Resurrecting a Dell Mini 9 netbook (AKA Inspiron 910) (Fun with Lubuntu part1)

As I want to spend a bit more time exploring Linux, I’ve decided to revisit my Dell netbook, which had an obsolete version of Ubuntu as its OS.

Despite being a few years old, I like the netbook’s form factor and build quality, although the highly reflective screen is a nuisance.

I’m planning to update to Lubuntu (https://lubuntu.net/downloads/) which is a lightweight version of Ubuntu, designed for older machines with limited resources, as it seems like a good choice, given the very limited resources of the netbook, i.e. 8GB SSD, 2GB Ram. It also has a 16GB SD card, but I don’t want to use that to store the OS.

First attempt, using the latest release of Lubuntu (17.10) didn’t go well – although it worked fine in ‘try before installing’ mode, once the actual install had finished, the screen was corrupted – clearly a screen driver issue.

Restarting after modifying the Linux parameter in GRUB (by pressing the shift key on reboot, followed by the ‘e’ key) to include¬† ‘nomodeset’ gave an uncorrupted screen, albeit at a lower resolution. Although this proved that it was a video card driver issue, it isn’t a permanent solution, as the changes to GRUB vanished on the next reboot.

Next easy option was to download the LTS version, 16.04 and to see if that works. As this uses an earlier kernel and has been around for a while, maybe it will work better…

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