Q about swap size

birger birger at birger.sh
Mon Jul 12 07:37:11 UTC 2010

On Sun, 2010-07-11 at 22:59 -0400, Robert Myers wrote:

> It all depends on how you want to use your time.  If you want to
> re-tweak your system with every new release, I suppose that's one
> option.

Sometimes there are sentimental reasons to keep old equipment running.
The Armada has been running linux since RedHat 6. It's still as slim and
lightweight as any affordable new PC. Of course screen resolution is
poor, and batteries are a problem... But it does the job.

> If you want a solution that doesn't depend on constantly proving your
> Linux manhood, consider:
> 1. A light-weight desktop, or

You know these new NetBook thingies? Guess what. Gnome has adapted to
them. After all, Moblin, a desktop designed for NetBooks, is based on
the Gnome framework. The Gnome framework is not as heavyweight as people
often claim. It used to be a really bad resource hog, but that was a
long time ago.

There isn't actually much that I do on my old bangers. Mostly, it's a
matter of tweaking the GUI on laptops with little screen real estate.
Reducing font sizes and so on. That also goes for modern NetBooks, so
it's not really specific to old hardware.

For both desktops and laptops, remove the most obvious resource hogs in
the UI department. Try removing background images, gradient-filled
borders and so on. Moving frame only when moving a window. Small things
that may have a big impact depending on your hardware.

Most of the tweaking on old systems has nothing to do with the desktop
environment. Use noatime mount option to reduce I/O load. Stop the
sendmail daemon, pcscd and all other services you don't need... All that
stuff has to be done no matter what desktop you run. And it should be
done also on new and fast PC's as it reduces the vulnerability of a
system. Not only with respect to attacks, but also software bugs that
could make some unused service become a resource hog.


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