[sf-lug] LXDE Rocks !

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jun 28 13:16:20 PDT 2010

Quoting Brian Morris (cymraegish at gmail.com):

> I just was trying Ubuntu server ppc  for an old g3 --  the Gnome
> Desktop default was way too slow, but I found these LXDE packages and
> they worked good so I put them on my g4 powerbook too. Wow, great !
> Gnome is so slow !
> Debian has them too (that's what the g4 is running, the only reason I
> used ubuntu for the g3 powerbook was that the pc-card wifi was broken
> on debian) -- my g4 is running squeeze. Its really nice there.

LXDE runs fine on old G3 machines with limited RAM, e.g., 128 MB or so
(and I've done that), as does XFCE4.  

However, your best bet for that or any other limited-RAM machine is to
take a very close look at what is using RAM and eliminate unnecessary
items from your runtime configuration.  E.g., the X session manager and X
display manager can go, as can all but one or two of the
almost-entirely-unused virtual terminals[1], and every other process you
can't find a specific reason why you want to autorun it for no better
reason than starting your machine and launching X11.

On a machine where I'm trying to get the most out of limited RAM, the
first thing I do is eliminate session management and the display
manager.  Then, I install a lightweight window manager (your choice: I
personally still like Window Maker)[2], then I prune virtual terminals,
then I restart the machine, login, do 'startx' to fire up X11, open an
xterm, and have a good look at 'ps auxw | less' to see what's still
running by default.  Your rule of thumb should be:  If you can't figure
out why you're running a process, try killing it and see what happens.
If you don't miss it, by a functional definition you don't need it.

After that exercise, if the machine isn't _too_ RAM-starved (e.g., not
under 128 MB), you should be able to get away with real productivity
software such as Firefox, AbiWord, and Gnumeric.

[1] Most distros keep six of these running, all chewing up RAM.  When's
the last time you used more than one?

[2] http://xwinman.org/

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