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I have recently installed a copy of Red Hat 9 on a spare laptop machine (800Mhz with 128Mb RAM). I have never used Linux before (I grew up using DOS ...
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  1. #1
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    New Linux user


    I have recently installed a copy of Red Hat 9 on a spare laptop machine (800Mhz with 128Mb RAM).
    I have never used Linux before (I grew up using DOS and various versions of Windows) but though I would like to give it a go to see if it is is as good as everyone says
    The laptop had been running Windows XP but I had formatted the disk to start with a clean slate.
    The installation went fine and everything seems to be working OK, I can even connect to my router to browse and get mail, but my biggest problem is the speed! I know that the amount of RAM installed is the minimum for an X window setup but I did not expect it to be quite this slow. Starting an application from the desktop takes forever, much, much slower than anything under XP.
    Is this what I have got to expect or is there anything I can do to speed things up?
    I would love to switch over to Linux on all my systems just to get away from all the windows security problems but if the speed is just not going to be there then I am afraid I will have to stick with XP
    Any help gratefully received.

  2. #2
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    You can start by disabling all services that you dont need to have running, they will steal some memory/cpu speed even if you dont use them....check with

    Code:
    chkconfig --list | grep 3:on
    Disable all services you dont need to have started with the command:

    Code:
    chkconfig --level 0123456 <servicename> off
    i have about 8 services started in defaultrunlevel (3)....
    Regards

    Andutt

  3. #3
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    That's probably not a very good idea, if I may say what I think. Just tell me one thing before moving on: While the program is starting, is the machine swapping a lot (ie. using the hard drive)?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolda2000
    While the program is starting, is the machine swapping a lot (ie. using the hard drive)?
    Yes, which probably means that I have not got enough RAM installed.
    I know when I installed it it said that 128Mb was the minimum required to run the X Window system but I did not realise it would be quite that critical as the machine was running Windows XP quite happily and I though Linux was a less demanding OS.
    I suppose that if I am going to do a true evaluation of Linux I will have to fit some more RAM and see if that speeds things up.
    Thanks for the replies.

  5. #5
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    Actually, it shouldn't be that critical. I have a friend running Linux on less than 128 MBs RAM, and it's not too bad for him. Just how bad is it for you, and what applications are you referring to? If you're talking about OpenOffice or Mozilla, then it's no wonder; those are probably the largest, bulkiest programs you'll ever run, whether it's on Linux or on Winbloze.

    However, do check that your IDE chipset driver has enabled DMA on your hard drive; run this as root, and post here what it says:
    Code:
    hdparm /dev/hda
    Also, what desktop environment are you running? GNOME or KDE?

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    I am running Gnome, and as you rightly surmise it is Mozilla and Open Office that are the main culprits they appear to take about three times longer to load than the equivalent IE and Office XP do under Windows XP. I cannot tell about other applications such as Photoshop as I do not have a Linux version of them.
    I sat and used the system yesterday for some time and I am slowly getting to grips with Liniux, with most of the other 'applets' running at a useable speed - Gimp for example.
    I will check the DMA setting of the hard disk as you suggest and I will invest in some more RAM to see if this speeds up Office as this will be the main application I will be using.
    Thanks for your help.

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't bet that more RAM would speed OpenOffice up; it is generally known to be notoriously slow to start up.

    When it comes to Mozilla, you might want to try Mozilla Firebird instead. It's at least somewhat faster. You can find it on mozilla.org.

  8. #8
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    To confirm what Dolda said, I have 512MB ram (and a 2.4G P4, if that makes any difference) and both office and mozilla take f o r e v e r to load up for me as well.

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