Here are some screenshots of the new test version of Ubuntu, and a video showing no slowdown after loading over 40 applications on a 1 GB RAM, P4 desktop.
Screenshots and Videos of Edgy Eft
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Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.
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2006-09-03 1:34 pmh3rman
>> It’ll be interesting to see how well it runs on older hardware, given that Linux in many ways positions itself as the OS of choice for older under powered hardware. A gigabyte of RAM isn’t all that huge, but it certainly isn’t anywhere something you’d turn your nose up at in terms of capacity. <<
The screenshots/video are made on an Ubuntu desktop, and Gnome, its desktop environment, is not itself Linux. Sure Linux can run on older hardware, but Gnome is simply the second most bloated *n*x DE around (and I like it), so in order for Linux to run nicely on your say P2, P3 or PPC G3, you’d have to try out another desktop environment.
Frankly, I think as far as KDE/Gnome desktops are concerned, the bigger distros don’t run faster than some other OS’es.
All that the “Linux can run on old hardware” story has to do with, is the fact it is configurable and adjustable. And it doesn’t usually slow down due to spyware and viruses. But Ubuntu is a ready-to-use, confection distro. Give it 1GB RAM, it will use it.
*(You might want to give Xubuntu a try, if you like to revive your older machine.)
2006-09-03 2:17 pmtwenex
Spyware and viruses aren’t the only reason some OSes slow down: a lot of that has to do with things like the Windows Registry, which grows with each new application installed on the machine.
2006-09-03 8:47 pmBending Unit
So does file systems. Your point?
2006-09-03 9:12 pmtwenex
My point? My point is the Windows Registry is loaded into memory all the time. No system loads all files into memory.
2006-09-04 3:25 amkiddo
Honest question here: doesn’t gconf do exactly that since GNOME 2.14? I mean, loading your gconf tree entirely into memory?
Because, remember they merged the xml files for performance improvements: gconf no longer uses thousands of small files inside directories, it uses *one* XML file. So I would assume it is entirely loaded on startup? Is it?
2006-09-04 3:10 pmtwenex
Maybe it does, but I don’t use GNOME anyway. I use KDE, XFCE, WindowMaker or FVWM.
Yes, all four!
2006-09-03 3:08 pmaent
I’ve tried Xubuntu and the memory usage is very close to standard Ubuntu, especially in the latest releases with the heavy focus of optimization in Gnome. The biggest sucker of RAM and other resources is OpenOffice and Firefox, both of which are used in Xubuntu. The difference seems to be about 25MB right now, and each gnome release reduces the memory a bit so the difference should become near zero pretty soon.
2006-09-03 3:19 pmmaxx_730
Have you even tried Xubuntu? It does not use OpenOffice, instead it uses Abiword and Gnumeric. Nor does it use as much RAM as Ubuntu on bootup: on my Pentium II 350 Mhz box it consumes about 45 Mb on bootup, versus like 100 Mb with normal Ubuntu.
2006-09-03 2:02 pmHanZo
well ubuntu is not for older hardware… for that you’ll be better served with DSL or Puppy… Ubuntu aims at being a distro that gives you the best features not the smalles footprint.
1Gb may be a lot of ram but it’s not that much anyway… I think 1Gb of medium quality ram is about 100 €… not that much money after all…
Knot2 is just a development release, far from beign the final one… which is sceduled for release in oktober I think… anyway I have it running on my desktop and it’s already pretty stable… some apps crash from time to time, but the system itself never crashed. this despite the fact that it’s, as I sayd a development version, i.e. unstable, and that I mess around a lot with it to find the bugs and issues.
My scanner (epson 2580) was having some problems with dapper, but with edgy it runs perfectly, out of the box… probably the new sane release, and also my not so linux friendly audio hardware (terratec DMX 6fire) works fine with esd (wasn’t in dapper).
I tried the new upstart, which is supposed to completely replace init, and it is working well, stable and slightly faster than init.
so all in all… though the screenshots don’t really show something new, under the hood there is some good work going on.
2006-09-03 2:54 pmh3rman
>> well ubuntu is not for older hardware… for that you’ll be better served with DSL or Puppy… Ubuntu aims at being a distro that gives you the best features not the smalles footprint.
You’re taking two extremes here, Ubuntu and DSL, or Puppy, are all fine distros, but a little less old stuff, say, a Pentium2 128MB RAM laptop, can handle a lot more than Damn Small Linux (no experience with Puppy, but that’s rather limited too I think) and Damn Small isn’t that user friendly for the novice. After all, it’s mainly a portable Live OS, and it runs on the real old PCs.
Installing it is a little hassle because you have to partition the drive, etc.
To name a few good alternative examples for limited hardware: Xubuntu (easiest choice, but if your RAM is limited you need the “alternate” install disk, not the common, live+install disk); Vector, Zenwalk, or Debian with Xfce or Fluxbox. A.o.
Edited 2006-09-03 15:01
2006-09-03 4:03 pmbuff
You have to keep in mind there are many variables in Linux that make it run better on older hardware. Hoping a new version of Ubuntu will work well on older hardware is a little too general. Gnome and KDE might not be the best bets for older hardware since of their memory use. Smaller light-weight DE’s such as XFCE will make a difference but probably not a new version of Ubuntu. In general you will see a speed increase in applications compiled with the latest GCC 4 release. Fedora is one distro where you will see this slight increase in FC6.
First of all, 1GB of RAM is a heck of a lot of RAM. It would only be strange if a machine with all that RAM couldn’t handle a reasonably sized workload. Second, the vast majority of the applications are only small teeny weeny games which do not need many resources. The only reasonably apps which I noticed were loaded were OpenOffice (the resource hog by definition) and the GIMP and both apps load up rather nicely on Ubuntu 6.06 with 512MB RAM. Third, the video only shows someone open each and every app from the menu. It doesn’t show any of those apps being used or even the user switching between those apps.
So in the end that video shows nothing. I mean, really. The user opened a big pile of applications and didn’t worked on any of them. What is there to see? I’m a huge Ubuntu fanboy but hey, let’s keep thing in perspective, shall we?
Edited 2006-09-03 13:23
2006-09-03 2:02 pmKroc
‘If you search for the evidence you want, you will find it; even if it is not there.’
I’m in agreement that the user is only demonstrating what they want to see. This same task could easily be executed in Mac OS and Windows with 1GB of RAM. If the user wanted to proove at least something, the same task would be repeated in 256 & 512MB RAM and the differences measured.
This is rather poor editing from OSNews.
2006-09-03 6:08 pmsegedunum
The user opened a big pile of applications and didn’t worked on any of them. What is there to see?
What it’s trying to show you is that Gnome isn’t as slow as hell. Unfortunately, the user didn’t do anything with any of those applications.
Edgy is a alpha release and opening up fourty apps is impressive. Did we see Vista do this in Alpha?, they may not be big apps but the fact is that they are apps which the DEdistro comes with.
You can see everyday applications being opened not useless benchmarking crap. This is real world use and all of thoughs applications would be very usable, since the Linux kernel is actually better under load.
2006-09-03 2:31 pmJohnX
I could say I’m painting my car black and its now 20% done. So it’s in “Alpha”. But that doesn’t mean that my car has changed alot.
Ubuntu releases are like that. Software is the same, kernel is mostly the same… Very litle changes. Calling it “Alpha” makes it look like the Ubuntu guys are starting from scratch, but no. Most work is already done by other OS projects.
2006-09-03 3:12 pmSlackerJack
Well not really, alot of new packages and software updates and gnome is in RC state. Then they have to make sure it works with the new packages and there own tools and addons.
2006-09-04 2:54 amd0nk3y
True – but Windows Vista is hardly MS ‘starting from scratch’ either – but that also went through an Alpha stage….
(BTW, just re-read my post and have to say I am not meaning to attack if it has come across that way…)
Edited 2006-09-04 03:00
The video is truly useless.
As much as I have to give credit to the author for the work I will, but just for the “work”. Sorry to say it but it’s useless. It might mean something to people who know nothing about computers but not those who know atleast some basics.
Your 1GB of RAM can easily encompass those programs (but it might be interresting to run 40 OOo.o if it doesn’t “share” too much )
All those programs, as is shown in the video btw, take 0 CPU and only take up RAM. The only slowdown you get doing things like this is if the OS has to start swapping, which would eventualy happen, but it has nothing to do with it being Ubuntu, or Linux for that matter. It’s just a 30 or 40 year old technology…
I run Linux on an Athlon XP 2500+ with 512MB RAM and KDE 3.5, and it *flies*. Of course, I don’t run forty apps at the same time, but in reality, who does? Firefox, Konqueror, a couple of shell windows, a couple of compiles, PuTTY, Amarok and OO.org can all be running comfortably without the machine even hiccuping.
2006-09-03 2:24 pmnetpython
I run Linux on an Athlon XP 2500+ with 512MB RAM and KDE 3.5,
The XP 2500+ is a nice CPU,on of my linux boxen runs on one.
2006-09-03 2:58 pmbroken_symlink
who uses putty on linux o.O
2006-09-03 3:35 pmtwenex
I still have it on one of my Linux boxen ‘cos I hadn’t yet found Kssh.
2006-09-03 6:53 pmkernelpanicked
twenex, I think the point trying to be made is the irony of using putty or Kssh after you said
“a couple of shell windows, a couple of compiles, PuTTY”
Why not just use one of those terminals you already have open and type ‘ssh user@host’? =)
EDIT: twenex don’t take this the wrong way. I don’t mean this as an attack or anything. I seriously just got a chuckle out of the irony of using a GUI for a 100% command line app
Edited 2006-09-03 19:02
2006-09-03 7:05 pmtwenex
Oh, right, I see.
2006-09-03 7:57 pmraver31
. I don’t mean this as an attack or anything. I seriously just got a chuckle out of the irony of using a GUI for a 100% command line app
Is the guy not allowed to multitask ?
2006-09-03 8:00 pmkernelpanicked
2006-09-04 10:22 amprogster
what’s wrong with just ssh
Sorry, but the only thing i saw beeing loaded where over 40 minor aplications that used between 0 to 1% of CPU usage, and grabed from RAM no more than 100kb of mem, seriously, is that a test ??
I have an Athlon 64 3200+ with 1Gb of Kingston Mem, and windows XP simply flyes in it…
I don’t see the point of showing that vid, since it doesn’t show anything…
maybe if you show 40 divx movies running smoothly, that will impress me…
2006-09-03 3:36 pmtwenex
maybe if you show 40 divx movies running smoothly, that will impress me…
This isn’t Haiku 2.0 running on a dual-core we’re talking about! 😉
2006-09-03 5:12 pmDittoBox
That was what struck me. Running applications in windows isn’t the same running them in Linux. It’s clear propaganda
Under windows most libraries are built statically into the app or bundeled with it as a dynamic library. This means many different versions of the same library are likely running, or many different apps use many different libraries. At any rate this will slow down the system as most applications will load their own libraries rather than using the system provided ones. Worse off system provided libraries have to support 10 or 15 year old API calls which will also make them larger.
On the other hand, and especially under a DE like GNOME or KDE, different applications will often use the same libraries throughout their life as a process, without having to call their own libraries. Far more libraries are shared under this way of doing things than they are under windows. Less memory is consumed in the end.
Hence denpendancies…of course I’ll leave it up to everyone to decide which they prefer.
2006-09-04 12:33 amjcpinto
However, X eats much more memory at startup than WinXP… so they both require more or less the same memory. Where it starts to pay off is exactly when linux has a lot of apps open, just because of what you said!
My take: If you are a software engineer and want to live a better life and provide your family necessary comforts (as all other engineers, lawyers, doctors) do, please stay away from GPL. Stallman is such an A’Hole man. Wish he was never born.
Stallman’s take on proprietary software: That’s unethical, they shouldn’t be making any money. I hope to see all proprietary software wiped out. That’s what I aim for. That would be a World in which our freedom is respected. A proprietary program is a program that is not free. That is to say, a program which does respect the user’s essential rights. That’s evil. A proprietary program is part of a predatory scheme where people who don’t value their freedom are drawn into giving it up in order to gain some kind of practical convenience. And then once they’re there, it’s harder and harder to get out. Our goal is to rescue people from this.
As an experiment, I decided to see what would happen when I launched the contents of my Applications folder (approx. 45 items) simultaneously. This is on a 1.33GHz Powerbook G4 with 1.25Gb RAM.
* I now have 16Gb (!!!) of virtual memory.
* Up till about 30 apps, Expose worked smoothly. After that it completely froze, but then around the 40 apps marked, started working perfectly again.
* The Dock was impressively responsive throughout.
* Now that everything is loaded, the interface is still pretty smooth.
* Throughout the process, I could always move windows around nicely – thank you Quartz Extreme!
* Google Earth was the last app to show its interface
* Even at its now tiny size, the Dock remains pretty good from a usability point of view – I have 45 apps there on a 1024px screen. I can still recognise every app
* I didn’t load any of the heaviest apps since they are in subfolders. I suspect Word, Excel, Pages or Keynote would have had a larger impact. Particularly since Word and Excel seem to demand around 3% CPU when completely inactive.
* Amazingly iTunes kept delivering music to my Airport Express throughout. No glitches whatsoever. However iTunes’ interface did slow right down.
* According to Activity Monitor, the biggest CPU hogs are iTunes, System Events and Microsoft AutoUpdate. I understand the first two, but what is AutoUpdate doing? It’s constantly demanding 5% !
I think that’s about it.
2006-09-03 5:29 pmKroc
Microsoft’s Auto Update would be running on Rosetta, increasing the usage slightly.
(Doh, you’ve got a G4, not Intel, my bad. In which case I would attribute it to poor code)
Edited 2006-09-03 17:29
this whole thing made me curious… not that I want to prove anything to anybody, just curious. I never use more than 5 apps at the same time, I never need more…
I booted into Edgy and opened any application I had installed, unfortunately I only have 26.. so to make the machine work a bit more, I opened 3 word docs, a powerpoint presentation, started rhythmbox (playing some oggs), opened some bitmaps in gimp, opened all my photos in f-spot.
I know it’s not 40 apps… but still…
systhem is perfectly responsive… no glitch, no slowdown.I started a video file… it was running slightly unfluid… but still the interface was snappy as bevore. processor of course is 100% all the time and mem usage is 48%
I’m writing this while having all that stuff running
my specs are: Athlon64 3000+ (1800 Mhz) and 1Gb of ram
edit: found out that the Ubuntu System Panel I was using as a replacement for the standard menu was sucking up all the cpu power… that’s why it was on 100% all the time
Edited 2006-09-03 21:31
That guy loaded 4 instances of Openoffice.
2006-09-04 2:06 pmHanZo
“That guy loaded 4 instances of Openoffice.”
oh no… that’s just your deranged imagination
…apparently not. The screenies didn’t show anything new, the video is not worth a look, either. Useless usage of webspace.
Another ten minutes wasted, too.
It’ll be interesting to see how well it runs on older hardware, given that Linux in many ways positions itself as the OS of choice for older under powered hardware. A gigabyte of RAM isn’t all that huge, but it certainly isn’t anywhere something you’d turn your nose up at in terms of capacity.