I'm trying to install a Linux distro on my wife's net-book, as windows 7 runs pretty slow. Net-book is Dell Inspiron Mini 10 with 2 Gb of RAM.
Against my philosophy (keep it smart and simple, but not retarded smart & simple) I've tried Ubuntu 13. Unfortunately it overheats a lot (lm-sensors show 70-76 on ISA sensor) and the default Unity runs really slow. With Xfce it does better to be honest, with KDE things are in the middle.
I will also try Moblin OS from Dell's website, as I've read it's Atom optimized.
But because I like ARCH so much, I'm also thinking to give it a try.
Do you have any recommendations after / during install for:
1. Higher HDD speed (will a more complex partition scheme give me a real improvement as mentioned in Arch wiki, or I should just stick with two partitions, / & swap)?
2. Xfce seems the good option at this moment. LXDE is ugly for her, she wants something a bit eye-candy. KDE would be the best, in your experience is there any substantial performance-wise difference between XFCE & KDE?
3. What tools/mods should I install for better power & temperature handling on this Atom processor and Intel GPU? It is Intel 3150, I understood that a good driver is in xf86-video-intel
Any other suggestions?
She is not a very technical user, so I would like to have a stable configuration which I will have to tune from time to time, not very often. ARCH to be honest seems a good candidate, even if many people are saying that it is a distro which requires constant maintenance... yes, it does if you mess with it a lot, but with day to day use it is not the case.
P.S. Netbook is dell inspiron mini 1021
MilenKid, unless you clarify your questions, I suspect this will be TGN'ed. But I'll give it a shot before that happens:
1) You can't change your HDD speed - so this question just isn't clear enough to answer. I can infer that instead you want to improve something like the time it takes to boot, or ... A separate boot partition has advantages, but I highly doubt boot speed is a noteworthy one of them. E4rat or systemd-preload would be worth looking into (I prefer the former) - but again this is based on me guessing about what you are really asking. Don't make us guess - do your own searches, then ask meaningful questions.
2) what are you really asking? It sounds like you've decided on XFCE, great. Does XFCE give better performance than KDE: it depends on what you mean by performance. It's lighter weight in most respects and will generally start a *little* faster - but KDE may have advantages in other respects. Try them both and see for yourself.
3) What tools have you considered? Laptopmodetools is the name of a package ... care to guess what it is for? As for the video driver, you don't really pick those: use the one for the video card in your machine. With ati/nvidia there are options between open vs closed source drivers, but other than that you cant just select from any drivers out there.
Overall, please search for your own answers before asking - most of these you'd find very clear answers to. Or at the very least you'd be able to clarify what you are actually asking.
I have searched actually. Maybe I'm not clear:
1. Indeed, HDD speed might be misleading:
"The partition layout can influence the system's performance. Sectors at the beginning of the drive (closer to the center of the disk) are faster than those at the end. Also, a smaller partition requires less movements from the drive's head, and so speed up disk operations. Therefore, it is advised to create a small partition (10gb, more or less depending on your needs) only for your system, as near to the beginning of the drive as possible. Other data (pictures, videos) should be kept on a separate partition, and this is usually achieved by separating the home directory (/home/user) from the system (/)."
Also, recommendations were some time ago for separate partitioning /home, /etc, /usr, in order to improve speed. This was on RedHat 5 time, I don't know if it still has any sense, that's why I asked - I'm interested in users specific experience with ARCH and with Netbooks, not blog posts, because opinions seem to be split.
2. Asking about users with net-books long time experience with XFCE/KDE if any.
Trying both for two hours each will not give me any answers in the long run. Did I said it's not my machine?
3. Thank you, laptopmodetools I will try. Also kernel-netbook I will try and many other tools which I noted, but I repeat question was going towards users experience, please trust me I know how to duckduckgo something and read the fine manual. Let me repeat again, it's not a machine I can test a lot and re-install as I wish.