Need suggestions on DE for an old computer

My father has a monstrous laptop (very wide monitor), a Sony VGN-AW11M. It's not bad but old. It has been using linux manjaro for years, but I reinstalled it a few times, because I was never sure on what's the best DE, in order to maximise performance but keep a good user experience. I thought about LXDE, LXQT, Mate and XFCE. I prefer Mate or XFCE but what do you feel, regarding the following characteristics:

  • Intel core 2 duo P8400 @2.2
  • Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS
  • 4GB Ram

As for the rest, my father uses libreoffice, shotwell, firefox and nextcloud-client, mainly.

There is no way such thing is possible - there is no general recommendations.

You just have to try what works best for your system

I was just asking users if they feel xfce and mate are too much for the specifications, based on experience. Just that.

But is subjective and you may not agree.

So impossible - just check for yourself.

If you are good with computers you can tune almost anything to run lighter & faster. Whether that is fast (good) enough is a lot like beauty: "in the eyes of the beholder".

There are so many factors almost all based on what your dad is comfortable with/ likes you really need to try and go with what works for him / you.

What I can tell you is that I have my 'light-touch' users running on xfce. :slight_smile:

KDE is suitable for almost every types of old and new devices. KDE uses less then 500mb RAM and it also looks very nice and modern. So I'm recommending you KDE. On the other hand, XFCE uses slightly more RAM and CPU then KDE. but if you need really a most lightweight DE then you can try LXDE version of Manjaro.

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This is exactly what I meant.

I thought I couldn't set KDE on his old laptop. I know it runs on little RAM but nevertheless thought it wouldn't fit. Maybe I can try

Don't use other users perception as a looking glass for your own.

It is always a bad choice.

Just to reinforce my point...

I would never choose KDE. Openbox maybe. xfce for sure. None of my opinions is of any value/ worth for you and your dad.

FWIW, I recommend you tune your KDE so it performs in a manner that makes you & 'dad' happy.

Remember: Linux is about choice & options. :wink:

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I would test each of these environments with a live USB and see which one works best. Use the system monitors and/or htop to see ram/resource usage while running applications. That should help you narrow it down. Also, be sure to give an older computer a larger swap partition during install.

I’ve a pentium manjaro machine with a wide monitor. I tried a number of DE on it & settled on ICEWM years ago. Icewm does everythiong I wanted and is fast with a minimal learning curve. I’m lazy and wanted something that had minimal learning and troubles. Your hardware & tastes are likely different.

I think the most important opinion is of your father. Show him each DE on live-usb so he can tell you which is the best. Maybe you could try i3 edition; that is pretty lightweight but a little hard to learn with all the shortcuts.

For example for my mother XFCE was the most familiar when she was only used to windows.

You'll just have to try and find out what works best for you.

But as others have mentioned, be sure to try KDE. It's surprisingly lightweight.

Anything will run on more than 1GB RAM.

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I just installed Manjaro kde on a 2008 MacBook. Similar specs, and it runs very well. Better, in fact, than anything I was able to achieve with arch, Mx, or endeavour.

I’m sure XFCE would be fine as well.

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KDE works with core 2 duo and 4 GB ram almost but not quite as good as xfce which in turn works almost as well as lxqt. And I'm talking default settings out of the box. You could also try Manjaro openbox.

Of course, after tuning and changing all the DE's can become faster (-or slower.)

Similar spec. here but only 3gb of ram. Stupid system chokes on more than 3gb! XFCE runs fine for everyday use. KDE also worked without a hitch.

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