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I installed Fedora 9 on a Gateway 200ARC laptop and for some reason it runs exceptionally slowly. Even things like opening menus takes some time and doing anything while running yum is nearly impossible. The laptop, despite having a 1ghz processor, only has 256mb of ram which may be an issue but I have also installed Fedora 9 on a Dell PIII laptop with the same amount of ram but with only 733mhz processing power. Is Linux not optimized for this hardware? Or may it be another problem?
Hold down ctrl+alt, hit f1, and that will bring you to a console session. Login, and install the XFCE desktop:
yum install xfce
or something like that should do the trick. See how you go.
I already have XFCE installed. But I don't think its GNOME since it works like a charm on my older laptop with the same amount of RAM. I might try my live CD on it and see if its a fedora issue or just one with that installation.