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Old 02-04-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
Cityscape
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Lightbulb Distro speed on old computer, Ubuntu or Fedora?


Hi, I am new to linux, although I am an advanced computer user. Have have a computer from 2001 with: 700 Mhz Celeron CPU, 640 MB RAM (gonna up it to 1GB soon), 64 MB graphics, 30 GB hard drive.

I installed Ubuntu 9.04 on this computer, but it runs slow. It's not unusable but slow. I was wondering in Fedora would run faster? I know it has lower system requirements but would it run faster on this older hardware? Also any other full distro suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks
 
Old 02-04-2010, 03:09 PM   #2
snowpine
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Ubuntu and Fedora are--arguably--two of the slower distros out there. That being said, your specs are not that bad, and I bet you can run either capably (if not lightning-quick).

I bet you would see more of a performance difference between, say the Gnome and LXDE desktop environments than between Ubuntu and Fedora both running Gnome. You could install LXDE on a trial basis without getting rid of your current Ubuntu install, see if it's something that interests you.

If you really want fast, there are tiny distros like Puppy, Slitaz, etc. designed specificaly for older hardware. Worth a try, though they are not generally as "full featured" compared with the mainstream distros like Ubuntu or Fedora.
 
Old 02-04-2010, 03:38 PM   #3
Cityscape
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Ubuntu & Fedora

Well it is very strange, I've run Ubuntu on a computer with slightly lower specs before and it ran faster then on this computer. It must be something specific to do with the hardware of this PC.

On this computer Ubuntu is running quite slow (and Im even using XFCE), it is quite far from running "capably (if not lightning-quick)". I had heard Ubuntu was a slower distro for old hardware and that's why I was wondering about Fedora.

I have tried both LXDE & XFCE on this computer and XFCE seems to be faster (still slugish though). On GNOME & LXDE the windows don't even minimize for a few seconds.

So I figured I'd better try a different distro. I'm not interested in those tiny distros, a lot of my programs would not work on them. Im looking for one of the faster "full-featured" distros. Preferably one with decent program compatibility and ease of use.

I was thinking that since Fedora has lower hardware requirements that it would run better.

???
 
Old 02-04-2010, 03:43 PM   #4
snowpine
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Maybe it is something simple, like installing the correct video driver? Have you tried going to System->Administration->Hardware to see if any restricted drivers are available?

I like Fedora (it is really well engineered) and can't really say anything to discourage you, if you want to give it a try, go for it.
 
Old 02-04-2010, 03:46 PM   #5
damgar
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Since you are new to linux I won't recommend something like Slackware, but you might try and familiarize yourself with linux in general and then look at one of the less "newbie friendly" distros that are generally going to be much quicker than Ubuntu. That's the route I've taken.

I still run Ubuntu on my oldest box, but even it has 1G RAM, and I added a cheapy nVIDIA card to ease the burden on my CPU/RAM. It's fine for trolling LQ, but I wouldn't want to work it too hard.
 
Old 02-04-2010, 04:38 PM   #6
Cityscape
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
Maybe it is something simple, like installing the correct video driver? Have you tried going to System->Administration->Hardware to see if any restricted drivers are available?

I like Fedora (it is really well engineered) and can't really say anything to discourage you, if you want to give it a try, go for it.
That was my first thought! I still think that may be the problem.
The people at UbuntuForums.org say I don't need to worry about drivers if everything works. System->Administration->HardwareDrivers says "No proprietary drivers are in use on this system". I never could quite figure out how to use "Hardware Drivers" app anyway.

I have the manufactures Linux drivers, but they are from 2002 and I fear may not work with my Linux kernal version (but I know nothing for sure).

And I just tried SuperTux and it runs really slow, and i think it even had a few errors.
 
Old 02-04-2010, 04:40 PM   #7
Cityscape
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Slackware

Quote:
Originally Posted by damgar View Post
Since you are new to linux I won't recommend something like Slackware, but you might try and familiarize yourself with linux in general and then look at one of the less "newbie friendly" distros that are generally going to be much quicker than Ubuntu. That's the route I've taken.
I did consider Slackware. I liked the fact that it could run on a 486 and 64MB ram.
 
Old 02-04-2010, 04:41 PM   #8
jefro
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Why not consider a faster version more closely created for your system? Xubuntu might be one to try first.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=xubuntu

There are also a few other great choice for that range of system that are good. If you only want internet might try xpud.

Last edited by jefro; 02-04-2010 at 04:43 PM.
 
Old 02-04-2010, 04:44 PM   #9
Cityscape
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Video driver

Some else suggested this as my problem:
"Insufficient performance of the driver, I suppose. Like the video driver is not accelerated or so."

So several people think it's a graphics problem then.
But how would I ever fix it?
 
Old 02-04-2010, 06:03 PM   #10
Cityscape
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Xubuntu

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Why not consider a faster version more closely created for your system? Xubuntu might be one to try first.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=xubuntu
Would not Xubuntu be the same as my Ubuntu with XFCE? Or does Xubuntu have other things that will increase performance on my machine?
 
Old 02-04-2010, 06:54 PM   #11
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Can you discover what VGA card you have and what driver is installed? In a console, run lspci -v to discover the hardware, do sudo less /var/log/Xorg.0.log to see what driver you use.

Next, open a console and run top. While this is running, open an arbitrary application on your screen. Move the window, resize it. Does the Xorg process start to eat serious cpu time? > 50%? Then chances are it is your video driver.

jlinkels
 
Old 02-05-2010, 04:10 PM   #12
Cityscape
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
Can you discover what VGA card you have and what driver is installed? In a console, run lspci -v to discover the hardware
I have onboard graphics. The motherboard is an ECS P6STP-FL and I'm quite sure the graphics on it is a SIS 630.
I ran lspci -v and here is the output:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 630 Host (rev 21)
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32
Memory at d8000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64M]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: agpgart-sis
Kernel modules: sis-agp

00:00.1 IDE interface: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 5513 [IDE] (rev d0) (prog-if 80 [Master])
Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Device 0970
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 128
[virtual] Memory at 000001f0 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8]
[virtual] Memory at 000003f0 (type 3, non-prefetchable) [size=1]
[virtual] Memory at 00000170 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8]
[virtual] Memory at 00000370 (type 3, non-prefetchable) [size=1]
I/O ports at 4000 [size=16]
Kernel driver in use: pata_sis

00:01.0 ISA bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS85C503/5513 (LPC Bridge)
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0
Kernel driver in use: sis630_smbus
Kernel modules: i2c-sis630

00:01.1 Ethernet controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS900 PCI Fast Ethernet (rev 83)
Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Device 0970
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 11
I/O ports at e000 [size=256]
Memory at dd101000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
[virtual] Expansion ROM at 30040000 [disabled] [size=128K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: sis900
Kernel modules: sis900

00:01.2 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] USB 1.1 Controller (rev 07) (prog-if 10)
Subsystem: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] USB 1.1 Controller
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 5
Memory at dd102000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
Kernel driver in use: ohci_hcd

00:01.3 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] USB 1.1 Controller (rev 07) (prog-if 10)
Subsystem: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] Device 7000
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 5
Memory at dd100000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
Kernel driver in use: ohci_hcd

00:02.0 PCI bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] Virtual PCI-to-PCI bridge (AGP)
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary=00, secondary=01, subordinate=01, sec-latency=0
I/O behind bridge: 0000d000-0000dfff
Memory behind bridge: dd000000-dd0fffff
Prefetchable memory behind bridge: d0000000-d7ffffff
Kernel modules: shpchp

00:0b.0 Ethernet controller: Macronix, Inc. [MXIC] MX987x5 (rev 25)
Subsystem: National Datacomm Corp Device 8110
Flags: bus master, stepping, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 11
I/O ports at e400 [size=256]
Memory at dd103000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
[virtual] Expansion ROM at 30000000 [disabled] [size=256K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: tulip
Kernel modules: tulip

00:0d.0 Multimedia audio controller: C-Media Electronics Inc CM8738 (rev 10)
Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Device 0970
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 5
I/O ports at e800 [size=256]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: C-Media PCI
Kernel modules: snd-cmipci

00:0d.1 Communication controller: C-Media Electronics Inc CM8738 (rev 10)
Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Device 0970
Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 10
I/O ports at ec00 [size=64]
Capabilities: <access denied>

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 630/730 PCI/AGP VGA Display Adapter (rev 21)
Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Device 0970
Flags: 66MHz, medium devsel, IRQ 10
BIST result: 00
Memory at d0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=128M]
Memory at dd000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=128K]
I/O ports at d000 [size=128]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: sisfb
Kernel modules: sisfb

Last edited by Cityscape; 02-05-2010 at 04:17 PM.
 
Old 02-05-2010, 04:13 PM   #13
Cityscape
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
do sudo less /var/log/Xorg.0.log to see what driver you use.
Here is the output:
X.Org X Server 1.6.0
Release Date: 2009-2-25
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
Build Operating System: Linux 2.6.24-23-server i686 Ubuntu
Current Operating System: Linux familypc02 2.6.28-11-generic #42-Ubuntu SMP Fri Apr 17 01:57:59 UTC 2009 i686
Build Date: 09 April 2009 02:10:02AM
xorg-server 2:1.6.0-0ubuntu14 (buildd@rothera.buildd)
Before reporting problems, check http://wiki.x.org
to make sure that you have the latest version.
Markers: (--) probed, (**) from config file, (==) default setting,
(++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,
(WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
(==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Thu Feb 4 11:05:10 2010
(==) Using config file: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf"
(==) No Layout section. Using the first Screen section.
(**) |-->Screen "Default Screen" (0)
(**) | |-->Monitor "Configured Monitor"
(**) | |-->Device "Configured Video Device"
(==) Automatically adding devices
(==) Automatically enabling devices
(WW) The directory "/usr/share/fonts/X11/cyrillic" does not exist.
 
Old 02-05-2010, 04:37 PM   #14
Cityscape
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
Next, open a console and run top. While this is running, open an arbitrary application on your screen. Move the window, resize it. Does the Xorg process start to eat serious cpu time? > 50%? Then chances are it is your video driver.
Well, I ran Top and just left the windows the way they were, Xorg normally used between 38% and 44% cpu usage. I then grabbed the Firefox window and moved it and resized it quickly and then Xorg ate between 53% and 73% cpu usage. I also tried it with the terminal window and got a similar result.
 
Old 02-05-2010, 05:01 PM   #15
jmcg
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Try Antix on your machine. Antix is based on Mepis and is specifically designed for older hardware.
 
  


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