Xubuntu 8.04 stellar on low-power machines

I finally had the chance to install Xubuntu 8.04 on a laptop for another of my kids this weekend. My first attempt to install Xubuntu (Ubuntu running the Xfce interface instead of Gnome and generally considered lighter and faster than other *buntus) on a seriously aging and memory starved computer was a disaster. However, between a video chip that had always stunk (the resolution, image quality, and tracking under Windows was terrible, too) and a mere 64MB of RAM, I think I found some practical limitations for Xubuntu.

I’m sure that some extra fiddling and tweaking could have yielded at least a usable system, but the old laptop was a paperweight anyway, so I wasn’t going to waste my time. This weekend I turned my attention to a Dell Latitude C400 with 512MB of RAM, a 30GB hard drive, and a 1GHz Pentium III-M processor. It was running Windows XP Pro, but was nicely loaded down with malware, so I did a clean install of Xubuntu from an alternate installation CD. The alternate installation dispenses with LiveCD capabilities and a graphical installer, but is quite easy to follow.