Which distro is lighter - Ubuntu or openSUSE with Gnome?
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Neither of those is what I would call "light"---they are both in a class I would call "complete". This means they have installed everything they think you might need, and they have also tried to configure evertything to work "out of the box".
For light, you want Arch, Slackware, Zenwalk, or any number of others, and you want to use the simpler Desktops/Window managers such as XFCE, Fluxbox, or IceWM
It isn't openSUSE that's slow, or, if you want to try an alternative such as XFce...
If you have the openSUSE repositories installed, you can install the packages for one of the "light" desktops that are available. After installing one of them in addition to your present desktop, you will be presented with a choice of which desktop you prefer at boot.
The system may well run even more slowly, but after you have tried the new desktop for convenience and usability, you can remove KDE and/or Gnome packages, and see if things are better. KDE/Gnome may always be reinstalled again.
You might trim your installed package selection if you accepted the package choices proposed when you installed.
In addition, if you have / on its own partition, with /home on its own, you can reinstall openSUSE without formatting /home, thereby preserving your files on /home. There may be problems with your personal settings, present as hidden files, if you are installing another desktop. You might search this forum or google for details.
Of course, you do have backup copies of those files on /home and could just copy them back.
Last edited by thorkelljarl; 04-21-2009 at 10:41 AM.
Perhaps lxde would be a good choice, given that it's light yet functional. On the link I've provided, there are further links with instructions for installing it on any distribution of your choice. My personal bias is Debian, which comes with an installation CD that is already preconfigured to install lxde (or xfce, another light environment if you so choose).
I've used both Ubuntu and SuSE in the past. I will say that YAST is a great tool, but Synaptic (in Ubuntu and Debian based systems) is also great. I'm not sure which, between Ubuntu or OpenSUSE (with Gnome), is lighter, though.
I understand, but I like openSUSE for having Yast as a system configuration tool, and Ubuntu as you said is a complete
distro. Also, I like the more complete desktop environments, like KDE or Gnome.
So, if choosing between these two, which do you think would be better? (From the point of view of performance)
from this point of view i`d choose gnome,else a window-manager. a month ago i was astonished how fast gnome ran in virtualbox( sure: on debian/gnu/linux :-)). i cannot find a difference in speed between gnome and xfce in vbox.
as been said:
gnome and kde are no lightweight window management per se, and suse and buntu gotta quite comfortable amount of apps and tools out of the box (sometimes called being bloated, look at xubuntu).
you should be able to get used to a window-manager within at maximum a month and got a race-car on your laptop (you might also install it in addition to your environment, so you might do all configuration/installation from yast, day-to-day work from the wm; have a look at soad: suse on active diet http://sda.scwlab.com/soad_linux.html).
besides that- as been said-: xfce.
if you delete the background image from kde4, choose an easy colour and
set the content of windows not to be shown during they move, and deactivate all kind of bling, you might make some progress in speed too.