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flying-tuxman 05-03-2005 04:44 PM

i686 optimized distro wanted
I'm looking for a debian-based distro that is optimized for i686 processors and possibly uses fluxbox as main window manager.
anyone has some suggestion?



macondo 05-03-2005 05:51 PM

Follow the instructions, and install Fluxbox and the kernel-image-686 you want with apt-get, it can't get easier than this.

win32sux 05-03-2005 07:53 PM

that would just give you an i686 kernel... the OP was asking for an i686 distro...

flying-tuxman 05-03-2005 08:03 PM

what im looking for is a distro sort of archlinux or vidalinux but debian based.
yoper for instance, is debian sort of compatible, yet its not pure debian.
something thought up for latest pentium users who would not build a system from scratch.



win32sux 05-03-2005 08:08 PM

i've tried searching for an i686 debian-based distro but it seems i've lost my google powers...

i take it you are 100% decided on the debian-based factor, right??

like, you won't settle for anything non-debian??


flying-tuxman 05-03-2005 09:45 PM

I run debian as my main distro on a pentium II box and a pentium IV laptop.
on both computers I have a "testing" partition devoted to new distros (redhat, vectorlinux, yoper, vuidalinux is downloading at the moment for a nightime prime)
on the P-II nothing really runs better than debian.
on the P-IV yoper runs very well, yet is KDE all the way and Im a fluxbox guy.
configuring all fluxbox start scripts its quite a job.
I know there are alternatives out there but debian and apt-get ease of use and stability kinda spoiled me.
if its not out there already, a debian-based core distro with a good installer and optimized for i686 would be really cool.



macondo 05-04-2005 08:02 AM

I guess i'm confused. I must not have understood your post correctly. I thought you wanted an easy installation of a Debian based distro, optimized for a processor-type 686 with only Fluxbox.

I run a PII, with Sarge, with the kernel 2.4.27-2-686 and IceWM. Something similar to what I thought you wanted, with the exception of the window manager.

In the article i sent you, you do a mininal install, the installation gives you a 2.4 or 2.6-386 kernel-image by default. Once the base system is installed, you install Fluxbox (this will be the only wm), and install the kernel-image- 686 (2.4 or 2.6), this should take 5 minutes, reboot and when you come back, delete the 386 kernel with 'debfoster' .

This will give you a lean, fast, distro with only the apps, kernel, and window manager you want. Apt-get is simple, no brain surgery, no compilation of the kernel.

OTOH, if you want a Debian clone that installs a 686 kernel by default, and doesn't come with KDE/Gnome by default, i haven't seen one. But who knows, maybe has one in its database.


win32sux 05-04-2005 10:04 AM


Originally posted by macondo
if you want a Debian clone that installs a 686 kernel by default, and doesn't come with KDE/Gnome by default, i haven't seen one. But who knows, maybe has one in its database.
it's not that he wants one that installs an i686 kernel by default... he wants a debian-based distro where all the packages are i686... that's not the same thing as having only an i686 kernel... get it??

macondo 05-04-2005 10:22 AM

Gotcha! finally.

Dead Parrot 05-04-2005 11:19 AM

Do a Google search for apt-build. I haven't tried it myself, but people say that apt-build can enhance your whole Debian installation to become i686 optimized (if that's what you want). Having run some i686 optimized distros and BSD's, I don't see any noticeable advantage in such optimizations. If it's extra speed you want, optimizing the kernel seems to be the only optimization that's really worth the effort, IMO.

flying-tuxman 05-05-2005 03:09 AM

apt-build is an interesting option albeit I havent tried it myself yet.
together with the i686 kernel should make a very fine combination.
as far as the real utility of optimization, running some highly optimized distros as gentoo and yoper on the same P4 box with debian the difference is noticeable, expecially on some applications under kde, but no dramatically faster.
now, I dont see the point of going the whole nine yards in order to optimize a distro for speed and then use kde or gnome instead of fluxbox, the faster window manager out there.
I seems odd to me than among a zillion of debian-dased distros there isnt one which packs the features I referred to.


m_yates 05-05-2005 06:41 AM

Has anyone actually tested the speed difference between an i386 distro and a i686 distro? People often say this is "fast" because it is optimized for a certain processor. However, in my experience, I find no difference between say a 686 kernel or a 386 kernel, or mplayer-686 versus mplayer-386. Is it microseconds of speed difference we are referring to? If so, you will never be able to re-coup the time spent compiling "optimized" packages.

flying-tuxman 05-05-2005 02:42 PM

it would be very interesting if someone run this kind of test including a few popular packages optimized or compiled for each processor.
as far as I understand though, optimized distros include in their packages a few speed enhancing tricks like slicing down the packages to the bare minimunm and prelinking.

ironwalker 05-05-2005 05:38 PM

Kanotix is i686 distro.

timothykaine 05-05-2005 05:41 PM


Originally posted by ironwalker
Kanotix is i686 distro.
No its not.

Kanotix is an i386 distro with an i586 kernel, like most recent distros.

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