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Author Topic: Improve performance of VL6.0 Deluxe on old hardware  (Read 2287 times)

sparkyhall

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Improve performance of VL6.0 Deluxe on old hardware
« on: March 01, 2009, 12:09:49 pm »

This is not really a how to it's more of a tip to help improve performance on older hardware using VL6.0 Deluxe with xfce and the default VL-Classic theme.

Soon after I first installed VL6.0 Deluxe I noticed that my CPU idle usage was a little higher than expected at around 8.5%, this on a pentium 3 750MHz machine. I also noticed that with some other themes the idle cpu usage was only 2.5-3%. Curiousity got the better of me and as I wanted to use the default theme I started to look for reason why.

One thing I noticed is that VL-Classic uses animated progress bars. The easist way to see what I'm talking about here is to click on the mount devices icon on the panel. Here you will see a blue bar with moving diagonal stripes to indicate usage. If you look really closely you will also see that the volume control next to the speaker icon also uses an animated bar.

All of this animation obviously consumes precious CPU cycles so my goal here is to disable this animation and free those cycles for more productive use. For laptop users this should also help extend battery life.

The first step was to track down where the theme is stored:

/usr/share/theme/VL-Classic

Then make a copy of the VL-Classic folder in your /home/myusername/.themes folder by either using a file manager or by issuing the following command in a terminal. (note: you may need to do this as root and then change the owner)

cp -r /usr/share/theme/VL-Classic /home/myusername/.themes/VL-Classic

You can of course rename your copied theme if you like.

Open /home/myusername/.themes/VL-Classic/gtk-2.0/gtkrc in an editor such as medit. Search for the word “animation” until you find the one that has “= TRUE”, now change the TRUE to FALSE, save, logout and log back in. Check that progress bar animation has stopped by clicking on mount devices on the panel. Now check you CPU idle usage in htop. For my pentium 3 750 the idle CPU usage went from 8.5% to around 2.5% so not a huge improvement but still worth having in my book.

If you took the time to have a look through gtkrc you will have noticed that there are many other settings that can be adjusted in this way and as you have made a local copy if you mess things up you can simple delete this and start over.

Have fun,

Chris
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kidd

  • Packager
  • Vectorian
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  • Posts: 682
Re: Improve performance of VL6.0 Deluxe on old hardware
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 02:08:52 pm »

Really nice tip!

Thanks for sharing