LXLE ubuntu

I used to use virtual box but couldnt stand it. I have not used it since 2007. I might try it again. As long as i can run VM’s in full screen mode as if i was in the OS, and can switch back to my main desktop easily without using a key combo.

No, these dells are P4’s and are no more than 15 years old so they gotta be 64 bit.

So, if i do use them, how much ram should i get? ram is expensive right now for OLD stuff. I only have 2 slots on the mobo

VirtualBox’s GUI in the earlier years were a bit of a hot mess – lots of features added over time without an overhaul Thankfully the GUI did get cleaned up over the past couple of years.

One very appealing feature of VirtualBox that a lot of casual users likely aren’t aware of (the manual is over 370 pages) is that VirtualBox can run as a regular desktop host and also as a headless server with a command-line interface to manage it. It’s not as lean as VMware ESXi and Proxmox VE, but it also doesn’t take over the host machine.

There were some non-64-bit P4’s sold at retail, but I don’t recall running into any OEM ones. There are plenty of ways to verify if it’s x86-64 without removing any screws.

A lot depends on how many files you’re going to be syncing, and…

  • Assuming a 64-bit CPU running TurnKey Linux, or other suitably lean Linux distro with no desktop GUI, 1GB is manageable but you’ll definitely have to do some system tuning to avoid excessive swapping.
  • Linux has a kernel feature called zram that’s conceptually similar to, but more sophisticated than, the 3rd-party RAM compression utilities popular during the mid-90’s.
  • Age-wise, your old Dells might support SATA drives. If so, a 128GB 2.5" SSD is around US$17. While not a substitute for more RAM, it’s a decent compromise.
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the old dells do have sata and i need bout 256GB for ssd. I will have 2 or 3 servers going on.

I cant reply to much right now. at work for the moment haha

I may try VB again

If you live reasonably close to a Micro Center, their in-store prices on popular items are often equal or better than elsewhere online. Some of Micro Center’s house-branded flash storage is made by Kingston. $22.99 for the Inland Professional 256GB SSD 3D TLC NAND SATA 3.0 6 GBps 2.5 Inch 7mm Internal Solid State Drive.

If you’re planning on using the SSD for both the OS and data storage, I’d recommend 3 partitions:

  • Partition 1: 3GB is plenty for TurnKey Linux Syncthing edition.
  • Partition 2: If the old Dell has less than 1GB of RAM, make a 1GB swap partition.
  • Partition 3: That leaves close to 240GB for data storage.

The choice of filesystem for the data partition will depend on a few factors:

  • OpenZFS (https://zfsonlinux.org/) is going to be a no-go because it likely requires more RAM and horsepower than those old Dells can reasonably provide.
  • btrfs is seriously worth considering. Much lighter on resources compared to ZFS while sharing some common features such as inline file compression, per-block checksums, etc.
  • XFS is a good general purpose option but is best paired with a multi-core CPU and it doesn’t deal well with lots of small files.
  • NTFS… last resort – and only if there’s no other choice. :smirk:
  • ext4 doesn’t have new-age fancy features but it runs better on older computers than the four above.


If you haven’t touched it since 2007, it’s definitely worth a revisit.

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dude, that is one thing i wished Utah had, a dang micro center. This best buy crap aint working.

Yeah, i work weekends till 11PM at a treatment center for youth with drug and alcohol addiction. I am their mentor and emotional guidance counselor to help get them back to a healthier life. I help them, learn how to break patterns, be less toxic etc etc. I have been punched, kicked, tackled, etc

if my cpu supports btrfs, thats the one i usually go with. I dont mind NTFS for some things haha

this monday ill check the hardware and see what i actually have. Its about 3 hours away from me at my parents’ house. I go to school by their place and ill check when there. Its a 6 hour travel day for me on the train when i go to school haha

I seldom go to Best Buy because I’m more of a DIY person, so a well stocked electronics store of parts is my kind of place to shop.

FYI… Micro Center also has an Amazon storefront. Not everything is available there, and some items are pricier, but the SSD happens to be the same price right now: https://amazon.com/Inland-Professional-256GB-Internal-Solid/dp/B088KLWM35

(Last week during Black Friday, Micro Center was selling the 1TB version for $19.99. It was a limit of one per customer and in-store only.)

Cool! (except the physical abuse part :grin:)

One thing that does not mix is NTFS + SMR (shingled magnetic recording) HDD + lots of small files.

A while back I was asked to copy ~20 million XML files varying in size up to about 250KB onto some 5TB external USB 3.0 drives – it averaged about 60KB/sec… not a typo… sixty … kilobytes … per … second – I’m pretty certain I could have printed the files onto paper and loaded it onto a box truck in less time.

Plenty of time on the train to mull over how you’re going to assemble your Syncthing storage cluster. :grin:

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