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Old 09-06-2003, 02:39 PM   #1
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Unhappy RedHat 9 speed problems - Dell Pentium III

For the last few days I've been struggling to get either KDE or Gnome to load applications such as Mozilla in a reasonable time. At the moment Mozilla takes 30 secs plus and Open Office is much worse.

I have tried to disable CD auto-mount and have turned off Unicode (both suggestions mentioned in newsgorups), but these have had no effect.

Maybe I'm expecting too much from my hardware? It is Dell Pentium III 1Ghz, 256Mb RAM - what performance can I expect? Or if anyone has any other suggestions that the two above I will eagerly try them.

My aim is to totally shift from Windows and use Redhat 9 as a day-to-day desktop, so the speed problem are quite disheartening!


Old 09-06-2003, 02:53 PM   #2
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Welcome to LQ.

I would think you should be getting a little better performance but OpenOffice is horribly sluggish.

Have you installed/enabled anything else recently that could ahve caused this to happen? A good tip is to make sure that uneeded services such as a apache and ftp are turned of if not in use.

Try running the apps from a console and see if they throw up any error messages.
Old 09-06-2003, 03:43 PM   #3
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and turn off anything your sure you don't need
especially httpd

Open Office will be a little slow.
Old 09-06-2003, 11:33 PM   #4
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I have noticed specifically those two programs being sluggish. Each time I install, and for each user, I QUICKLY change my default browser to Mozilla Firebird, as Mozilla takes forever to load on all of my computers. I can get used to open office, as I only use it sporadically, but the browser needs to load quickly, and Firebird does great!

Old 09-08-2003, 07:46 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

I have turned-off all non-essential services, but to no avail. Is my hard-ware too slow for the full "RedHat9" experience? Would other distrubtions run faster?
Old 09-09-2003, 10:44 AM   #6
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since I can't find any solutions to speeding RedHat 9 up, is the solution to upgrade the computer? I thought Linux is supposed reduce the need for upgrading? Windows 2000 works very well with my existing hardware!
Old 09-09-2003, 10:25 PM   #7
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Just a little suggestions... instead of using Open office, KDE offers other apps like abiword for example.
Old 09-10-2003, 03:02 AM   #8
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I am running redhat 9 on a 550mhz pentium3 with 256MB ram and all seems to work fine. things are a bit slow but not as slow as you seem to be having with yours. I would guess in the config some where.
Old 09-10-2003, 03:34 PM   #9
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I'm having the same problems with my Redhat 9 install on a 750mhz K7 w/ 320MB RAM. It just pokes along--much slower than win2k is. Is it just redhat, I've heard redhat is slow and bloated, should I compile a new kernel?
Old 09-10-2003, 03:58 PM   #10
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Are you using Gnome or KDE?
I have a Dell Inspiron 8200 Laptop. When I use KDE, the system is horribly slow, especially (horribly slow mean 3+ minutes to open). I've found 2 suggestions useful:
1) type the following commands from a root shell
killall -9 magicdev
rpm -e magicdev
2) Run Gnome instead of KDE. There is a noticeable system performance increase.

You may also want to run hdparm to check if the problem is hard disk related. For me, it was. Under KDE, my disk ran at about 4-7mb/sec, which is pathetic. Under gnome, I get around 21-24mb/sec, nowhere near where I'd like to be, but nevertheless adequate. I have also seem some posts on tweaking hard drive settings that have allegedly caused noticeable performance increases. You may want to look these up on the linux for dell laptops yahoo group.
I doubt lack of adequate hardware is the problem. Maybe broken equipment though....
Hope this helps.

Old 09-11-2003, 08:04 AM   #11
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Thanks for the above suggestions. Magicdev isn't running. I'm not keen on using Gnome because KDE dosn't work properly - may as well use Windows. The real issue now is that I have lost confidence in Linux as a desktop. My job is a programmer, I really can't see how Linux is expected to compete with Microsoft if one has to spend days and days searching for a fix to bug.
Old 09-17-2003, 09:43 PM   #12
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Wow! Stick with it. Download and install RH 7.3 - it will run beautifully on your hardware, or grab a debian distro. At first I was skeptical about linux, and yes there is a learning curve (about the same as the curve you went through to learn how to manipulate DOS and Windows consoles and applications)

After a few months, I found that I had the tools to accomplish far more in a much shorter time than on Windows. But BY FAR THE BIGGEST BENEFIT of choosing Linux is that linux is an open platform. This is especially important as a programmer!

There is nothing more frustrating than using closed source (often with only dumbed-down exposed APIs) software, running into a problem, and not being able to get to the root of it! That's why I refuse to work with closed source applications - they are a nightmare. And the problem is ten-fold when you try to do all this while on a closed source operating system! Stick with linux if you can take the time to re-learn what your PC is capable of!!
Old 09-18-2003, 09:54 AM   #13
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I run Red Hat 9.1 on an 800 Mhz 256MB computer. I can open Mozilla, Evolution, Gnome Terminal, Gedit all at the same time with no sluggishness. Open Office only takes about 12 seconds to completely load.

Have you gone through your System Settings menu, clicked on Services, and turned off ALL uneeded services?
Old 09-21-2003, 01:09 PM   #14
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I installed RedHat 7.3 - same problem, programs starting up very slowly. So I thought this must be a config/hardware problem. A google search pointed me in the direction of a network card problem. If I "ifconfig eth0 down" the slowness disappears, so all fixed - just need to work out the driver problem for my Netgear FA311, known for problems.

If anyone can give me any pointer I would be grateful. The card works (I can browse the internet), and get no error obvious messages. The only symptom is slow starting up of applications.

Old 09-21-2003, 01:13 PM   #15
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here's some config info:

[root@ root]# cat /proc/interrupts
0: 485188 XT-PIC timer
1: 1743 XT-PIC keyboard
2: 0 XT-PIC cascade
3: 1499 XT-PIC eth0
8: 1 XT-PIC rtc
9: 3507 XT-PIC EMU10K1
10: 0 XT-PIC usb-uhci
12: 12746 XT-PIC PS/2 Mouse
14: 9128 XT-PIC ide0
15: 44824 XT-PIC ide1
NMI: 0
ERR: 0

[root@ root]# dmesg
Linux version 2.4.18-3 ( (gcc version 2.96 20000731 (Red Hat Linux 7.3 2.96-110)) #1 Thu Apr 18 07:37:53 EDT 2002
BIOS-provided physical RAM map:
BIOS-e820: 0000000000000000 - 000000000009fc00 (usable)
BIOS-e820: 000000000009fc00 - 00000000000a0000 (reserved)
BIOS-e820: 00000000000e0000 - 0000000000100000 (reserved)
BIOS-e820: 0000000000100000 - 000000000ffc0000 (usable)
BIOS-e820: 000000000ffc0000 - 000000000fff8000 (ACPI data)
BIOS-e820: 000000000fff8000 - 0000000010000000 (ACPI NVS)
BIOS-e820: 00000000ffb80000 - 00000000ffc00000 (reserved)
BIOS-e820: 00000000fff00000 - 0000000100000000 (reserved)
On node 0 totalpages: 65472
zone(0): 4096 pages.
zone(1): 61376 pages.
zone(2): 0 pages.
Kernel command line: ro root=/dev/hdb3 hdd=ide-scsi
ide_setup: hdd=ide-scsi
Initializing CPU#0
Detected 996.789 MHz processor.
Console: colour VGA+ 80x25
Calibrating delay loop... 1985.74 BogoMIPS
Memory: 255252k/261888k available (1119k kernel code, 6248k reserved, 775k data, 280k init, 0k highmem)
Dentry cache hash table entries: 32768 (order: 6, 262144 bytes)
Inode cache hash table entries: 16384 (order: 5, 131072 bytes)
Mount-cache hash table entries: 4096 (order: 3, 32768 bytes)
Buffer cache hash table entries: 16384 (order: 4, 65536 bytes)
Page-cache hash table entries: 65536 (order: 6, 262144 bytes)
CPU: Before vendor init, caps: 0383f9ff 00000000 00000000, vendor = 0
CPU: L1 I cache: 16K, L1 D cache: 16K
CPU: L2 cache: 256K
CPU: After vendor init, caps: 0383f9ff 00000000 00000000 00000000
Intel machine check architecture supported.
Intel machine check reporting enabled on CPU#0.
CPU: After generic, caps: 0383f9ff 00000000 00000000 00000000
CPU: Common caps: 0383f9ff 00000000 00000000 00000000
CPU: Intel Pentium III (Coppermine) stepping 06
Enabling fast FPU save and restore... done.
Enabling unmasked SIMD FPU exception support... done.
Checking 'hlt' instruction... OK.
POSIX conformance testing by UNIFIX
mtrr: v1.40 (20010327) Richard Gooch (
mtrr: detected mtrr type: Intel
PCI: PCI BIOS revision 2.10 entry at 0xfda95, last bus=2
PCI: Using configuration type 1
PCI: Probing PCI hardware
Unknown bridge resource 0: assuming transparent
PCI: Using IRQ router PIIX [8086/2440] at 00:1f.0
isapnp: Scanning for PnP cards...
isapnp: No Plug & Play device found
Linux NET4.0 for Linux 2.4
Based upon Swansea University Computer Society NET3.039
Initializing RT netlink socket
apm: BIOS version 1.2 Flags 0x03 (Driver version 1.16)
Starting kswapd
VFS: Diskquotas version dquot_6.5.0 initialized
pty: 2048 Unix98 ptys configured
Serial driver version 5.05c (2001-07-08) with MANY_PORTS MULTIPORT SHARE_IRQ SERIAL_PCI ISAPNP enabled
ttyS00 at 0x03f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
Real Time Clock Driver v1.10e
block: 496 slots per queue, batch=124
Uniform Multi-Platform E-IDE driver Revision: 6.31
ide: Assuming 33MHz system bus speed for PIO modes; override with idebus=xx
PIIX4: IDE controller on PCI bus 00 dev f9
PIIX4: chipset revision 2
PIIX4: not 100% native mode: will probe irqs later
ide0: BM-DMA at 0xffa0-0xffa7, BIOS settings: hdaMA, hdbMA
ide1: BM-DMA at 0xffa8-0xffaf, BIOS settings: hdcMA, hddMA
hdb: WDC WD800JB-00CRA1, ATA DISK drive
hdc: _NEC DV-5800A, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
hdd: LG CD-RW CED-8120B, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
ide0 at 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6 on irq 14
ide1 at 0x170-0x177,0x376 on irq 15
blk: queue c035e6a4, I/O limit 4095Mb (mask 0xffffffff)
hda: 78177792 sectors (40027 MB) w/1902KiB Cache, CHS=4866/255/63, UDMA(100)
blk: queue c035e7f0, I/O limit 4095Mb (mask 0xffffffff)
hdb: 156301488 sectors (80026 MB) w/8192KiB Cache, CHS=9729/255/63, UDMA(100)
ide-floppy driver 0.99.newide
Partition check:
hda: hda1
hdb: hdb1 hdb2 hdb3
Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 1.44M
FDC 0 is a post-1991 82077
RAMDISK driver initialized: 16 RAM disks of 4096K size 1024 blocksize
ide-floppy driver 0.99.newide
md: md driver 0.90.0 MAX_MD_DEVS=256, MD_SB_DISKS=27
md: Autodetecting RAID arrays.
md: autorun ...
md: ... autorun DONE.
NET4: Linux TCP/IP 1.0 for NET4.0
IP Protocols: ICMP, UDP, TCP, IGMP
IP: routing cache hash table of 2048 buckets, 16Kbytes
TCP: Hash tables configured (established 16384 bind 16384)
Linux IP multicast router 0.06 plus PIM-SM
NET4: Unix domain sockets 1.0/SMP for Linux NET4.0.
RAMDISK: Compressed image found at block 0
Freeing initrd memory: 123k freed
VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem).
Journalled Block Device driver loaded
kjournald starting. Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
Freeing unused kernel memory: 280k freed
Adding Swap: 522104k swap-space (priority -1)
usb.c: registered new driver usbdevfs
usb.c: registered new driver hub
usb-uhci.c: $Revision: 1.275 $ time 07:43:07 Apr 18 2002
usb-uhci.c: High bandwidth mode enabled
PCI: Found IRQ 10 for device 00:1f.2
PCI: Setting latency timer of device 00:1f.2 to 64
usb-uhci.c: USB UHCI at I/O 0xef80, IRQ 10
usb-uhci.c: Detected 2 ports
usb.c: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 1
hub.c: USB hub found
hub.c: 2 ports detected
usb-uhci.c: v1.275:USB Universal Host Controller Interface driver
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.17, 10 Jan 2002 on ide0(3,67), internal journal
kjournald starting. Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.17, 10 Jan 2002 on ide0(3,65), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
hdc: ATAPI 48X DVD-ROM drive, 512kB Cache, UDMA(33)
Uniform CD-ROM driver Revision: 3.12
SCSI subsystem driver Revision: 1.00
scsi0 : SCSI host adapter emulation for IDE ATAPI devices
Vendor: LG Model: CD-RW CED-8120B Rev: 1.04
Type: CD-ROM ANSI SCSI revision: 02
hdc: DMA disabled
hdd: DMA disabled
parport0: PC-style at 0x378 (0x778) [PCSPP,TRISTATE]
parport0: irq 7 detected
natsemi.c:v1.07 1/9/2001 Written by Donald Becker <>
(unofficial 2.4.x kernel port, version 1.07+LK1.0.14, Nov 27, 2001 Jeff Garzik, Tjeerd Mulder)
PCI: Found IRQ 3 for device 02:0a.0
eth0: NatSemi DP8381[56] at 0xd08d1000, 00:02:e3:05:00:fc, IRQ 3.
eth0: link up.
eth0: Setting full-duplex based on negotiated link capability.
Creative EMU10K1 PCI Audio Driver, version 0.18, 07:43:25 Apr 18 2002
PCI: Found IRQ 9 for device 02:0c.0
PCI: Sharing IRQ 9 with 00:1f.3
emu10k1: EMU10K1 rev 10 model 0x8022 found, IO at 0xdf80-0xdf9f, IRQ 9
ac97_codec: AC97 Audio codec, id: 0x4352:0x5914 (Cirrus Logic CS4297A rev B)
Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0 at scsi0, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
sr0: scsi3-mmc drive: 24x/32x writer cd/rw xa/form2 cdda tray


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