Well not exactly, Linux distributions these days are much more organized and documented than in the wild west days before 1.0 hit. But I have installed Ubuntu Desktop 10.04 on my old Laptop, a 7-year old thing with 512Mb RAM, some Centrino CPU and a slow-ass ATI 9200.
Windows XP on that laptop had slowed down noticeably over time, especially since I installed an antivirus, but back in the day it was a decent PC. I used to play World of Warcraft on it shortly after it was released. I was hoping that Linux would infuse some new life into the machine, but I was in for quite a surprise!
The laptop’s hard drive is horrendously busy, and it seems to interfere with everything else in the system, so under heavy HDD activity, even the mouse pointer barely functions.
I found some notes on the ext4 about disabling journaling and access time writes, which improved things a lot, but it’s still barely usable as soon as I have more than 2-3 programs open. I don’t know if I will have patience to tweak it, or maybe such a fancy Linux distro is just too heavy for this old machine. I may try the lighter xubuntu and see what happens. Besides the performance issues, I must admit that the system was very nice to use.