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Revive An Old PC With Ubuntu Linux


What do you do with an old computer? Say, a 386-generation PC running Windows 98 that hadn't been patched in years, with a 20-Gbyte hard drive most likely infected with all manner of viruses, spyware, and other maladjusted programs?

Sure, it could go to the landfill, or you might be able to get a tax deduction from donating it to a local school. Or, using a Linux-based operating system, you could turn it into a functional desktop, browser, and e-mail client, and put it back to work.

I started with an old computer that had only been used for Web browsing and instant messaging, and which hadn't been updated since it was purchased in 1999. My thinking was that if it didn't work, the PC would go to the landfill. But if it did work, I'd have a second computer for various science projects.

The first step in switching to Linux is picking a Linux distribution. A popular site called Linux Distribution Chooser can help you decide. I found this site while writing this article, and the first distro I had selected, Ubuntu, landed near the top of the list.

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