2019-08-11 17:12:55

Hi all,

I'd like to install Ubuntu Mate on an old Dell laptop I have lying around. It's a Dell Inspiron something with a 32-bit CPU and 2 GB RAM. I don't know the exact model off the top of my head. Unfortunately, booting from the DVD I created results in some kind of copyright screen with a blinking cursor according to my dad. I can't press Windows+Alt+s to enable Orca, and it appears there is no way to actually boot or install the OS. Any ideas how to fix this?

I downloaded the 32-bit iso disk image from https://ubuntu-mate.org/download/ and burned it to a DVD. I first tried installing it on my 2006 Core Duo Mac Mini, but it appears that thing can only run old versions of OS X or Windows XP. Now I'm especially frustrated because this is the second computer I've had zero luck loading Linux onto. I thought Ubuntu Mate was supposed to run on these old machines.

Grab my Adventure at C: stages Right here.
You may access my NVDA Remote, Three-D Velocity, Sound RTS, and Road to Rage servers by using the address christopherw.me. Road to Rage uses the default 6789 port.

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2019-08-11 18:40:50

That's not enough information to go on. We would need to know the exact contents of the message.

Pain is life and life is pain.

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2019-08-11 20:39:10

You need to give us more info. It could just be that that computer is slow. It could be that that computer does not have enough memory to run Ubuntu (unlikely but possible).
Also, it is not "Ubuntu" that is specifically designed to run on old hardware; it is Linux, in general. However, as days go by, more and more Linux distributions are dropping 32-bit support permanently, due to some very troubling facts (some of which people who love 32-bit should listen to):
* When companies and people maintain 32-and 64-bit builds of software, the 64-bit builds get more widespread use than the 32-bit builds, causing security vulnerabilities, bugs, etc., to go unnoticed.
* For corporations, the cost of maintaining 32-bit builds of 64-bit software, combined with the QA testing in-house costs, is substantial, especially when maintaining 300 plus packages.
Those are just some of the reasons why Ubuntu is working on eliminating 32-bit packages from their repositories. The only reason they haven't is because Valve threw a fit because they were going to lose their precious 32-bit compatibility. Really, that's totally a shame, this is totally the early 2000s. It really is. I totally have sympathy for them. (Not! There are packages out there, maintained by people, who give you all of the 32-bit stuff; why should Canonical maintain all that when others are willing to?)
Anyway, the dropping of 32-bit support won't come for some time. If the latest ISOs don't work for you, your best bet would be to go for older releases, fi they're even still available. If that doesn't work, you may need to go for a different distribution.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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2019-08-11 21:30:14

Funny, I got a Dell Inspiron and I can't figure out how the hell to get it to even let me boot off a stick or DVD. Thanks, Uefi!

If in doubt, chocolate and coffee. Enough said.

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2019-08-11 23:07:20

@4, make sure Secure Boot is disabled in bios. You can check this in msinfo32. @1, how old is this machine? Does it boot via BIOS or UEFI? Make sure the disk you boot from supports booting from the particular boot mode your laptop is using.

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2019-08-11 23:11:34

press f12 to get into the boot menu, then choose your dvd drive or flash drive.

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2019-08-11 23:34:24

if it's that old, it ain't gonna have UEFI.

Pain is life and life is pain.

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2019-08-12 00:01:02

Nope. I'm thinking #1's machine does not have UEFI but #4's does. So the F12 method won't work until he turns off Secure Boot.

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2019-08-12 00:38:42

Okay, that is odd. I used Etcher to burn the iso to a USB flash drive and the computer loaded it up with no issues. I'm installing Ubuntu Mate onto a 320 GB hard drive right now. Now I should try it in my Mac, although it may or may not work. That computer is really weird when it comes to installing other operating systems.

Grab my Adventure at C: stages Right here.
You may access my NVDA Remote, Three-D Velocity, Sound RTS, and Road to Rage servers by using the address christopherw.me. Road to Rage uses the default 6789 port.

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2019-08-12 02:29:41

@8, this is not correct. The UEFI specification does not govern the user interface of UEFI systems nor does it govern what should happen when a particular key is pressed. The UEFI spec, in regards to secure boot, only specifies that, should an executive not be signed, or should its hash not be in the database, it will not be booted. It doesn't say that the boot menu won't appear.
An "executive" is a term mainly used in the Intel software developer manuals, but generally describes any application running on a computer processor that will be executed when no operating system is present.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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2019-08-12 20:34:07

As far as mine goes, I do *not* (per the Mate and Canonincal) need to remove secure boot. Ubuntu's key is signed and it will boot. Paraphrasing the result of discussing this with theMate dev team

If in doubt, chocolate and coffee. Enough said.

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2019-08-12 20:54:45

Ubuntu does have this, not all distros do though.

Pain is life and life is pain.

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