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#1 2011-09-18 21:49:12

wolfdogg
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From: Portland, OR, USA
Registered: 2011-05-21
Posts: 545

fresh install laptop, going lightweight

well, the linux installs have officially matched teh windows installs over here.  This is cool.

i have a P4 laptop, mostly legacy components 256mb memory, 30gb hard drive.  I just installed the latest 686 iso.  im going to give gnome a try.  i just completed the arch install on ext4, the first thing i ran is pacman -Syu gnome.   is there anything else i should know about right off the bat, either concerning  the fact that its a laptop as far as sytem configuration (i will be looking over this https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Ma … filesystem and  , or any first suggestions about recommended DE components or anything that might make my experience ultra cool and blow away my KDE desktop box?

Last edited by wolfdogg (2011-09-19 01:07:28)


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#2 2011-09-18 21:57:20

stlarch
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From: hell
Registered: 2010-12-25
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Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

I have a feeling gnome might not perform very well on that hardware. Have you ever tried a lightweight wm, like openbox, fluxbox or one of the tilers? I would go for that.

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#3 2011-09-18 22:13:37

wolfdogg
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From: Portland, OR, USA
Registered: 2011-05-21
Posts: 545

Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

really?  i was going to go for fluxbox, or openbox, i was trying to decide, but since gnome is on the top of the list with kde usually, i thought i wanted to experience gnome.  I think you migh be right on the performance issues though.  is gnome performance intensive?  This laptop is known to be SLOWWWW, thats why i put linux on it to better utilise the resources.


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#4 2011-09-18 22:25:04

kasl33
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Registered: 2011-09-09
Posts: 13

Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

I am using Gnome on the 64-bit version of Arch and, without any programs running except Pidgin, Skype, and Conky, it uses about 327 MB of RAM. I know x86 versions typically do use a bit less memory though - I believe you might be in there with about 180 MB of RAM - however that doesn't leave you much room.

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#5 2011-09-18 22:27:13

Gusar
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Registered: 2009-08-25
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Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

RAM is your biggest problem. I seriously doubt Gnome will fit 256MB. XFCE probably will, LXDE will for sure. But with Gnome you're looking at a lot of swapping with what is probably a 4200rpm IDE drive, which is sloooooow. I'd try to avoid swapping as much as possible.

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#6 2011-09-18 22:29:43

wolfdogg
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From: Portland, OR, USA
Registered: 2011-05-21
Posts: 545

Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

well, i think i would atleast prefer a DE over a WM, i dont really have much experience with WM's however. I need to figure out the primary differences first i guess. what about Xfce or LXDE?  Would that be sufficient enough, and any preferences with one of those in particular

Last edited by wolfdogg (2011-09-18 22:32:21)


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#7 2011-09-18 22:54:59

wolfdogg
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From: Portland, OR, USA
Registered: 2011-05-21
Posts: 545

Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

hmm, i dont think i would mind this either, ratpoison, but is that only a tiling?  i see this http://thoughtbit.com/xorg-build/slackw … beryl2.png but im not so sure thats ratpoison.  if not, anybody know what that is?  looks pretty clean.

WM's have mouse support dont they, but it looks like ratpoison might not, which rules it out for me.

Last edited by wolfdogg (2011-09-18 23:08:52)


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#8 2011-09-18 23:12:21

Gusar
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Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

Ratpoison is named so because it's completely anti-rodent. That screenshot is compiz, an opengl-based compositor. You haven't told what graphic card your machine has, so we can't know how well that will work.

It seems you're quite unfamiliar with do-it-yourself environments, so I'd recommend XFCE for you.

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#9 2011-09-18 23:38:53

wolfdogg
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From: Portland, OR, USA
Registered: 2011-05-21
Posts: 545

Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

well i might be unfamiliar, but im quite adept at programming, so its no problem either way,
the graphics is an older Ati radeon mobility M6 LY

ill try xfce if it is a better environment, not because im afraid to install something else, lol.

to give my opinion, for example i dont like the look or feel of ubuntu at all, so anything that remotely resembles that, i stray away from.  I use and like KDE/plasma on my primary box, it sometimes gives me a headache with all the dolphin problems and too many gui's for everything, i tend to like mouse control, although im big on hotkeys, i like small borders dark or ocean blue backgorund and themes, a bit of eye candy as far as slick looking windows and menus, no too much the hacker look but easily readable small fonts, and i dont mind using a menu to open programs.  i do like to have a few of my favorite apps located in a launch bar, and to have the open apps in a taskbar for easy switching.  I plan to use this laptop for mostly parking it in the car, so i have something for the road, but also i will try to find a good use for it in the office, maybe just a basic backup machine for email and internet. 

I already have my lamp server setup, and i have a fast machine for all the rest of the programs over here. this particular laptop will be mainly loaded up with lightweight apps to keep it running smooth.

[Edit: added in KDE info]

Last edited by wolfdogg (2011-09-19 01:10:46)


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#10 2011-09-19 01:15:03

wolfdogg
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From: Portland, OR, USA
Registered: 2011-05-21
Posts: 545

Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

i also wanted to mention, i see a little bit of contradiction in your advice, maybe im wrong.  The reason i chose arch is because it is a DIY environment, so isnt it a little counter intuitive to purposefully avoid DIY environments assuming im an arch user? Would we want to cast that kind of advice to arch users?

I will admit though, Xfce does look versatile enough, and since its based on GTK2 it might meet some of my requirements.

Last edited by wolfdogg (2011-09-19 01:20:19)


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#11 2011-09-19 02:41:00

stlarch
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From: hell
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Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

I think a lightweight setup is actually more in tune with Arch, since a DE comes with everything and essentially tries to do everything for you and a lightweight setup lets you add only what you want or need. But to each his own. And they are almost infinitely customizable. (Eye candy galore!) Take a look through some of the screenshot threads and you'll see what I mean. Openbox seems to be the most popular. The last time I tried xfce, it too was a bit of a resource hog. I would go with lxde (which uses openbox as it's wm, btw), like Gusar said if you really want a DE. You might want to consider adding some more ram if that's a possibility. 256 will probably be tight.

Last edited by stlarch (2011-09-19 03:18:52)

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#12 2011-09-19 02:44:11

jasonwryan
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Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

wolfdogg wrote:

The reason i chose arch is because it is a DIY environment, so isnt it a little counter intuitive to purposefully avoid DIY environments assuming im an arch user?

Well, you did open this thread asking about Gnome...


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#13 2011-09-19 04:15:43

wolfdogg
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From: Portland, OR, USA
Registered: 2011-05-21
Posts: 545

Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

stlarch wrote:

You might want to consider adding some more ram if that's a possibility. 256 will probably be tight.

well the ram is pretty much impossible to improve upon.  It will be too expensive to upgrade the ram, its something like sd-100 ram, bwuaa haa haa haa,  and with the dinosaur hard drive pretty much ensures that the laptop will double up just fine as a weapon if i get hassled.  :-0  i was just excited to drag this laptop out of the closet and put arch on it.

jasonwryan wrote:

Well, you did open this thread asking about Gnome...

yeah your right, my bad, but as stlarch pointed out it was not the best if ideas. Its advise i was seeking.

I just installed Xfce to see how it handles, i will probably move on to openbox next to see how WM's suit me, and how this laptop handles it.

regarding Gusar's comment

Gusar wrote:

That screenshot is compiz, an opengl-based compositor.

where do i find that, not too sure what compiz is, is that resource hungry?

Last edited by wolfdogg (2011-09-19 04:20:21)


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#14 2011-09-19 04:39:34

ewaller
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From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 15,930

Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

where do i find that, not too sure what compiz is, is that resource hungry?

ewaller@odin:~ 1006 %pacman -Ss compiz
community/ccsm 0.8.4-2 (compiz-fusion compiz-fusion-gtk compiz-fusion-kde) [installed]
    Compizconfig Settings Manager in Python
community/compiz-bcop 0.8.8-1 [installed]
    Compiz option code generator
community/compizconfig-backend-gconf 0.8.8-1 (compiz-fusion-gtk compiz-fusion)
    Compizconfig backend for gconf
community/compizconfig-backend-kconfig4 0.8.8-1 (compiz-fusion-kde compiz-fusion)
    Compizconfig backend for kconfig4
community/compizconfig-python 0.8.4-2 [installed]
    Compizconfig bindings for python
community/compiz-core 0.8.8-2 (compiz compiz-kde compiz-gtk compiz-fusion) [installed]
    Composite manager for Aiglx and Xgl
community/compiz-decorator-gtk 0.8.8-2 (compiz compiz-kde compiz-gtk compiz-fusion)
    Compiz decorator for GNOME
community/compiz-decorator-kde 0.8.8-2 (compiz compiz-kde compiz-gtk compiz-fusion)
    Compiz decorator for KDE
community/compiz-fusion-plugins-extra 0.8.8-1 (compiz-fusion compiz-fusion-gtk compiz-fusion-kde) [installed]
    Compiz Fusion Extra plugins
community/compiz-fusion-plugins-main 0.8.8-1 (compiz-fusion compiz-fusion-kde compiz-fusion-gtk) [installed]
    Compiz Fusion Main plugins
community/compiz-manager 0.6.0-3
    Compiz Fusion Starter Program
community/emerald 0.8.8-1 (compiz-fusion compiz-fusion-kde compiz-fusion-gtk) [installed]
    Emerald window decorator
community/emerald-themes 0.6.0-3 (compiz-fusion compiz-fusion-kde compiz-fusion-gtk) [installed]
    Themes for emerald
community/fusion-icon 20101021-1 (compiz-fusion compiz-fusion-kde compiz-fusion-gtk) [installed]
    Simple tray icon for compiz
community/libcompizconfig 0.8.8-1 [installed]
    Compiz configuration system library
ewaller@odin:~ 1007 %

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Compiz
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compiz

I am mildly astonished you have not found it yet !  It is eye candy to the extreme, but is amazingly easy on the resources.  It runs great with Xfce4.  This computer spends 80% of its time in that mode.


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#15 2011-09-19 04:50:03

Inxsible
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,105

Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

I have run Gnome and Xfce on a P3, 256MB RAM, 30GB HDD before....but that was back in 2003. These days Gnome will not work with that config. Even Xfce is extremely sluggish for my tastes.  I currently run i3 on it. but web-browsing is slow since firefox is a hog. I use it mainly as a media player and not much else.

If its an old machine, throw in a WM you like. That's the only way to go.

And FORGET about running compiz on it !!


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#16 2011-09-19 06:07:21

wolfdogg
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From: Portland, OR, USA
Registered: 2011-05-21
Posts: 545

Re: fresh install laptop, going lightweight

ewaller wrote:

I am mildly astonished you have not found it yet !  It is eye candy to the extreme, but is amazingly easy on the resources.  It runs great with Xfce4.  This computer spends 80% of its time in that mode.

Well, atleast i found it before i read this, i was just going to comment that i found the wiki, it was staring at me in teh first paragraph on the ati wiki https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/ATI#Installation.  I just hadn't heard of it, and the name doesnt ring as a linux name if you know what i mean.  looks like a cool setup, but i guess ill try that on one of my other boxes in the near future.

inxsible wrote:

These days Gnome will not work with that config. Even Xfce is extremely sluggish for my tastes.  I currently run i3 on it. but web-browsing is slow since firefox is a hog. I use it mainly as a media player and not much else.
If its an old machine, throw in a WM you like. That's the only way to go.
And FORGET about running compiz on it !!

you brought up alot of good points. Processors cant keep up with apps nowadays i hear, so it makes sense that a new version Gnome will flat out bust the older setups. I want to mention, its that exact paradigm im trying to get out of.  Usually with old laptops that came with windows as a native install, when you upgrade you suffer with performance.  This causes one to always have to install older version of resource intensive apps. 

My other laptop(my new one) is an i3, its a great processor, would have opted for the i5 or i7 but too expensive at the time. I will be setting up a dual boot on that laptop soon with arch(dual boot so my wife still has a windows 7 playground.)
Firefox seems will always be a hog, gotta love it though.

I think ill stick to your advice about sticking to a WM on the older machine, so after i get my fill of Xfce which i just put on it, ill throw Openbox on it. Ill let you all know how well Xfce runs on it in the meantime once i get the feel of it.

Last edited by wolfdogg (2011-09-19 06:11:22)


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