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Old 12-17-2004, 08:43 PM   #61
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Central Florida
Distribution: Gentoo & Fedora
Posts: 153

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Postfix disabled, as recommended. Which of the following would it be safe to disable?:

"cron" - cron job service;
"fbset" - framebuffer setup;
"nscd" - name service cache daemon;
"portmap" - DARPA port to RPC program number mapper;
"random" - script to snapshot random state and reload it at boot time;
"resmgr" - state resource manager for device file access;
"smbfs" - import remote SMB / CIFS (MS Windows) file systems;
"splash" - splash screen setup;
"splash_early" - kills animation after network start;
"splash_late" - starts animation before shutdown;
"sshd" - start the sshd daemon

Turn off "nfsboot", "portmap", "random", "smbfs", "sshd". Might help a bit.
Old 12-17-2004, 10:14 PM   #62
Senior Member
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: far enough
Distribution: OS X 10.6.7
Posts: 1,690

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which such a computer don't even think about kde or gnome... use a window manager, might not be great for a newbie(GUI) but way faster...
My computer has better specs than yours but i don't dream about kde or gnome... after kde 3.0 and gnome 1.4 i just couldn't use a complete desktop no more on my main pc.
Old 12-18-2004, 12:24 PM   #63
Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 172

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For your system, something like Slackware (or perhaps the Slackware based Vector Linux) would work wonders, and you would certainly see a speed improvement over Windows XP (assuming everything was properly configured).
I would also recommend slackware for the speed. I'm running a special variation of slackware called toploglinux which runs off an image file on your ntsf partition so you don't have to repartition. It boots into your image file and has all the speed and features of slackware.
The setup is very easy... just do the full install and you'll be given all the window managers you need... you can try them all and then choose the one best suited for you. I personally switch back and forth between KDE, Fluxbox, and XFCE.
Old 12-18-2004, 02:03 PM   #64
RoaCh Of DisCor
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Washington State
Distribution: SuSE 9.3 / Slackware-Current
Posts: 701

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If you want a fast, newbie-friendly distro, try out Xandros. Very fast...and not too bloated.
Old 12-18-2004, 02:54 PM   #65
Registered: May 2004
Location: USA
Distribution: #1 PCLinuxOS -- for laughs -> Ubuntu, Suse, Mepis
Posts: 315

Rep: Reputation: 31
There are really 2 big reasons for poor performance on linux machines.

Display managers and Kernel .. everything else is almost universally untrue.

KDE/Gnome are Very heavy weight mangers, KDE is infinitely configurable, with that comes the higher overhead and processing.
So unlike windows you get more at at VERY HIGH performance penalty. Gnome is balkanized to the hilt, they did a better job in breaking up turkish empire after WWI then the folks in gnome did in managing this behemoth. Last time I checked there were at least 20 files with one or other tool that had installed themselves in my ~/. directory to "configure" themselves .. it SUCKS big time .. Other WM's like fluxbox/iceWM are functional and fast but are retro in appearance and seems like not being developed with a eye towards future .. Xterm under iceWM still doesn't allow you to select fonts or change size !!! enough of that.
More memory (>256 .. may be 512) helps with KDE .. but it really needs a new processor too .. I think this is the commoan and the biggest reasons of dismal performance.

Kernel is another issue, a lot of kernels are compiled without optimization to help with debugging. FC is notorious for it, they use the public at larger as their extended test team and give you a ready made kernel that works but is slow as molasses, hoping that a percentage of folks will enter bugs with kernel dumps to help them improve the RH (paid part) of the business.
Some of the kernels are compiled for a broad set of machines and are only optimized for generic x86 .. (64 AMD being an exception as being the ONLY processor, so kernels for AMD 64 are bound to be most optmized out of the box).

I totally disagree with most of the posts about disk performance and services running on the machine. Look at your memory usage and if you are spilling into the swap, you "might" have an issue .. but most services are dormant unless signalled to do something so they don't affect performance.

Folks who claim that compiling their own kernel is more satisfying for performance, they are partially right, not everyone can/wants to get into the technical details of compiling and installing etc. .. so the battle is to pick a clean distro .. I think debian is pretty good and is plenty fast.
Old 12-18-2004, 05:16 PM   #66
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Debian Sid (Kanotix)
Posts: 237

Original Poster
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End of road

zajelo3 - thanks for the new suggestion about changing the power management setting. Unfortunately the hdparm -X66 and -X100 commands still don't work after changing the power management. The setting stays at mdma2. I suspect this is the hardware limit. Thanks also for the advice on services to switch off - I did this.

Thanks everyone else for all the friendly advice to change distro - I am sure you are all right but I'm really just not ready to take on that challenge yet.

winsnomore, you're obviously right about the kernel and window manager as memory hogs. SuSE and KDE on 128mb RAM is clearly pushing it. I am investigating a memory upgrade, which will unfortunately cost $$$ but that's the way it is. In the meantime I'll just have to put up with the slowness. As long as OpenOffice isn't running I can just about stay sane.

I think we've reached the end of the road for quick solutions.

One last subject - the journaling file system. Thanks zajelo3 for the information. Does anyone have any specific information about how to get control of this, in order to stop this this tchik-tchik on the hard-drive every four seconds? It's not important but I have a real problem with it.
Old 12-30-2004, 12:23 AM   #67
Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 54

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I just installed slackware 10 and it was very slow, to the point of being rediculous. I was ready to reinstall because I knew something was wrong.
I rebuilt my ppp settings and my network settings and now it cooks!
I do not know how to do this in Suse but you might take a look, I mean to say that was all it was! The system was grinding and trashing!
No I'm a happy camper. I still use windows for sound editing but linux has been my system of choice for about 5 years now.
Good luck.
Old 12-30-2004, 02:53 PM   #68
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Worcester MA
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04
Posts: 120

Rep: Reputation: 15
Originally posted by qwijibow
if you want to get a high performance linux distro with abolutly no bloat, you need a from source distributon.
(one which you compile yourself from source code)
So how do newbies learn how to compile it without frying their system? And where would I get one?
Old 12-30-2004, 05:13 PM   #69
Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 54

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Let's see if we can put this in perspective.
I am using a crappy old e-machine celeron 633 with 64 megs of ram. Before that I ran slackware 8 with kde on a 586 133 with 32 megs of ram. Yes, fvwm ran faster than kde and sometimes I used it, but linux and kde will run good and fast if it is installed correctly.
I generally set up a swap partition of about 100 megs. and install complete distros.
Sometimes I tweek the kernal to get some hardware working, but only if I need to.
Your machine / hardware is not the problem.
There are lots of things that can be wrong and it only takes one to mess the whole thing up.
My experiance over the last 24 years has shown me the problem is almost always simple.
I would start by re-installing and take careful notes.
I would do full format during install.
Make sure you have your network set correctly as all of linux is network. For a stand alone you need loopback network.
You should be able to run some other window manager like fvwm for better performance if all else fails.
Scads of info is out there on optimising hardware but first you need to just get the thing to work right.
Good luck.
Old 01-14-2005, 04:33 PM   #70
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Distribution: RedHat 9, Mandrake 10, OS X
Posts: 114

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So, I didn't read this whole thing but... When it comes to Linux being faster, try comparing Windows NT Server or 2k Server vs. running say RedHat 9 as a server with no graphics enabled. Just pure command line, apache, that's it. Then you'll see why Linux servers are "faster". Now try and run and Windows machine in a pure command prompt mode. MS is still trying to deny that DOS is still there!
Old 02-22-2005, 04:57 PM   #71
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2003
Distribution: Xandro3.0
Posts: 18

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Well, to be honest, the question feels a little like trolling to me. If the box was fast enough to run XP acceptably then it should be able to do the same running Suse. I've run Redhat, Mandrake, Suse, and Xandros (Xandros is the best). No compiling or configuration and performance has been more than acceptable for any of the distros.
Old 02-22-2005, 09:45 PM   #72
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Johnstown, Ohio
Distribution: Slack 10.1
Posts: 10

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this is quite the thread, it has bounced all over everywhere.

I have mandrake 10.1 running on an athlon 2500+ that dual boots xp. On first install it was SLOW, painfully so but there are some easy mods that I found that may help your problem.

Part of my issue was DNS resolve times. Several posts on the net about it but here is the jist of the posts. In your modprobe.conf add the following
"alias IPv6 off" without the quotes.
"alias net-pf-10 off" without the quotes.
the easiest way to do this is to login as root and type the following at the command line
echo "alias net-pf-10 off" >> /etc/modprobe.conf
echo "alias IPv6 off" >> /etc/modprobe.conf

also try to edit your hosts file ( /etc/hosts ) to show more detail of your local host name. localhost
I added the last line ( I x'd out some of my ip address for security purposes ) and it was like night and day on the speed of this machine.

In addition i went into the services part of "configure your computer" and turned off a ton of services relating to hot plugging, bluetooth, etc and that has made this thing a rocket sled. Which it was all along under xp.

Also, how is you drive formatted? what partitions do you have? I used the default on all the partitions
When I first started installing Mandrake I used to format at /,/swap and the rest as /home. There was always problems with something with that configuration.

I also have Mandrake 10.2 Beta running on an IBM thinkpad with a 450mhz processor that just flies with 256mb of ram and 40gig hdd. I really don't think your problem is the distro, I think it's just tweaking it here and there.

Good luck, hope some of this helps.
Old 02-24-2005, 04:17 PM   #73
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: NC, USA
Distribution: unbuntu breazy
Posts: 143

Rep: Reputation: 15
has anyone recommended having a look at hdparm & its parameters? to see disk performance.

I run RH 9.0 on a 400 with 256 & a 233 with 256. I do not have issues. I have disable uneeded services like send mail. I am even able to run vlc or xine on the 233 laptop to play videos.

I think gnome wants 128 of ram which leaves little for the appz you want to run.

It does sound like swap is running. more swapping = less performance. if it shows 64mb of swap, then add that much ram. It will greatly improve the system. check those system tools for the amount of swap that is running.

Last edited by asalford; 02-24-2005 at 04:21 PM.
Old 02-24-2005, 06:21 PM   #74
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: The Milky Way
Distribution: SuSE Linux
Posts: 33

Rep: Reputation: 15
I had this problem a while ago. Remove all Pendrives before booting up. That should increase speed. (By Pendrives I mean those things that you stick into usb ports to move files on and off of)
Old 02-24-2005, 06:32 PM   #75
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Distribution: Slackware, Debian, Fedora, FreeBSD, NetBSD
Posts: 150

Rep: Reputation: 15
My advice is run slackware. It runs damn fast even on dinosaur hardware. No; Gentoo is not the only choice. Slackware is fast too.

With some other distros like Fedora or RedHat Enterprise, even after switching off many services, and running a light window manager like fluxbox, it is still slower than Slackware running KDE with all the bells and whistles. Use Slackware.


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