Today I have started setting up three of my computers with Lubuntu. This might be increased to four in future, or else maybe the fourth one will run Mint, or be left on Windows 7 – it is mainly used for media playback.

I have chosen to use Lubuntu because I have several old, slow computers that I use for work purposes and they don’t need to be too swish. Much of the time they are talking to servers and with remote desktop sessions that can be used to get work done in where apps don’t run on Windows, they are ideal for technical administration while making the computer usable with low resources. 
The two computers I use mainly for these purposes are pretty old (one is a Gigabyte G31 and the other is an Intel DG41) and have a maximum of 4 GB of RAM that can be installed in them. Both have a dual display card. Lubuntu supports the AMD card in the G31 out of the box with an open source driver, however I expect the Nvidia card in the DG41 will require configuration to allow booting in the same way as my Mint computer did, before installing the Nvidia binary drivers. 
The G31 got started on first this morning and was a bit of fun – computers this old can be tricky to boot off anything except a CD or DVD – even network boot sometimes can fail, and it certainly doesn’t like starting off a pen drive in spite of being able to list it as a boot option. But the installation was straightforward and the setup with installing a few extra apps was pretty straightforward. Remmina, Thunderbird, Opera Browser, Chromium Browser and Firefox Developer Edition are about the extent of it for the type of work I do.

The main issue for the G31 was the order of the screens. In the physical layout which I have for that computer the main display is on the right and the second display on the left. The display config tool that comes with Lubuntu doesn’t make it possible to change the main display. There are other tools that could change this but the easy workaround is to add another panel to the second display and configure it to look just like the main one.

The DG41 was an evening project. Once again it could not boot the pen drive. Both computers incidentally have been installed with the 64 bit edition of Lubuntu. The nice little surprise was that with its graphics card which is a Nvidia NV210SL, it worked out of the box with the default driver for both screens. Another useful thing I got done with it was to turn the hibernation on and verify this all worked properly. The icing on the cake was that it was able to recognise the USB printer. So after a couple of hours’ work it is all go and that is very good.

UPDATE: Both of my Lubuntu machines work well but Thunderbird uses a lot of memory. Fortunately I was able to get hold of an Intel DQ35JO motherboard for the G31 computer and replace the G31 motherboard. The main thing that an Intel DQ35JO can do that a G31 can’t do is that with four memory slots instead of two it can be installed with 8 GB of RAM. The CPU in it is also a later model of the Intel Core2Duo. Another way I got this computer faster was to use a faster HDD to install Lubuntu onto. So I have a better faster Lubuntu computer at one workplace now. The DG41RQ is still in use in the other place and with only 4 GB of RAM is definitely limited but I have other resources I can use there to make up the difference such as a whole server with 8 GB of RAM that can run stuff in VMs.