Six months without X

I had to check back against the calendar, but if my calculations are right, it’s been about six months since I tossed X overboard on my Thinkpad. I won’t bore you with a bunch of anti-X rantings because I have spewed forth plenty of anti-X rantings in the past.

And because it would be slightly hypocritical, in a technical way. For as much as I run X-less, I also rely on X (albeit a year-old version) to keep this Pentium afloat. Sure, it can run without it — all the applications are the same. But because the hardware predates the VESA requirements in recent kernels, there’s not much fun to be had with the framebuffer.

But that too is old news, really. Xorg 7.3 is a great substitute for the lack of framebuffer support here, but given the choice on a machine this old, I’d definitely drop it like a hot rock.

And why? Mostly because it returns a large slice of your system resources to you — although that argument is a bit weak, considering I’m talking about a Pentium with 16Mb in it.

But also because everything moves quicker, snappier and just plain faster without X as an intermediary layer. I’ve discovered quite a few things that make things faster over the past few years, but the best results seem to come from taking things out. And X is one of those.

I promised not to rant, and it seems already I did. If you haven’t tried life without X I recommend it, just for a little while. I can’t predict with any certainty that you’ll get hooked, but if you’re one of the lucky ones, life will certainly get better.


4 thoughts on “Six months without X

  1. Jeff Flowers

    On a command line system, what would you use to keep a database of books? I have a collection I want to manage but I can’t decide what to use.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      To be honest, I’m not sure. I’ll keep my eyes open. I can’t say that I’ve seen many CLI applications that use databases, but it seems like the few that I remember rely on outside structures to maintain them.

    2. Eric Fraga

      At the risk of getting shot down (due to potentially large memory requirements), you could use Emacs with its database mode?

  2. Jeff Flowers

    I’ve been looking into it. I briefly considered using a SQL server, like MySQL or PostgreSQL, but that would seem to be overkill, so I am considering building my database with Awk or SQLite.

    Either way, I am going to be learning something new, as I am not real familiar with either Awk or SQL.


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