Ubuntu has been a great way to extend the service life of the laptop, it still runs great and does everything I need it to, and it's fast enough at decoding h264 and h265 video and streaming web video that it runs pretty well as a media centre.
There's a few issues that crop up from time to time with running Ubuntu, but if you're not scared of a little command-line work, I've found it much easier to keep this laptop stable on Ubuntu than on Windows 10 and Windows 7 previously.
Here's a list of links that have helped me manage this laptop setup, that I'll add to from time to time so I don't forget:
- Play HEVC (h265) video in VLC on Ubuntu linux (mostly involves adding libde265 repository and vlc plugin package)
- Unable to mount root fs after installing updates. This particular error occurred due to running out of disk space on the boot partition. The steps at the bottom of the thread take you through uninstalling old linux images. You can see which image you're currently using by running uname -a at the command line.
- Play videos in ASCII — this one's just fun.