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Old 09-15-2005, 09:36 AM   #1
Tylerious
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Performance issues


I recently switched to Slackware 10.1 after hearing so much good stuff about it. However, on my older hardware (32 MB RAM & 266 MHz K-6 & ATA33 HDD), it seems to be running a lot slower than when I had Debian 3.1 installed. I used to be able to run XFce (albeit a bit slow) with no problem. I could multitask with 2-3 applications before it got slow to the point of unusability. I can't even run XFce on Slack without it being slow. I'm running Openbox now and if I have one small application open (like Leafpad), it takes several minutes to run another.

I know Slack uses Xorg instead of XFree86. Should that make a difference in performance? Using Debian, my monitor said it was running with VESA SVGA, but now it doesn't display any such settings, which to me suggests my graphics aren't optimized to use my 2 MB of video memory. Would that help X run better?

I'm trying to of all the changes I've made from Debian to Slackware. I'm using the ReiserFS instead of ext3. Does ext3 possibly have a smaller journaling footprint?

I'm planning on putting 256 MB RAM into this box as well as possibly a new IDE controller/hard drive, but can anybody offer any pointers to me before I do? If I get it running better now, it should run even better when I put more RAM in (better than if I had just put RAM in without getting it more optimized).

Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks!
 
Old 09-15-2005, 09:50 AM   #2
SlackerLX
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X.org Description:
"The Open Group's X Project Team was created as the successor to the X Consortium, Inc., after the X Consortium ceased operations and transferred ownership of X11 to The Open Group. The X.Org Group (hereinafter called "X.Org") was created as the successor to The X Project Team after the The Open Group ceased operating The X Project Team. The purpose of X.Org was to foster development, evolution, and maintenance of the X Window System. X.Org operates under the corporate umbrella of The Open Group."

And about running DE on 32MB of RAM. Makes me wonder...
One must really adore suffering to torture himself like that
But still I think Fluxbox needs less than XFCE
 
Old 09-15-2005, 10:47 AM   #3
masonm
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You should definately check your xorg config file to make sure you have it configured properly. There is a config file specifically for vesa and you can edit it to your settings and replace the xorg.conf file with it (rename it xorg.conf).

Slack requires a bit more manual tweaking of your config files, but it's well worth the time to do so. I have found Slack runs far faster than Debian, especially on older machines. so check your configurations to make sure everything is cool.

And definately upgrade your RAM.
 
Old 09-16-2005, 08:53 AM   #4
Tylerious
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Actually, XFce ran pretty decently under Debian.

I ran xorgconfig and tweaked a few settings. It runs a little faster, I guess, but my screen modes are off. It may give me a 1024x768 desktop, but I have to scroll around to see it all. I've tried Ctrl+Alt++ and Ctrl+Alt+-, but none the modes show my entire desktop. I checked xorg.conf and it looks like my screen modes are normal. I'll try to get it setup (and hopefully optimized) after I reinstall 10.2. Like I said, I'm a newbie to Slackware, so I'm sure I installed some stuff with 10.1 I don't need.

Wish me luck. Thanks for the pointers!
 
Old 09-16-2005, 01:20 PM   #5
Vgui
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Another thing to consider would be checking out Vector Linux, which is Slackware based but optimized for older hardware. I have it running Windowmaker on an old laptop and it uses 20mb of RAM at a fresh boot to GUI.
 
Old 09-20-2005, 09:06 AM   #6
Tylerious
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Is it bloated and overly customized like all distros based on another?

Actually, I just got Slackware 10.2 up and running a lot better than I had 10.1. True, I can't run Gaim and Firefox at the same time, but can you say 32 MB RAM? As soon as I put a lot more in, I think it'll be quite decent even without putting a faster IDE controller in.

xorgconfig got everything optimized! Thanks a lot, everybody.
 
Old 09-20-2005, 09:32 AM   #7
Fritz_Monroe
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The Vector Linux page says:

Quote:
We have produced a bloat free, easy to install, configure and maintain Slackware based system that is second to none.
I've run it on a 450 MHz with no problems. I did have 192 Meg RAM, though. I don't have anything older to try it on. I eventually just moved over to Slackware and removed Vector, but I liked it enough.

F_M
 
Old 09-20-2005, 11:11 AM   #8
maginotjr
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Check if your DMA mode is enabled
Code:
#hdparm /dev/hda
obs: change hda for whetever is your hd
Check if you have right configured the Xorg
Code:
#xorgconfig
- it writes in /etc/X11/xorg.conf so you can open it and edit manualy if you want.
- check if you are using the VESA driver and seted the 2mb of video memory
- Dont use virtual desktop if you dont want your screen to be scrolling
- Use the right config for you monitor frequency
- If you stil are having resolution problems try this:
 
Code:
Section "Device"
    Identifier  "SOMENAME"
    Driver      "vesa"
    VideoRam    2048 #try commenting this line if you have problems
EndSection
and in the display section: modes "1024x768" "800x600"
Be sure of all your devices being working with the proper drivers.
Code:
#lspci
#lsmod
#modinfo <MODULE>
Consider compiling a fresh kernel from the stack.
Code:
Download it from www.kernel.org
if it is a 2.6 version you will see that is very easy to do so:
#make menuconfig
#make 
#make modules_install
#cp arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.x
#cp System.map /boot/System.map-2.6.x
edit lilo and them
#lilo
** better how to info here on the forum
[ ]īs
 
Old 09-21-2005, 10:02 AM   #9
Tylerious
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No thanks, I think I'll stick to Slackware. It's not that hard to config and it's running faster then Debian.

Yes, my hard drive is using DMA. I've done a lot of tweaking to get it optimized, but it only gets 6 MB/sec (ATA/33).

I'm using the ATI driver for my Mach64 Rage II. My card was listed on xorgconfig, so I'm pretty sure it's working as well as it will, considering it has only 2 MB onboard memory.

I downloaded the 2.6.13 kernel yesterday, but will it really help? I've heard there's not much of a performance increase for compiling in modules. It would probably take a year and a half to compile anyways. But I'll give it a go and see if it helps. At least it will cut down on my processes running, I guess.
 
Old 09-21-2005, 01:38 PM   #10
gbonvehi
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You could try using distcc or compile in a newer machine and then copy the kernel to the old one. A minimal kernel with only stuff for your hardware will help you a lot.

You may also want to try console based apps like Centericq as a Gaim replacement. If you go this way, try getting the hand on screen which is like a window manager for console apps
 
Old 09-21-2005, 05:10 PM   #11
maginotjr
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i dont think that the size of the kernel or if it is modular or not will give you any increase that wont be on the boot of the system... but you can select the right drivers and make it very sharp for your machine couting that it is a very old one I think a specific compiled kernel can help you with that... And maybe you can go with kernel 2.4.x counting that are a stable and solid version, maybe you may having someproblems of perfomance with your old hw ... Ok, just a shot.. [ ]īs
 
Old 09-22-2005, 09:35 AM   #12
Tylerious
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Okay, thanks for the insight. I'll try compiling a new kernel after I install some more memory. Hopefully that'll at least clear up some hardrive space if not make things run better.
 
  


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