[PLUG] Looking at distros for old desktops

Arindam arindam.mukerjee at gmail.com
Mon Jan 11 01:12:54 IST 2010

On Sun, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:51 PM, Devendra Laulkar
<devendralaulkar at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>> Debian was the first distro I looked at for the purpose. I saw its RAM
>> requirements were 512 Megs (recommended) and 64 Megs minimal. Xubuntu
>> on my 1 Gig system takes up about 540 Megs on an idle system with no
>> swap used at 60% swappiness.
> 540 Megs seems to bit off for Xubuntu. My Xubuntu system uses around
> 256MB for an idle system plus few programs like pidgin and xchat. How
> do you define an "idle" system ?

Freshly installed Xubuntu desktop system, latest updates applied from
Internet, added Adobe Flashplayer as well Gnash to Firefox. No other
customizations done. A single firefox instance with 6 tabs - no fancy
flash stuff though. I did notice in the System Monitor that firefox
was taking 92 MiBs. Wondering why this would be so.

If I do a cat /proc/meminfo, I get:

MemTotal:     1009516 kB
MemFree:       517540 kB
SwapTotal:     2000084 kB
SwapFree:      2000084 kB

If I look at the System Monitior GUI, I see Memory used 228.7 MiB of
985.9 MiB, Swap used 0 bytes of 1.9 GiB. Even if I calculate the kB in
MiB (mibibytes) this much disparity shouldn't be there. In such cases
I would trust the /proc entries over the GUI. Where did you do your
reading? Do you see any such disparity in your system?

> If you have the bandwidth and the patience, you can use the minimal
> install CD provided by Ubuntu. However, I think you may be better off
> by looking at existing distros and analyzing the programs using the
> memory.

I guess I have the bandwidth ... the patience gene is absent in the
family :). Do you mean the Xubuntu Server or the Alternate Install?
Was wondering how far can software installs on top of a base system be

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