"Best" distro for a lower spec machine

Jeremy Henty jeremy at chaos.org.uk
Mon Jul 19 15:31:05 PDT 2004

On Mon, Jul 19, 2004 at 09:46:00PM +0000, Bennett Todd wrote:
> 2004-07-19T21:29:27 Ian Molton:
> > 
> > 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.

I use a 233Mkz K6, 64K RAM, and timing a startx with a simple .xinitrc
of "true" gives;

real    0m7.180s
user    0m3.670s
sys     0m0.730s

In other words, my CPU is 8 times slower than yours, I have 16 times
less memory, yet my startx (with a simple .xinitrc of "true") is less
than twice as slow as yours.

In other words: you're wrong.  X is not your problem.  In fact, these
days, X is *never* the problem.  Seriously, it's not.  Way, way back
(when GUI == Window 3.11), X was bloated.  It consumed *several*
*megabytes* of memory!!!  But now, X is one of leanest, meanest
applications you are running.  No kidding.

If you look for "X windows sucks" posts you will find lots of posts
from people claiming that X is bloat.  And if you bother to read those
posts you will find that none of them cite any evidence: they are all
talking out of their back passages.  If you look for posts from people
who actually *know* what they are talking about, like the Gnome
developers, people who *actually* *write* X applications and then
*actually* *profile* them, they say that X is not the bottleneck.

In other words, I've been there, done the research, and you're wrong.
Whatever your problem is, it isn't X windows.


Jeremy Henty 

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