View Full Version : Rant: Lightweight is Over-Rated

November 4th, 2009, 10:56 PM
Wow, there are a zillion-and-a-half threads in here about the relentless pursuit of "lightweight" distros, applications, desktop environments, and window managers. This versus that, which is lighter, which is better.

Almost from my first week as a Linux user (last March), I've been bombarded with "lighter, faster, less bloated" until I thought I must really be missing something wonderful using "fat, bloated vanilla Ubuntu." Well, I thought, I only have 512 of RAM. Maybe I should look into this, even though Ubuntu is way better and way faster than WinXP ever was. So my quest began the same week as Jaunty was released.

Crunchbang (http://crunchbanglinux.org) was awesome! Stark beauty belying incredible Ubuntu-power. U-Lite (http://u-lite.org) was wicked fast and pretty, but out-of-date (Hardy) and didn't pick up some of my hardware. My own minimal Ubuntu / LXDE mixture, "Robin's Remix" was even faster than Crunchbang for some reason.

But y'know what? None were that noticeably faster than "plain vanilla Ubuntu." I certainly had room for them all on my 80-gig hard drive (but never installed any side-by side). A little teeny weenie bit faster on some applications (but not others), no harder on my Celeron processor than any of the super-ultralight minimalist mixtures.

I suppose everyone who has a computer that is more than a year old thinks it's ancient and won't run the latest "bloated" Ubuntu or KDE or whatever.

But unless the darn thing is 10 years old or something, "plain vanilla" Ubuntu will pro'lly run just fine on it! My Xubuntu 9.10 disk arrived today and it's flawless, pretty, powerful, and fast on my poor old decrepit, weak, sickly, has-been Dell Dimension with it's scant 512 megs of RAM. Is it "bloated?" Well, maybe in the 'buntu effort to "be all things to all users" the term might apply, because here and there it has a pre-installed application that does the same thing that another pre-installed one does. So it gives me a choice. Is that "bloat?" Only if I run both at the same time. But it's nice to play with new ones sometimes.

All I'm say'n is that I got so caught up in the pursuit of more lightweight, less bloat, faster speed, and low resource requirements that I sorta forgot what I quit Windows for!

I just want to run applications, not the operating system.

But I lost alot of time (and data, being a n00b) in this vain pursuit which turned out not to matter at all in the big picture. I'm just about right back where I started, and I'm more than content. Except that I feel a little cheated. That ought to teach me to quit following every little fad that comes along. Lightweight is over-rated. And contentment is way under-rated.


November 4th, 2009, 11:08 PM
If System A and System B run at the same speed, function equally well, but system A uses half the resources of B, why would you use B?

Besides, lots of us are tinkerers, and it's a project to see if you can keep your RAM usage under 256MB or whatever.

November 4th, 2009, 11:15 PM
Because I can.


Seriously, was this rant necessary? Use what you like.