Before I go any further, I want to be very clear that I love Slitaz almost as much as life itself (okay, maybe that’s hyperbole), and I don’t hold it in any lower esteem because it’s sluggish at 150Mhz on 32Mb of memory. And I don’t just say that because the devs sometimes read these pages.
No, Slitaz is excellent, excellent stuff. If I were to create my own distro, I would want it to turn out just like Slitaz. In fact, one of the reasons I don’t build my own distro is that Slitaz is around, and I see no reason to duplicate efforts.
A few months ago I was having issues getting a working system installed, and even now that I have one in place, performance is sub-par. Personally, I think there are two reasons for that.
First, the graphical environment is a bit high-end for a Pentium with an ancient VESA1.2-driven Trident video card. Graphically speaking the machine is taxed anyway, but anti-aliased fonts and rollover effects and just opening a right-click menu can be highly stressful.
That’s also why I don’t have a screenshot of the system at work: It takes more than 30 minutes for the process to start.
To add insult to injury, 32Mb is still too low for a working Slitaz system, and I say that with the deepest respect for what is an amazing, efficient, ultralight system.
But moving the pointer, triggering a menu, pausing for a tooltip — all of these cause huge spikes in processor strain. Actually triggering a menu causes swapping for two or three minutes while it thinks through the processes, and finally opens a password box.
Sometimes it’s even hard to shut down the machine, because the system has to swap for four or five minutes to the get the dialog box open, before I can tell it to shut down. It’s easier to just turn it off and hope for the best.
I should say that I’ve tried both the full version of the cooking ISO, and the low ram, CD-based image which I understand requires less memory but more optical drive access.
And I’ve installed both systems via virtual machine and written them across from USB thumb drives. The low ram system seemed slightly more perky, but that might have been my imagination.
And I should say one more thing — that the Slitaz systems I installed a long time ago on a 100Mhz, 16Mb system were equally overburdened. So the added 50Mhz and 16Mb aren’t helping that much. It’s just not enough hardware.
On the other hand, it might be worth the time it takes to build up from a console-only Slitaz system, and sculpt something sparse. I have great faith in Slitaz; this might be the route to take.
If I can find some time, I will add it to my to-do list. That list is already quite long though. …