Joined: Feb. 2007
||Posted: Feb. 03 2007,18:41
|Quote (mikshaw @ Feb. 03 2007,01:34)|
|One thing you could do is install as a debian-style harddrive system. This makes for a more difficult system to keep upgraded with DSL development, but is easier on your ram....|
Choose lighter alternatives to apps that you generally use. Try vi instead of beaver, mc instead of emelfm, dillo instead of firefox.
Do you really need a graphical environment all the time? Many tasks can be completed just as easily, and usually more quickly, by logging into text mode.
I have a frugal DSL system on a 333mhz machine, and it works quite well...definitely better than the windows2000 system that was installed on it before.
I ran across this article yesterday.
I decided to test out my own system using several different combinations of applications I normally run in X. I wasn't too surprised by my results -- Mozilla products are pigs that eat up RAM; XMMS uses way more memory than cplay or straight-up mpg123 (or mpg321 which comes with DSL); rox filer is fun for managing mp3 players, but mc, fdclone, clex, etc., are far easier on resources and can do the same job; WindowMaker isn't a "light" window manager compared to ratpoison, pekwm, ion2, jwm, etc.; and so on.
I use DSL with a standard hard drive install on a 400 mhz Celeron "machine" (I use that term VERY loosely) with 128 MB RAM and a 282 MB swap partition.
I'm comfortable using console apps, and I've run screen for weeks on end using startx only as needed (mainly for browsing, using non-pop web e-mail accounts, etc.). The main drawback to using console apps exclusively in 2007 is that much of the content I want and need is graphical, and many sites aren't suitable for viewing in w3m, elinks, links, lynx, netrik, or other nifty little browsers.
I've also run my console apps in screen while using ratpoison so I don't have to startx and then go back to the console, which works pretty well until I switch window managers and all my apps open to full screen (heh).
As to meltdown's questions...
The article linked above has some good advice on how to get more out of your older machine. Open a terminal and type "free." That will show you your current memory use. Start closing applications you have opened. Each time, go to your "free" terminal and type "free" and see how much difference it makes. You can open other applications and check to see if they eat up too much RAM or if you can live with them.
If you're using fluxbox, switch to one of the more basic-looking themes. Use wallpaper.lua (found in the setup-desktop submenu) to set your background to a solid color rather than using an image with the theme. Restart fluxbox (exit submenu-restart). Go to the terminal and type "free" again. See how much that changes things -- all of that loads into RAM, so you use more RAM the fancier you let things get. Also turn off the icons. I don't know how much memory xtdesktop uses, but I occasionally use rox pinboard and it's a bloated pig (even if it's a very nice, pretty pig that lets me drag and drop).
Overclocking is hardware-oriented, so the O/S is irrelevant. It can be done safely, it can be done stupidly. There are plenty of guides online. Make darn sure you know what you're doing. I don't know if you're considering overclocking your desktop or laptop or both. I personally wouldn't overclock a laptop because of cooling issues (overclocking causes more heat, laptops tend to run on the hot side anyway).
Your computer shouldn't crash from browsing or using the internet. Try using another browser that fits with your needs. Dillo lacks a lot of function, but it's very fast and uses considerably less RAM than Firefox or Mozilla/Seamonkey. Opera uses considerably less RAM because it uses the same window to manage email and browsing (the extra windows from running Mozilla/Seamonkey or Firefox plus Thunderbird cost you quite a bit more RAM). Use Sylpheed for email if you want a GUI MUA. If you're primarily reading text on the web, consider running one of the text browsers. From the DSL repository, I use snownews for RSS feeds. I have it set up with elinks (compiled from source) and my secondary browser, in case I need to see images, from elinks is Dillo (I like elinks because I download a lot of podcasts and it lets me do that in the background). Use wget in a terminal to download files, etc.
And if you can live without X, mikshaw is right. Consider downloading screen.dsl and running console apps. Screen is a multiplexer that lets you run virtual terminals for console apps and manage them (though it's not really a window manager for console). Using screen lets you continue to run those apps in the same terminal when you startx, so you don't have to stop what you're doing in the console. You just resume your screen session in aterm, xterm, etc., while in X and everything's still running when you go back to the console. It works very well with the console apps that come with DSL, like naim and mc. There are also console apps like elmo (for email) and epic4 (irc client) in the repository; there are more you can find through apt-get or compile (if you install gcc from the repository). Screen works better with window managers that don't have a lot of default (or user-added) keybindings because console apps lose their usefulness when a window manager uses the same keystrokes (window manager takes priority on keybindings); the best in this regard, imo, is ratpoison because it uses similar bindings to screen (ctrl-t-_ versus ctrl-a-_), but it may not be to your liking since it only manages windows in full screen mode -- so everything in gimp opens in its own window, including progress bars -- without a menu (though you can add one like ratmenu) and is geared for keyboard-only/mouseless use.
DSL should work admirably as it comes on the equipment meltdown listed. It's all the stuff we pile on top of it that bogs it down. There are crazy people who want to put big fancy distros with 2.6 kernels on older hardware -- they may as well try to run XP or Vista with all the eyecandy they expect from those distros -- and aren't necessarily going to get better performance than they had using Win95, especially if they try to run KDE/Gnome with apps like Firefox and Thunderbird and Open Office. Match your apps to your equipment and you'll do fine.