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Old 08-03-2007, 01:26 PM   #1
edderkop
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Registered: Aug 2007
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OpenSUSE 10.2 on an old machine


Hi

I used to have FreeBSD take up my entire 13GB hard disk. When I bought a new 80GB disk, I decided to wait for the next release to come out and to try out some Linux distributions in the meantime. I currently have Ubuntu running on my computer which works quite smoothly in terms of performance as well as stability/maintainability. However, with the 7.0/6.3 release drawing nearer I'd like to give OpenSUSE a try yet but I'm concerned about its hardware requirements. These are my system specs:

- Pentium III 733MHz CPU
- 256MB RDRAM
- 80GB hard drive with 7200 rpm
- A not so state-of-the-art graphics card (ATI Rage Pro I don't even know how much RAM it's got, but I reckon it can't be that much). Not 3D capable.

The latest Ubuntu (Feisty) with Gnome runs quite smoothly, as do applications like Firefox, Open Office, Xine and even NetBeans. But then again that's quite a subjective judgement.
I'm most concerned with the speed of the installer and the package manager. With lots of RAM and CPU power you might excuse a suboptimal (as far as speed is concerned) package manager but with not so much RAM at your disposal an every-day task like installing packages can quickly become quite a nuisance.
I think I can summarise my questions in one sentence: Do you think I can enjoy about as smooth a work flow under SUSE as I can under Ubuntu?

Thanks in advance!

edderkop
 
Old 08-03-2007, 02:47 PM   #2
kuitang
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Ubuntu and SuSE have similar hardware requirements. But the question really comes down to personal preference and what you're willing to do to make your machine go faster; you can tweak both one way or the other to achieve comparable speed but you might do work better under one.
 
Old 08-03-2007, 03:21 PM   #3
edderkop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuitang
you can tweak both one way or the other to achieve comparable speed but you might do work better under one.
Sure, you can make about any distribution as slow or (within some limits) as fast as you want. That's why the speed of the installer and the package manager are paramount for me because there's usually no way to tweak them. And using the package manager is a frequently recurring task.
 
Old 08-03-2007, 09:47 PM   #4
mocean
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The suse package manager (yast) is slow in my opinion. I don't use the novell one so I can't comment on it's speed, i avoid it since the disaster that was the 10.1 release. So overall, slow. Me I don't mind the package manager speed much, I am patient. What annoys me is opening new websites in firefox, and sometimes konquerer, internet browsing is way slow on this machine , athlon 700 around 850mb ram,
 
Old 08-05-2007, 02:35 PM   #5
sadiqdm
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Suse 10.2 on older hardware

I had Suse 10.1 running on a 800Mhz (ish) P3 with 256Mb RAM, and it was a bit slow, but faster than XP on the same hardware. I doubled the RAM, and that made a huge difference.

I'm currently testing Suse 10.2 and Kubuntu 6.10 on some even older hardware. First up was a Dell Latitude C600 with 128M RAM and a 733Mhz P3. Started with Kubuntu 6.10 and it was very slow running from the CD during install, but after it is about the same as NT4 which is what it had originally. I am going to upgrade the RAM to the 512Mb maximum and see what happens. The install found all the hardware and configured it correctly, including the Thinkpad type pointing thingy, the display and the network card.

This project is for a volunteer residents association in my borough, who have inherited some old Dell desktops and laptops. No budget for buying new Windows, so they are letting me try out Linux. The users are going to be mainly not very computer literate, and will need basic e-mail, net browsing and word processing. It should be an interesting exercise, and I intend to write it up and post here. I see this niche as a good place to introduce Linux. Not much, or no budget, recycled hardware, a lot of older users with little or no previous computer experience.

Stay tune!

Last edited by sadiqdm; 08-05-2007 at 05:57 PM.
 
Old 08-06-2007, 02:08 AM   #6
edderkop
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Thanks for your replies, mocean and sadiqdm! I've since installed SUSE and used it for one day but mocean is absolutely right: YAST is painfully slow - so much so on my old machine that I can't even use a web browser while it is installing software or doing some other task.
Sadly, and apart from the setup tool's slowness, I enjoyed using SUSE very much. It's got a very professional look and feel, more so than Ubuntu. The default KDE looks great (which is quite a weak argument but nevertheless contributes to a good first impression). SUSE's Kickoff menu in KDE is very handy (and also looks somewhat cool ).
I've now installed Ubuntu again, but I will certainly give SUSE another try when I've had the chance to upgrade my hardware a little.

Thanks for your replies and tips!
 
Old 08-08-2007, 10:53 PM   #7
chuckbuhler
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One of my computers is a 500mhz with 512mb ram. We run SuSE 10.1 on it, and it's just fine. It's mostly used for games and a little bit of web surfing. We use Opera for the web, and it's mostly just fine. I think the memory is the real saving grace with this computer.

Yes, Yast is a real dog on that, but I don't install software very often on that box any more. I don't think I'd like to open a 100 page Openoffice doc with it, but it isn't too bad for regular (a few pages) docs.

If I really wanted speed out of this computer, I'd probalby run Deli linux on it, but I like SuSE and KDE, so it's worth the speed hit just to have what I like. We have a faster computer, but the old one probably gets as much use, if not more, just because it's now "the wife's computer" and a lot of my old stuff is still on it. One of the joys of linux console apps is, even on that old computer, vi is still faster than my dense brain works.

One other thing, we have grandkiddos, so when I last loaded that workstation, I put icons for a lot of the games on the desktop. Haven't done that on the new computer yet, so they want the old computer, because it's fun, and grandpa's computer is boring. They don't care that it's slow, they just want to play frozen bubble (by the hour).
 
Old 08-10-2007, 12:07 AM   #8
walla299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edderkop
Hi

I'd like to give OpenSUSE a try yet but I'm concerned about its hardware requirements. These are my system specs:

- Pentium III 733MHz CPU
- 256MB RDRAM
- 80GB hard drive with 7200 rpm
- A not so state-of-the-art graphics card (ATI Rage Pro I don't even know how much RAM it's got, but I reckon it can't be that much). Not 3D capable.

Thanks in advance!

edderkop
I installed Suse 10.2 on an old E-Machines Celeron 633 with 256mb ram, and a 10gb ide hard drive. The motherboard is maxed on ram at 256mb. I used the text installer since the docs said the graphic one might not run, and everything worked fine. Larger apps, like Open Office took awhile to load, but worked ok after that. Web surfing with Firefox, etc were faster than with the Windoze ME that came with the box.

I later tried out a distro called Zenwalk, which is designed for older hardware and it was pretty good too. Damn Small Linux would be another option also, just depends on what works for you.
 
Old 08-11-2007, 08:16 AM   #9
edderkop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walla299
I installed Suse 10.2 on an old E-Machines Celeron 633 with 256mb ram, and a 10gb ide hard drive. The motherboard is maxed on ram at 256mb. I used the text installer since the docs said the graphic one might not run, and everything worked fine. Larger apps, like Open Office took awhile to load, but worked ok after that. Web surfing with Firefox, etc were faster than with the Windoze ME that came with the box.

I later tried out a distro called Zenwalk, which is designed for older hardware and it was pretty good too. Damn Small Linux would be another option also, just depends on what works for you.
At the moment, Ubuntu works fine for me. Anyway, the usual day-to-day tasks like browsing the net, word processing - you name it - worked fine for me under SUSE. What made me go back to Ubuntu eventually was YAST, which is a nice tool indeed, but awfully slow on my machine (the CLI didn't make much difference in terms of speed).
BTW: The graphical installer worked like a charm for me and wasn't too slow, either.
Zenwalk is indeed a nice distro if it were not for the Slackware-typical software `management' (which doesn't really deserve the name) and the lacking out-of-the-box support for Gnome, which is my favourite desktop environment. You can install Freerock but the packages that come with it tend to lag behind.
I've tried Damn Small too, but didn't like it much, I prefer Puppy, but that's for one of my still older computers.

Thanks for your reply!

edderkop
 
Old 08-11-2007, 08:22 AM   #10
jschiwal
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You could use yast in the console as well. For a challenged machine, that will probably use fewer resources. I would avoid "rug" and "zen". Those are dog slow and buggy on any computer. If they are installed, you might consider uninstalling them. The synchronization with zenworks when using yast will slow things down as well.

Last edited by jschiwal; 08-11-2007 at 08:26 AM.
 
Old 11-12-2007, 08:51 AM   #11
calande
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Hi guys, I'm using 10.3 here on a slow computer, and it's really slow. Really slow, even with Beagle removed. Any idea to make it faster? Thanks.
 
Old 11-12-2007, 09:49 AM   #12
chuckbuhler
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Quote:
Hi guys, I'm using 10.3 here on a slow computer, and it's really slow. Really slow, even with Beagle removed. Any idea to make it faster? Thanks.
First, what are the specs of that workstation?

Base answer is first add as much memory as is reasonable. Next, use something like xfce for your desktop instead of KDE or Gnome for your windowmanager. Alse be sure that services you don't need arn't running.

You can also look at how you're using the computer. If there is a console based software that will work for what you are doing, it often will be faster than a gui based app. Try not to have multiple applications running at the same time, if you are browsing the internet, don't have a wordprocessor or spreadsheet open at the same time.

If none of these help, you might want to look into running one of the smaller distributions like Puppy, delilinux, or DSL. They are all designed from the start to be much more lite-weight than SuSE.
 
Old 11-12-2007, 09:55 AM   #13
calande
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Thanks! I have a Pentium II 650Mhz laptop with 256MB of RAM (maximum possible). I used to have only 128MB. I did try XFCE which I didn't find faster than Gnome on this computer. I tried DSL (Live CD) a few months ago. I was quite fast, and it didn't even use all my 256MB of RAM, but...Well, it's not as polished as openSUSE
I always use only one or two applications at the same time at most. Most of my needs are GUI-based applications (OpenOffice.org, Opera...). Thanks.
 
Old 11-12-2007, 11:06 AM   #14
chuckbuhler
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I definately agree with the polished look of openSuSE. That's why we use it too. On our 500mhz computer, we just accept that it's going to be rather slow, but in our case, it probably isn't as bad, as that computer has 512mb ram. We're actually running 10.1 on it, but 10.3 seems much nicer.
 
Old 11-12-2007, 06:48 PM   #15
calande
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Distribution: Urubu
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Hello, I've made a list of the applications that are started at boot up and that I don't know exactly what they do. Could you tell me which ones are safe to disable? I mean I'm sure I don't need many of these applications in the background...
Code:
hotkey-setup
irq_balance
stopblktrace
auditdavahi-daemon
avahi-dnsconfd
consolekit
dbus
easysyslog
earlyxdm
kbd
microcode.ctl
network
nscd
ntp
portmap
postfix
powersaved (Note: My laptop doesn't have a battery anymore)
random
resmgr
smpppd
splash_early
splash
sshd
SuSEfirewall2_init
SuSEfirewall_setup
syslog
Please let me know!
Thanks.
 
  


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