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Thread: Trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch

  1. #11

    Re: Trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch

    If you start with the base install, you can update with pacman -Syu, then add XFCE with pacman -S xfce4 xorg. You have to generate your own xorg.conf file, or use hwd to make one. (I have this all written down on my little scratch pad on my desk.)

    If you open /etc/pacman.conf, you can add this line at the bottom ...

    Server =
    then add the newest version of XFCE with pacman -S xfce4-svn xfce4-svn-extra.

    The best place to look for this stuff is in the Arch wiki. It's very useful. I don't spend much time on the Arch forums though. I like it better here.
    Ubuntu user #7247 :: Linux user #409907

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    South East Idaho
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch

    There is another post in this forum that talks about compiling with 686 optimization, and some guy showed in his real world test about a 10% speed improvment by compiling to the 686 (dropping 386 compatibility altogether)

    There were some signficant improvemnts by including some extended multi media assembly instructions that didnt exist on the 386, but those only apply if you are using code that would use them.

    The problem is that the 10% speed increase is per package. So, just by optimizing an application (say firefox) you still dont get a full 10% speed increase becuase it uses lib's that arent optimized, and it will spend some time in the kernel which also isnt yet optimized.

    In short, you have to pull a gentoo and compile the whole dang thing for 686 in order to see the 10% (ish) speed increase that arch enjoys by being a 686+ distro.

    Arch also removed excess stuff from the kernel, which ubuntu keeps in there becuase if it fixes one person's wireless card, it is worth it (which is why your wireless works.)

    The other thing arch did is remove uneeded dependancies from packages like supporting QT or GTK if their desktop doesnt need it (technically you only need one or the other) and lots of other potential dependancies that arent always used. In this way, the have minimized the size of each binary executable as much as possible without removing the important functionality most people want.

    Arch would be great if they had the repo's that ubuntu has, and if things just worked like they do in ubuntu, but if they did that, well, you would have something closer to ubuntu than arch... it cuts both ways.

    so what is a guy supposed to do who wants to have his arch and his wireless too? use lsmod from the command line. it will list (ls) all the modules (mod) that are loaded into your kernel. chances are that your wireless module is listed. (you might have to google the modules listed and discover which one is your wireless.

    then, install arch.
    use lsmod, and see if it is in there.

    if it isnt, then google/use the arch wiki/forums and see how you install that particular kernel module in arch. chances are the module is either avialable as part of the kernel or as a project on sourceforge. once you find the code, you'll have to build the module and insert it into your kernel. (no problem -- right?)

    That's all there is to it. Good luck.

    have you tried DSL-N It is *REALLY* fast.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Feisty Fawn Testing

    Re: Trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch

    I'm slowly starting to use up my shiny new ram. All that time of having 128 megs had taught me to run efficiently, but now I'm doing alot of stuff at once and keeping Firefox tabs open and I've got evolution in the system tray... and all of this is really dragging Ubuntu down. It's not the memory now, it's that Arch is actually faster for doing alot of stuff at once. I have no idea why.

  4. #14

    Re: Trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch

    I haven't made any real breakthroughs on this, but I have noticed a distinct difference in load times for different file systems.

    I had been using reiserfs which was a bit taxing, since I use 1Ghz and slower machines almost exclusively. Changing to ext3 with dir_index was a very strong improvement.

    I've also combed through the ubuntu-minimal and xubuntu-desktop, and aptitude remove --purged out a lot of things I just don't use (like pcmciautils, on a desktop). I don't know if that makes a big improvement, but I figured if it wasn't being used, it could be stripped out.

    I'm also keeping an eye on the GenBunToo pages, since that might be a nice middle ground for me.

    If you've got any ideas ...
    Ubuntu user #7247 :: Linux user #409907

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: Trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch

    i ve been experimnting trying to speed up xubuntu too cause even though my pc is above the xubuntu criteria (athlon xp 1.7+ 256 ram geforce2 mx 400 graphics card) it behaves too slow. been lookin for a more optimised deb based xfce system to my hardware with no luck yet.

    arch is way too advanced for my current knowledge of the linux system
    dreamlinux seems nice but geing a brasilian distro with not much english support on forum doesnt seem promising
    Last edited by dolby; August 1st, 2006 at 01:38 AM.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Kubuntu Development Release

    Red face Re: Trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch

    It is easier to make Arch run like Ubuntu. Just install Arch, enable the community repositories and then type;

    pacman -Syu
    pacman -S *

    Seriously, I have tried this with Ubuntu myself. I like the large repository in Ubuntu.

    The closest I have come is as follows (let me know if you need more specific instructions).

    Start with Ubuntu Alternate install CD.

    Do a server install (you will have a CLI only, no X and no synaptic yet).
    Install X and synaptic (use aptitude or apt-get)
    Install your window manager. Rather then using kubuntu-desktop install:
    kde-base rather then kubuntu-desktop
    Gnome-desktop rather then Ubuntu-desktop
    XFCE4 rather then Xubuntu.

    When choosing applications try to only install what you need/want and not excessive recommended packages.

    The problem with Ubuntu is Bloat. Loose the fat.

    You can run Ubuntu faster if you change to Fluxbox, Openbox, or IceWM.

    The following will get you very familiar with the CLI.

    Warning: the CLI is addictive. I no longer boot into a GUI (XDM/KDM/GDM).
    Log in at the CLI; type:

    startx /usr/bin/startkde
    startx /usr/bin/startxfce4
    startx /usr/bin/gnome-session

    Better startx /usr/bin/fluxbox

    Define these in your ~.bashrc as :
    alias startflux='startx /usr/bin/fluxbox", etc.

    More fun with the CLI:

    You can have more then 1 virtual terminal- use Ctrl-Alt-F1, Ctrl-Alt-F2, etc to switch between them.

    Did you know you can also have several virtual X sessions as well???

    At the CLI type
    startkde &

    After KDE is up and running switch back to the CLI ( Crtl-alt-F1)
    type startx /usr/bin/fluxbox -- :1 &

    Viola, you now have both KDE and Fluxbox running.
    To change to KDE -> ctrl-alt-F7
    to change to Fluxbox -> ctrl-alt-F8
    For CLI ctrl-alt-F1

    My wife likes KDE, I use Fluxbox. Now we do not have to log in and out to share the computer.

    Another option, which works better is to switch to Debian. Debian is very simmilar to Ubuntu.
    Perform a Debian minimal (server) install from testing or etch.
    then istall X and your window manager(s).

    Try other distros- Zenwalk, BLAG, experiment.

    Remember: Install as few packages as possible and you should achieve much better performance.

    At the end of the day it was easier to run Arch (I am typing from Arch with Openbox at the moment).
    Last edited by bodhi.zazen; August 16th, 2006 at 07:42 AM.
    There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.
    --Prince Gautama Siddharta

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  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Re: Trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch

    You mentioned prelink and preload. What's the difference between them? DO they do the same thing? Wouldn't it be redundant to install both? Instead of one...

  8. #18

    Re: Trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch

    Quote Originally Posted by brucevangeorge View Post
    You mentioned prelink and preload. What's the difference between them? DO they do the same thing? Wouldn't it be redundant to install both? Instead of one...
    I don't know for sure. Every reference to prelink and preload always seems to mention them in tandem, and to be honest, I've never thought of testing one without the other.

    Really, all I know about the two packages I learned here and here. My limited knowledge of Linux suggests to me that one is a preloader, as the name suggests, while the other keeps a map of shared libraries, so things aren't loaded up twice. That's probably a very crude interpretation, and probably not very accurate.

    I know they work, though.
    Ubuntu user #7247 :: Linux user #409907

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Re: Trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch

    What about using initNG? There's some hype surrounding it.

    I also found a speed increase over the xt3 filesystem by using jfs instead.
    Last edited by brucevangeorge; September 11th, 2006 at 11:05 PM.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

    Re: Trying to make Ubuntu run like Arch

    Prelink - Makes a "library" or all the libraries. I keeps a list of them for quick acess.

    Preload - Takes note of your most commonly applications and "preloads" them into your memory, making them start faster.

    InitNG is a replacement for standard init. It is faster but splitting process into smaller ones (like upstart) but the project seems to have been abandoned, sadly. Upstart, another replacement for init will be in Edgy.

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