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removing packages that are not used will not speed up your machine. The best thing you can do is not run unnecessary processes. Run 'top', sort by memory usage, and learn what each of the big hitters are. Kill and prevent from restarting those that are not necessary to you.
If you can spend a little $$, buy ram.
Lastly, upgrade your kernel to the latest stable version. There are speed enhancements in there. And disable as much as you can (or make modules, not built-in support).
To find out what an RPM does type "rpm -qi rpm.name" This gives you a description, then you can figure out if you need it or not. I suggest you drop X; it is a resource hog and not needed. Trimming down all the unneeded RPMs will help, a lot of the time they run services that you don't know about.
I don't think I can help with the main issue but I'll say that how I'd try to describe runlevels is that a runlevel is defined by the script init runs. The scripts have different names and contain different items. So while 'runlevel 3' is usually 'multi-user cli mode' it isn't necessarily so. The usual is that 0 & 6 are shutdown and reboot, 1 is single-user maintenance mode, I think 2 is non-networked, 3 is full cli, and 5 is usually full GUI. 4 is usually unused. But this is only because the scripts are written that way. The scripts issue commands to start services and so on. In 5, the X-server will be started, and in 3 it won't. And the X-server is a complicated piece of software I don't understand. But, in short, it provides GUI-services. Without it, you don't have KDE or Gnome or blackbox or any desktop and icons - you have the command-line interface. If you run top - or ktop or whatever - at runlevel 5, you'll see a lot more resource-consumption than if you run top at runlevel 3.
Take a text editor and load the files in the /etc/rc.d subdirectory (usually - maybe always) and comment out services you don't want or add in services you do. Those scripts will show you much of what goes on when you 'init 5' or 'init 3' and so on.
(I understand there are GUI interfaces to do this with a lot of desktops but all they're doing is writing to those text files anyway. I don't know how exact a portrayal the interface is whereas the scripts show - the scripts *are* - exactly what happens.)
Originally posted by Thom_Redhat How do i stop X, as i carn't stop it from the services tab?
open /etc/inittab as root
search for the following line: id:5:initdefault:
replace the 5 with a 3.
(The number represents the default runlevel. As explained. Runlevel 5 is multi-user with X. Runlevel 3 is multi-user with command line. Both of them have network enabled.)
Then reboot your machine and now it won't startup X. All you'll have is the command line. I think this is a better method than the previous post. Disabling X in runlevel 5 doesn't make sense to me at all