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Old 08-19-2005, 02:07 AM   #1
Tylerious
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Old hardware with KDE?


I'm planning on trying out Linux soon. After heavily reviewing possible distributions, I've decided on Debian. I know, I know everybody says it's not good for newbies, but that's not what I came here to discuss.

I have an old computer. It should be fast enough to run Debian with no issues, but a desktop environment is a whole new issue. GNOME me no likey, for starters; I like KDE's look. Would KDE run with Linux on:

IBM E46 Aptiva
266 Mhz AMD K-6
32 MB RAM (I was planning on adding another 128 MB)
Pretty sad graphics card (ATI Rade II, I think; 2 MB video memory anyways)

If not, what about a less intensive desktop environment that still looks nice. Does Xfce require significantly less resources? I could always upgrade to a SPOS (Smaller Piece of S###) graphics card to boost video performance a little bit.

Any answers/suggestions/etc are greatly appreciated!

Last edited by Tylerious; 08-19-2005 at 10:03 AM.
 
Old 08-19-2005, 02:13 AM   #2
b0nd
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32 Mb of RAM is too low......better to increase it.

Processor too is low.........but if you are going to use your system as standalone with not too heavy computational task then its fine

mee too have a low process (600 MHz with 192 Mb of RAM )

regards
 
Old 08-19-2005, 03:05 AM   #3
Lim45
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KDE is likely to be frustratingly slow even with an extra 128MB. I'd go with Xfce or possibly IceWM, as both are significantly less resource-hungry but can easily be customised to look just as good. FluxBox is another favourite with a lot of forum members, but isn't quite as "conventional" - fast as hell, though.

If you choose some lightweight applications as well - don't try to run OpenOffice, for example! - you should be fine.
 
Old 08-19-2005, 10:01 AM   #4
Tylerious
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So basically, if I upgrade to 160 MB RAM and go with Xfce, IceWM, or FluxBox, I will have a very minimal system. In order to run modern applications, I need to upgrade my hardware. And because I'm using one of the fastest processors for Socket 7 (best is 300 MHz), I need to get a motherboard, RAM, all that jazz.

Thanks for the help, guys. It's good to have a heads up before attempting an install.
 
Old 08-19-2005, 10:37 AM   #5
IsaacKuo
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I disagree with most of the above. With Debian, I have run KDE quite satisfactorily with 128megs of RAM and a 300mhz Celeron (probably slower than what you've got). 128megs is the minimum amount of RAM I would suggest.

Debian's default KDE setup is already pretty spartan, so that's a good start. You can boost performance even more by NOT using anti-aliased fonts. This is a big one! Also, do NOT use Kmix (not used in Debian's default KDE setup, but often added to give a Windows-like volume control gadget).

You can really get slick performance out of KDE by turning off special effects, and using less fanciful styles and window decorations.

And while it'll never be as slim as IceWM, it's not really so bad overall if you want to use Konqueror or another heavyweight browser anyway (like Firefox).
 
Old 08-19-2005, 10:42 AM   #6
IsaacKuo
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Oh--I'm NOT talking about some ancient version of KDE that shipped with Red Hat 3.0. I'm talking about KDE3.3+; what's currently in Debian Sarge.

KDE has actually gotten more efficient in recent incarnations rather than more bloated.
 
Old 08-19-2005, 01:38 PM   #7
rbochan
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The laptop I'm typing this on is a Dell Latitude CP 233/128 meg, circa 1997, running Debian Stable (Sarge). The machine's rock solid other than the crappy pcmcia NIC I have. If you minimize the eye candy you use, KDE is very workable on this machine. I could certainly be running a [sic] 'lesser' window manager likde Icewm, blackbox, or even XFCE, but my main desktop machine runs KDE and I like to be able to use those same apps when mobile. Since this laptop is what I've got to use for work, it's got KDE.

I have zero complaints about usability. Things take a bit longer to start up than on my P-III 800 at home, but it's nothing I can't deal with. The only thing that pains me to start is OpenOffice - I like to have a good book nearby if I fire that up, or take that opportunity to hit the bathroom.

HTH
 
Old 08-19-2005, 03:07 PM   #8
hakukani
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I agree with most of the above. I'm running a PII 333Mhz with 384 Mb ram. Kde runs fine, if a bit slow. I went for 'vanilla' screens, got rid of the 'bouncy' things. This seemed to speed things up. Haven't tried openoffice on the pII, but from my experience with Oo on my mac (running through X, not the new NeoOffice, which is OS X native), I would say that it would run pretty slow.

Give it a shot--it only takes up some time, and you can easily change things if it doesn't work. Linux is fun!
 
Old 08-19-2005, 03:08 PM   #9
Tylerious
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Quote:
Originally posted by IsaacKuo
You can really get slick performance out of KDE by turning off special effects, and using less fanciful styles and window decorations.

And while it'll never be as slim as IceWM, it's not really so bad overall if you want to use Konqueror or another heavyweight browser anyway (like Firefox).
If I wanted Windows 95 level GUI, I wouldn't install Linux, haha. But no doubt even slimmed down KDE will look better than that.

So you think it's quite possible for me to run applications like Firefox and OpenOffice with KDE Debian? Even better with something like Xfce instead of KDE, right? Are there other word processors that offer decent features, but with a smaller footprint? Seriously, all I use on my Windows box is Notepad, but something to read/edit the occasional Word file would be nice.
 
Old 08-19-2005, 03:47 PM   #10
IsaacKuo
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tylerious If I wanted Windows 95 level GUI, I wouldn't install Linux, haha. But no doubt even slimmed down KDE will look better than that.[/B]
I'm not exactly sure how to respond to that--when I look at the latest Windows XP GUI it doesn't really look much more advanced than Windows 95, to me. The differences, I guess are:

1. Support for moving/resizing "solid" windows rather than just wireframes (~Win 98). It's your choice whether to use this feature or not. On really slow computers, I tend to set "solid" window moving and "wireframe" window resizing.

2. Support for thumbnails (~WinMe). Don't expect miracles, here. Making thumbnails is sluggish even on modern workstations. It's up to you to decide whether even cached thumbnails are worth the wait.

3. Nicer looking and more colorful icons (~Win2000). You can have KDE's nice looking icons, although you probably want to stick with smaller sizes (64 pixel or less). Here's one area you won't have to sacrifice in.

4. Support for anti-aliased fonts (~WinXP). Unfortunately, this bit of eye candy has really got to go. I think that the performance boost is compelling on a slow system.

In addition to that, KDE has other special effects like transparency and shadows and such; you're best not using them.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tylerious So you think it's quite possible for me to run applications like Firefox and OpenOffice with KDE Debian?[/B]
With 128megs, yes. But Open Office will be really really sluggish. Debian's default association for MSWord files is Abiword, which will run just fine; Debian's default association for Excel files is GNUTella. They're GtK applications, as are Firefox and the Gimp and Gaim. Thus, you'll have a basically consistent look-and-feel (Open Office is neither here nor there--"here" being KDE and "there" being GNOME.)

With Firefox, you can get a good performance boost by NOT installing Flash or Java. If you can live without either of those, then not installing them means your computer won't suddenly feel like it's slogging through molasses every time you visit a web page with a Flash ad.
 
Old 08-19-2005, 08:57 PM   #11
gdivens51
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i'm running Libranet 2.7 Classic on a 233mhz 192mb XFCE with a 10 year old computer & it is fairly fast performance. Loads web pages quite satisfactorily & quickly.

try Abiword for opening word files.
 
Old 08-20-2005, 10:49 AM   #12
Tylerious
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Wow, this is really encouraging! For a simple desktop to surf, chat, and write on, I think I can really have a decent system. And no doubt with Debian, I'll learn some Linux to boot (no pun intended).

At least now I can give it a try. Before this, I thought it had no chance, but now I can see the possibility. Thanks, everybody! You saved me a couple hundred bucks and a lot of time.
 
  


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