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Thread: Too slow (only 256 MB of RAM, 500 MHz processor)

  1. #1
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    Too slow (only 256 MB of RAM, 500 MHz processor)

    How can I speed up Xubuntu? I'm trying to run it on a 10-year-old laptop with only 256 MB of RAM and a 500 MHz processor. Even with no applications running, it already goes into swap space.

    What unnecessary processes, programs, etc. can I disable to significantly improve the speed? Can I switch to JWM or Fluxbox (the window managers for Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux) but still have a user-friendly interface? (I tried the XFCE version of Debian, and I couldn't get the wireless Internet to work and couldn't even find the control for it.)

    I'm hoping I can make Xubuntu as fast as Puppy Linux, which flies along seamlessly with only 256 MB of RAM but doesn't have the vast software repository of Xubuntu.

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    Re: Too slow (only 256 MB of RAM, 500 MHz processor)

    Quote Originally Posted by jhsu802701 View Post
    How can I speed up Xubuntu? I'm trying to run it on a 10-year-old laptop with only 256 MB of RAM and a 500 MHz processor. Even with no applications running, it already goes into swap space.

    What unnecessary processes, programs, etc. can I disable to significantly improve the speed? Can I switch to JWM or Fluxbox (the window managers for Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux) but still have a user-friendly interface? (I tried the XFCE version of Debian, and I couldn't get the wireless Internet to work and couldn't even find the control for it.)

    I'm hoping I can make Xubuntu as fast as Puppy Linux, which flies along seamlessly with only 256 MB of RAM but doesn't have the vast software repository of Xubuntu.
    I have found Xubuntu a little lacking nowadays .... unlike before. My current favorite (also ubuntu-based) is crunchbang and its' openbox.
    "The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it" .... A. Glasow

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    Re: Too slow (only 256 MB of RAM, 500 MHz processor)

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondhenson View Post
    I have found Xubuntu a little lacking nowadays .... unlike before. My current favorite (also ubuntu-based) is crunchbang and its' openbox.
    crunchbang is indeed nice.

    may also want to consider lxde, which also uses openbox, and which wont require a full reinstall:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install lxde
    log out. at the login screen, select sessions -> lxde.


    either way, i suspect that you will experience a significant performance increase.
    Semper Fi

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  4. #4
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    Re: Too slow (only 256 MB of RAM, 500 MHz processor)

    Thanks, raymondhenson. I'll have to give Crunch Bang Linux a try since it promises the speed and lightness of Puppy Linux with the vast software repository of Ubuntu, right?

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    Re: Too slow (only 256 MB of RAM, 500 MHz processor)

    crunchbang is not as fast and light as puppy, no.

    not much out there is.
    Semper Fi

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    All posts by me are Public Domain.

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    Re: Too slow (only 256 MB of RAM, 500 MHz processor)

    Quote Originally Posted by earthpigg View Post
    crunchbang is not as fast and light as puppy, no.

    not much out there is.
    quite true.

    I (as mentioned) prefer crunch because of my bias and comfort towards/for Ubuntu.
    "The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it" .... A. Glasow

  7. #7
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    Re: Too slow (only 256 MB of RAM, 500 MHz processor)

    I also recommend LXDE environment instead of Xubuntu. According to recent test I saw the recent Gnome ran a little lighter than XFCE environment with firefox and other apps open. LXDE did the lightest by over 100MB less. sudo apt-get install LXDE then at login screen hit sessions and choose session as LXDE. Enjoy.
    Current Ubuntu Version: Ubuntu 18.04 X64
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    Re: Too slow (only 256 MB of RAM, 500 MHz processor)

    Quote Originally Posted by misfitpierce View Post
    I also recommend LXDE environment instead of Xubuntu. According to recent test I saw the recent Gnome ran a little lighter than XFCE environment with firefox and other apps open. LXDE did the lightest by over 100MB less. sudo apt-get install LXDE then at login screen hit sessions and choose session as LXDE. Enjoy.
    or just wait for lubuntu.

    its a shame what they did to xubuntu, it really is no faster than ubuntu (except thunar loads faster than nautilus) i read that article aswell, still cant believe it uses more memory than ubuntu.

    im running crunchbang at the mo, very quick and shows memory usage of about 100mb after startup, its just annoying that as i write this firefox uses literally half my ram usage, oh well the hunt for that elusive lightweight browser (that does everything i want) continues.
    Check out my little app. Tnote

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    Re: Too slow (only 256 MB of RAM, 500 MHz processor)

    Quote Originally Posted by jhsu802701 View Post
    How can I speed up Xubuntu? I'm trying to run it on a 10-year-old laptop with only 256 MB of RAM and a 500 MHz processor.
    Start with a minimal install CD and only add what you need.

    http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/minimal

    Instead of adding xubuntu-desktop, which pulls in all manner of stuff, try just adding xfce.

    Or if you want a distro that's ready to go, try Antix.

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    Re: Too slow (only 256 MB of RAM, 500 MHz processor)

    Quote Originally Posted by jhsu802701 View Post
    How can I speed up Xubuntu? I'm trying to run it on a 10-year-old laptop with only 256 MB of RAM and a 500 MHz processor. Even with no applications running, it already goes into swap space.

    What unnecessary processes, programs, etc. can I disable to significantly improve the speed? Can I switch to JWM or Fluxbox (the window managers for Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux) but still have a user-friendly interface? (I tried the XFCE version of Debian, and I couldn't get the wireless Internet to work and couldn't even find the control for it.)

    I'm hoping I can make Xubuntu as fast as Puppy Linux, which flies along seamlessly with only 256 MB of RAM but doesn't have the vast software repository of Xubuntu.
    modern linux is just rough on are old rigs, my specs are similar 450mhz 256mb ram, i would go command line & build up from there.
    i don't have a way to burn cd's so, i'm stuck with the normal desktop, but if you do away with the fancy stuff, strip the heck out of it, its usable.

    i just did a fresh install a couple of hours ago, been tweaking it since.
    Last edited by kerry_s; October 1st, 2009 at 11:00 AM.

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