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Author Topic: Any way to make VL Lite 7.0 even faster ?  (Read 1464 times)
Dark Rider
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Posts: 65


« on: July 21, 2012, 01:57:26 am »

I like Vector. STD Gold runs very fast on my dual booted system. I'm sure the Lite version would smoke it. But I have to run that from a virtual machine in VirtualBox under Windows 7 and it's just not fast enough sharing half of my 4 gigs of system ram. I can't give it any more Ram because I need that for Windows. 

I would like to know what are the things I can do to tweak this system to run faster for what I need it to do. In Windows, we can disable running services and processes and start up items. I can prevent services Microsoft tells you, you need from ever starting up so no program calls on them, and only have the services run for the applications I need. For example, for gaming, I disable everything else but 18 services. This allows me to play high end 3d games that I otherwise would not be able to play. Can I do those things with Vector?

Sorry, i'm not a terminal power user. I need a GUI desktop environment. I liked the style and speed of vector. But I really want to get it working faster in the VM so it will run this Mud I'm working on better.  It's not so much the Mud being slow itself, as is there are other things I need to do in Linux sometimes that's easier to do from the same system the Mud is installed on. Things like browse the web and copy code from websites, watch instructional videos for coding the Mud.

Is there anything I can do? ( I need another machine even an old 486. that's what I need but until I can get one, I have to make due with what I can work with)
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nightflier
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Vectorian
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 04:01:37 am »

Half of 4 gigs?.. With 2G ram, you won't see much difference between the Barebone and Full install. In any case, Firefox is going to consume more memory than the OS.

I would look at the Windows side first. Is VT-x (or AMD-V) enabled in your host BIOS and the VM? What VM are you using? How many CPU's did you give VL? How much video RAM? Is hardware acceleration enabled?

When the virtual environment is optimized, you can speed up VL Light by installing the Barebone option, or use IceWM and turn off desktop icons, wicd and systray items. Using lightweight apps like the Netsurf browser also helps. We can help you along the way if you go this route. Smiley
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Dark Rider
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Posts: 65


« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 08:24:52 am »

Half of 4 gigs?.. With 2G ram, you won't see much difference between the Barebone and Full install. In any case, Firefox is going to consume more memory than the OS.

I would look at the Windows side first. Is VT-x (or AMD-V) enabled in your host BIOS and the VM? What VM are you using? How many CPU's did you give VL? How much video RAM? Is hardware acceleration enabled?

When the virtual environment is optimized, you can speed up VL Light by installing the Barebone option, or use IceWM and turn off desktop icons, wicd and systray items. Using lightweight apps like the Netsurf browser also helps. We can help you along the way if you go this route. Smiley

Thank you for your reply. I can replace Firefox with Safari I think. A lot of recent benchmarks say it uses the least amount of Ram.. TomsHardware has such a writeup. I never heard of Netsurf.. cool.. I'll try it. VT-x is enables in both Bios and the VM. I'm using VirtualBox latest edition. I only have the one physical core to share between the VM and windows. I gave it 128 MB of video ram in the VM. Hardware acceleration is enabled. I could have chosen the barebone option but didn't because i didn't know exactly what it installed and what it left out. Didn't use IceWM because i'm not familiar with it.. using LXDE. Don't know how to turn off desktop icons, wicd and systray items ( I guess i could figure these out with digging around if those options are in the system G.U.I.)

I don't mind making or trying any of those changes, nothing is committed in stone at this point.
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nightflier
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Vectorian
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Posts: 3941



« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 09:01:42 am »

Sounds like you have done what you can with Virtualbox then.

If you installed LXDE, you already have some options. Try logging out, then, from the login screen, choose JWM as your desktop environment. It will be very spartan, but fast Grin. You can also try the included Openbox for more features.

IceWM can be added to your current VL. Fluxbox is another popular lightweight which you can try. Post back if you want to give those a try.
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Dark Rider
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Posts: 65


« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2012, 12:05:10 pm »

Trying out JWM and it's interesting. However, I loaded up the file manager by hitting the Home button in the start menu, ( i suppose thats the file manager, looks like the early DOS based GUI file managers we used to have - dual panes - cool) and navigated to the command to start the Mud. The terminal  has a white background. It looks like the program got stuck in a loop and it keeps starting the Mud system over and over again. I don't think thats supposed to happen. LOL Am i doing something wrong? I started the Mud system the same way i did when i set it up last night in LXDE, there is an executable ot batch file ( Linux may not call it that) called startmud. When i open it, it looks like the file manager turns into the terminal and runs the booting up of the Mud system in a loop. Sorry, thats the best way i can describe what i'm looking at.
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nightflier
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Vectorian
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Posts: 3941



« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 12:46:28 pm »

You're right about the file manager, it is a clone of the old Norton Commander for DOS, called Midnight Commander.

How about trying to start Mud manually? Open a terminal and type in the start command, then look for any messages in the terminal window.

You can also run more advanced programs under JWM. If you run the command "pcmanfm", you will get a gui file manager.
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Dark Rider
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Posts: 65


« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 03:03:55 pm »

The Mud wont seem to start by typing startmud in the terminal.. having the terminal opened from that folder. Using PCMan clicking on the file and choosing open in terminal causes it to load in the loop. Clicking on execute alone  does start it hidden, and telnetting to the localhost port the Mud is on works fine.

Trying it again in the MC file manager..

 O.k. I'm a dummyy. it works. LOL.. Turns out there are two startmud files, one in a bin folder and one in the main folder. With the MC file manager I wasn't navigating to the right directory, I only thought I was. I think thats because PCMan is much easier to read so I went to the right one asap in PCman. Now I know. Thanks.

Er.. any idea how to get Flash working with Netsurf? I downloaded flash and extracted it, but not sure what to do with it. The docs say to make sure it's being seen in the browsers filters.. I assume this is much like telling Firefox what application to use to open things, but I can't find the right option in Netsurf.

 Other than that I cant seem to get my screen resolution right. My default screen should be 1366x768 at least it is on Windows. Monitor Settings says I'm using 800x600. I have a wide screen laptop. The only two resolutions that are listed are 800x600 and 640x480. I know if this were a regular installation I would install my ATI video driver package for Linux but this is all simulated and wont use that. Is there anything I can do? NetSurf looks horrible at this resolution, I can't see it all.

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nightflier
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Vectorian
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Posts: 3941



« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 05:43:47 pm »

Sounds like you're learning fast!  Smiley

Not sure about Netsurf and Flash. I'd recommend installing Midori as a compromise. It lies somewhere between the barebone netsurf and full-featured firefox, and it does do flash.

To launch Mud from a terminal, you need to type the full path to it. Something like "/usr/bin/startmud" or similar (I have never tried it myself).

For video resolution, open a terminal, enter "su", then give the root password, and enter "vxconf". See if that gives you some better configuration options.
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Dark Rider
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Posts: 65


« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2012, 11:31:22 am »

I'm finding starting the mud through PCMan works better for me because I get a terminal and thus a Telnet client that has a black background and this is easier to look at. If I start the terminal from the menu it's got a white background. (Xterm)

I can get different resolutions by configuring vxconf manually but when I go up in resolution I have more trouble getting the mouse to go to all parts of the screen. I went back to 800x600. From a fresh reboot the mouse can reach all parts of the screen fine. After I (still in 800x600) start then close something, say, Midori, the mouse is suddenly unable to go to all parts of the screen.

In Midori, I can resize the screen using ctrl + mouse wheel, so that helps some.

FYI, Vcpufreq doesn't work under VirtualBox for me but Htop does so I can see my memory usage.
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nightflier
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Vectorian
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Posts: 3941



« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 04:22:04 am »

I have run into the same mouse problem with Virtualbox, and found that disabling mouse integration helped. Drawback is that you have to press the right Ctrl key to escape out of the VM.

Other modes like fullscreen or seamless may work better, depending on your setup.

Vcpufreq will not work, because the virtual CPU does not support those features.
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Dark Rider
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Posts: 65


« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 03:32:28 pm »

Ah. I didn't think mouse integration was enabled at all because when you start the virtual machine it says Vector doesn't have mouse integration support. I don't mind hitting the button to escape the mouse.

Wow this is an adventure. I make stupid newbie mistakes when I should know better by now. I love it though. I also have PC-BSD 9.0 Isotope on a partition because I wanted to learn " The other fork" of Unix. It's nice but it's a ram hog. No way I could use that through a virtual machine.

Anyway, on topic, I got Vector running pretty good now in the VM. I spent all day yesterday tweaking services in Windows 7 so I lessen it's resource usage and thus have more for the VM and that helps Big Time. This is advanced stuff not for newbies to do.. you have to learn what all the processes do really well so you can know if it's safe to disable them.. takes a lot of studying. My windows is now running only 25 services total out of the default 75 or so. Here's the kicker. Everything I need to work, works and my system is much faster. For those who don't use windows, you'd be surprised at the number of things Microsoft has running in the background taking up resources - things you don't need or most likely will never use.
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nightflier
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Vectorian
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Posts: 3941



« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2012, 06:04:31 pm »

Very good. Hey, if you don't mind me taking you off topic, how about sharing your list of W7 services disabled/running?
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Dark Rider
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Posts: 65


« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 10:38:06 pm »

I don't mind at all. You guys are patient with this bumbling newbie and I'm happy to share if this can help anyone else.


Here is my main list of 25 services that are allowed to run from Msconfig and 1 startup item. The startup item is for my IDT sound card and there is one service that is specific to my HP computer that you probably won't have.

These are the services run to give me a fast machine for things like gaming or office work.  The list is in two parts. The first part doesn't have Networking enabled. I have added the services needed to make Networking work in the second part of the list.

 I use Home Premium 64 bit but this should work for all Window 7 machines. You can use these same apps and procedures to tweak Vista and XP though those services will be different from the ones in my list.

My machine is a Windows 7 64 bit laptop with a 2.1 gigahertz single core AMD processor and 4 gigabytes of ram. It also has 336 Megabytes of dedicated video ram and can use system ram for shared video memory up to 1.2 gigabytes.

You may have to enable some services depending on your needs. If you try to do something and you get an error saying that the service is not running, you know you need to go back and re-enable that service. Does tweaking and disabling un-needed services really help? I swear by it. As a hard core gamer there are games that will barely run without my tweaks. I know the virtual machine I'm using for Vector is running Vector much better than if I didn't apply the tweaks. Microsoft says Windows 7 is already optimized for good memory management and they tell you not to disable any services because it won't make a difference. In my experience, Microsoft lies.


Windows Audio Endpoint Builder

Windows Audio

DHCP Client

COM+Event System  

Windows Font Cache Service

Group policy Client

hpqwmiec (HP App specific to my PC)

Multimedia Class scheduler

Power

RPC Endpoint mapper

task Scheduler

System Event Notification Service

Shell hardware Detection

Audio Service

UPnP device Host

Windows Managment Instrumentation

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


To add Networking to your faster system above use these.

DNS Client

workstation tcp/ip netbios helper

Windows installer

Network Connections

Network List Service

Network Location Awareness

Network Store interface service

WLan auto config

WWan auto config

HomeGroup Listener
HomeGroup Provider  ( I don't use these two, but you might need to if you use the HomeGroup feature of windows 7 for networking with other Windows 7 machines.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My only startup item in Msconfig is, IDT Audio Service

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


To figure these out I used several sources of information, then experimented like crazy. I used information from the descriptions of the services under services.msc, Black Vipers popular windows services tweaking website, (http://www.blackviper.com/ ) and I used the tools, Msconfig (built into windows),  Pserv and S.M.A.R.Tv2. Pserv and SMARTv2 also have descriptions of services.

I use Msconfig by disabling everything including all Microsoft services, I manually check off the services I want to enable above then reboot. After rebooting I save the profile with Pserv so I won't have to do the work manually again.

Smart v2 is a tweaking app based on Black Vipers information that gives you 3 levels of tweak configurations. They are Safe Tweaks, Moderate Tweaks and Advanced Tweaks.  It also has a custom tweak that lets you make a custom profile. Most importantly this app has a built in Default configuration that you can use to re-enable everything if you mess up your system.

Pserv lets you save a profile of tweaked services as an xml file. You can make many profiles and simply load one and reboot to make the changes. You have to use either services.msc or msconfig to make the changes, reboot, then use Pserv to save that configuration, naming it anything you want. I find using msconfig is easier and faster than using services.msc. To restore a profile you have to go to File and Apply XML Template. Choose a saved profile and click Open. At the bottom of the app you will see Default Actions. Choose the last option to " Start at system boot"  then hit O.k. and reboot your system.

On first use, you Must make a default profile with all services enabled. This app does not provide one for you. For some reason after loading a tweaked file with this app, the feature to enable all services in Msconfig is greyed out sometimes.  You cannot even enable them in Safe Mode. This is a bug and doesn't happen all the time.  If you don't make a default app and you get this bug there are ways around this. You can start up Smartv2 and use that to restore your system with all services enabled or you can manually set them to on from services.msc. Using Smartv2 is the easier quicker option. The effect of this bug may also go away after a few reboots as it does for me. This may be annoying if this bug shows up, but it won't permanently damage your system.

You can of course just use one of the 3 profiles listed in SmartV2 but I felt like that wasn't enough tweaking. For my purposes here running a Mud from Vector Linux inside of a virtual machine I needed a very slim fast system, I needed to tweak it to the max. You may have to enable services for things like Bluetooth if you use them.

I recommend to anyone reading this to spend a lot of time studying what each service does before you do heavy manual tweaking and make restore points. Never disable everything and reboot. Always keep Smartv2 handy so you can restore to a default profile, use Pserv to save tweak configurations as you go.

S.M.A.R.T v2 can be found here http://www.thewindowsclub.com/smart-a-utility-for-tweaking-windows-7-vista-xp-services This program doesn't use an installer so I suggest unziping it putting it in an easy place to find it like your C drive. You may also want to create a shortcut to SMARTv2.exe for your desktop.

Pserv version 3 comes in a bundle of several tools called Gtools from Gerson Kurz of p-nand-q.com http://p-nand-q.com/download/pserv_cpl.html There is also an older version available that's not bundled with Gtools. I used version 3 form Gtools and manually created a shortcut to it for my desktop. After installation Gtools and the pserv.exe can be found here C:\Program Files (x86)\p-nand-q.com\GTools

Remember folks, also defrag your hard drive and use a good registry cleaner and make frequent backups and restore points, watch that you don't have too many things running at startup and use a good virus scanner. I also recommend using Sandboxie to sandbox your web browser so virus's cannot access your system over the internet or from your downloads until you have scanned them to know the file is safe.

Edit: I don't use System Restore and my above profile doesn't allow System Restore to run. If you want to use System Restore you need to do so from a default profile with all services enabled or enable Volume Shadow Copy and .. ( I'm having trouble finding all the services needed to enable System Restore.. As soon as I find them, I'll post them- It's 4 am.) Again, remember, my configuration is based on my needs, your needs may be different. My profile also doesn't allow for many security services to run. It's meant to get Windows running barebones for speed and low resource usage. Always tweak at your own risk.

Happy to help, I'll try to answer questions if anyone has any. Sorry for such a large post but I couldn't just post the list without instruction or warnings. That would have been irresponsible of me. I don't wish to see anyone's system harmed.



« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 12:47:33 am by Dark Rider » Logged
nightflier
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Vectorian
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Posts: 3941



« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2012, 04:39:25 am »

Wow, appreciate the detailed guide! I'm sure it will benefit several of our members, we tend to want to tweak our systems. All of them.  Wink
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