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Hi Everybody. The last time I posted , it was an year ago, and I became a linux user, ubuntu specifically, thanks to the users here who helped me. Back ...
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  1. #1
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    Talking [SOLVED] Suggest me a Performance Distro.


    Hi Everybody.

    The last time I posted, it was an year ago, and I became a linux user, ubuntu specifically, thanks to the users here who helped me. Back then I was an ultra newbie, and had no experience with anything. Now, I am an intermediate level power user, and I use ubuntu almost exclusively. I corrupted windows, and I am too lazy to install it again because I am using ubuntu and it keeps me satisfied. I am also comfortable with some other distros via Live CDs, which I hoard.

    Back then, I had the hardware configuration of Intel Pentium4 Northwood(or perhaps prescott. it IS hot, but no HT) 2.66GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 256mb DDR 400MHz RAM, 80GB Samsung HDD, Intel D915GLVG motherboard with onboard RealTek ALC 880 audio and Onboard GMA 900 Video, and a DVD-Combo drive.
    The only upgrade my system has got since then is an upgrade to a DVD-RAM drive.


    But linux has changed and so have I. I find ubuntu waaaay too slow. After using feisty for an year, I installed hardy a few weeks back and I must say it sucks big time. Gnome 2.22.2 is waaaaaaaay too slow. KDE3.5 is good, but my RAM isn't enough to multitask in it. Xfce is too bloated on ubuntu. So I ended up using my own self created DE, comprising of IceWM as window manager with TrueCurve theme and edited menus, Konqueror as default browser and file manager(it loads quickly under IceWM, faster than nautilus on gnome) and Kaffeine as media player. I use KDE for eyecandy and while doing non-multitasking work. I use Gnome after replacing Nautilus with PCManFM and Firefox with Epiphany and with a tuned up startup. But I am too pissed off with ubuntu for words. It seems that I need atleast 512mb ram now, and I have no intention of upgrading. Gnome 2.22 offers me no noticable improvement in performance or feautres (actually a decrease in performance) over Gnome 2.18.

    I am ditching ubuntu. And gnome. Its UI is waaaay too n00bish and its performance is certainly not meeting my expectations.

    Please suggest me a better distro. I intend to use KDE, Xfce and IceWM. I have shortlisted Arch, Knoppix 5.3, Debian, Zenwalk and Vector. I find all equally impressive.

    I am edging more towards Knoppix 5.3 DVD instead of debian because its just debian pre configured. So I *might* just leave debian out. Please advice me weather to do it or not. I am impressed with the array of apps knoppix provides me, but I don't know if after installing I may get the same experience with software in repository. Apt-Get is familiar territory to me, and since I have my /home directory in a seperate partition, I only need to install and run a giant apt script to reinstall what ever I currently have installed.

    And I heard arch needs no distribution upgrades, so its really worth having as a full time main OS.

    Zenwalk and Vector are the best Slackware derivatives. But which is better ? I find Vector more impressive in looks and its certainly much more polished. But Zenwalk is a bit different; its UI is plain but it has some neat apps. I need a stable Xfce environment. Also, I noticed that Vector bundles JWM, FluxBox and other unnessary bloats. I intend to keep TWM and just install IceWM(which is better than fluxbox according to my testing and experience).

  2. #2
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    I would suggest sticking with a debian based distro, since you might not want to have to add a hundred different repositories for the same amount of software. Also, I run a full KDE 3.5 on a computer about 3 years older than users, with a PIII 550 mhz, and only 128mb ram, and it is quite fast. Now, being the maintainer of Beejex Linux, I would obviously suggest that, but Debian is also a good choice right now, since the August release of Beejex will be the first one that is really installable, without messin arround manually chrooting and adding users.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by beojan View Post
    I would suggest sticking with a debian based distro, since you might not want to have to add a hundred different repositories for the same amount of software. Also, I run a full KDE 3.5 on a computer about 3 years older than users, with a PIII 550 mhz, and only 128mb ram, and it is quite fast. Now, being the maintainer of Beejex Linux, I would obviously suggest that, but Debian is also a good choice right now, since the August release of Beejex will be the first one that is really installable, without messin arround manually chrooting and adding users.
    How about Knoppix instead of Debian ?
    and don't Zenwalk and Vector have slapt-get ?

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    Knoppix is designed to be used as a live CD, not to be installed, so I would advise against it. Slapt-get is not the same as apt-get. Slapt-get uses slackware's package manager, which, in addition to having a tenth of the packages in Debian, also has no real dependancy checking. Debian Etch has a graphical installer: "installgui" at the boot prompt, and then you can dist-upgrade to Sid (unstable) for a more modern desktop.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by beojan View Post
    Knoppix is designed to be used as a live CD, not to be installed, so I would advise against it. Slapt-get is not the same as apt-get. Slapt-get uses slackware's package manager, which, in addition to having a tenth of the packages in Debian, also has no real dependancy checking. Debian Etch has a graphical installer: "installgui" at the boot prompt, and then you can dist-upgrade to Sid (unstable) for a more modern desktop.
    there were several others who told the same about knoppix. But what exactly IS the difference ? I heard that once knoppix is installed, it behaves just like a normal debian system. Some even say knoppix is a good OS to be installed on old machines. I am eager to install knoppix instead of debian because I already downloaded the DVD of Knoppix 5.3 and made two copies of it a few weeks back, just before installing Hardy.

    And how are debian repositories compared to ubuntu repositories ? I heard they have issues with "restricted" software ? Does that mean that debian repositories contain only liberal software and no "restricted" software like w32codecs, etc ?

    I use the medibuntu repository in ubuntu for my "restricted" needs. Is there something similar for debian ?

    And how is Gnome 2.22 on debian ? I heard that in debian, gnome 2.18 and gnome 2.22 are both fast and stable. Is it true ?

    I heard debian sid is too unstable sometimes. Is it true ? And I heard debian lenny has about the same level of package updatedness as ubuntu. Is it also true ?

    And about slackware, many of my friends, all of them older users than me, tell that Slackware based OSes are an excellent experience. I have a friend who always uses Zenwalk both at home and at office via Live CD(behind his boss's back). He says no distro is as polished yet as light as Zenwalk. After using it live, I feel that while its certainly not polished and good looking, its an excellent performer. But it used 192mb RAM when I checked the memory usage after closing all apps in live mode. Isn't this as high as gnome ? Or is it because of the live environment ?

    Vector Linux SOHO 5.1 was one of the first 4 earliest live CDs I downloaded. And it rocked, being highly refined and usable. Vector Standard Gold Live 5.9 is now even better than Live SOHO 5.1.

    So which of the two is better ? Are they both compatible with packages from LinuxPackages: View ? And which has better repositories ?


    Finally, I need the speed difference b/w debian and slackware. Which is faster ? Is the difference in speed significant at all ? Because if debian is close to zen and vec in speed, I am installing only debian.

  6. #6
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    Knoppix mixes different debian repo's (stable, unstable, experimental), so when you try upgrading, everything will fall apart. Ubuntu to debian repositories:
    Main is main
    Universe is contrib
    multiverse and restricted are both non-free

    medibuntu in debian is debian multimedia

    Ubuntu releases are made by taking a snapshot of Debian Sid and making ubuntu specific changes, sometimes micing in packages from experimental

    Gnome 2.18 is in etch, and 2.22 in Sid. However, Gnome in Ubuntu is very different from plain Gnome in Debian. The one in Debian needs a lot of packages to be installed, and some heavy customisation to get things like a printer configuration program. So I suggest KDE in debian. I have never used a Slackware based distro, because I am very satisfied with Debian, and I don't think I can live without dependency handling.

    When I booted Kubuntu live CD on a machine similar to your's, it took nearly half an hour to get up.

    Most linux distributions will be similar in speed since they all have the same base. Differences are only because of desktop environment, mostly. my system, debian sid + kde 3.5.9 boot to logon screen in about a minute, and login takes about another half minute. XFCE is probably a lot faster.

    Here is my /etc/apt/sources.list:
    You might not need all of these, but it is a comprehensive set of repositories, with little need for any others.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by beojan View Post
    Knoppix mixes different debian repo's (stable, unstable, experimental), so when you try upgrading, everything will fall apart. Ubuntu to debian repositories:
    Main is main
    Universe is contrib
    multiverse and restricted are both non-free

    medibuntu in debian is debian multimedia

    Ubuntu releases are made by taking a snapshot of Debian Sid and making ubuntu specific changes, sometimes micing in packages from experimental

    Gnome 2.18 is in etch, and 2.22 in Sid. However, Gnome in Ubuntu is very different from plain Gnome in Debian. The one in Debian needs a lot of packages to be installed, and some heavy customisation to get things like a printer configuration program. So I suggest KDE in debian. I have never used a Slackware based distro, because I am very satisfied with Debian, and I don't think I can live without dependency handling.

    When I booted Kubuntu live CD on a machine similar to your's, it took nearly half an hour to get up.

    Most linux distributions will be similar in speed since they all have the same base. Differences are only because of desktop environment, mostly. my system, debian sid + kde 3.5.9 boot to logon screen in about a minute, and login takes about another half minute. XFCE is probably a lot faster.

    Here is my /etc/apt/sources.list:


    You might not need all of these, but it is a comprehensive set of repositories, with little need for any others.
    Great.

    What about multitasking on my rig ?

    I am a ubuntu studio abuser. will its apps run fine in debian-sid-kde ?

    a friend of mine who is a linux guru and helped me set up linux uses sid with gnome. He says performance is good and it has all features of ubuntu.

    How is IceWM on debian ?

    And how is your distro different from debian in speed ? Do you use same repos ?

    Anyway, I will be back in 8 hours. Will ask more later.

  8. #8
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    My distro uses the exact repo list I gave you.
    IceWM is the same on all distro's. On debian, you need the menu packages to show the apps you have isntalled.
    Anyway, my computer is at least 3 years older than yours, and a lot slower, and debian-sid-kde runs perfectly on it, so you don't have a slow system, and it should be able to cope very well with a full Desktop environment. You don't need a light desktop environment, the heavy ones will not be a problem, just don't install compiz, because it is a bit annoying. Also, it is good that most of your RAM is being used, because Linux caches files that are accessed regularly in RAM. If a program needs the RAM, the file cache will automatically be resized.

    Also, take it from me, KDE is a lot better than Gnome 2.22. I think Gnome 2.10 was the last good version of Gnome, before they radically changed their Human Interface research and made something that is a strange mix of Mac OS and Windows.

    Finally, please stop quoting posts, because it means I have to scroll a lot to find the text I am interested in.

  9. #9
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    Hi MetalheadGautham.

    Judging from your posts, you obviously have the Linux bug! I will say I completely agree with you about IceWM. I've tried all the major WM/DE's and I've not found one faster or easier to configure.

    If you like Debian and apt-get, I'd just go with straight Debian and do a minimal install for a leaner OS. Same with Slackware. If performance and speed is really what you're after, I think you necessarily need to learn how to compile your own custom kernels. That way you can include just what you need and leave the other things you don't need out. In my opinion, this is the best way to achieve speed in a distro. Compiling custom kernels in Slackware, Gentoo and CRUX is not really that hard. After a few times, you'll have it down pat. I like a speedy distro too. This is why I use CRUX. It's the fastest distro I've ever used because it comes with a minimal kernel from the start.

    I'd continue to try all of the distros and DE/WM's you can until the ones you like emerge as your favourite(s). It will take time, but I think it's really the only way you'll be able to answer your questions to your satisfaction, and the process will be informative and fun.
    Linux Mint + IceWM Registered: #371367 New Members: click here

  10. #10
    oz
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    Arch, Crux, and Gentoo, will all give very high performance and are easily customizable by the tech savy end user.
    oz

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