[clug] Ubuntu at the low end

Chris Smart chris at kororaa.org
Sun Jul 6 22:16:34 GMT 2008

On Mon, 2008-07-07 at 14:43 +1000, Jason Stokes wrote:
> I've been playing with Ubuntu 8.04 for the past couple of weeks on a
> very old PC -- a PII-400-MMX with 256 MB of PC100 RAM, and a TNT II
> video card.  I had previously installed 7.04 on it last year (the old
> "stick it on an old PC and try it out" school of Linux adoption), took a
> look at it, and promptly forgotten about it.  Installing 8.04 reminded
> me /why/ I had forgotten about it: because Ubuntu, out of the box, is
> slow as a dog on it, at least as far as running Gnome on the desktop
> goes.  Scrolling is slow.  Page rendering is appalling, and
> tab-switching is painful. Load times are shocking.

Hey Jason,

I'd like to suggest that you perform a custom install of Ubuntu on the
box; don't do a full desktop install of anything - I don't even install
the full Ubuntu on my core2 system with 4Gb ram (when and if I actually
run Ubuntu on it).

By default, Ubuntu installs a lot of extra packages that you probably
don't need and are taking up your precious resources.

To do this, use the alternative install CD and install a "command line"
install. This will give you a tiny base system to then build up from,

Boot to it, and install X:
sudo apt-get install xorg

Now, install a login manager:
sudo apt-get install xdm

Now install a desktop - NOT GNOME - try XFCE4.

sudo apt-get install xfce4

Tweak it further with the programs you *actually* want. I have an old
howto here which might help:

I guarantee this will be a much quicker and responsive system - it might
even be perfectly usable!

As an added bonus, perhaps try Debian instead of Ubuntu - I always found
it far more responsive.


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