Thursday, July 12, 2007

gentoo on slow system

This is a dilemma. Modern operating system does not like slow system with not enough memory. Let me give my old laptop as an example. This is Celeron 1.1Ghz with 256MB ram. Cache size is 256Kb. First, Windows XP, the mostly used OS these days, can survive barely with fresh install from original recovery CD (Home edition). But, as patches and service packs are added up, getting sluggish. Eventually, fully patched machine will give unusably slow machine. To use this computer, exposing to risk of unpatched status is inevitable.

Second, Windows 2000. Ha ha ha. Unless somebody has a too much time to experiment how long it takes for fully patched with gazillian times of reboot. I don't want to try, but I can imagine myself stuck in this ugly box patching and rebooting repeatedly.

Then, linux becomes the key. However, current ubuntu/kubuntu desktop release will not be happy with 256Mb ram. It will be as slow as Windows XP. We can use debian or ubuntu server and start from there. Light window manager like fluxbox or window maker with small but powerful system monitor like conky will do it. Personally, I prefer fluxbox.

When eagerness to offload unused kernel module or strip down application thanks to USE flags comes into play, gentoo brings serious dilemma. As much I don't want to be stuck updating windows machine, as the same I don't want to be stuck looking at compiling screens.

I can just compile and leave. What if emerge process failes in the middle? Okay, then use the box while compiling. That's what I do. Then, the machine is usable, but not fun. Especially, when emerging, it already lost sometimes half, sometimes fully lost cpu resource. Plus, firefox is slow!!
But, the result will be the cleanest.

The last thing that I want to see is 'update candidate, glibc.'

No comments: