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Make Linux Faster


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#1 pcpunk

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 07:41 PM

I would like to install a new faster distro on my Acer Laptop Testbed.  I have LMM17.1 on it now but it is a bit slow, and, has some screen tearing.  Not sure if the screen tearing can be fixed and wouldn't mind fixing that just to see if it can be done, but again, it is quite slow with only 2gig of RAM, Speccy below.

 

I already tried MInt xfce17.1 and it was worse.  Already tried LXLE, a few others and want to stay with Mint I think.

 

I like Mint 13 kde alot! but after running some distro's live and looking at the resources being used at idle it don't seem much better than 17.1.  

 

Mint 13 xfce does use far less resources at idle than the others and the graphics are good also so that might be my choice.

 

The problem is, I don't like xfce as much as kde.  Can I somehow make kde use less resources, or disable some.  I'm guessing that some of them are needed for the kde destop graphics, maybe not I don't know.  Perhaps it is all just the software that is installed and running.  Wish I could build my own kde13 that used less resouces lol.  xfce uses way less as far as I could tell.

 

I'm experimenting tonight disabling some services with LMM17.1 to see if I damage anything.

 

Another issue, is that I cannot test these on the internet because my wifi driver is not supported.  The only Ethernet connection that I have is at work, and for some reason it don't like Old Versions of Firefox, or downloading iso's, weird I know but I am sure there is a reason.

 

Thanks pcpunk


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#2 pcpunk

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 08:55 PM

Here is my System Monitor with two web pages open and Updates running and the Terminal was open, by accident.

 

Just disabled some services and still running 43.5% on CPU and 40.5% on RAM at idle.  I am also running Sophos but don't know how to check how much that is taking up.

 

Here is what I have disabled in the Startup Applications:

1. Desktop sharing

2. Mate Panel Compiz

3. Migrate Compiz to custom profile

4. Mint Welcome

5. Power Manager

6. Print Queue Applet

7. Pulse Audio Soundsystem

8. Volume Control - I don't have sound on this laptop, it's broken.

 

DISABLED SERVICE SETTINGS:

1. kerneloops

2. virtualbox-guest-utils

 

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Edited by pcpunk, 10 July 2015 - 08:57 PM.

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#3 paul88ks

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 09:14 PM

@PCpunk- why don't you give Ubuntu Mate a try .I have it running on an old Dell 6000 series with 2 gigs ram and it works great! 32-bit!



#4 NickAu

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 09:54 PM

You should look into adjusting swappiness.


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#5 cat1092

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 04:41 AM

If Google Chrome is installed, go into the Settings, then to the bottom of the page, where it says 'Advanced Settings', an at the very bottom there an option pre-checked to 'Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed'. For best PC performance on low spec units, uncheck this option, may be the same way with Chromium, that I can't say because I don't have it. If it's a Chromium feature also, uncheck it. 

 

Anyway, that's a sure fire way to free up some resources, if the option is unchecked. You don't need Chrome running in the background all of the time, unless you have at least a mid spec computer at a minimum, with more than 4GB RAM. Most of mine has 8GB or more, so these are unaffected by this setting. Still, I have a couple that are affected, so I be sure to disable this power robbing feature. 

 

It's OK to leave the other as is, to allow for hardware acceleration if available. This only runs when the browser does, and helps pages look better by taking advantage of your graphics to the fullest. 

 

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#6 O.T.T.

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 02:07 PM

I'm going to be honest !  :wink:

 

You have a single core and single thread processor and 1.5GB (slow) RAM and "no" graphic support...

That system can not run a modern full OS even if it is Linux !

 

Your only hope is some old Linux version or a special "light" distro.

 

Here are some "light" distros : Click!

 

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#7 pcpunk

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 04:55 PM

@PCpunk- why don't you give Ubuntu Mate a try .I have it running on an old Dell 6000 series with 2 gigs ram and it works great! 32-bit!

I'll burn one and try it out paul!  You think it would be any lighter than Mint17.1xfce, me thinks not.  I believe my CPU is junk also, so maybe not all the RAM issue.  Really not so bad to have a little patience lol but slowness with all the Tearing was not real tolerable.  I think your Dell600 is way better than what I am working with.


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#8 pcpunk

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 05:04 PM

You should look into adjusting swappiness.

I thought about this Nick, but don't fully understand it.  It seems as though we need somewhere for stuff to be written to if RAM is not able to handle it, but this contradicts what I have read about it.  So I guess I just don't understand what happens when there is no-where for this info to go when RAM is over burden.  I think this is just saying/telling the OS to use RAM MORE untill the very last bit, right? so it will be used just not until it is fully needed.


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#9 pcpunk

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 05:11 PM

If Google Chrome is installed, go into the Settings, then to the bottom of the page, where it says 'Advanced Settings', an at the very bottom there an option pre-checked to 'Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed'. For best PC performance on low spec units, uncheck this option, may be the same way with Chromium, that I can't say because I don't have it. If it's a Chromium feature also, uncheck it. 

 

Anyway, that's a sure fire way to free up some resources, if the option is unchecked. You don't need Chrome running in the background all of the time, unless you have at least a mid spec computer at a minimum, with more than 4GB RAM. Most of mine has 8GB or more, so these are unaffected by this setting. Still, I have a couple that are affected, so I be sure to disable this power robbing feature. 

 

It's OK to leave the other as is, to allow for hardware acceleration if available. This only runs when the browser does, and helps pages look better by taking advantage of your graphics to the fullest. 

 

Cat

I have been around reading all your posts long enough to know this cat LOL! thanks, I am learning something at least.

 

I lost ya on the last sentence?  The other selection in Chrome?


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#10 pcpunk

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 05:15 PM

I'm going to be honest !  :wink:

 

You have a single core and single thread processor and 1.5GB (slow) RAM and "no" graphic support...

That system can not run a modern full OS even if it is Linux !

 

Your only hope is some old Linux version or a special "light" distro.

 

Here are some "light" distros : Click!

 

OTT

Exactly! LOL and xfce seems pretty good so far and I have looked at quite a few.  I will look at your suggestions also.  I even checked out Lubuntu as hollowface and maybe some others have suggested, but none ran as low on CPU as xfce13.


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#11 NickAu

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 05:19 PM

 

       What is swappiness

The swappiness parameter controls the tendency of the kernel to move processes out of physical memory and onto the swap disk. Because disks are much slower than RAM, this can lead to slower response times for system and applications if processes are too aggressively moved out of memory.

.     swappiness can have a value of between 0 and 100

.     swappiness=0 : Version 3.5 and over: disables swapiness. Prior to 3.5: tells the kernel to avoid swapping processes out of physical memory for as long as possible.

.     swappiness=1 : Version 3.5 and over: Minimum swappiness without disabling it entirely

.     swappiness=100 tells the kernel to aggressively swap processes out of physical memory and move them to swap cache

 

http://askubuntu.com/questions/103915/how-do-i-configure-swappiness


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#12 pcpunk

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 06:04 PM

Cool, thanks a lot Nick!  I might as well play around with it as it seems as though it is fine to use without damaging anything.

 

I went ahead and installed Mint xfce13-32bit.  Might as well try it out.  My philisophy was to try out Mint kde13 first and then go down from there, but at the last minute installed xfce as it was the lightest on the CPU.

 

Right now running about 20% CPU, 20% RAM and Zero swap with two web pages open in google chrome, way better than the others.  Sadly not as nice as kde, but I will use it for a while and see what I can do with it.

 

One thing that I did, that I'm not sure I should have-was not formatting home / now will have to deal with setting compatibility issues I think, already seen a few.

 

Thanks guys!


Edited by pcpunk, 11 July 2015 - 06:16 PM.

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#13 pcpunk

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 06:32 PM

Now I am wondering what part of RAM this effects, physical or virtual? and, what happens if one runs out, hmm, me thinks that would not be good?  Now-thinking logically about it, it probably don't matter if it is Physical or Virtual, what ever is available I'm guessing.  I just changed the setting in terminal temporarily until next boot.


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#14 cat1092

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 01:13 AM

 

 

I lost ya on the last sentence?  The other selection in Chrome?

 

The option on the bottom where it says 'Use hardware acceleration when available'. It's OK to leave that one checked, to make Web pages look better. Note that this may or may not make any difference on some computers, if not, uncheck it also. Many will receive some benefit. 

 

It's right below the option to 'Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed'. No way to miss it. 

 

Hope this makes my prior post more clear. 

 

Though for the best bang of performance for the buck, as long as your computer has a 2.5" SATA HDD, grab a 120GiB $50 SSD on promo from Newegg, you want some speed, you have it! :thumbup2:

 

However I recommend that more for your HP than the Acer. Modern Linux distros can make the needed adjustments on SSD's w/out the need for GParted, just use the regular install process to create partitions. Make sure to leave 10% of unused space at the far end of the SSD, this makes it perform better & increases lifespan. Most of mine, I have 20% unused reserve space for this task. 

 

This isn't a Free solution, however if one wants a faster computer, some cash has to be spent, and SSD's are the best 'bang for the buck' at this time. Remember when you increased your RAM in the HP to 4GB total, how much faster it became? Well, a SSD will provide a more noticeable impact. Though I recommend to stay away from the Kingston SSDNow V300 value series line, the ones in the red packaging, way too many negative reviews for me to consider this purchase, though there are other low cost options in the 120 through 128GiB sizes. Sometimes, one can get a 250 to 256GiB model for as low as $80 on promo of the Samsung of Crucial brands, both of which are highly reliable. And quick as a cat.  :P

 

My last spinners are on pre-2010 model computers, only one isn't by choice, I have a couple of extra extra SSD's, it's just that two of the models are SATA as far as plugging in goes, but are enhanced IDE ports, though someone is assisting me with an add-on SATA card that I have for one of the two (HP dc5800). The other is an IDE based notebook & the oldest that I have. Have an Dell Optiplex 740 where it 'may' be possible to have some form of true SATA, by activating RAID in the BIOS. If there's only one drive installed, it should be seen as a true SATA connection, though at SATA-2 speeds (same with the HP). 

 

While there are many Free 'speed me up' tips & tricks, the sure fire way for speed & power is investing a little in hardware for the purpose. That HP of yours would fly with a SSD, and maybe the Toshiba also. The Acer may also benefit, if it has a SATA HDD installed. Crucial has a scanner for compatibility, though you don't need to purchase from them. A 2.5" SATA SSD is not locked to a model, like RAM is. Note that some computers requires a 1.8" model, though these are more rare, some Toshiba models has this size drive installed. 

 

You must look at all of your options to get the best speed from a computer, not just software tweaks. I'm just telling it like it is, have been down this path years ago of trying to make low-spec computers faster. 

 

Cat


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#15 cat1092

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 01:20 AM

Now I am wondering what part of RAM this effects, physical or virtual? and, what happens if one runs out, hmm, me thinks that would not be good?  Now-thinking logically about it, it probably don't matter if it is Physical or Virtual, what ever is available I'm guessing.  I just changed the setting in terminal temporarily until next boot.

 

While it's not good to run out of virtual RAM, which is your Swap partition, it's also best to keep this as small as possible. This forces the RAM that you paid for to do it's job. The old idea of 2x the amount of installed RAM may be OK for one with 1GB or so, yet if 4GB is installed, normally a 1GiB Swap partition is needed, the rest is a waste of precious drive space, and when it swaps to this area, it's not near as fast as your installed RAM, this even applies to those with older DDR RAM. Someone with 2GB RAM may need 1.5GiB of Swap space & no more. I still have my last notebook with 2GB RAM running a 1GiB Swap space w/no troubles. 

 

Cat


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