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Author Topic: Performance Tuning -- VL on very old notebook  (Read 3373 times)
slafochmed
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Posts: 7


« on: June 03, 2008, 01:57:05 am »

First of all, thank you for the nice distro.
I have a very old notebook (433 Mhz) revived and I want to use it as an internet terminal (http and email).
Now, I tried damn small linux and knoppix but they messed up my screen which was yellowish greenish and unreadable.
So I found Vlinux. It is just great with alot of nice options during install.
And I even got my wireless usb working with ndiswrapper by your great howto. Yeheyeh! Smiley

Just, I wonder if I can get more performance cause I am aging when just opening seamonkey.
Can you recommend anything?
like
- don't use a desktop wallpaper
- use a simple theme
- kill that and that processes...
- use this tool to measure your performance

I would like to measure the performance, try your suggestions and report here how much it improved.
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overthere
Vectorian
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Posts: 1281



« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2008, 02:17:53 am »

if it helps
On the system menu you will find htop and GKrellm they may help monitor

if you are useing vl-std ( there is also vl-light) you may choose jwm or fluxbox in addition to xfce which is the default window manager..I like fluxbox it is very customizable you can switch from one to another via session when you log in and it defaults to the last choice.

you may find opera browser (on the menu) a bite quicker on a slower machine and you can add thundebird mail ( for example) from the repository via the package manager (system/gslapt package manager on the menu)

there are many programs in the testing repository, to see them on the package manager you will need to add the source..you just click edit/preferances/sources and check the item..then update the list

I assume that's a p11-433...how much ram? did you use a swap file..just curious
hope that helps
cheers
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 02:27:38 am by overthere » Logged

Everything Is Relative
rbistolfi
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2291


« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2008, 06:18:51 am »

I would suggest claws-mail as mail reader, it is the lightest fully functional I have found. Dave made a package for the testing repo.
As root you can disable all the services you dont need using vasm, hardware, services. Set static ip manually so you can get ride of ifplugd and dhcpc. The Xorg in vl-light does use a bit less ram, as overthere suggested, just be sure you are not swapping using htop. If you use only 4 ttys disable 5 and 6 they are just using ram.

HTH, let us know how is it going.
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"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

--
Jumalauta!!
kidd
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Posts: 682


« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2008, 06:34:29 am »

Opera has its own mail client.  It's fully featured, and well integrated.  Opera has an IRC client too, so using one app will allow you to do most tasks.

If you're using std,  try lighter wm like fluxbox or jwm.

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hata_ph
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Posts: 3261


-- Just being myself --


« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2008, 07:33:35 am »

If you use only 4 ttys disable 5 and 6 they are just using ram.

HTH, let us know how is it going.

how to do that?
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slafochmed
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Posts: 7


« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2008, 10:06:34 am »

thanks for all the good hints.  Smiley

I checked my system:
Celeron 433 Mhz
56 MB RAM (hehehehehehe)
swap is 558012 kb (ups, perhaps I should have less?)

right at the moment I am using VL 5.9 Standard Gold,
800x600px resolution with wallpaper

gkrelim stats when
-terminal
-seamonkey
-wifi radar
opened:

cpu idle at 2%, graphic stuff like window moving, page scrolling 90%
is reading alot from disk, very slow
gkremlin says 545 - 480 mb swap free

the first thing I will try to do is installing fluxbox and opera like most of you recommended. Smiley

ah, I configured wlan0 and it is working well. However, I have to start it manually in wifi-radar every time I boot.
I made an entry in /etc/iplugd/iplugd.conf with interfaces="wlan0" but it did not help. Some ideas? Can I write ifconfig wlan0 up in some kind of general profile?
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kidd
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Vectorian
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Posts: 682


« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2008, 10:35:25 am »

Uff... 56Mb RAM... That's pretty low....

Then , getting rid of xfce is a must.

IIRC jwm is lighter than fluxbox... You should go extreme light... 

dillo is a really light browser.  It doesn't do javascript, but you can always use opera for that matters.

try to install vl-light... it will save you some space and probably some memory usage.

If you aren't afraid of console apps, you can try to go with console browsers.  We have some in the testing repos (links, elinks, lynx)...

Good luck!

PS: If you could get a bit more RAM, you'd notice a great performance improvement.
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slafochmed
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Posts: 7


« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2008, 11:02:09 am »

puh, I was trying to find out how to switch to fluxbox but I did not find anything in the wiki or the forum (search).
 Huh
I unchecked opera during install cause I thought it is just another browser. Now I checked the packages in the GUI slapt or gslapt(?) and saw that fluxbox is installed, opera is not there.

I tried to download it via slapt
slapt-get update
slapt-get --install opera --> did not work
slapt-get --search opera --> did not show anything useful
 Embarrassed

It is probably very easy I just do not know yet?  Tongue

... so I am downloading the VL light. I think it is faster for me to reinstall. Smiley
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overthere
Vectorian
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Posts: 1281



« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2008, 02:15:45 pm »

when you boot to the login screen click sessions and choose jwm or fluxbox  and then log in..it will default to the last window manager used

opera is on the install cd in the/packages/ net directory I think..you can copy the package to your home directory and install from a terminal as root (type su then enter root password) useing$ installpkg  opera-9.24.91-i586-1vl59.tlz

as mentioned you may like to try VL-light

If you are feeling adventureous you may also try a custom TWMrc.(another alternate window manager).on VL-std .I posted one for vl at the end of this thread...I forgot to add dillo but it may be easy to add if you like to play..there is an edit button on the preferances menu .you can use a color as background..I would avoid screensaver as wallpaper and use mousepad rather than medit

http://www.vectorlinux.com/forum2/index.php?PHPSESSID=90802e14f33ecf2814fdc74cf9c7af60&topic=5767.15
hope that helps

cheers

Quote
I would suggest claws-mail as mail reader

thanks I was looking for it for light...must have forgotten to update the package list
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 04:42:07 pm by overthere » Logged

Everything Is Relative
rbistolfi
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Posts: 2291


« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2008, 07:03:26 pm »

If you use only 4 ttys disable 5 and 6 they are just using ram.

HTH, let us know how is it going.

how to do that?

Edit as root your /etc/inittab

Find this lines and comment out the lines for tty5 y tty6 for example.
Code:
# /etc/inittab
# NOTE NOTE NOTE adjust this to your getty or you will not be
# able to login !!
#
# Note: for 'agetty' you use linespeed, line.
# for 'getty_ps' you use line, linespeed and also use 'gettydefs'
# 0 is for User Mode Linux only
# 1 is used for autologin, so it is not activated on level 78
#0:12345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty0
1:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty1
2:234578:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty2
3:234578:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty3
4:234578:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty4
#5:234578:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty5
#6:234578:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty6

WARNING: This is an important file, you can easily destroy the world with it Grin. man inittab, google, linux docs, and so on, you really want to know what you are doing Wink

Code:
I tried to download it via slapt
slapt-get update
slapt-get --install opera --> did not work
slapt-get --search opera --> did not show anything useful

You can get the binary from opera website. This can be related to the Opera license.

Quote
thanks I was looking for it for light...must have forgotten to update the package list

You are welcome Smiley. It is indeed lighter than thunderbird and more functional imo. Also it is keyboard friendly, a great advantage. As kidd suggested, opera mail is great too, I always forget about it. Opera has great functionality for such a small package.

With light I can get about 30mb of ram used after boot, with all services disabled and adding all my network commands to /etc/rc.d/rc.local to start at boot. In that way I can avoid any daemon. I use mostly cli apps so I am ok with the ram. I think if you can get the 30mb used at boot and leave the rest for apps you can browse the web and write a few docs at the same time. Just take it easy with multitasking Wink
Logged

"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

--
Jumalauta!!
slafochmed
Member
*
Posts: 7


« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2008, 02:09:58 am »

Ah great.  Cheesy

Yesterday night I did a fresh install of VL light.
I was curious and tried to install with a smaller Swap (150 MB) but that probably led to a system freeze after 100% install status.
So I did it with the stated minimum of 500 MB Swap.

Great, boot up in 3 min and then the speed is ok. No endless disk write/read. Dillo is very fast, opera is also nice.

Ah, the VLwifi is so great! I got the windows driver running so easily. Smiley

I will try different desktops and this claws-mail tonight.
Huh, I did not realize that modern GUIs like xfce take so much ram. Much, much expense just for eye candies?
 Roll Eyes
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kc1di
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Vectorian
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Posts: 1125


Morse Code Early digital mode. John 3:16


« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2008, 02:36:57 am »

you may want to give Claws-mail a try it is very light weight and fairly fully featured.  it's in the testing Repro.
(you can enable that in Gslapt by going to edit>preferences >sources tab check one of the boxes that says testing and after it reloads do a search for Claws-mail)

VL light is a great little version and will be very good I believe for you.

Cheers!
Dave kc1di
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Dave
( Living Somewhere in Maine USA)
Registered Linux User #462608
slafochmed
Member
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Posts: 7


« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2008, 10:26:32 am »

Thank you for the step by step hints. Smiley

Claws-mail is nice.
I am starting it from the terminal: claws-mail
Is there anything I can do to put it on the desktop? I tried to find the file by
locate *claw* but did not find it.

I also tried to put the system to German language. I do not know where.  Sad
I went by the icon VASM, found at least the keyboard map configuration, but although chosing German layout,
the keys still remain US-layout when trying in the test field.
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exeterdad
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2046



« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2008, 10:35:00 am »

Quote
cp /usr/share/applications/claws-mail.desktop ~/Desktop
Will literally put it in the Desktop, but depending on what you are using for a window manager, you might not see it.
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slafochmed
Member
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Posts: 7


« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2008, 11:55:09 am »

Oh, thanks, that worked. Smiley
I have a link now, but there is no icon.

I tried to activate another keyboard layout by typing
loadkeys /usr/share/kbd/..../*.gz
but it generates an error saying something about couldn't find a file identifier. mh.

Ah, the gui programs, I like LXDE most from the first tryings. Smiley
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