After having my Dell Inspiron 5150 laptop fail the Ubuntu 8.10 install process due to a thermal issue for a second time, I returned to Windows. Today I found Xubuntu, which claims to be lighter than Ubuntu. I was originally considering it for a netbook computer, but decided to give it a shot on the laptop. I used the “alternate” installer.
The Alternate installer seems to be much easier on the CPU, and as an advanced user, I find being asked questions occasionally to be very helpful. For example, I do not usually keep a physical network cable attached to my laptop, and Ubuntu takes this as no network found, whereas the Xubuntu installer prompts about the missing network. The keyboard detection process is a little strange, as you are asked to type characters that might exist on your keyboard, and you are presented with a lot that do not.
So far, it is installed and seems to be pretty nice. All the Ubuntu, half the fat.