[sf-lug] LXDE Rocks !

Brian Morris cymraegish at gmail.com
Mon Jun 28 19:37:21 PDT 2010

Its the desktop Gnome thatś really slow and greedy of both cpu and
ram, but cpu especially.
I have an old 350mhz g3 imac that has the standard ubuntu install on
it and it takes like a full minute to do anything even with 512MB ram
or more. by contrast the old 300mhz powerbook with 384 ram does fine
with lxde. I did try XFCE once on the g4 but it seemed not worth it,
not much faster than gnome and not much functionality for what it
spends. by contrast LXDE is being designed for low end netbooks both
efficient and with nice features almost as nice as gnome (full menus
with clock and other icon apps and file browser and tabs and etc) -- a
far cry from plain openbox I had been using for a long time.

As far as the browser, yes firefox can run in pretty low ram, less
than 256MB total on your machine. But links2 does nice clean text with
pictures basics and has menu and scrollbar and mouse support in grafix
mode and is at least 2x faster than firefox. Like I said it is #1 the
speed, with good enough functionality basics on an old computer. Even
on a newer or faster machine you are saving energy in both cpu and ram
and helping to save the planet and your electric bills.

What I use a browser like links2 for is basicly reading like I said
static web pages either on the net or locally which I do a lot. Often
I am studying programming and using tech reference or study materials
and want to save my ram/cpu for the actual programming part, also my
screen space which by the way links2 is a bit cleaner around.

I detest bloatware... Iǘe booted up some old versions of linux on
these old machines, like 1998, 2000, 2002; its fairly appalling the
Huge differences both in speed and other resources used. Seriously it
was downhill from KDE to Gnome to simple window manager, may as well
be going backwards in time instead of forwards in terms of the user
experience !!



On 6/28/10, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
> 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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