[sf-lug] LXDE Rocks !

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Tue Jun 29 09:34:16 PDT 2010

Rick Moen writes:
> Quoting Brian Morris (cymraegish at gmail.com):
> > As far as the browser, yes firefox can run in pretty low ram, less
> > than 256MB total on your machine.
> It actually should run OK on a _128 MB_ total G3, if you have bothered

It may want to use nearly all of that, though, so it may end
up swapping if you use multiple tabs or if you want to run other
sizable apps at the same time as Firefox. I remember when I had
to run Firefox and OpenOffice, or Firefox and (ugh) Adobe acroread,
simultaneously on my 192M laptop. It worked but it was very slow.

> People waste a lot of time trying to find sparse
> default distro installations, i.e., ones that are tolerable on low-spec
> machines at the end of the installation process, when they'd have a
> much superior experience by starting with almost any successful distro
> installation and simply paring it down -- including using a simple
> window manager w/o session management, a display manager, etc., instead
> of any of those 'desktop environment' supersets, even thrify ones like
> LXDE.  (Although yes, LXDE's a good starting point.)

For a really small machine, like 128M, there's some advantage to
starting with lightweight distros -- not because they have fewer apps,
but because they're set up to run with lightweight kernels and without
requiring all the extra daemons like gconfd and hal and gvfs that
distros like Ubuntu build in even if you don't run a gnome desktop.
You can excise those even from Ubuntu, but it's more work and
may require rebuilding some apps from source if you want full

That said, I do take the same approach Rick does, starting with a full
distro (Ubuntu) and paring it down, and I agree that's probably best
for most people. I gave a talk on that recently to PenLUG and SVLUG.
The handout for the talk has lists of lightweight apps and window
managers. http://shallowsky.com/featherweight/

I agree with Rick about "desktop environments", too -- I run
straight openbox (the window manager LXDE uses) on my own desktops
and haven't seen the need for LXDE on top of it.


More information about the sf-lug mailing list