Posted by: Anonymous
on May 27, 2008 06:38 PM
The upshot of this discussion seems to be that there are several lightweight desktop environments for GNU/Linux. Although they tend to start out with the dowdy but functional Win95 look they can be extensively tweaked. If you have old hardware, this is a godsend. I for one have an old still-functional laptop with 256 Mb of RAM running Xfce on Ubuntu 8.04. That gives me spanking new software that runs well on an aging box. I also have a mail-server in the garage with the same setup. Although it has 1 Gb of RAM, it is a Celeron system, and I don't want to burden it more than necessary with other stuff. I only use the GUI for occasional maintenance tasks. I have some pretty large IMAP mailboxes on it, so it is by no means overkill.
It's good to know that I have several options. Old boxes can be useful for a lot longer than they would if you had to keep running their original Windows distros, which would almost certainly no longer be supported. With these GNU/Linux environments you can run current software on them with quite reasonable responsiveness. Such a deal...