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Old 04-20-2006, 12:01 PM   #1
jgeeky
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Newbie dissapointed so far


Well, I finally got everything working. I was impressed with how well Ubuntu recognized all of my hardware; it was better than Windows could ever do. However, it took a long time just to get my 1280x800 display up and running. I could have installed all my Windows-based drivers 10 times in that amount of time.

Anyhow, I was really excited about Ubuntu, because I thought that after a year of trying out different distros, I had finally found "The One". I got everything customized and looking the way I want it, as well as all of the software packages I thought I might need.

Performance wise, I am just not seeing what I had hoped for. I am dual-booting with XP Pro, and I find that XP runs much faster (not just the boot-up which takes about 30-40secs in XP and about 2 minutes in Ubuntu). All of my programs open more quickly in XP, which is the exact opposite of what I had thought.

I am just not yet seeing the benefit of switching to Linux/Ubuntu. I realize there is a huge virus threat in a Windows environment, but a simple install of Bit Defender and SpyBot has kept me virus and spyware free for years. Also, I have been told Linux doesn't need defragmentation, and that it just always runs fast by its nature. However, my XP install is several months old and it runs faster than my newly installed Linux. Aside from that, in XP I can run my much-needed software that I just don't find replacements for in Linux: Photoshop, GoLive, InDesign, DreamWeaver, Fireworks. I used OpenOffice 2.0.2 on XP for a while, before switching back to Office 2003. OpenOffice could compete with Office XP, but Office 2003 has so much more to offer.

I want to give Linux a fighting chance, but so far I find that I am running Linux just to run Linux, and not because of any advantages. Am I missing something? I gave Ubuntu 6gb of free space on which to install itself. Is it possible that my SWAP partition isn't big enough? If it were much bigger, would I see a HUGE performance increase? I'll list my system below, just in case that offers any information.

Joe

Dell 700m
1.6ghz Centrino
1280MB pc2700 RAM
Intel 2200 b/g wireless
60gb 5400 rpm sff
 
Old 04-20-2006, 12:51 PM   #2
rickh
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Linux will work as fast or faster than Windows if you have it tweaked out correctly. If there are programs you actually can't replace, ... that's why we have dual boot systems.

Quote:
I find that I am running Linux just to run Linux,...
That's not a bad reason. The difference between Linux and windows is similar to the difference between a Ford and a Ferrari; it's the separation between freedom and slavery. Some people for various reasons are better off owning a Ford. Some people prefer the security of slavery to the responsibilities inherent in freedom.
 
Old 04-20-2006, 01:59 PM   #3
Deviathan
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Honestly the bootup time is slow compared to Windows XP but I really don't think bootup time was ever a design consideration. I run Mandriva at home on a 3ghz machine with one gig of ram and some things do load slower than apps on windows, however firefox loads about the same on either OS and the system overall performs well. I have never tried Ubuntu so I can't speak for that distro. I have pretty much avoided dual-boot systems just so I don't have to reboot everytime I want to use a different app. I think it's really best to have a second machine sitting somewhere with an ethernet connection and a static IP and just VNC into it. However, I have my windows box as dual-display with a third monitor on my linux box. I have all of the monitors together and run synergy between the two systems so that I can share my mouse and keyboard, very seamless. You might want to try out more distros or just try to tweak the one you have to get better performance.
 
Old 04-20-2006, 02:02 PM   #4
jgeeky
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Still Cloudy

I appreciate your reply. Thanks for doing it so quickly.

That being said, the metaphor doesn't lucidate anything for me. I am quite clear about the concepts behind both, my problem is that "conceptually" and "practically" don't always unite.

I understand that Linux is supposed to run faster than Windows, I'm just not finding that to be true in my real-world application. Similarly, the metaphor doesn't fly. If I booted-up Linux and it ran like a Ferrari - an unbridled, throaty V8 - I would consider my decision as MADE. However, my XP runs like a well-tuned Honda S2000 - smooth, problem-free, fast-enough - while Ubuntu runs like a Honda Civic - great on gas, but thrill-less.

Running Linux just to run Linux isn't a good reason, because I am doing something without finding any advantages, which is the exact opposite of Linux mentality - do things because they are better. Also, I wouldn't call XP Pro a safe environment. My XP Pro runs better than most, but it takes work. I've fixed thousands of XP machines that simply puttered around like broke-down Yugos. My machine, however, doesn't have this problem. So is it truly that a well-manicured XP machine can ran just as well as a Linux machine, but support much more software?

Just to give you an idea of what I mean, from a fresh power-up it takes about 3-4 seconds to open Firefox on Ubuntu and about 0-1 in XP. Thunderbird opens in about 1 second on XP and it takes about 4 seconds on Ubuntu. The GIMP takes about 8-10 seconds to load, while it loads in about 6 seconds in XP. Simple file navigation, unzipping (WinRAR), and system changes run faster in XP. GAIM, however, opens much faster than Trillian - Trillian is very slow to open, but I miss it so much in Linux, GAIM is awful.

So, my question remains. I really want to employ Linux, even if it's just as a dual-boot. The idea behind Linux mirrors everything that I stand for, essentially it embodies socialism - making things better for the sake of having better things, and not for increasing capital; sharing those things with EVERYONE. However, there have be some distinct advantages to using a dual-boot. It doesn't appear to be speed, nor availability of software. Similarly, it isn't virus or spyware safety, since that can be remedied quite easily. So, what is it? What am I missing? Are there concrete answers that don't envolve age-old adages or techno-maxims?

I'm trying to keep my Linux hopes alive, but I need something onto which I can hold.

Joe
 
Old 04-20-2006, 02:37 PM   #5
esteeven
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This is just a suggestion and I do not for one moment suggest that all of your problems will be solved but why don't you experiment with another distro -- ie triple boot? Ubuntu performs well for me but it performs well on boxes that did not perform well with Mandrake/Mandriva and so on. I use Slackware on my laptop, having rejected (over time) Debian, Mandriva and SuSE. On my main desktop I use Mandriva 2006. I look after 32 other linux boxes at work and they are a mixture of Mandriva 2006, Kubuntu, Debian and so on. Sometimes I install distro X and find that the box does not perform as well as expected but once distro Y is on it, it flies. I know that they are all Linux and they are all essentially the same BUT there are differences in initial setup ...... I am certain your Ubuntu problems could be solved by tweaking but why tweak? Tweak later once you can boot into a different distro ie as you learn more you can go back to Ubuntu and "fix" it. Me? If it doesn't work I replace it because I like all distros. GOOD LUCK.
 
Old 04-20-2006, 02:58 PM   #6
haertig
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Did you try running "top" to see what processes are consuming your resources? Could well be that Ubuntu threw something in there by default that you couldn't care less about. Maybe Apache, maybe MySQL, maybe a bunch of things. I don't know Ubuntu. I know it uses either KDE or Gnome, but I can't remember which. Both of those are quite resource intensive. You might do better with a lighter weight window manager, like fluxbox or something.
 
Old 04-20-2006, 02:58 PM   #7
anti.corp
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Hi,

Follow esteeven's suggestion and try out another distro before you make any more 'narrow' conclusions as the ones above.

You have gathered experience using one distro, in this case ubuntu. Easy to install, easy to use. It does alot of simnilar things to XP: It install alot of stuff you dont need or asked for. Another thing is the desktop. Gnome is the heavy end GUI for Linux. Try a light windowmanager for Linux as: XFCE, Fluxbox or blackbox, using these will really speed up the launchingtime for your applications.

Try an 'easy' to install but highly (from start) customizeable dsitro as Arch, Vectorlinux or Gentoo. Installing and maintainning them will demand that you read some docs and howto's, and maybe even posting a question or two here at LQ, which aint the worst place to be

Regards,

Last edited by anti.corp; 04-20-2006 at 03:01 PM.
 
Old 04-20-2006, 03:18 PM   #8
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anti.corp
Try an 'easy' to install but highly (from start) customizeable dsitro as Arch, Vectorlinux or Gentoo.
I've never used Gentoo, although it was a top contendor when I had narrowed my initial choices to Debian, Slackware, or Gentoo.

However, compiling for days on end does pop right up there on my easy-to-install-o'meter. Maybe I misinterpreted what Gentoo is about when I researched it. Configurable? You betcha. Easy to install? Subject to debate...
 
Old 04-20-2006, 03:36 PM   #9
jgeeky
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Registered: Apr 2006
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Thanks for your replies. They're helpful. Well, I've tried many other Distros - RHEL 4, SuSe, Mandriva, and SLAX running from my thumbdrive. Ubuntu has been the first one that I have stuck with, and I have liked it the best. SLAX was icredibly fast, especially for booting from a thumbDrive, but it never really picked-up my devices correctly. Ubuntu has amazing hardware support.

As an aside, OpenOffice is slow to load on any OS, but it loaded in SLAX from my thumbdrive in about half the time it takes in XP or Ubuntu. This was impressive.

I hadn't thought about GNOME being a resource hog. If Gentoo uses a lighter interface, maybe that will help, I have never used Gentoo but heard a lot about it. I will also look to see what Ubuntu is running that may not need to run. I was looking today at some advice for speeding up the boot process by removing a lot of unwanted crap. This might kill two birds with one stone.

So, switching away from Gnome/KDE will speed things up? Also, how big of a SWAP drive should I be using? I am using 1280mb RAM, should that make a difference in the size of my SWAP as it does in XP Pro?

Thanks Again,

Joe
 
Old 04-20-2006, 04:01 PM   #10
esteeven
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Hmmmmmmmm! I think we are being given the run around here. jgeeky is a waste of space I think. With the specs of his box --- which i should have noticed ---- his box SHOULD fly. I want nothing more to do with this thread. Adios.
 
Old 04-20-2006, 04:08 PM   #11
kriton12
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As for the swap, correct me if I'm wrong, but if you have that much RAM I don't think it really matters if you have a swap or not. Once your RAM gets full it writes sections of it to the swap partition which acts like an extra stick of RAM in a way, but now that you are writing to disk performance will take a hit. Unless you are running a boat load of resource hungry applications, I doubt the problem is your swap file, most likely you have used any of it yet.

People already touched on a few reasons why your system could be running slow, but here's another, your hardware. I understand Ubuntu is good at detecting hardware, but is it just getting it to work vs. getting it to work at full capacity? I.E. is dma enabled on your harddrive? Are you using the correct Graphics driver for your graphics chip? etc. Check into stuff like this (hdparm i think for the dma, and surf through your xorg files to check your drivers).

I used to think that changing distos was a bad idea and recommendation. However, more and more I am starting to believe the opposite. Some are just built better than others and with different toolsets, etc. So with so many choices available out there, you may as well take advantage. Are you a do it yourselfer? Try Slack or Gentoo. Do you want to try new software with the easiest possible installation so you don't have to do any compiling or anything? Use Debian or one of its variants (as well as any RPM based distro... even though damn near everybody has tools to turn one systems package into another). I know these are just generalizations...

Don't stick with Ubuntu just because its at the top of distrowatch or because it looks pretty. You can make one Gnome Desktop look just like another. May as well take a test drive of a couple of others and you just might find one that works for you!

As for windows, most wanna-be-geeks give it a bad rap. Sure they do stupid stuff now and again, but they do make a pretty decent product. Not to get into the MS vs Mac vs Linux debate but if windows works for you then use it! I can't tell you why to use linux, but I can tell you why I use it. Mainly because if I want to run an ftp server or ssh, or whatever, I'll have to fork out a lot of money for it with microsoft. With linux I can try it, monkey with it all for free.

Last edited by kriton12; 04-20-2006 at 04:13 PM.
 
Old 04-20-2006, 04:36 PM   #12
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteeven
Hmmmmmmmm! I think we are being given the run around here. jgeeky is a waste of space I think. With the specs of his box --- which i should have noticed ---- his box SHOULD fly. I want nothing more to do with this thread. Adios.
That's an odd attitude. His box is certainly adequate to run Linux. But if it's not running quickly there could be many reasons for that, aside from "the runaround". My first guess would be lack of DMA access to the harddrive.

jgeeky - your problem is certainly not too small of a swapfile. With over a gig of ram I doubt you're ever going to touch that swapfile for a desktop system. My systems, running Gnome, really don't use more that 512Mb of ram total (typically), the rest of my ram pretty much sits there unused.
 
Old 04-21-2006, 12:07 AM   #13
cs-cam
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Have you considered the possibility that Windows is just the right choice for you? Linux isn't for everybody...
 
Old 04-21-2006, 10:58 AM   #14
jgeeky
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Haertig, I agree that was a strange reaction; thanks. I assumed that my box should "fly" as well, which is why I was surprised and came here.

I am in now way trying to slam Linux. Ubuntu is running slowly, so I am trying to figure what's wrong with me, or with my system, not with Linux itself. I mentioned; the SWAP file, because I saw a post somewhere else about "swappiness" and how Ubuntu tends to rely heavily on SWAP by default, even when a system is RAM-heavy. The post recommended adjusting the swappiness from 60 to 10 (sudo vm.swappiness=10), but I found no results doing this.

cs-cam: yes and no. I have given up with Linux distros many times, but I keep trying to make it work. I loathe everything about Microsoft (and Apple for that matter). Linux is the OS manifestation of my ideology. I would like to think if Linux is for everyone; if it isn't yet, it should be. I am a staunch believer that great operating systems should be available to anyone with a pulse, and not just those with several hundred dollars to spare. Or, in the case of Windows Vista, not just those who can afford to buy the OS and shell-out money just for the graphics card it takes to run the damn thing.

So, I appreciate your sage advice..honestly. It's not to have those kind of reactions sent you, instead of being poked fun at for not being a Linux guru. The truth is that Windows is for me: it's what I've been using for over 13 years now, it's what I used in all of my college courses (B.S., Computer Information Systems). However, I'm trying to transcend my capitalistic, narrow-minded OS.

Joe
 
Old 04-21-2006, 02:16 PM   #15
XavierP
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Not a Troll

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteeven
Hmmmmmmmm! I think we are being given the run around here. jgeeky is a waste of space I think. With the specs of his box --- which i should have noticed ---- his box SHOULD fly. I want nothing more to do with this thread. Adios.
I feel quite the opposite to you. He's not giving us the runaround - yes, his box should fly, but it doesn't and that's the point of this thread.

Believe you me, after a while you get to spot the "Linux sucks" threads and this is certainly not one of them. I think you owe jgeeky an apology, don't you?
 
  


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