Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 18th Jan 2004 08:19 UTC
Oracle and SUN Some of the more experienced among the readers can surely configure CUPS with Samba by editing configuration files with closed eyes. This kind of exercise is useful and fun the first few times, but it can quickly become a mundane task if it has to repeated often. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a distribution that could do it near-automatically? In other words, wouldn't it be nice if we just used Xandros? And despite our natural resistance to use GUI for any kind of configuration, could we still love Xandros? Robert Storey investigates.
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RE: Slow?
by Telemann on Mon 19th Jan 2004 01:09 UTC

"It's funny...I keep seeing posts that linux desktop environments are slow. My girlfriend and I went home for xmas and we used my mom's brand-new Dell (which is a P4 2.8GHz machine with 512mb of DDR by the way)"

Exactly -- the vast, VAST majority of the world's computers in use are less than half that spec. Millions upon millions of computers in businesses and homes are nowhere near that; GNOME and KDE may run OK on your box, but that's not representative of the real world. If we're advocating Linux as a fast and lightweight alternative to Windows, we need to make it so.

The other issue is comparative performance. Even on a machine like yours, the jump from GNOME/KDE to IceWM/WMaker/Fluxbox will be very much noticable. And it's comparative to the past as well. I've used GNOME on a 3 GHz system, and it's about as responsive as a 7 MHz Amiga. Seriously. Yes, the GNOME/Linux box is doing a lot more, but several thousand times more? Not likely. And yet the machine is several thousand times more powerful, taking into account memory, CPU speed, hard disk speed, and so forth.

The current goal of GNOME and KDE developers appears to be: "As long as we're a bit faster than Windows, that's alright". But it's not. It just means people get stuck on the old upgrade treadmill; current GNOME and KDE releases require at least 128M to run smoothly, which makes many machines sold a few years ago redundant. The whole point of Linux in business was to provide a competitive upgrade path for older machines, but if they can't run a modern Linux desktop acceptably then we've not done a good job.

The best thing I can say is this: go and install QNX, BeOS or a similar OS. They absolutely fly along, and yet they do just about everything a modern Linux can do (and often more). I love Linux dearly, and I couldn't be happier with my IceWM/Firebird/Pine/AbiWord setup, but the mainstream distro vendors are pushing GNOME and KDE, and giving people the impression that Linux is slow and unusable on older hardware.

Just a discussion point.