Linux

Can I Go Online With an Old Vista Computer?

Windows Vista

Episode 1828

Ann from Lyz, MA

Ann has an old Vista computer but she can't get online to it. Leo says you shouldn't be online with a Vista computer because Microsoft stopped supporting it in 2019. The computer Ann has is over ten years old and as such, it's a security risk to get online with it anyway. So Leo recommends keeping it as an offline machine and get a Chromebook for all your online activities. 

Why Can’t I Install Windows on an Old Linux Laptop?

Windows

Episode 1827

Kevin from Orange County, CA

Kevin is a Linux user and his hard drive is crashing when he tries to install Windows on his old laptop. Leo says to erase the drive completely. It's likely that the Linux boot manager has put something on the UEFI boot sector that's confusing the Windows installer. So formatting the hard drive completely to get rid of any boot manager should fix it. And Windows installer has its own partition manager to do just that. It's called the Windows Drive Manager. He can then recreate the partitions to make it work. The Windows installer may be corrupted as well.

Why Is My Linux Box Getting Notifications of Remote Log Ins?

Linux!

Episode 1826

Greg from Cypress, CA

Greg starts to get security issues after he installs an app called Gnome on his Linux machine. He's getting warnings of multiple logins. Leo says that he likes Gnome and it's not likely a security issue happening. Gnome is a graphical user interface, not the operating system itself. And if there's remote access to that Linux box, that means there's a server running in the background that's allowing remote access. If you don't use it, you can easily turn it off. 

Why's My Browser Constantly Updating?

Brave

Episode 1823

Paul from Louisville, KY

Paul has two laptops running Linux with the Brave browser installed on both. He's now experiencing a lot of updates every other day. What gives? Leo says it's normal. Browsers are constantly updated because they are the front-line defense against infection. Google has lately updated the chrome browser 13 times this week, for example. So, what Paul is seeing is Brave updating their browser as Google updates Chrome since they're both based on the Chromium architecture. 

Is There a Better Linux Alternative to Ubuntu for a Netbook?

Linux

Episode 1820

Jim from Windsor, CO

Jim installed Linux on an old Netbook. But when he installed the latest version of Ubuntu, it's gotten really slow. Is there a better option? Leo says yes. Try a lightweight version like Xubuntu or Puppy Linux. There's also Damn Small Linux. That's the most lightweight of them all. They are designed for lower and slower machines like a netbook. Go to Distrowatch.com for other options. You can try several by putting them on a USB thumb drive and booting to that. See how well they work before you install them.

Why Didn't My Old Laptop Speed Up With an SSD?

EVO

Episode 1800

Eric from Hollywood, CA

Eric has an old HP laptop that was lagging and slowing down. He replaced the hard drive with an SSD, but it still lags. Leo says it's possible that if Eric reinstalled a backup of Windows, that there's malware or some corrupted drivers that is the original cause of the lag. The best thing to do is install a fresh copy of Windows and start all over. That means backing up data, then format the drive, and installing Windows from a known, good source. NOT a backup. Then restore programs and data and see if that works.

What Linux Should I Put On an HP Stream Laptop?

HP Stream Laptop

Episode 1799

Paul from Lansing, MI

Paul has an HP Stream, and he can't update Windows 10. Leo says that's because there's no real storage on it, with a 32GB hard drive. They want to compete with Chromebooks, but people can't do anything with them. As such, you can't really update them. You could install Linux on it. Leo recommends Linux MINT; it uses Ubuntu. There's also PopOS by System76 and Manjaro. 

Choose the Highest Affordable RAM Option

If you're going to be multitasking with your laptop or desktop, it is best to boost RAM as high as you can afford. If you can, upgrade the random-access memory on your existing machine or choose the highest sensible option when buying a new computer. With more memory, you can have more tabs open while browsing, you can edit larger files, etc. 4GB is the minimum for Windows 10, but it will probably result in frustration eventually. Linux actually runs better with a small amount of RAM, alternatively. Also, don't forget to replace a spinning drive with an SSD.

How Can I Learn More About Linux?

pop os

Episode 1796

Joey from San Diego, CA

Joey has a PC running PopOS Linux but he wants to learn more about the secrets of the system. Leo says that there are books, but generally, it's through communities that you learn. REDDIT has many good subreddits. Reddit.com/r/linux is the definitive subreddit for it. Also, the Pop_OS subreddit would be good. Reddit.com/r/pop_os. There are also Linux and PopOS communities on Discord. That would be good too. 

Why Am I Getting Error Messages When I Print a Document on Linux?

CUPS

Episode 1794

Guy from Mobile, AL

Guy recently put a new hard drive in his computer and he put Linux on it. But now when he tries to print he'll also get several additional pages printed out for no reason. Leo says that Linux uses an open-source printer driver called CUPS and it's printing out an error code that it doesn't understand. It's probably due to CUPS using a printer driver that is close, but not exact to the printer. Try and see if the printer manufacturer has a Linux driver. That could help. Or see if he can use a different HP driver since HP uses PCL, which is good on Linux. Give it a shot, paper is cheap.