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Thread: What should I strip to make Xubuntu faster on old machines?

  1. #1
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    Question What should I strip to make Xubuntu faster on old machines?

    Recap
    I am in the process of replacing windows 98 and 2000 on a group of older machines at work.

    These things range from 700Mhz Processor/128MB of ram all the way down to 200Mhz Processor/96MB of ram, so I guess it is obvious that it will be tough going.

    Some have defective cd drives and old/unsupportive bios's, and I have been working around it (For others who want to know how, check out unetbootin and some of the alternate install stuff).

    Anywho, back to my main topic: On the 700Mhz/128MB machines I got xubuntu going with 1 desktop, no wall paper, 1 menu bar with xkfc menu and a couple of other things. Most services are turned off, and I have a smaller browser installed alongside firefox for average use (called "Midori")

    Also, the bios is so old that ACPI is disabled (Always popsup with "Bios is older than 1999, to enable ACPI you must use force" or something).

    So:
    ^_^ So if anyone else has worked with old machines, what can I do to help speed it up a tad? I am open to using other desktops/programs/OS's if suggested... However I would like to stay with Ubuntu or an debian variant if possible.

  2. #2
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    Re: What should I strip to make Xubuntu faster on old machines?

    ^_^ So if anyone else has worked with old machines, what can I do to help speed it up a tad? I am open to using other desktops/programs/OS's if suggested... However I would like to stay with Ubuntu or an debian variant if possible.
    Get more ram. With 256 - 512 MB ram, Xubuntu will be much faster.
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  3. #3
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    Re: What should I strip to make Xubuntu faster on old machines?

    Replace your window managers with fluxbox or the like. And there are some great how-to's on flux floating around here..

  4. #4
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    Re: What should I strip to make Xubuntu faster on old machines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sef View Post
    Get more ram. With 256 - 512 MB ram, Xubuntu will be much faster.
    These machines are so old that its almost worth buying "new" ones...
    The cheapest computers on Newegg trounce these by a factor of *scary*.

    Anywho, Boss wants as much work as I can get out of them without upgrades...

    ^_^ But yeah, I know what you mean... if I could just stick 512 in there, they would be better I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gun_Smoke View Post
    Replace your window managers with fluxbox or the like. And there are some great how-to's on flux floating around here..
    I heard of this before, and I will look into it (thanks).

    Do you have any browser that run well on tiny amounts of ram as well, or should I stick with Midori?
    Last edited by theaceoffire; July 28th, 2008 at 11:54 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: What should I strip to make Xubuntu faster on old machines?

    Swiftfox comes to mind.. But I haven't run into the need.

    You will be amazed at what you can get back from switching window managers.. xfce is pretty good but flux or icewm will be much much better for your machines.. Take a bit to set up and maybe you can get away with using partimage to install to the rest of the machines...

    http://tinyurl.com/64m8t5

  6. #6
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    Re: What should I strip to make Xubuntu faster on old machines?

    Quote Originally Posted by theaceoffire View Post
    Do you have any browser that run well on tiny amounts of ram as well, or should I stick with Midori?
    The slickest browser I've seen is called Links2. It only works for simple text sites but is very, very fast. One tip I can give you is to study ultra-light distros (DSL, fluxbuntu, puppy, etc) and note which applications they use. For example, DSL uses the Dillo browser (and also firefox), and Fluxbuntu uses Kazehakase. It is instructive to see the choices others have made who have gone before you.

    Are you familiar with the Ubuntu Minimal Install CD? You type 'cli' and it installs only a command line environment, then you can add whichever packages you like. That is a good way to build up, for example, a very fast and lightweight Fluxbox system. There are some good tutorials out there, so I will not repeat them.

  7. #7
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    Re: What should I strip to make Xubuntu faster on old machines?


  8. #8
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    Apr 2006
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: What should I strip to make Xubuntu faster on old machines?

    I would be using the XFCE installation disk for Debian for this job. It is much lighter than Xubuntu in my experience, yet all the same principles apply.

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