default applications for natty

Eero Tamminen oak at
Fri Jan 7 22:14:33 UTC 2011


On perjantai 07 tammikuu 2011, Jim Campbell wrote:
> If you haven't seen the latest issue, Linux Journal has a quick look at
> some alternate desktop environments,

Could you give a link?

> and the first one featured is Xfce
> on Xubuntu.  The primary* thing that they noted was that the default
> Xubuntu install ran with 325mb of RAM used, while Ubuntu's default RAM
> usage after boot-up was 328mb

Typically people misunderstand and get Linux memory measurements
completely wrong (Linux optimizes memory usage by using it for some
useful purposes like caches & buffers, it doesn't necessary mean that
it's not available to other apps).

So, how did they measured the memory usage?

> (by contrast, Lubuntu used just 167mb of
> RAM).  They actually suggested using Ubuntu with lighter-weight apps
> (i.e., Installing Ubuntu and replacing Rhythmbox with Exaile, etc.) over
> using Xubuntu.  (Note that they didn't *dislike* Xubuntu, but just
> thought it wasn't a big advantage to use Xfce over Gnome.)

Except for some immaturity (like lacking service/applet restarting when they
exit), I think Xubuntu's XFCE is actually nicer than Ubuntu's Gnome.

A lot of bloat in Xubuntu seems to[1] come also from:
- non-UI processes (daemons done in python etc)
- panel applets being separate processes
  - coupled with above, heavy UI theme could make it much worse

At least first one is stuff inherited from Ubuntu.

[1] I use myself Debian (with KDE), but I've installed Xubuntu for
   a relative and checked its memory usage at that point.

> Xubuntu may load some useful features that Lubuntu doesn't load, but that
> RAM usage number is one measuring stick that people use. Would it be
> worthwhile to consider any changes that might allow for lesser memory
> usage at boot?  I'd be willing to help with testing out various
> configurations and reporting back to the group if that would help.

And when measuring applications memory usage, people should also
know what they're doing as they typically get that wrong too.

(gnome-system-monitor is pretty decent for checking individual process
memory usages, it at least allows accessing most of the required
information.  Smem & xrestop might be more useful for checking the whole
system memory usage.

Note that with applications, it's not important just what their startup
memory usage is, but also how they handle large files or large amount of
files.  For example an archiver that keeps the whole archive content in RAM
is a good example of how NOT to do things, but people rarely test this kind
of things when the they compare "memory usage" of applications...

	- Eero

More information about the xubuntu-devel mailing list