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Zane

Linux is slow

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Here's the thing...

 

My wife has been using a 200mhz computer running Windows 95 for some time. Last week it died on her.

 

Someone had given me a 500mhz system 128 meg of RAM so I figured to upgrade her. (Yeah not much of an upgrade but free and I'm poor).

 

It already had Windows 2000 on it and I installed Firefox and OOo and it worked fine except when I tried to use MicroSoft update I got told that I couldn't. Now I know there's a workaround for this, but I don't want to be a pirate so I format and do a Fedora Core 4 desktop install. Get everything working and everyone is happy right...

 

Not quite.

 

Everything works but everything takes FOREVER to open. 2 munutes or more for Firefox. Over 3 minutes for OOo. Evolution anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. Even small games like freecell take over a minute to open. Heck, a terminal windows takes over a minute to open. Additionally switching between aps takes forever as well. I can't think of why this should be.

 

Ok so here's the questions...

 

1. Is there a way I can speed up Core 4 to work for her?

 

if not ...

 

2. What distro would someone suggest keeping in mind she needs the following apps.

a)OpenOffice.org

b)Email client (Preferly Evolution)

c)Firefox

d)gnuCash

 

 

 

Other things may be needed as well but I haven't identified them yet. Those are the biggies though. Samba is needed to the extent that she needs to attatch to other computers on the network for printing and shared files, though as I move more of my computers (All free and between 200 and 800 mhz) to linux it won't be as important.

 

Also, she uses a wireless Xterasys PCI network card that I may or may not be able to make work with the 2.4 kernel.

 

Ok so any Ideas would be appreciated on making this system usable.

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Hi,

 

First of all you need more RAM, even microsoft windows XP wouldnt run better with 128 ram, second you can try removing services that you dont need using setup command from a root console and choosing "System services"(requires a reboot).

You didnt write what desktop system you used kde or gnome ?

Gnome would be more faster than kde on that system.

If none of those work you can try using an older FC like fc 2 or 1.

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Yep using gnome although I've also installed KDE as an option as well.

 

I don't know about Windows XP but Windows 2000 worked great no problems responded very quickly. Unfortunately updating the ram isn't an option right now.

 

Setup command?

 

Are FC 2 and 1 Kernel 2.4 or 2.6? What kind of functionality would I lose by going with FC 2 or 1 instead of FC 4?

 

I'll give anyweb's tweak a try and let you know how it works.

 

What functionality would I lose by using fluxbox or blackbox?

 

Slackware and Gentoo should run quicker?

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i'd agree with kobras

 

your problem is not enough ram, plain and simple

 

Fedora 4 needs 256 mb ram to be smooth, unless of course you don't want a gui

 

 

read this link to see what i mean

 

http://fedora.redhat.com/docs/release-notes/fc4/#id2498114

3.3. Memory Requirements

 

This section lists the memory required to install Fedora Core 4.

 

This list is for 32-bit x86 systems:

 

    *

 

      Minimum for text-mode: 64MB

    *

 

      Minimum for graphical: 192MB

    *

 

      Recommended for graphical: 256MB

 

This list is for 64-bit x86_64 systems:

 

    *

 

      Minimum for text-mode: 128MB

    *

 

      Minimum for graphical: 256MB

    *

 

      Recommended for graphical: 512MB

so, go out and buy another 128mb ram, its not expensive nowadays

if you cant add more ram then please let us know why

 

one other thing that might be causing your issues is weird hostnames specified in hosts

 

/etc/hosts

 

did you change that file in any way ?

when you start an app do you see the hard disc chugging away for a long time ?

 

 

cheers

 

anyweb

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Ok... My problem is not enough RAM for Fedora Core 4. I checked and it appears I don't meet the requirements for FC 3 or FC 2 Either.

 

Unfortunately buying another 128 meg of ram is not an option. I would have to buy 256 meg of ram since the computer has 2 dimm slots and 2 64s are currently in them. And believe it or not, I quite honestly can not afford the 25 to 50 dollars that would cost me.

 

So I have to look to other options. I have a legal copy of Windows 98 I could install on it. That is the last option I want to take. I know it would work though.

 

Is Slackware or Gentoo going to be an option? Or will I be running into the same situation?

 

I didn't change /etc/hosts any any way I'm aware of and I'll check for hard disk chugging when I get home tonight.

 

Thanks for the help... can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

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With everyone focusing on the memory issue, here's another thing I'd like to ask: Did you allocate any space for swap? It is imperative that you have at least 512 MB for swap.

 

I've had problems where Fedora Core 4 is slow in certain respects. I would recommend trying Ubuntu (www.ubuntulinux.org). They even ship you a CD for FREE, although I would recommend downloading via BitTorrent (to help put P2P in a better light). Furthermore, the install CD also serves as a live CD, so you can get a feel of it before you actually install it. If you do choose to use this distribution, I would recommend reading www.ubuntuguide.org

 

So... why I like Ubuntu:

More packages to choose from (even the ones that are not so legal)

Faster boot (text-only, though)

 

I'm glad that you have chosen the economical upgrade route. With Linux, you will definitely get the most out of the 500 MHz machine!

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Not quite.

 

Everything works but everything takes FOREVER to open.  2 munutes or more for Firefox.  Over 3 minutes for OOo.  Evolution anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes.  Even small games like freecell take over a minute to open.  Heck, a terminal windows takes over a minute to open.  Additionally switching between aps takes forever as well. I can't think of why this should be.

 

Oh nice, unfortunately issues like this can take place with RPM based distributions on older hardware. The reason for this is memory (as suggested 128Mb is on the low side) and that RPM's are now getting built to i686 (500Mhz is most likely a i586), this means that the RPM isn't optimized for you system (and hence a little more processor/memory hungry).

 

Ok so here's the questions...

1.  Is there a way I can speed up Core 4 to work for her?

 

Yes, removal of services is one, no doubt a lot of services are running that she simply won't need. Stripping down the eye-candy on the desktop can help, altering the window manager to a lighter model can assist too (notice some other wm's will still work within KDE/Gnome).

 

if not ...

2.  What distro would someone suggest keeping in mind she needs the following apps.

    a)OpenOffice.org

    b)Email client (Preferly Evolution)

    c)Firefox

    d)gnuCash

 

Ubuntu (which is a Debian variant) worked great on a 333Mhz with 128Mb RAM. One of the benefits of debian based systems it that they LOVE older hardware. You can run all those on ubuntu.

 

Also, she uses a wireless Xterasys PCI network card that I may or may not be able to make work with the 2.4 kernel.

 

This of course is a question of the kernel used by the distribution, in all honesty not got a clue if ubuntu works with it, check out their forums.

 

With everyone focusing on the memory issue, here's another thing I'd like to ask: Did you allocate any space for swap?  It is imperative that you have at least 512 MB for swap.

 

:D hell yeah dasunst3r!

 

I've had problems where Fedora Core 4 is slow in certain respects.  I would recommend trying Ubuntu (www.ubuntulinux.org).  They even ship you a CD for FREE, although I would recommend downloading via BitTorrent (to help put P2P in a better light).  Furthermore, the install CD also serves as a live CD, so you can get a feel of it before you actually install it.  If you do choose to use this distribution, I would recommend reading www.ubuntuguide.org

 

B) i agree.. ubuntu is the way

 

So... why I like Ubuntu:

More packages to choose from (even the ones that are not so legal)

Faster boot (text-only, though)

 

I'm glad that you have chosen the economical upgrade route.  With Linux, you will definitely get the most out of the 500 MHz machine!

 

dasunst3r thats some great points and i back you up completely.. ;)

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Thought I would add one more piece of stupidity to this.

 

When I did the Core 4 install I just used default parameters. Apparently on the install it automatically chose to set up some type of software raid for the 3 hard drives using some type of virtual file system and then installed on top of that. ;-) WOW very nice that it does that and can do it automatically and I can't believe that I didn't notice it doing it (I was in a hurry).

 

On the other hand, I've got to believe that although it's an awesome feature, a 500 mhz Celeron with only 128 meg of ram isn't going to be able to handle the overhead involved for a software raid.

 

So here comes a format. I guess I'll give ubuntu a shot, although I have to imagine even if I reinstall Core 4, if I get that software raid off there it'll do better or am I wrong?

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Thought I would add one more piece of stupidity to this.

 

When I did the Core 4 install I just used default parameters.  Apparently on the install it automatically chose to set up some type of software raid for the 3 hard drives using some type of virtual file system and then installed on top of that.  ;-)  WOW very nice that it does that and can do it automatically and I can't believe that I didn't notice it doing it (I was in a hurry).

 

On the other hand, I've got to believe that although it's an awesome feature, a 500 mhz Celeron with only 128 meg of ram isn't going to be able to handle the overhead involved  for a software raid.

 

So here comes a format.  I guess I'll give ubuntu a shot, although I have to imagine even if I reinstall Core 4, if I get that software raid off there it'll do better or am I wrong?

There's no doubt that you'll be doing better. Don't forget to back up your data, and once you're in Ubuntu, be sure to look at www.ubuntuguide.org

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No data to back up. Haven't really done anything in it.

 

I am concerned about the wireless network card though. I'll just wait and see for now.

 

 

Installing Ubuntu now. Here's how I set things up...

 

2.1 gig drive (master/IDE1) ext3 mounted at /

6.4 gig drive (slave/IDE1) ext3 mountat at /home

CDROM (master/IDE2)

2.1 gig drive (slave/IDE2) swap ... Yep the whole thing is swap based on the "at least 512 mb for swap" comment earlier.

 

I'll let you know how things work out.

 

Thanks for all the help.

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Well install will not complete.

 

No matter what I try I get an error on copying remaining packages. When I select that from the list, I says I need 400 meg more in /var even if I mount the 6.4 gig drive at /var.

 

Any ideas?

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OK... do the following:

1. Make your 6.4 GB drive master and 2.1 GB drive slave on IDE1. Leave IDE2 intact. You'll see why soon.

2. Partition as follows:

 

6.4 gig drive (master/IDE1) reiserfs mount at at /

2.1 gig drive (slave/IDE1) reiserfs mounted at /home

CDROM (master/IDE2)

2.1 gig drive (slave/IDE2) swap

 

I highly recommend using reiserfs because it is faster and less prone to getting corrupt. The makers claim it's "un-corruptable," but I think that there's always that chance, eh? ;)

 

You're getting that error because you've cramped all your stuff into the 2.1 GB drive, which I know Ubuntu cannot survive on. /var on my computer takes up about 693 MB, so how much room would that leave for the entire installation? Very little!

 

I know you're probably getting frustrated with Linux and that you just might go back to Windows, but hang in there -- this frustration is a learning experience, and you could come out a victor!!!

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/home is going to have to be bigger than 2.1 Gig. So that's not really an option.

 

I finally gave up and rebooted and started the install completely over, when I got back to partitioning I didn't get the error anymore. But I got a different weird error saying it couldn't configure apt. I rebooted again and went through the whole install again and didn't get the apt error. Bizzar if you ask me, problems shouldn't just go away without reason.

 

Anyway, when I left it this morning it had been upacking stuff for almost an hour and was still going. I'll let you know how things worked out.

 

If 2.1 gig ain't going to be enough I'll copy the stuff off home onto the 2.1 gig drive. Unmount /home repartition it with a 1 gig partition for /var. Remount /home and mount the second partition at /mnt/var copy /stuff from /home back into home and /var to /mnt/var delete /var unmount /mnt/var and remount the new partition at /var. Then fix the fstab table. That should do it right?

 

That's assuming everything got installed alright which I'm not sure it did.

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Your workaround looks very complex! :lol:

 

Anyways, if you can actually get the system working with only 2.1 GB allocated for binaries and all, you will definitely earn my envy because it takes me a 6 GB drive for a system that can serve as a decent desktop system (includes swap).

 

I have found that /var takes up a good bit of space, so if your current setup doesn't work, try this:

 

2.1 gig drive (master/IDE1) reiser mounted at /

6.4 gig drive (slave/IDE1) reiser mountat at /home

CDROM (master/IDE2)

2.1 gig drive (slave/IDE2): 512 MB swap and mount the rest in /var. Be sure to use reiser.

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Mutter I really don't want to reinstall if I don't have to.

 

It took hours. I was shocked. FC4 took only a fraction of the time. And I still don't know if it worked. I guess I'll know in a couple hours after I get off work.

 

Maybe I can work out the partitions without reinstalling. Just repartition the third drive and put /var on it. Yeah I can probably do that. Cept I'm already using ext3 not reiser. Maybe I should bite the bullet and try again. Or try FC4 again without the RAID stuff.

 

Hmmmm

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I'm new here, sorry if this has been said before, or doesn't apply.

Give "SimplyMEPIS" ago. [www.mepis.com]

Debian based, KDE desktop[gnome too], all the applications a new linux user needs,

Firefox, Openoffice, Gimp, Kmail [it is easy to install Thunderbird or Evolution], Xine, Xmms,digicam, Samba and more...

Comes on 1 live CDrom, can be downloaded from many places, or order on line.

Install time, 15 minutes on new PC [AMD64 +3000-512mb-80gHDD] or about 45-60 minutes on older hardware.

Needs at least 2.5g HD, 128meg RAM, 300mhz CPU to be usable.

 

The install is done once you have booted the computer from the CDrom.

Booting from the CD will take you to a fully working desktop [with applications ready to use] that can be used with out touching your current setup or even needing a HDD [runs in memory only] allowing you to test things, see if you hardware is detected etc or just to use for normal PC use, surf the internet, write letters, listen to music etc.

 

To install you click on a link/icon on the desktop and the GUI installer starts, 1 reboot and the bliss begins.

 

More info and download links.

http://mepisnightcrew.org/index.php?view=ul

 

MEPIS Forums

http://www.mepis.org/tracker

http://www.mepislovers.org/

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/fo...p?s=&forumid=64

 

happy Debian user loving MEPIS setup, it is SimplyMEPIS bliss

NH

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Ubuntu is installed.

 

It's a little quicker but not much. Evolution is excruciating to use.

 

So anyway, I'm back to looking for more memory.

 

I still need to get gnuCash installed since it doesn't appear to be an option. Neither was wine both these were options on install in Fedora. I'm familiar with rpm's in Fedora. But not familiar with how Ubuntu installs stuff. So I'm going to do more reading.

 

It did find my wireless card and set it up without me having to do anything. In FC 4 I had to configure and compile driver. So that was nice.

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Ubuntu is installed.

 

It's a little quicker but not much.  Evolution is excruciating to use. 

 

<_< this isn't my experience (as before 333Mhz 128Mb), and evolution opens fine :unsure: i wonder if your RAM has faults in it? check the output from the command "dmesg", also maybe take the time to run a memtest check on your RAM?

 

So anyway, I'm back to looking for more memory.

 

Ya, depressing that it doesn't seem to handle well for you :(

 

I still need to get gnuCash installed since it doesn't appear to be an option.  Neither was wine both these were options on install in Fedora. I'm familiar with rpm's in Fedora.  But not familiar with how Ubuntu installs stuff.  So I'm going to do more reading.

 

Use 'Synaptic' to install/search/remove packages (it's a GUI to apt).

 

It did find my wireless card and set it up without me having to do anything.  In FC 4 I had to configure and compile driver.  So that was nice.

 

One plus point then ;)

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Well doing good here. Ubuntu 192 Megs of ram seems to be holding up. Typing this from the very computer. THings are quick enough. I came up with 128 meg stick so now have a 128 and a 64 in here. I'm still looking for another 128 stick in my price range (free or there about. :) )

 

Anyway...

 

Now she wants Reader Rabbit installed for our daughter.

 

apt-get install wine

apt-get install winesetuptk

 

Looks good wine D:setup.exe

 

Goes clear through until it gets to setting up shortcuts, I get an error that shortcuts cannot be setup and it UNINSTALLS!!! ARG.

 

Ok I run again,... This time when I get the error I Control C out and try to run it. I get an error saying to put reader rabbits CD in drive and try again. THE CD IS IN THE DRIVE!

 

So now I"m stuck.

 

I tried running the program right off the CD and got some other weird error. I don't even know if i'm suppose to be able to run it right off the CD or not since I just looked for an executable that appeared like it might work so I don't if that's important.

 

Any ideas on what I need to do would be appreciated.

 

Z

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i know its not ideal but try installing it again as root (just to see does it work) if it does its a permissions thing, if not, try googling or checkout http://frankscorner.org

 

cheers

 

anyweb

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Well doing good here.  Ubuntu 192 Megs of ram seems to be holding up.  Typing this from the very computer.  THings are quick enough.  I came up with 128 meg stick so now have a 128 and a 64 in here.  I'm still looking for another 128 stick in my price range (free or there about.  :)  )

 

Moving forwards :)

 

Goes clear through until it gets to setting up shortcuts, I get an error that shortcuts cannot be setup and it UNINSTALLS!!!  ARG.

 

Ok I run again,...  This time when I get the error I Control C out and try to run it.  I get an error saying to put reader rabbits CD in drive and try again.  THE CD IS IN THE DRIVE!

 

This is probably because the CD isn't unmounted (replace /mnt/cdrom with the correct device/path):

# umount /mnt/cdrom

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OK... been busy and haven't been able to mess with this awhile.

 

Mostly wife is happy with the system. One issue, if she leaves firefox running for any long period of time the entire system becomes unresponsive. Honestly it's faster to hit control alt delete for a reboot than go to control alt F1 login as root and try to kill firefox. You can do it but it's soooo slow. Some type of memory leak?

 

I haven't tried installing again. But I will couple of questions though.

 

1. Why wouldn't it be able to create the shortcuts? I notice that any program I try to install in wine fails to create shortcuts. Unfortunately this program is set up so if the shortcuts fail to be created as soon as you click OK on the error it begins uninstalling. I tried to get around that by not clicking ok but just killing the install at this point instead hoping that the shortcuts would be the LAST thing to install. But that's besides the point, seams to me the shortcuts SHOULD install.

 

2. The CD rom needs to be UnMOUNTED? Yes the CD ROM is in the drive and mounted. Why would the CD ROM need to be unmounted? Wouldn't it need to be mounted? Just curious. I believe you and will try it unmounted. Just want to know why it would need to be unmounted.

 

Regards,

Z

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Mostly wife is happy with the system. One issue, if she leaves firefox running for any long period of time the entire system becomes unresponsive.  Honestly it's faster to hit control alt delete for a reboot than go to control alt F1 login as root and try to kill firefox.  You can do it but it's soooo slow.  Some type of memory leak?

 

Ok this is possibly an issue with the 2.6 kernel, I encountered it as well, all you need to do is add "noinotify" to the kernel command line..

 

Open /boot/grub/grub.lst (or is it grub.conf?)

Look for the line something like

kernel /kernel-BLAH root=BLAH ..... noinotify

 

Add the noinotify to the end. This might fix the issue. Basically whats happening is that a wee program called gam_server is running away with itself and blowing up the kernel causing whats called a panic. Reboot is the only option after this.

 

1.  Why wouldn't it be able to create the shortcuts?  I notice that any program I try to install in wine fails to create shortcuts.  Unfortunately this program is set up so if the shortcuts fail to be created as soon as you click OK on the error it begins uninstalling.  I tried to get around that by not clicking ok but just killing the install at this point instead hoping that the shortcuts would be the LAST thing to install.  But that's besides the point, seams to me the shortcuts SHOULD install.

 

Wine isn't perfect and a quick glance revealed that does install doesnt work, I know yours seems like a different issue but it doesnt sound hopeful :(

 

2.  The CD rom needs to be UnMOUNTED?  Yes the CD ROM is in the drive and mounted.  Why would the CD ROM need to be unmounted?  Wouldn't it need to be mounted?  Just curious.  I believe you and will try it unmounted.  Just want to know why it would need to be unmounted.

 

Coming from the Windows world you might be a little green to mount/umount issue because Windows cheerfully handles this end all by itself.

 

If the CD isnt umounted, then its handled somewhat like a read only hard disk and needless to say you cant simply withdraw them :) By umounting you effectively release the disk from linux.

 

Regards,

Z

 

OI.. im the only z around here.. ... .. on no wait z0ny's here too.. BAH :P

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A cleaner way of unmounting (and then ejecting) the CD is to either:

1. Right-clicking on the CD icon on the desktop and then clicking Eject

2. Going to Nautilus, clicking on Computer, and then doing the same thing

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A cleaner way of unmounting (and then ejecting) the CD is to either:

1. Right-clicking on the CD icon on the desktop and then clicking Eject

2. Going to Nautilus, clicking on Computer, and then doing the same thing

 

Still confused on this. I know what mounting and unmouting is. You have to mount CD into file system in order to read the CD.

 

Someone suggested I needed to UNMOUNT the CD in order for wine to be able to find the CD which confused me. I can understand this if wine needs to mount it into a different place than it is already I guess. But if that was the case, why would the install even start? Go figure...

 

As for ejecting it. Well that's no good cause as soon as I put it in my automount feature would just mount it again. Which defeats the purpose of unmounting the CD.

 

Still no progress on these issues. But if I get it working I'll let you know.

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