Find A Use Case For Toshiba Satellite C655-S5049

A decade old Toshiba Satellite laptop came into my possession over the weekend. The specs are abysmal, the reviews were abysmal at the time. Any ideas for putting this to work? Obviously Windows 7 has to go, but I am not sure if there is anything it could do that a Raspberry Pi could not do better. If there were a way to get the screen and keyboard working with a Pi I would gut it and do that, but I do not think that is possible…at least not for me.

I would think it could run Nextcloud, or possibly Ubuntu Server with LXD containers. You could probably run 2-3 LXD containers on that.

I have a similar model with Gen 1 i3, 4GB of RAM and I replaced the hard drive with a $20 120GB SSD. I am currently using it to run an intranet specialized CMS at work using the LAMP stack. It is running Debian Stable, headless. I’m planning to use it to learn Docker using @jay videos on Docker. I can’t think of what I might keep running in Docker, but Nextcloud would also be a neat experiment.

I think this could be your homelab server you were looking for in another post that you made. That is what my model is. Since I’m the “sysadmin” (not professionally, just know the most about networking at our small workplace) my “homelab” is at work and home.

I would love to hear your thoughts, perhaps a video idea, on LXD and Docker (and maybe through Podman into that too). How are they different? Which is better on resources? When might you choose one or the other? The documentation on LXD seems to be harder to find than stuff on Docker. Also LXD seems to be Ubuntu only. I can’t get it on Debian or Fedora from what I can tell which are the systems I’ve been running, so I also kind of wonder if it is worth learning LXD since it only runs on Ubuntu is it better to learn something that works on more distros. I’m not against running Ubuntu though so if there is a good use case for LXD, I would be happy to spin up Ubuntu in the homelab.

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It looks like for other distros, it comes as a snap.

Agreed, I did some cursory looking on The Googles and it was clear as mud…maybe not quite that bad, but still. Use cases for LXD vs Docker would be cool. Thanks for the feedback on the laptop guys!

@Buffy, I did not know that Canonical had packaged LXD as a snap, but it does make sense since the snapd daemon is running a micro Ubuntu if I remember correctly. So when you run snapd on your distro you are running a little Ubuntu that makes all of the magic happen with snaps. Although, snaps is supported on most distros, not on all of them. You need to be running SystemD as your init system in order to get snaps working. So I could play around with LXD on Fedora, but I would be out of luck on my MX Linux machines kind of. MX Linux by default doesn’t run SystemD because it messes up their unique live USB creation tool. They are able to do some amazing things with running their whole distro just from a USB flash drive without installing it to the computer, to the point that you can move your whole OS from computer to computer by keeping everything on that USB stick. Now since I don’t normally, use MX that way, I could switch my MX Linux installs to run SystemD, but installing snapd would be my only reason for doing this. Since much of what I want in snaps is also available in Flatpak which stock MX Linux does support, I’m happy with that.

I guess that is why I think @jay would have a lot to talk about if he did a compare and contrast between LXD, Docker, and Podman. On Fedora 33 and later, you have to do some work arounds to get Docker running, but I think Podman is a drop in replacement for Docker on Fedora, but there are probably differences that I’m not aware of. Podman is not easy to get on Debian Stable, but Docker on Debian Stable seems to work well from what I have seen. So three different container technologies, and they seem to favor three different Linux Distro Platforms. Unless you run Arch or Manjaro. I guessing that they probably support all three because they tend to be like Debian trying to support all the things, but they have support for new technologies long before Debian gets them into the stable tree.

If LXD is appealing enough I have no issue spinning up a full Ubuntu server install on some hardware in the homelab to learn and work with LXD, but I’m just curious what the benefits or disadvantages would be over against Docker on Debian or Podman on Fedora.

I think it’s pretty weird and even shenanigans that a distro would make it hard to run docker, podman, etc.

If it’s for labbing, you could always put Ubuntu or whatever on a VM to try out.

I believe there are reasons. I think Podman was developed to overcome some of the failings of docker design, but be a drop in replacement for Docker using the same commands and I think connecting to the same repositories too (but not sure about that). I believe since Fedora attempts to be closer to the bleeding edge of technology they disabled older CGroups (I know so little, I’m not really sure what this is) and so Docker doesn’t run on Fedora 32 and later out of the box. Here is an article on the topic Docker and Fedora 32 - Fedora Magazine

I believe you can’t install Podman (without adding extra repos) to Debian Stable, but this is due to the fact that Podman wasn’t to a point of stability that it could make it into the last Debian stable. However, it looks like Podman is in Bullseye, current testing branch, and next stable release.

I can’t find LXD in any Debian repos. I wonder if LXD is so Ubuntu specific that you can’t run it without snapd on other systems because it needs something that only Ubuntu has.

As I mentioned, exploring some of these differences and shedding a little light on the container world would be a neat video that I think Jay would do a great job with since he seems familiar with all the pieces of the puzzle. You are right @Buffy as far as trying them, I’ve got the homelab hardware to spin up an Ubuntu server and poke at it. I was more interested Jay’s view of the systems. For right now, I’m content learning and playing with Docker in my homelab using Jay’s video series that he has already published.

A video on LXD, Docker, and Podman is too good of an idea to pass up, I’ve added it to my list. Don’t get too excited though, I am currently VERY behind on my list. But I really do want to do a video on that. I’m going to see if there’s any way I can move it up a bit on my list. Thanks for the suggestion!

Edit: I have an idea for a special guest on this topic. If he agrees to do this, the video will definitely happen sooner. I hope I can get the details worked out.