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Old 05-03-2005, 11:42 PM   #31
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: SoL iii
Distribution: Mandriva 2007
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the distro itself is not very important if you're looking for speed, important is to have a light graph. environment (icewm would be certainly light enough) and also to check you have ONLY the services you need up and nothing more. check which programs consume the most memory and try substitutes...if your hdd is slow try fine-tuning 'hdparm', if your X-sys is slow try fine-tuning your xorg.conf file... I think those are the clue. check memory usage, shutdown services you don't need...
Old 05-04-2005, 02:54 AM   #32
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 62

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okay i will install slackware again... then i will have to try icewm
Old 05-04-2005, 03:38 AM   #33
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Gentoo
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If you have a lot of hard disk activity while switching desktops, and it takes long for the window's contents to appear, then your system is most likely swapping like mad. It happens on my older machine (which has only 128MB RAM) as well.

Firefox is a nice browser, but it is extremely hungry for memory. Right now I only have two tabs open (forum thread and this reply window) and it eats over 40MB of RAM just like that.

Since that value is ridiculous for just one web page or two (which take less than 1MB to download) I guess it must be some kind of cache Firefox is keeping somewhere. Sadly, the only cache size I can configure in the Preferences Dialog seems to be the disk cache.

You could try to enter "about:config" as URL and mess with the variables by hand (and be careful not to mess up). Look for browser.cache.memory.enable and set it to false. Might be faster this way than swapping all the time.

On systems which are low on RAM, your main goal is to find out which software consumes the most RAM and think about reconfiguring / replacing it with something more resource-friendly.
Old 05-04-2005, 03:41 AM   #34
Registered: Jan 2003
Distribution: Gentoo 2006.1 @ linux 2.6.18-g-r6
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I have been a Windows user for a very long time and frankly, I think you can get a lot very fast out of your computer without too much troubles. The only problem for me was that I wanted to use EVERYTHING and I wanted to know HOW. So Slack was the way to go.

I think you're after the same, but you don't really care how, as lon as it works. Well, I can agree to that. So lets get you on track and stop talking about what distro/WM/DE/... you should use! Help this man out don't be so freaking self-centred!!!!!! (sorry but I've been very irritated by that on this forum )

So, I suggest you install Slackware again and then post the following files:

/etc/modules.conf (never know slacks doing something stupid...)

And about your Firefox thing, it is true that firefox is getting heavier but it should still do the trick... Maybe look for a lighter browser?

Old 05-04-2005, 08:55 AM   #35
Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 61

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I think I found that firefox variable:
right click and click toggle
you can find this in about:config
I'm on a Windoze system now (64MB), but it seems to be running faster.
Old 05-04-2005, 09:53 AM   #36
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Distribution: openSUSE / Ubuntu
Posts: 294

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One thing that might help, too, is something I discovered on my (SuSE) system.

When I loaded FF it, too, ran slow compared to Win2K on my syteem. (I have a dual-boot configuration with seperate hard drives.)

I eneded up disabling IPv6 and firefox took off like a mouse of of a cat convention.

It now runs faster loading pages (using a stopwatch) than it doesn on my Win2K side. In fact, using Suse 9.2 (as compared to Mandrake or Suse 9.1) it is overall faster doing things than Win2K. (Let's not even get into this POS WinXP that I'm forced to use at work.)

You might also run a comparible speed test. For example, I often test my page loading speed and NIC config. Here's the stanford linux tool: and the web-based java application:

I know Stanford is a private school and may not be as reliable as state schools, such as UCLA, but it is a pretty good test.

Anyway, run this test in Windows then in Linux see if there's any difference. If there is, you may have some NIC configuration to perform.
Old 05-05-2005, 03:57 AM   #37
Registered: Sep 2003
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thank you for your time!

"maybe look for a lighter browser" like what?
Old 05-05-2005, 07:59 AM   #38
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: US
Distribution: Intel Clear Linux
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Epiphany is a good light browser.
Old 05-05-2005, 10:50 AM   #39
Registered: Sep 2003
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does it work if i don't use gnome?
Old 05-05-2005, 07:18 PM   #40
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You could always try Opera. I find Firefox to be very fast on Linux. There are many tweaks you can do to speed it up.
Old 05-08-2005, 07:00 AM   #41
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: So Paulo - Brazil
Distribution: Mageia Linux 1
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Originally posted by jagibbs
I tend to agree in general. I've tried three different distros (Debian Sarge with IceWM, Mandrake 10.1 with KDE, and Ubuntu with Gnome). All were set up with plenty of RAM (1.5GB system and 128MB video) and large swap files and none of them were ever as fast as my Windows 2000 installation.
I find that almost impossible, since Windows 2000 is a very slow and heavy Windows Distro.

But here is the cause: You did not recompile your kernel. Before recompiling my Mandrake 10.1 was slower (in boot time) then Windows XP. After recompiling the newest version (at that time) it became 2x faster then XP (boot time)!!!!! I notice no lag at all in any of them.

About the dude with the 64MB PC, Im sorry, the user friendly distros simply wont run KDE or GNOME (with reasonable speed) in those conditions, you will need more RAM (256 MB, to use the current versions) to use Mandrake, Fedora Core, SuSE or Anything else with Gnome or KDE.

Also, nobody asked for your Windows version, that would be interresting to know.

I recommend Slackware (if you can set this up correctly) with a light weight X environment.


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