I just installed Linux Mint 17 Mate edition on a friend’s Netbook. The first issue is that it doesn’t have a CD drive. You have to install it from a USB stick.
So I first downloaded the Mate edition of Linux Mint 17, 32 bit version. The next step is to get it on a USB flash drive. I used a program called “Startup Disk Creator.” In it I selected the Source Image Disk (iso file I downloaded). I then chose the USB flash drive as the Disk to Use. Then I clicked Make Startup Disk. It then copied it to the USB stick.
Before you try installing it, you need to first make sure it boots from the USB first. You can change that in the BIOS settings. To get to that you usually have to press f2 or del. Different computers are different.
Once you have the order changed, then power off the machine and insert the USB Startup stick you created. Start it up and install the system.
If you find Linux Mint 17 too much of a drain on your system, try Xubuntu 14.04 or Lubuntu 14.04. As a last resort, try Puppy Linux. It is one of the smallest Linux distrobutions out there. If you can’t run Puppy Linux, you need to get a new computer.