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Several years ago I tried running Madrake Linux on my laptop computer and was very disappointed. After reading a recommnded book and asking questions in this and other forums I was still unable to solve some basic problems, and finally I gave up.
Recently I tried sveral Live CDs on that very same old computer, and things seem to have improved, so I decided to try again.
On my relative old computer the difference in speed between distributions is very clear. While Mepis, for instance, runs extremly well even from the live CD, Mandriva is way slower. Both use KDE and in both I used more or less the same applications in more or less the same way.
As nothing of what I used in Mandriva isn't missing in Mepis, I am wondering what makes the latter so much faster, and might there be a reason for me to choose (for a faster computer) a 'heavier' distribution if I find that the lighter ones work just fine?
Distribution: Gentoo (desktop), Arch linux (laptop)
Because Mandrake have too many services running in the background, I think so. But you might not need all thsee service and that make the distro not suitable for you
I have an old computer too.
And I have discover that Fedora Core, Mandrake, SUSE run very slow while gentoo run so fast. But gentoo don't include as many software as Fedora core, and I have to do a lot of installion.
However, after install all the software I need, gentoo is still faster than FC I found that gentoo is more suitable for me than Fedora.
So you can choose a heavy distro if you found it fit you requirements.
If it doesn't (no distro can fit everyone requirements) you can configure it, remove some programe to make it run faster.
And you may want to change the light dítro too.
So, you should choose the distro that can fit you with little configuration to do
Mandriva is known to be slow, is a desktop distro so that means there are lots of scripts that automate some process to avoid user interactions. Sometimes also the compilations might not be optimized for the system.
There are other distros that claim to have focus on performance such as VecorLinux, KANOTIX and other distros which might implement thigns such as multi-threated processes (implemented on the kernel 2.6) which Mandriva might not have implemented yet.
So for example Mandriva 2006 on boot-up does but only on the latest version. Anyway, if performance is what you need (as opposed to ease of use) I will sugest using slackware which is VERY optimized, or their live distro versions such as SLAX.
Thanks for your replies. I do need good performance, especially for my older computer. But at this point, ease of use is also important for me, as I m still a beginner in Linux, without enough free time to learn. My experiments with different distros have been limited so far, but as far as I can tell, there is nothing I need that isn't available in the very fast Mepis distro, so I am still wondering what all those other things that slow down other distros are and whether they may include something that may be of importance for me as a user.
Mandriva is not slow if you slim down the installation. If you select a lot of server stuff during install time, the services are usually enabled by default slowing up the boot up process and wasting system resources. Once you "switch off" services you do not need, its very snappy. Also if using Mandriva 2006, it could be slow because of the kat search tool indexing files on your hard drive.
Gentoo is quite fast for me, but thats because its optimised only for my system.
Thanks. I suppose I'll have to learn what each service is and which of them I can switch off in distros like Mnadriva.
From what I read it seems that Gentoo allows maximum optimization for one's system, but I am afraid of trying Gentoo at this point because I don't think my knowledge in Linux would be sufficient to understand how to handle the compilation os source code which I understand is part of the required installation process.
Gentoo is overrated in my opinion, you can use something like Arch or Slackware and have a system as quick as Gentoo without the need to compile. It has it's place but I'm confident you can find the speed you're looking for without it.