb of swap space

  3. Sonny Bass
    April 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I was curious how your search is going.

    • Tina
      April 30, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      I haven't tried installing any distro, yet. No time plus I need the netbook in a 100% functional state right now.

      However, I will probably go mainstream first and try Ubuntu. Although I should probably first try a Live USB distro and see about the drivers. Guess I have to give it a little more thought.

  4. Anonymous
    April 27, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Build your own Linux from your browser in just a few clicks!

    VectorLinux Light
    VectorLinux Light's download is over 600 MB, larger than any of the other recommendations here and five times the size of the most recent version of Puppy Linux.

    A comparative assessment claims that VectorLinux Light is faster than other lightweight distros, including Puppy Linux.

    Spoilt for choice – spoiled choice: Finding the right Linux distribution for my old laptop


    the biggest advantage of AntiX is the fact that it is Debian-based, so it has easy access to the largest wealth of software packages.

    New AntiX distro makes older hardware usable

    antiX Mepis 7.5 'Toussaint Louverture'

  5. Susendeep dutta
    April 27, 2011 at 5:24 am

    If you want no hassle with dealing with driver issues and connecting to internet then you must use windows XP SP3 as it is still supported from Microsoft and has good support for software and drivers.Since you prefer only browsing,XP will be the best option for you.It has 1GB DDR2 grade which is good for speed using XP.

    I have used linux Mint and I have never been successful in connecting to internet.I have asked a solution in MUO in reply to which I had got only a temporary fix.


    • Tina
      April 27, 2011 at 5:59 am

      I definitely don't want to downgrade to an old operating system, so that's not an option. I would rather fiddle with Linux and end up using something like Jolicloud, which I know works on that netbook. Thank you for your recommendation, though! :)

      • Mike
        April 27, 2011 at 6:17 am

        Of course you could settle for the first distro that's working [without spending too much time in the Terminal] like most Ubuntu users do.

        I think the beauty of Linux is that you have multiple choices and in case you are not satisfied with any of them you can always install the core system (Debian, Slackware, ...) and built your own from scratch.


  6. Ergys Ura
    April 27, 2011 at 12:13 am

    you could go for ubuntu 10.10 netbook edition as it requires less linux knowledge and more user friendly.plus the installation and setting up is quite simple.requires less ram and cpu power than other larger OS systems.

  7. Mike
    April 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    That's a tough spot - both WiFi and track pads are critical on Linux.

    In general I would say any distro using Xfce or LXDE as desktop environment is low on resources and (should) have decent performance on Netbooks.

    Personally I'm not a fan of UNE - it feels kind of like MeeGo, Jolicloud or Chrome OS just without the cloud.

    possible options:
    Lubuntu http://lubuntu.net/
    TinyMe http://tinymelinux.com/
    Absolute Linux http://www.absolutelinux.org
    Linpus http://www.linpus.com
    Damn Small Linux http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/
    Puppy Linux http://puppylinux.org/
    Tiny Core Linux http://distro.ibiblio.org/tinycorelinux/
    CrunchBang http://crunchbanglinux.org (different approach to user interface)
    Kuki Linux http://www.kuki.me/ (tweaked for Acer Aspire One)

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