Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce: for old computers

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When you have an elderly computer, for example one sold with Windows XP or Vista, then the Xfce edition of Linux Mint is an excellent alternative operating system. Very easy and simple to operate; the average Windows user can handle it right away. No learning curve to speak of!

However, sometimes the latest edition of that Xfce edition (currently 19.3) is a bit too new for very old hardware. This can for example be so for old Nvidia video chipsets. In such a case, the older Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce (nickname: Serena) is still a fine choice.

Beautiful and free (no charge)

This particular Linux is extra light, so the system requirements of this modern operating system are modest. But in spite of being lightweight, it's complete, beautiful and well-polished.

Linux Mint is also entirely free of cost, which is of course an advantage in these times of economic crisis.... Linux Mint doesn't generate any direct sort of income. It's funded only by advertising on its website and support forum, and by sponsoring and donations.

Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce is a good alternative for the Windows XP or Vista on your computer. Because both Windows editions aren't being supported anymore, which renders them much too insecure for the internet.

Contents of this page:

Mint 18.1 Xfce: not the latest, but in a few cases the best for old hardware

1. In short: do you have a computer that was sold with a pre-installed Windows XP or Windows Vista? Then Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce might be your best choice. Because Mint 18.1 Xfce runs well on almost all old hardware.

There's also a newer Linux Mint available: Linux Mint 19.3 Xfce. But that newer version can run on fewer old computers than 18.1 does, because it's designed for more modern hardware. Do you have a modern computer that was sold with a pre-installed Windows 7, Windows 8.x or Windows 10? Then Linux Mint 19.3 is definitely the best option for you.

Linux Mint 18.1 will be supported with security updates until May, 2021. It's therefore still a good option.

Note: There's also a Mint 18.2. Both 18.2 and 18.3 lack some advantages that Mint 18.1 has, so I don't recommend those for old hardware (technical background information: their default kernel series isn't long term supported and their graphics stack isn't fit for a particular legacy non-free Nvidia driver).

Download Mint 18.1 Xfce

2. Click on the blue button to download a free copy of Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce (64-bit):

Note: you have to burn the iso file on a DVD in a special way. You can even make a bootable USB memory stick, when you have no DVD burner.

Screenshot of the desktop

3. Below you see a screenshot of Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce. The elegant and polished desktop, with expanded menu (click on the image to enlarge it):

Minimal system requirements

4. The minimal system requirements are as follows:

Reasonable performance (my own measure):
RAM memory: 2 GB
Video card: 128 MB
Hard disk space: 20 GB

With that, Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce will run reasonably smoothly, provided that you've decreased the swap inclination (I explain how to do that on this page).

Install Mint alongside Windows (dual boot)

5. It's very easy to install Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce alongside Windows, so that your computer becomes a dual boot. Then you can choose which operating system to boot, every time you power on your computer. This is how you create a dual boot.

What to do right after installation

6. Out of the box, Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce is very complete. Yet there are some things that you can do right after installation, which will make it even better.

I have divided the actions into three categories:
- the absolutely essential ones (part 1);
- the recommended ones (not essential, part 2);
- the maybe useful (part 3).

You can find the to-do list here.

Tips and tweaks for Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce

7. You can find many useful tips and tweaks for Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce on this page.

Get help

8. You can get quick and friendly help on the official Linux Mint forum.

Want more tips?

Do you want even more tips and tweaks? There's a lot more of them on this website!

For example:

Speed up your Linux Mint!

Clean your Linux Mint safely

Avoid 10 fatal mistakes

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