Sad, isn't it. Half a GIGAbyte of RAM and people are recommending you downscale your install.
You probably CAN run Ubuntu/Gnome on a 512MB system. You just won't enjoy it.
Then again, Gnome is just the start of the trouble. I think at last count, the basic Gnome desktop + core applets was running me about 128MB, but Evolution was chomping 512MB, Firefox another 200 or so, and Eclipse wants at least 512MB to do a decent job. Then if you wanted to develop webapps, Tomcat would be another 200MB or so.
And to think that one of the initial selling points of Linux was that it wasn't as RAM/CPU hungry as Windows....
Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Tim Holloway wrote:Sad, isn't it. Half a GIGAbyte of RAM and people are recommending you downscale your install.
I don't think it's the RAM so much as the processor. A PII is pretty wimpy compared to modern processors. I bought a Via C3 (about as powerful as a P3) recently to build a home file/torrent/web "appliance". I put 512 Mb RAM on it and it would barely run Xubuntu. Browsing plain web pages was tolerable. Apps took forever to load. Right now it's running Ubuntu Server headless and doing a great job.
I'm pretty sure the last PII I ran Linux on had a bare-bones window manager like FVWM and I sure didn't try to use it as a development platform (it was a web server/firewall).
Maneesh Godbole wrote:
I was under the impression Linux, like Tim mentioned, was not a resource hogger.
First, Linux is way more flexible than the Windows platform when it comes to configuration. It has a variety of window managers available, from the bare-bones like FVWM to KDE and Gnome, which are platforms in their own right. You also have the option to run without Xwindows (or many other services). THAT is the Linux advantage. It can be configured to be light. The default install of Ubuntu (and Fedora and Suse and so on) comes with everything turned on because most users prefer pretty to performance.
Second, Eye candy is expensive, processor and memory wise. I think it's crazy to expect a latest-generation operating system to run with all the bells and whistles on hardware that is ten years old.
As I mentioned above, I have a machine which is a dog when running X, but without it, it hums along. One could use it for development. VI and Emacs have been used for development for ages. I wouldn't expect to run an IDE or expect the compiler to be quick.
My advice would be to try Fluxbuntu or Puppy Linux (they both have Live CD's, so you can "try before you buy"). Both distributions are targeted to lower-power systems.
I've also built up a custom low-power install starting with Ubuntu Server and installing X and a light window manager. There's an out-of-date How-To available.
As you work with Linux on your old desktop, keep in mind that you aren't really getting a good experience because your hardware is holding it back. If you really want to experience what Linux has to offer, install it on modern hardware.