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pmam
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:55 pm    Post subject: Recommended DE for weak machine? Reply with quote

I have an old Toshiba laptop (TOSHIBA 1135-S1553, Intel Celeron 2.4 GHz, 500MB RAM), and recently I installed Gentoo with KDE.
It works ok but quite slow, so I consider to Install Gnome – I am not talking on Gnome 3 with systemd (I have bad experience with it),
but on Gnome2 – I am well familiar with KDE, but do not know Gnome, so please note the exact name?
Please advise if Gnome suppose to be more efficient concerning weak machine -
If yes – let me know if I need to unmerge KDE, or can have multi DEs -
assuming have enough free space on hard drive.
Also – Should change the profile to Gnome or stay with KDE, and add relevant USE flags?

Is there another DE, except Gnome, that might be relevant to this weak machine?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pmam,

You can have as many DEs as you have space for.

Try something lighter, like Xfce, which leans on Gnome and does not require systemd.
If you will keep KDE too, do not change your profile, add any USE flags you need.
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Ant P.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run E17 on my quad-core desktop, and I've used it on a 600MHz CPU laptop - it's equally capable and fast on both.

The key bindings aren't Windows-ized like the others though, which takes some getting used to.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest lxde, which I just started using. I really like it and it's quite lean and responsive, even compared to XFCE.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only weakness I see is lack of RAM. Regardless how lean WM you use you will go swapping every time you open a fat website. In another thread people reported just opening the Facebook consumed near 400 MB of RAM. It should not be hard to get more RAM for your laptop. I have a box here full of RAM modules (I'm sure some of them would fit your laptop), I have no heart to throw it all away although finally I will. I'm sure you could shop around and find some RAM for almost nothing for this laptop.
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pmam
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going to try all your suggestions: xfce, E17, lxde - then I will see what is most suitable to me.
I assume kdm login manager can handle this multi DEs - Right?
In this opportunity, I would like to take advantage of distcc feature -
two desk top machines will help compiling of the laptop - I am going to learn from Handbook.

Quote:
It should not be hard to get more RAM for your laptop.

A good idea - However, I do not know the right type of memory -
Can I have this details from BIOS info or with any command?
Can you tell from following link what is the type of memory?
Or I need to open and see what is written on the card...
http://www.cnet.com/products/toshiba-satellite-1135-s1553-15-celeron-win-xp-home-512-mb-ram-30-gb-hdd/specs/
EDIT: I opened and find out this info on the RAM: 256MB DDR 266MHZ CL2.5 - Hope to find a similar memory with more capacity.

Quote:
I run E17 on my quad-core desktop, and I've used it on a 600MHz CPU laptop - it's equally capable and fast on both.

600HZ... bring me much hope :) Can you tell how much RAM laptop had?

Thanks you all
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bstaletic
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest a WM rather then a full blown DE.

Try {flux,open}box as it is the lightest WM of all the floating WMs. If you're willing to invest time try something like dwm or i3.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bstaletic wrote:
I would suggest a WM rather then a full blown DE.

Try {flux,open}box as it is the lightest WM of all the floating WMs. If you're willing to invest time try something like dwm or i3.


I would second the vote for a WM, rather than a full-blown DE.

Memory usage for WMs:

http://www.gilesorr.com/wm/memory32.html

My personal favorites are spectrwm, cwm, evilwm, and sithwm.
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Ant P.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pmam wrote:
Can you tell how much RAM laptop had?

That one had 512MB total, and it was running Debian so not quite as bloat-free as it could've been.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pmam wrote:

A good idea - However, I do not know the right type of memory -
Can I have this details from BIOS info or with any command?
Can you tell from following link what is the type of memory?
Or I need to open and see what is written on the card...
http://www.cnet.com/products/toshiba-satellite-1135-s1553-15-celeron-win-xp-home-512-mb-ram-30-gb-hdd/specs/
EDIT: I opened and find out this info on the RAM: 256MB DDR 266MHZ CL2.5 - Hope to find a similar memory with more capacity.



From the link I see:

Quote:

Memory

Max RAM Supported
1 GB
Technology
DDR SDRAM
Speed
266 MHz / PC2100
Form Factor
SO DIMM 200-pin
Slots Qty
2
Empty Slots
1


So you cannot put any more than 1GB in it. Since you said you have 500MB ram and that one chip is 256MB that means you have two 256MB chips in two slots, right? If so you will need two 512MB chips to max out at 1GB memory.

I believe this would work:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1GB-Set-2x512MB-200-Pin-DDR-PC-2100S-266MHz-CL2-5-NON-ECC-SDRAM-SODIMM-LAPTOP-/271281612127?pt=US_Memory_RAM_&hash=item3f29a4e55f

I'm not 100% sure about the pc2100s vs pc2100. I do not see much documentation about that and am not sure if the "s" is merely for denoting it is SODIMM or not.

Really though to be honest you can find dual core laptops with 1-2 GB on Craigslist these days for ~$50. That might be your best bet.
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pmam
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did not know about WM - Can you please put few words on the differences from DE?
Any relevant link...

Quote:
That one had 512MB total, and it was running Debian so not quite as bloat-free as it could've been.

Not sure I am well understanding what is 'bloat-free' (my English..) -
However, I guess that you are more optimistic that my laptop can manage with full DE like E17 -
as Debian suppose to be more 'heavy' than Gentoo - Right?

Quote:
Really though to be honest you can find dual core laptops with 1-2 GB on Craigslist these days for ~$50.

I have seen that 'not nice' limit of 1GB - No worry - I am not you and not going to spend much money on this laptop -
I have something between my two ears :wink:
I agree with you - the memory that you noted plus shipping price not worth (but info in the link helps) -
I am looking for something locally and cheap, or second hand.

Thanks for the helpful info
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pmam,

The 1G RAM limit may or way not be real. It may be that 512Mb modules that were the biggest available at the time, so 1G was the limit that could be tested.

To see what the BIOS knows, run dmidecode as root. You will need to emerge it.
dmidecode | less will be better.

Bloated means fat or swollen. In the case of Desktop Environments, they contain things you will never use - that's the fat, or bloat.
A window manager is just the opposite. It gives you a window manager and very little else. If you want a web browser, add one, if you want a mail client, add one, of you want multi media applications add them.

I
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JWJones
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pmam wrote:
I did not know about WM - Can you please put few words on the differences from DE?
Any relevant link...


Here you go:

http://www.ghacks.net/2008/12/09/get-to-know-linux-desktop-environment-vs-window-manager/
http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/30/how-to-picking-a-window-manager-linux/
http://www.intellovations.com/2012/04/25/of-window-managers-and-desktop-environments/

Having a full DE is considered more "bloated" (slower, heavier, more resource hungry) than just using a WM. Generally speaking, a DE provides more eye-candy and whiz-bang features than a WM, and is easier to navigate with a mouse, rather than the keyboard.
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pmam
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon,

I just finished to install seamonkey browser - it took very long time (I need to learn how to use distcc asap..)-
However it worthy - seamonkey seems to be much faster then firefox.

Here is full output of dmidecode | less: http://pastebin.com/bZ5zFrZU -
You can see 2 referring to max memory size - First with 1.5GB:
Code:
Handle 0x0005, DMI type 5, 22 bytes
Memory Controller Information
   Error Detecting Method: None
   Error Correcting Capabilities:
      None
   Supported Interleave: One-way Interleave
   Current Interleave: One-way Interleave
   Maximum Memory Module Size: 512 MB
   Maximum Total Memory Size: 1536 MB
   Supported Speeds:
      70 ns
      60 ns
   Supported Memory Types:
      DIMM
      SDRAM
   Memory Module Voltage: 3.3 V
   Associated Memory Slots: 3
      0x0006
      0x0007
      0x0008
   Enabled Error Correcting Capabilities:
      None

And second with 1GB:
Code:
Handle 0x0014, DMI type 16, 15 bytes
Physical Memory Array
   Location: System Board Or Motherboard
   Use: System Memory
   Error Correction Type: None
   Maximum Capacity: 1 GB
   Error Information Handle: Not Provided
   Number Of Devices: 3

Please advise what is the actual max size?
Hope I can put 2 cards: 1GB+0.5GB - It would be a great improvement...

Thanks you all for the WM introducing- I am going to read your stuff...
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Ant P.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like your laptop might have 512MB on the motherboard and two empty slots. Either way, 512MB is the largest you can use in a single slot.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pmam,

It looks like your laptop can drive three memory channels of 512Mb each.
Unfortunately, not all channels may be fitted, or as Ant P. says, there may be 512Mb on the motherboard.

If there is a BIOS update for your laptop, that may introduce the capability to use bigger memory modules.
Read about the fixes and enhacements. Also be aware that BIOS updates must not be undertaken lightly.
If the update fails, your laptop may never work again.
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szatox
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

512 MB RAM is enough for comfortable use. Mind this, however: not with gnome. It's roughly as heavy as kde is.
Since you're used to kde, I suggest trying lxde. Or something else residing in "less demanding" cathegory.
My laptop definitely doesn't feel clumsy, evn though it's much weaker than your Toshiba. At least with xorg old enough to still support i810 :roll:
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - If I will find two low price 512MB modules it will be nice, however it is not quite necessary -
I found out that main thing caused my laptop to be very slow is firefox - probably it is too heavy for this laptop -
as I moved to seamonkey, Internet responds very fast and the whole KDE is working quite ok.
Probably there are some features of firefox I am giving up, but for the moment seamonkey seems quite enough.

Another problematic issue - long time compiling of big packages - I hope to improve with distcc -
I have some issues regarding distcc - will be discussed in a new topic...
After implementing distcc, I am going to try xfce (want to taste slightly of gnome) and the other options you mentioned here.

So after all that, I suppose to have a quite nice laptop - I see that it is too risky to play with BIOS and it is not needed.
Your comments regarding your weak laptops, you shared with us here, make me believe it is possible.
Linux and especially Gentoo offer plenty choices, and with your wonderful support,
we can find some suitable solutions to our old machines, preventing some garbage of our lovely earth.

EDIT: Last - When I think about this forum - Actually, It is like distcc... Your support are like strong servers that share resources with me -
the weak laptop client :( - Together we can do much better- such a metaphor -
hope asasp I will be strong, at least 2 cores cpu :lol:

Thanks you all
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I installed XFCE and it was very nice and faster than KDE - I still have one issue:
low screen's resolution -assume it can be solved.
However, bammbamm808 suggested me here to try LXDE and it is really worth -
It is organized quite similar to XFCE, but it is faster than XFCE and screen's resolution is ok.
I installed LXDE also in my desktop and it is like an Hurricane -
Sometimes it seems the machine guess what I am going to do before hitting keyboard... :wink: I really like it!!!
So at the moment, the combination of LXDE and Seamonkey is very nice for my weak laptop.
I saw that System Rescue using Midori browser and emelFM2:
emelFM2 has two-pane design and is working fast.
Midori is very lean and fast but I did not find out how to add plugins for on-line translations and etc -
Lean is ok but not anorexia.. :) Is there any way to add translation to Midori?
One problem still remains: Flash does not work properly -
Can not play the clip and the colours mixed up?

Thanks you all
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pmam.

for your TOSHIBA 1135-S1553, i guess you have 2 RAM's with 256Mb on each slot.
your motherboard support up to 1GB max total memory, with 512Mb max memory on each slot.
in case of "200Pin" memory DDR, so search for:
Code:
PC2100 266Mhz DDR SDRAM SODIMM 200-pin

if you are planning to buy a new ones, then check this link for an idea Toshiba Satellite 1135-S1553

for midori, never got it to work properly with flash, this why i prefer Qupzilla
Code:
www-client/qupzilla
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zoulou99,

Quote:
i guess you have 2 RAM's with 256Mb on each slot

Right. Meanwhile It seems the laptop works fine with lxde -
I am looking for second-hand RAM and your info helps me to know the right one.

I installed Qupzilla but flash not working - how to add flash plugin? Maybe flash needs more RAM...
Also about html5 not working. Can we add on-line translator?

I am quite like seamonkey, but still looking for lightweight one, due to the weak laptop.

Thanks
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Recommended DE for weak machine? Reply with quote

pmam wrote:
I have an old Toshiba laptop (TOSHIBA 1135-S1553, Intel Celeron 2.4 GHz, 500MB RAM), and recently I installed Gentoo with KDE.


KDE, gnome aren't obviously not the answer, better try openbox and co.

Nice tools for weak computer,

  1. dwb
  2. vifm
  3. zathura
  4. dooble
  5. simpleterm

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pmam,
Quote:
I installed Qupzilla but flash not working - how to add flash plugin? Maybe flash needs more RAM...

try to install:
Code:
www-plugins/adobe-flash

and activate flash:
Code:
Preferences -> Browsing -> Web Configuration -> Allow Netscape Plugins (Flash plugin)


Quote:
Also about html5 not working.

go to the link and click use HTML5 when possible:
Code:
https://www.youtube.com/html5

Generally speaking the ability to play html5 content is provided by QtWebkit and QupZilla is based on.
but it my requir some "gst-plugins" and "gst-libav"

Quote:
Can we add on-line translator?

i really don't know .
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My current laptop is a 1.5GHz celeron with 512MB of RAM. It struggles to manage a decent browser & full DE. To avoid frustration I use a window manager, i3 or dwm. I run firefox fullcreen in one workspace, blocking adds, scripts & flash improves performance. A terminal fullscreen in another workspace to manage everything else, usually with tmux. The ranger file manager does what i need and doesn't seem to stress the gpu/ram. Watching videos in flash or html5 on youtube is painful, watching them with mpv or mplayer either streaming or after download works a treat.

Can you/Have you checked the video RAM settings? My old laptop got a new lease of life recently when i discovered I had the video RAM set to 32MB out of a possible 64MB for the past decade.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zoulou99,

Code:
www-plugins/adobe-flash

I have already, and it works fine with seamonkey browser- but not with quapzilla -
BTW: seamonkey is much faster than FireFox and works fine, with addons etc, however I try to find lighter.
Code:
Preferences -> Browsing -> Web Configuration -> Allow Netscape Plugins (Flash plugin)

This also already done.
Code:
but it my requir some "gst-plugins" and "gst-libav"

I saw this but dont know which of them to install - there is a long list of these plugins.

Proinsias,

Quote:
scripts & flash improves performance

Can you please explain with more details?

Quote:
The ranger file manager does what i need and doesn't seem to stress the gpu/ram.

I have some gui-file managers like: PCManFM, emelFM2, Thunar - and they work quite fast -
If I will have some problems in the future, It would be a good idea to install ranger.
Quote:
Can you/Have you checked the video RAM settings?

Sound interesting... Where can I set it? I remember it suppose to be in BIOS - but did not find it...

According the replies in this topic I see there is no choice but to dive into WM's ocean...
But there is a long list of WM - maybe too long...
Many choices is a 'good problem' but still a problem- Why there are so many WMs?
Is there a real reason for that? Is there an essential differences between them?
Maybe I miss something here... Anyway please advise which WM to start with?

Thanks
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The streets are our @world's compilable kernel ...”
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