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Thread: Use non-pae kernel

  1. #1
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    Use non-pae kernel

    In http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2043665 Post #10 the use of a non-pae kernel is recommended for users of old computers. It is supposed to use less memory and run faster. I have an old Compaq Presario 2100 that always has cpu usage of more than 50% (doing nothing) and will be at 100% usage very often, leading to sluggish performance. I am running Ubuntu 12.04.1 Precise Pangolin.

    Does anybody know how to set up for using a non-pae kernel in 12.04.1? Does anybody know of other things that will make the computer less sluggish? Note that I am already running Gnome Classic (no effects).

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Use non-pae kernel

    As far as I know, only Xubuntu 12.04 has a non-PAE kernel by default:
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PrecisePango...eNotes/Xubuntu

    Get it here:
    http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/re...ecise/release/

    A clean reinstall is best:
    https://sites.google.com/site/easyli...reinstallation

    Good luck!
    Tips, tweaks and how-to's for Ubuntu and Mint:
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    In for a pleasant surprise? Give Xubuntu a try:
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  3. #3
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    Re: Use non-pae kernel

    I think Lubuntu 12.04 also has a non-pae kernel, but that will end when 12.10 is all that is used. There will from that point on be a big problem for anyone wanting to use one of the ubuntu family of OSs, as it will not be possible to install, then add a non-pae kernel.

    I don't know what Bodhi 2 uses; pae or non-pae, but it may be worth a look to find out.

    EDIT: I've just looked and it seems that if you want Bodhi 2.1, you will have to install 2.0.1 and then distro update as Bodhi uses the same kernels as Ubuntu.

    See http://forums.bodhilinux.com/index.p...-pae-computer/ for more info
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 14.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo

  4. #4
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    Re: Use non-pae kernel

    Thanks for the responses--especially about Bodhi. I didn't know it existed. It might be a better solution for me than ubuntu, where with each new install I spend a long time getting rid of unity.

    I read up some more on pae and non-pae and according to most sites, pae causes at most a 5% performance hit. It may not be worth the effort to install it, expecially when it looks like no distros may support it in the future. I also looked a little at what is taking up my cpu time and it is mostly firefox, which I run 99% of the time. Maybe I can find an alternative to firefox, although I like a lot of the extensions that firefox provides. I have about 10 of them installed.

    Thanks again,
    Ralph

  5. #5
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    Re: Use non-pae kernel

    I think the main problem is because a lot of memory (RAM) is used, not the pae capability, unless your cpu lacks it. Many older cpus have pae, and then you can run i686 versions of [KLX]Ubuntu.

    And it is the desktop environment and application programs that need memory. As you wrote, Firefox is hungry. I think you can consider some leaner browser, have both installed and use Firefox, when you need its bells and whistles, otherwise use the leaner one.

    I have a system with all four official DEs of Ubuntu:

    Vanilla Ubuntu 12.04 with the additions of

    lubuntu-desktop
    xubuntu-desktop
    kubuntu-desktop

    I use the ultra-light Lubuntu-desktop most of the time.

  6. #6
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    Re: Use non-pae kernel

    Found this web site that says it has a 12.04 non-pae Ubuntu: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2116112

  7. #7
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    Re: Use non-pae kernel

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph L View Post
    Found this web site that says it has a 12.04 non-pae Ubuntu: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2116112
    I think you can get a non-pae system according to that link. Try it if you like

    But if your computer works with pae, I think it will not improve things. A 64-bit system will use more RAM than a 32-bit system, but we are talking about 32-bit pae and 32-bit non-pae systems.

    What will improve things is to use software, that needs less CPU power and RAM. This is why I suggested that you look at

    - Lubuntu with the ultra light-weight desktop environment LXDE and light-weight application programs
    - Xubuntu with the light-weight desktop environment XFCE and medium weight application programs

    or to install the corresponding desktops into your current system.

  8. #8
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    Re: Use non-pae kernel

    Bodhi has a non-pae version. This works fine on older hardware that doesn't have pae support..(Pentium-M et al)
    http://www.webupd8.org/2013/01/bodhi...th-stable.html

  9. #9
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    Re: Use non-pae kernel

    According to this we are dealing with a Pentium 4 M and not a Pentium M, so it does support PAE. You can run any of the light Buntus, for example Lubuntu.

    Best is to forget all the non-PAE advice given in this thread and follow the main path, which is PAE for the future. Going non-PAE will not give you any significant increase in speed.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
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