[Test Report 1] Minimum System Requirement for Xubuntu 12.04 LTS

Ali Linx (amjjawad) amjjawad at gmail.com
Wed Jul 17 05:15:38 UTC 2013

On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 8:59 AM, Micah Gersten <micahg at ubuntu.com> wrote:

>  On 07/16/2013 11:33 PM, Ali Linx (amjjawad) wrote:
> Hi,
>  *Information:*
> - Xubuntu 12.04.1.ISO
> - LiveUSB Created by UNetbootin
> - Installation on Real Hardware - http://phillw.net/hardware/BnA9pw11
> - RAM Used: 242MB - http://i44.tinypic.com/a4ug5s.jpg
>  - Note that: LiveUSB is faster than LiveCD
>  *Test Case:*
>    1. Machine has two HDD1 and HDD2
>     2. HDD1 is Samsung 20GB IDE (Lubuntu 13.10 Saucy is installed on the
>    whole HDD).
>     3. HHD2 is Segate 80GB IDE
>     4. Booting the machine from the LiveUSB
>     5. Choosing "Try Xubuntu without installation"
>     6. Booted successfully to the Live Desktop
>     7. http://i44.tinypic.com/2hf5tgj.jpg
>     8. The Live Desktop was slow and I had to wait few seconds until
>    Right Click > Menu shows up.
>     9. Ran GParted to turn SWAP OFF.
>     10. Once SWAP is OFF, the machine became VERY SLOW. If I press CAPS
>    Lock, the LED on the Keyboards needs few mins to be ON.
>     11. Obviously, because Physical RAM was already being used (FULLY) -
>    http://i44.tinypic.com/2hf5tgj.jpg - then once SWAP is OFF, definitely
>    the whole machine will stop responding and this is very easy to re-produce
>    (I'm expert to make old machine not usable and not responding).
>     12. Clicked on "Install Xubuntu" from the Desktop
>    13. I waited for 30 mins and the machine is totally not responding and
>    the mouse pointer is stuck on the circle icon (when the system is
>    processing something, the pointer turns to be a circle - I'm sure you know
>    what I mean).
>    14. I had to reboot the machine.
>    15. Repeated the same above steps - same result
>    16. Even though the Live Desktop did not crash after 30mins of
>    waiting, the whole system/machine is not usable and not responding so
>    whether it crashes or not, same - you can not do anything and you must
>    reboot.
>  *Summary:*
> Having all the above said, long story short, there is *NO WAY* to 'Try'
> Xubuntu on 256MB of RAM nor 'Installing' it with 256MB of RAM. Again, see
> this: http://i44.tinypic.com/2hf5tgj.jpg
>  *Suggestion:*
> I think by far, it is very much safe to say that the *Minimum RAM*required to Try Xubuntu and/or Install it is 512MB AT LEAST.
>  *Please Note:*
> You need to understand that having a pre-exist SWAP Partition is NOT the
> default/standard case for all users. Users may have only one HDD. User may
> have not installer another Linux System on a different or same HDD so they
> do have SWAP.
>  Also, please note that it is NOT advisable to ask from a new user to
> create a SWAP Partition just to install Xubuntu on LESS than 512MB RAM.
> This is not helpful at all, IMHO.
>  Having that said, in order to do a real test with a worse case scenario,
> you need to follow the steps I have done to get the same results (SWAP OFF).
>  *By the way ... if zRAM was enabled by default, I'm sure the results
> would be different - just saying *:)
>  *What Next?*
> On the same machine, I am going to increase the RAM used by system by
> entering BIOS and: http://i44.tinypic.com/a4ug5s.jpg
>  I will set it to 64MB so the RAM that will be used by the system will be
> 432MB RAM. I know what you are thinking. There is 16MB any Linux OS I have
> tried on that machine can not read/detect that is why the usable RAM by the
> system is 432MB not 448MB. Yes, I will turn SWAP OFF as well.
>  Ok, I have tried that and I did not work.
> I had to set the RAM to 464MB so that I can install Xubuntu 12.04 from the
> LiveUSB while I'm on the Live Desktop (Try Xubuntu without installation >
> Live Desktop).
>  and ...
>  Installation is successful - Time:13mins
>  *After Installation Xubuntu 12.04*
>  This is what I did after the installation:
>    1. sudo nano /etc/fstab
>    2. Removed SWAP entry
>    3. Saved
>    4. Rebooted
>    5. sudo apt-get install zram-config
>    6. http://i40.tinypic.com/n2cqq9.jpg
> I'm currently upgrading my system:
>  sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
>  Now, Xubuntu 12.04 installation has NO Physical SWAP Partition.
> The SWAP that you see here: http://i40.tinypic.com/n2cqq9.jpg
> This is from zram-config
>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZRam
>  https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/zram-config
>  *End of Test Report 1*
>  Thank you for reading!
>  --
> "All of us are smarter than any one of us."
>  *Best Regards,*
>  *amjjawad <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/amjjawad/>*
>  *Start Ubuntu<https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/CommunicationsTeam/WOWLubuntu/StartUbuntu>
> *
>  *My Own Business <http://alilinx.blogspot.com/>*
>   I don't think that anyone says to run Xubuntu with 256MB RAM with no
> swap partition.

I have volunteered to do this test because the Minimum System Requirement
on the Website is not correct IMHO and as Lyz said, no one has done such
test for a long time so I guess it is good to have some data regarding this.

> Creating a swap partition is a part of the standard install IIRC.
> Also, this can be a swap file and does not need to be a separate disk
> (though I don't know if the installer handles this properly or not).

NO one said swap should NOT be created. You misunderstood the whole point.
SWAP partition will be created 'during' the installation process NOT
'before' it :) hope it is clear now and I guess my report is very much
detailed unless I missed something that need further explanation.

> Having said that, I don't have an issue saying that the minimum to run
> Xubuntu is 512MB at this point.

Good. Because saying on the website 256MB is not correct :)

> Even at 512MB, swap will be needed, but I don't think that's a problem.
> Micah
For me to disable swap and edit fstab is an extreme move to test how far I
could go with my installation. That was an added step, ignore it please if
this will cause any confusion.

Summary: Because I have previous installed Linux with SWAP Partition, I had
to disable it 'before' installing Xubuntu.

Xubuntu Installer will create SWAP Partition DURING the installation
process NOT before it ... unless of course ... someone will create his/her
partitions 'before' the installation using GParted and choose 'Something
Else' from this step: http://i40.tinypic.com/14jx9h4.jpg

However, this is not the standard approach. New Users will not create their
partitions 'before' the installation.

Definitely, having a swap partition created 'before' installing Xubuntu
will help, no doubt about it but this is not a general case. Only those who
are experienced enough can do it. When you mention on the official website
a minimum system requirement, you need to keep the very new users in mind :)

Thank you for your feedback!
and you are welcome :)


"All of us are smarter than any one of us."

*Best Regards,*
*amjjawad <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/amjjawad/>*
*Start Ubuntu<https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/CommunicationsTeam/WOWLubuntu/StartUbuntu>
*My Own Business <http://alilinx.blogspot.com/>*
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