Dell Inspiron 660m & Ubuntu Mate

No serious problem. Mate runs better than expected on this old laptop. This is a vanity project to save the box from the recycling center. I am quite happy that such a cool OS would run on the Inspiron 600m. I use the Dell as a backup computer and as a guinea pig. The Celeron m is 1.6ghz and has 500mb of memory. There are cheap 2gb sticks out there I could plug in, but would it be worth it. I noticed that the Software Boutique doesn’t work (most likely memory). I don’t need it and I could uninstall it ( not sure how yet). Previously I ran Lubuntu which runs well but is not as user friendly as Ubuntu-Mate. Thoughts or opinions are welcome.


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Cool. I have an old Acer netbook that has an intel atom n270, doesn’t even run 64bit code, and its memory is maxed at 1G as i recall, but i stuffed a 64G SSD in it years ago and it runs 16.04 just fine. Not fast, but it gets the job done, and an SSD makes a huge difference imo. Older laptops are way easier to take apart than the new ones. :slight_smile:

I think if you can get 2G of memory into it, and a good SSD, you’ll have something you can do some serious work with, as long as we’re not talking gaming or anything compute-intensive. JMO.

[I also think that converting from a spinny-disk to an SSD will make it clear how much time is spent loading dynamic libraries, for example when starting firefox, if you’re interested in that kind of thing.]

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Thanks for the comment. I don’t know if they ever made a IDE SSD. That’s how old this box is! Its also non pae. Its 32 bit as well and it runs on kerosene, LOL

This is interesting.

What is it that causes problems for the Welcome Centre to run on older machines?

I seem to remember the Welcome app as displaying some videos, that’s bound to use some processor and maybe pull in a few libraries for the displaying; i’m guessing, the guy who’d know is @lah7

There’s no videos, but there is animation. (It’s a web app essentially) :slight_smile:

@Eagleshadow You could try running it in a terminal, that’ll give some clues to why that’s not working. Even though you’re low on memory, there is a chance it’ll still work (by swapping excessively to the disk, so… very slow)


Also, quite impressive it’s running alright, to say the minimum system requirements are 1 GB. (It use to be 512 MB)

I’ll run welcome in teminal tonight to see what happens and let you kn ow. If I decide to rustle up ore memory I’ll report back on results1 Thanks, one and all!

The distinction eludes me. Literally. I'm not even sure whether you're using a colloquial or a specialized technical lexicon there.

To me, a "video" is a recorded movie with sound, made with a camera, possibly edited. To me, an "animation" is a rather blurry concept, and could mean anything from a talking-paper-clip to a slideshow to a game world generated in realtime. To me, there's no real relationship between the kind of moving graphic thinger and what it's called, except i suppose that a video would probably eat less processor due to not beging generated on-the-fly.

Heh, old people, you gotta laugh, when i started writing code at 19, i never thought i'd live long enough to get old... i think i'm actually less amazed that i'm still fascinated with computing than that i lived through the misspending of my youth. :sunglasses:

It's memory. Gotta fix that!

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Here is a thought:

MATE is designed to work well on old machines, correct?

But then, shouldn’t we maybe think about how to design this animation as such that it works especially on older machines as well?

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I don’t think MATE is necessarily “designed” for old machines. It’s a modern desktop environment that is considered lightweight. LXDE (as used in Lubuntu) for instance is specifically designed for low resource systems.

It is still possible to run applications when you’re out of memory (I happen to run out of 8 GB at work a lot), since the disk starts swapping. If you wait long enough, it should eventually display (unless the kernel kills it off for being the biggest memory offender).

You have to consider that the minimum requirements for Ubuntu MATE is 1 GB. Plus the Welcome application is powered by web technologies (WebKit2), so there’s a bit of overhead that uses more memory (~100MB?) anyway.


I like this and will remember this, thanks!

Remember me.

I installed 2gb of memory in the 600m which originally had 500mb. Overall performance is much improved but the software boutique and welcome are still no go. Check out this screen shot. The memory swap is gone but no go this time either. Note the DPI out of range. that is not new.

That’s strange, so it’s looking like memory wasn’t actually the issue in the first place.

Here’s a few suggestions you could try:

  • Run without the sudo part (it shouldn’t really be run as sudo normally).

  • There is the -vv and -d parameters (but I imagine it thinks it’s working normally).

  • Try logging in as a guest or new user, in case there’s something in your user profile causing nothing to appear.

  • Check dmesg in case there’s a segfault in there. You can view this log from the terminal:

  • Try re-installing it:

      sudo apt install --reinstall ubuntu-mate-welcome

    Or downgrade to the original (older) 16.04 version by removing ubuntu-mate-dev/welcome in Software & Updates, then running:

      sudo apt remove ubuntu-mate-welcome
      sudo apt update
      sudo apt install ubuntu-mate-welcome

    In case it’s the new version that is inhibiting problems.

This is likely a software issue now, unless in the unlikely case the hardware is faulty (like bad RAM)

I did everything but the downgrade. I will hold off on that for now. Reinstall didn’t work, no faults in the dmesg log. I was able to send an error report when the app closed. We will see if that is addressed in the future. Yes it seems to be software. BTW the problem occurred with old and new memory. New memory is Crucial, probably should rule out bad ram.