IceWM and Ubuntu 7.04 on 450Mhz K6-2, 256Mb

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

Slowly, slowly, things start to get better. This time I built up a stripped Ubuntu command-line installation on the Sotec, then added xorg, IceWM and a few GTK2 applications, to keep me in business.

(That, by the way, is the most excellent WinClassic theme for IceWM, adjusted only slightly to my own tastes. Note that the Tahoma font is not part of the msttcorefonts package. I found that … somewhere … while I was … surfing. Yeah, that’s it. … :oops: )

Terminals are courtesy of xterm/uxterm. File management is handled by Xfe, and Web browsing by Kazehakase.

Startup time is around 1:10, which isn’t much worse than a pure command-line system (I tweaked the base installation to get it to move a little faster, and compiled an autologin executable. Don’t hold that against me. For my Xubuntu and Ubuntu experiments I set the session manager to autologin too).

Startup is fast, but shutting down is a different story. I have to spawn a terminal and issue the shutdown command, then type a password. I’ll be honest here and say that the entire process pushes the shutdown time to almost 25 seconds. I guess if I wanted, I could alter the sudoers file to give myself permission to shutdown without a password, and maybe make an alias for the entire command. But to be honest, it doesn’t interest me enough.

And of course, I had to hand-edit the xorg.conf file to fix the screen depth.

Kazehakase starts in just over six seconds, which is worse than I had hoped for. But I rationalize by saying I installed the Flash plugin, whereas I didn’t in Ubuntu and Xubuntu. However, once it’s up and running, it loads and renders fairly fast. There is some lag, but mostly when I skim up or down pages. That I blame on the hardware, particularly the video subsystem.

Xfe — which is really the lightest file manager I can find, short of a console-based file manager — starts in under two seconds. xterm spawns in 1.3 seconds, but there’s a lag of about 0.4 seconds before the shell prompt appears. That seems to happen on all the machines I build, regardless of the system or the emulator.

The downside to those applications is that both are far outdated in Feisty. I know, it’s been less than six months since Feisty blossomed, but really: Kazehakase is version 0.4.2, which shipped with a form submission bug. And Xfe, which is 0.88 in Feisty, has already matured to version 1.0+, and has options which make it immensely more attractive than this version.

My network card hasn’t given me any trouble since I left the Gnome setup, which leads me to believe that something in Gnome was interfering with it. While it’s nothing I can pin down — and I’m not the least bit interested in troubleshooting something Gnome-driven — it’s probably worth remembering.

So what was the point of all this? I guess mostly for my own gratification. I wanted to be able to say “Yes, you can install Ubuntu on a very old machine and still get performance, plus usability, and without unnecessary bloat.”

Now a system like this is faster, but much less newb-friendly. Little things like automounting and volume control still need attention. And a login manager would probably be a good idea. No doubt someone will want a screensaver (yuck!). There are no desktop icons, and something needs to handle wallpaper.

But most of those issues can be handled without too much stress. iDesk is an option for the desktop icons. ivman, if I remember right, can automount for us without tipping the bloat scale. Qingy is in the Gutsy repos, so in another month, that could be an option. And there are plenty of console programs that can pick up the slack too.

Building a system like this gives you a lot more control over what goes into the machine. And if you can control what goes in, what comes out will be much more impressive.

Next stop: An experiment.

About these ads

4 Responses to “IceWM and Ubuntu 7.04 on 450Mhz K6-2, 256Mb”


  1. 1 Kadath 2007/09/07 at 3:44 PM

    That’s pretty hardcore! Windows 2K-style :D

  2. 2 lucchox 2007/09/07 at 11:10 PM

    About the smbus error (ALI15X3 not detected) can you solved? If you do 3 times: “hdparm -t /dev/yourmaindev” how much mb/s reach in the best time?
    thks bye

  3. 3 dosnlinux 2007/09/08 at 6:49 AM

    I think you can allow users to shutdown the computer by editing /etc/login.defs if you don’t want to mess with the sudoers file


  1. 1 Ubuntu 7.10 and gOS on 450Mhz K6-2, 256Mb « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2007/11/25 at 8:45 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Welcome!



Visit the Wiki!

Some recent desktops


May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF
 


May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games


Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts.

Join 405 other followers

License

This work is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Please see the About page for details.

Blog Stats

  • 3,961,193 hits

Archives


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 405 other followers

%d bloggers like this: