"Best" distro for a lower spec machine

Bennett Todd bet at rahul.net
Mon Jul 19 14:46:00 PDT 2004


2004-07-19T21:29:27 Ian Molton:
> Bennett Todd:
> > If you could see your way clear to abandoning X, it'd be easy, you
> > could use anything.
> > 
> > If you gotta piss away resources on X
> 
> X *really* isnt as bad as all that. it can run happily on CPU and RAM
> starved handhelds. I dont understand why people love to bash X.

Well, I loathe it. On a 1.8GHz P4 I use, 1GB RAM, startx w/ a
simple .xinitrc of "true" takes over 5 seconds. Starting Mozilla
one of the two GUI apps I'm occasionally forced to use, takes a
while too, 4 seconds mozilla. The other one's nastier, I have to log
onto a 500MHz UltraSparcII system, and it takes 30 seconds to fire
up nscal. Aside from those two blecherous apps I get to work in the
console all the time, and am much happer.

I normally find a 660MHz Transmeta Crusoe TM5600 w/ 128MB RAM
delightfully snappy, fast at everything I want to do interactively,
and remaining responsive while slow things (e.g. big compiles,
ripping to ogg, running big backups) runs in the background.

Some years back, when it was current hot tech, a friend of mine ran
a really great regional ISP, thousands of users, routinely 30-50
logged on concurrently, on a 486DX2-66, running BSDI. That was a
great system.

I don't like GUIs much, they just slow me down, but when ya gotta
run 'em, give 'em all the horsepower available, don't try and do 'em
on ancient boxes.

Yeah, there are X servers that can be wedged into handhelds, but
I don't _think_ handhelds run office suites on X, which is what the
OP seemed to be planning on.

-Bennett
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