[xubuntu-users] xubuntu-users Digest, Vol 120, Issue 29

fred roller fredroller66 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 21 23:02:07 UTC 2017

On Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 5:28 PM, Peter Flynn <peter at silmaril.ie> wrote:

> Linux will technically *run* in 512MB but IMHE it will absolutely
> *crawl*, taking many minutes to respond to the mouse or keyboard. I'm on
> a 2GB laptop at the moment, and it's working OK, but occasionally slows
> down when switching from application to application. And it takes 7-8
> mins to boot.
> I wouldn't want to run more than 3-4 user applications (eg mail, web,
> wordprocessor, spreadsheet) simultaneously unless you have more than 2GB
> memory. But there are *lots* of other factors involved.

In my experience the largest culprits for slow systems is primarily the
amount of cache on the processors, ram, and these days ssd vs hdd.  Cheap
computers = low cache in most cases because lvl 1-3 cache is expensive and
1-2 are usually built into the processing chip itself (think Celeron).
Linux of most flavors tend to do well with RAM but as mentioned, some
programs will suck it all up in a flash. Montior with the cli command "top"
and you can get a good idea of what is using what. The old rule of 2x was
true but my current system has 50% (4Gb swap w/ 8Gb RAM) and barely
utilizes half of the swap.  I have 4 "desktops" with and average of 4-6
programs per desktop running on a single laptop system.  SSD has given the
most significant jump in speed since I don't have to wait for platters to
spin up to speed.  Digging into your system should reveal some tweaks to
get some speed out of it and old timer tricks like on platter drives (hdd)
you can put your boot partition and swap way up front in the sector count
and the less active data near the end of the sector count.  At this point I
realize I ramble but you get the point.  Ubuntu was originally designed for
old low end systems in Africa where they didn't have the best to work with
and the students needed access to technology.  I agree with Peter, watch
the memory hogs and if necessary use alternatives, that's the beauty of
Linux, you have choices.
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