default applications for natty

Lionel Le Folgoc mrpouit at
Tue Jan 11 10:58:45 UTC 2011


On Fri, Jan 07, 2011 at 01:11:26PM -0600, Jim Campbell wrote:
> Hi All,
> On Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 11:30 AM, Glenn de Groot
> <glenn_de_groot at>wrote:
> >  [...]
> >
> If you haven't seen the latest issue, Linux Journal has a quick look at some
> alternate desktop environments, 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 (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.)

I would like to see one useful review that tries to identify which
apps/daemons are contributing to this huge memory footprint, instead of
repeatedly popping up magic numbers out of their hat...

> 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.
> [...]
> Jim

Here are some obvious things:
 * accessibility: lubuntu doesn't install brltty*, ibus*, etc. I don't
   know how many of them are background apps or daemons, but they
   probably use memory.
 * integration: lubuntu doesn't seem to come with avahi, nor with a full
   cups stack (e.g. no hplip by default). Again, I don't know the
   impact. Another example is that we build xfce4-session with gnome
   support (to launch gconf, gnome-keyring and some gnome accessibility
(there are probably more low-hanging fruits like that...)

This is easy to fix (I can remove all these packages from the default
install), but is a bit contradictory with the Xubuntu Strategy Document.
Let's quote its mission statement:

> Xubuntu will provide an easy to use distribution, based on Ubuntu, using
> Xfce as the graphical desktop, with a focus on integration, usability
> and performance, with a particular focus on low memory footprint.

So we would have low mem footprint + performance, and lose some
usability and integration.
FYI, currently, our default package set wrt to accessibility and
integration is a copy of the ubuntu one (brltty, espeak, ibus, cups

If we want to fix that, we should probably first try to fix this
strategy document not to set unreachable objectives with conflicting
focuses: either we focus on lightness a la lubuntu, and try to cope with
reduced usability/integration, or we continue what we currently do, but
we clearly write it in the document ("memory footprint is not
important"), and then we can stop worrying about all these reviews...


Lionel Le Folgoc -
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