[conspire] (forw) Re: Linux install help? (For an old CoffeeNet regular?)

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Thu Dec 27 19:47:29 PST 2007

On Thu, 27 Dec 2007 10:52:12 -0800, Rick Moen wrote:

> Quoting Daniel Gimpelevich (daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us):
>> Today, if 64MB RAM is indeed a limitation, one is restricted to using
>> distributions which specialize in being able to fit in cramped spaces,
>> such as Puppy Linux.
> It would be sad to think so, because many much better distributions
> (Debian and Slackware coming immediately to mind) can work just fine 
> on such machines given reasonable work in reducing startup processes and
> selecting a suitable window manager.
> E.g., if I had a nickel for every person I heard say 64MB machines aren't
> good for anything better than Puppy Linux, but who never so much as
> tried switching to Icewm and cutting the number of virtual terminals,
> I'd have -- oh -- at least Muni fare.

Unfortunately, the space saved by lightening the software load apparently
pales in comparison to the space saved by the non-allocation of certain
disk buffers when the bulk of the filesystem is a compressed iso9660
loopback device. It really makes a big usability difference on
less-equipped machines. This is despite the need for a ramdisk in such
cases, very much contrary to conventional wisdom.

>> Xubuntu on a 500MHz laptop with 128MB turned out to be way too slow to be
>> of much use.
> Xubuntu would not be my first pick with that little RAM, but did you
> even _try_ cutting down the startup processes, or was this just a
> default install?  If the latter, then that's my overall point:  On a
> low-spec machine, you're not done when the installer finishes.

I did plenty after the installer finished, and I sped it up quite a bit.
Ubuntu with GNOME still outperformed it with the same amount of RAM, and
with far less tweaking.

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