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  • AntiX Keeps Going For Low-End Computers

    Phoronix: AntiX Keeps Going For Low-End Computers

    AntiX 13.1 was released this past week for those looking to load Linux on low-end computers. AntiX isn't a Linux distribution about killing off X.Org, but rather is about running Linux on low-end hardware...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM5NDE

  • #2
    Gosh so far we had like a thousand Linux distros with low-end computers in mind, it's the cheapest and most oversold idea in the Linux world not worth an article, not even mentioning any such distro.

    Comment


    • #3
      AntiX is a great distro! I was long time a Fedora user, but after I experimented with AntiX I soon switched. Now I am using Debian 7 with Gnome 3.

      My favourite desktop environment on my AntiX installation is JWM for me. With a beautiful wallpaper and a change of the default theme (in JWM) via one click it really looks quite decent too. Without any programs open the 32bit version of AntiX 13 uses less than 70 MB on my computer.


      I just did a quick comparison of how much RAM the different Linuxes I have installed on my system consume without any programs open:

      AntiX 13 32bit, JWM 62 MB RAM
      Fedora 18 64bit, Gnome 3.6, 410 MB RAM
      Debian 7 64bit, Gnome 3.4, 263 MB RAM

      My system has 2 GB RAM.
      Last edited by Fenrin; 06-23-2013, 12:44 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        There's nothing wrong with IceWM... I used that for some time on my Pentium II 266 with 128 Mb of RAM. That's what I had back then... I kept it until around 2001, too cheap to upgrade, (and believe it or not, I used to compile KDE on that box... by the time I got all the dependencies and stuff sorted, it took the better part of a day and all night to compile KDE 2 when it came out. Yeah, it used swap while linking)

        I liked those old window managers, like IceWM. You just had to manually edit a few configuration files (only thing really mandatory was fixing up the menus to launch your shit). My favourite was this metallic red and gold oriental theme for IceWM, called Hao Yue.

        Sounds like AntiX would be a nice little distro. I'll have to keep it in mind for resurrecting old boxes.

        Comment


        • #5
          I like low-end driven distros, but there's always the usability problem. Some lack apps, good repo systems, usable utilities, and stuff that just works out of the box without having to be half an hour configuring everything so that it can detect your wifi card.
          Puppy extreme runs on 32 of ram an only uses 12mb after starting. I could not boot it in a K5 with 16 but it did work with 32, which is still a good number. But again it lacks a lot of stuff that is needed in an desktop for daily activities. And a world of troubles if you need to compile or install something that's not in the repos.
          My machine is a 6 core, 8 of ram and a 4hdd raid 0 with 12ms and 700mb/s throughput. And even though my ubuntu with mate is about twice as fast loading programs, those from puppy, load in almost the same time in a K6 at 166 with a crappy 1012mb hdd which tops at 3MB/s read.....
          Some stuff just bloats the entire system for the sake of useless stuff like hdd space, or the likes. Why the hell do i need the bluetooth daemon running in the backgroud when i dont even have a bluetooth dongle installed?
          Why must i have to disable it when you just need a simple check to know that it's not needed....
          Enable it when needed, disable it when not, that's how everything should be be default. Puppy does that.

          Windows XP provides everything you would need compared to a gnome 2/mate desktop, loads in seconds compared to any ubuntu. and just needs 512mb to work. With 2gb or ram it goes at light speed.
          Years ago the comparison was linux vs windows xp, now it's against windows7 but what has linux given us that windows xp didnt have?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ashkbajw View Post
            I like low-end driven distros, but there's always the usability problem. Some lack apps, good repo systems, usable utilities, and stuff that just works out of the box without having to be half an hour configuring everything so that it can detect your wifi card.
            Puppy extreme runs on 32 of ram an only uses 12mb after starting. I could not boot it in a K5 with 16 but it did work with 32, which is still a good number. But again it lacks a lot of stuff that is needed in an desktop for daily activities. And a world of troubles if you need to compile or install something that's not in the repos.
            My machine is a 6 core, 8 of ram and a 4hdd raid 0 with 12ms and 700mb/s throughput. And even though my ubuntu with mate is about twice as fast loading programs, those from puppy, load in almost the same time in a K6 at 166 with a crappy 1012mb hdd which tops at 3MB/s read.....
            Some stuff just bloats the entire system for the sake of useless stuff like hdd space, or the likes. Why the hell do i need the bluetooth daemon running in the backgroud when i dont even have a bluetooth dongle installed?
            Why must i have to disable it when you just need a simple check to know that it's not needed....
            Enable it when needed, disable it when not, that's how everything should be be default. Puppy does that.

            Windows XP provides everything you would need compared to a gnome 2/mate desktop, loads in seconds compared to any ubuntu. and just needs 512mb to work. With 2gb or ram it goes at light speed.
            Years ago the comparison was linux vs windows xp, now it's against windows7 but what has linux given us that windows xp didnt have?
            Bluetooth kernel module is loaded on demand.

            Windows XP is MUCH slower than any gnome 2/mate desktop. If you don't believe - compare it from power on till firefox is started with phoronix page. Since xp ms was experimenting with caching, so a lot of libraries get loaded in the background and one has an impression of usable desktop, but in fact - its not usable, since till any usable application can load, all the library chain must be loaded as well. XP is a slow resource hog. It also stayed down unpatched since vista on purpose, so that its performance is pathetic at best. Also, gnome2/mate is much more advanced than XP' explorer desktop, if you want similar - that would be fvwm95.

            What linux gave us? Freedom, security, sustainability, efficiency, absence of DRM, open drivers with lifetime support, execute file attribute, repository install/upgrade approach and much much more.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ashkbajw View Post
              I like low-end driven distros, but there's always the usability problem. Some lack apps, good repo systems, usable utilities, and stuff that just works out of the box without having to be half an hour configuring everything so that it can detect your wifi card.
              Puppy extreme runs on 32 of ram an only uses 12mb after starting. I could not boot it in a K5 with 16 but it did work with 32, which is still a good number. But again it lacks a lot of stuff that is needed in an desktop for daily activities. And a world of troubles if you need to compile or install something that's not in the repos.
              AntiX is a lightweight variant of MEPIS, so it's ~ a respin of a Debian-based distro.
              Which means (a) it has tons of software an apt-get away, (b) it could/should have good hardware support.

              My machine is a 6 core, 8 of ram and a 4hdd raid 0 with 12ms and 700mb/s throughput. And even though my ubuntu with mate is about twice as fast loading programs, those from puppy, load in almost the same time in a K6 at 166 with a crappy 1012mb hdd which tops at 3MB/s read.....
              Some stuff just bloats the entire system for the sake of useless stuff like hdd space, or the likes. Why the hell do i need the bluetooth daemon running in the backgroud when i dont even have a bluetooth dongle installed?
              Why must i have to disable it when you just need a simple check to know that it's not needed....
              Enable it when needed, disable it when not, that's how everything should be be default. Puppy does that.
              Yes, more work needs to go this way.

              Windows XP provides everything you would need compared to a gnome 2/mate desktop, loads in seconds compared to any ubuntu. and just needs 512mb to work. With 2gb of ram it goes at light speed.
              Years ago the comparison was linux vs windows xp, now it's against windows7 but what has linux given us that windows xp didnt have?
              Odd that that doesn't match my experience with XP and Ubuntu on this Aspire One (1 GB RAM, 160GB 5400 RPM HDD, Intel Atom N270/Intel 945GME graphics).
              Up through Jaunty, yes Ubuntu took a long time to boot...but it was just a few seconds over XP, considering the time to reach a useable desktop. I used xfce and icewm, finding the former miserably slow (I expected that going from the 550 MHz PIII/ 384MB Thinkpad I had before would result in a speed increase, not a drop--but that turned out to be just xfce vs icewm.)

              XP sucked as far as actually running anything.
              But booting Lucid Lynx, Puppy, or tinycore (with enough extensions to make it useable) left XP in the dust as far as boot time.

              As far as what I gained over XP...
              Speed.
              Multiple workspaces.
              A CLI that can do more than the Windows GUI and CLI together, faster.
              A free development environment, capable of building drivers and many other things, covering C, C++, FORTRAN, Pascal, and more.
              A web browser that didn't completely suck, and easy access to 15 other browsers.
              The ability to update everything at once from one interface (rather than 3 different updaters covering a third of the software).
              The ability to install software without worrying about which site to use.
              A bundled office suite that had a chance of actually opening third-party documents (ever used MS Works? It doesn't.)
              Python.
              The ability to set up a second experimental installation, and to fix either install from the other.
              A couple forms of sandboxing (AppArmor and chroot--yes, I'm aware of the deficiencies of chroot, but it has uses).
              The ability to set up backwards-compatible environments without creating VMs (libc5 chroot).
              Compatibility with a whole lot more DOS programs.
              Email clients worth the time to set them up.
              A game I actually enjoyed (go ahead, follow the link).
              And a ton more control.

              Comment


              • #8
                Assuming you have a large enough swap, Debian runs fine with 64MB of RAM using LXDE or XFCE. I think the graphical installer wants more than 64MB, but the text based installer works just fine with that amount.

                Comment


                • #9
                  IceWM is still relevent and used today

                  Originally posted by Grogan View Post
                  There's nothing wrong with IceWM... I used that for some time on my Pentium II 266 with 128 Mb of RAM. T.
                  It's also what I use on my netbook in preference to all other DE's. I could install MATE on that machine, but it would not start anywhere near as fast as IceWM, nor be anywhere near as responsive. On that machine, shutting off all desktop compositing (as well as Pulseaudio) and using a lightweight DE
                  allows it to play 720P video at 30fps and keep up. Forget that in any full GNOME environment on that "Pine Trail" Intel Atom machine. Same OS as all my other machines, IceWM is also my fallback when Cinnamon breaks. You can run Cinnamon on the netbook, but like it's gnome-shell parent (and Unity) it's too heavy and slow for it.

                  IceWM is not something someone coming from Windoze would find easy to set up, as you edit text files by hand, but is damned good for power users who
                  want to push a low resources box hard, old or new. Ultra light, a real taskbar, a real system tray, and any file manager you want to add. When set up by a someone who knows what they are doing, it can then be used by anyone who can use Windoze XP. Only real hassle? No calender in the clock!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Luke View Post
                    It's also what I use on my netbook in preference to all other DE's. I could install MATE on that machine, but it would not start anywhere near as fast as IceWM, nor be anywhere near as responsive. On that machine, shutting off all desktop compositing (as well as Pulseaudio) and using a lightweight DE
                    allows it to play 720P video at 30fps and keep up. Forget that in any full GNOME environment on that "Pine Trail" Intel Atom machine. Same OS as all my other machines, IceWM is also my fallback when Cinnamon breaks. You can run Cinnamon on the netbook, but like it's gnome-shell parent (and Unity) it's too heavy and slow for it.

                    IceWM is not something someone coming from Windoze would find easy to set up, as you edit text files by hand, but is damned good for power users who want to push a low resources box hard, old or new. Ultra light, a real taskbar, a real system tray, and any file manager you want to add. When set up by a someone who knows what they are doing, it can then be used by anyone who can use Windoze XP. Only real hassle? No calender in the clock!
                    Similar here.
                    But there are a couple things I'll mention:
                    the "Icewm Control Center", which gives you a GUI to configure things (not easy to install on new distros, though!);
                    on Debian, install "menu" as well;
                    and if you want a calender application, you can change what clicking on the clock launches.
                    (I presume you didn't mean displaying the date in the clock, which is fairly easy.)

                    Oh, and there's builtin power, load, and network load displays. And it supports all the window manipulations, including "Rollup".

                    I thought this was interesting:
                    http://kmandla.wordpress.com/project...ws-xp-classic/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by brosis View Post
                      What linux gave us? Freedom, security, sustainability, efficiency, absence of DRM, open drivers with lifetime support, execute file attribute, repository install/upgrade approach and much much more.
                      bluetooth-applet stays in the background and you need to disable it from the start up applications menu, that's not on demand :|
                      same for a lot of services you never use and are just dependencies of some software you dont use.
                      modem-manager is another example i just noticed just a while ago... because who doesnt have a 56k winmodem in his/her machine....

                      As for the rest that has little or nothing to do with performance, and foss drivers dont have lifetime support, may i remand you of the few old cpus and gpus that were dropped reciently?
                      further more, execute file attribute is as simple as some lines of code, what does that have to do with performance and general usability? repos might be a good point but freedom and drm have nothing to do with linux, that has to do with us, because be it linux, hurd or whatever, it us that decided we wont support drm and non F/OSS.
                      Efficiency and sustainability i dont think so, a we still struggle with buggy, low quality, with missing indispensable features software. And it's sustainable until the devs stop getting payed.
                      We are a lot better than before but we still miss a lot of stuff that is not hard at ll to fix.
                      We still have the dynamic vs static/semi-static linking dilemma and sandboxing stuff to alow per user application installation and incompatible applications to work in the same machine.

                      Originally posted by Ibidem View Post
                      AntiX is a lightweight variant of MEPIS, so it's ~ a respin of a Debian-based distro.
                      Which means (a) it has tons of software an apt-get away, (b) it could/should have good hardware support.
                      yeah but i was talking about the rest which have their own package managers like puppy and slitaz.

                      Originally posted by Ibidem View Post
                      Odd that that doesn't match my experience with XP and Ubuntu on this Aspire One (1 GB RAM, 160GB 5400 RPM HDD, Intel Atom N270/Intel 945GME graphics).
                      Up through Jaunty, yes Ubuntu took a long time to boot...but it was just a few seconds over XP, considering the time to reach a useable desktop. I used xfce and icewm, finding the former miserably slow (I expected that going from the 550 MHz PIII/ 384MB Thinkpad I had before would result in a speed increase, not a drop--but that turned out to be just xfce vs icewm.)
                      In my experience, XP ran a lot better in my atom than mint lmde. I'm using cinnamon and even with zswap it still is pretty awful to use. Even in an old p3 933 with also 1 of ram firefox and xp ran without issues where now i have to constantly be freeing ram by killing firefox and restarting cinnamon because after a while, not sure if is a memory leak or those glibc issues, but ram goes up and it starts swaping and it never stops and the only way to fix it is doing that.

                      Originally posted by Ibidem View Post
                      As far as what I gained over XP...
                      1 Speed.
                      2 Multiple workspaces.
                      3 A CLI that can do more than the Windows GUI and CLI together, faster.
                      4 A free development environment, capable of building drivers and many other things, covering C, C++, FORTRAN, Pascal, and more.
                      5 A web browser that didn't completely suck, and easy access to 15 other browsers.
                      6 The ability to update everything at once from one interface (rather than 3 different updaters covering a third of the software).
                      7 The ability to install software without worrying about which site to use.
                      8 A bundled office suite that had a chance of actually opening third-party documents (ever used MS Works? It doesn't.)
                      9 Python.
                      10 The ability to set up a second experimental installation, and to fix either install from the other.
                      11 A couple forms of sandboxing (AppArmor and chroot--yes, I'm aware of the deficiencies of chroot, but it has uses).
                      12 The ability to set up backwards-compatible environments without creating VMs (libc5 chroot).
                      13 Compatibility with a whole lot more DOS programs.
                      14 Email clients worth the time to set them up.
                      15 A game I actually enjoyed (go ahead, follow the link).
                      And a ton more control.
                      1 is relative to what you do, some stuff works faster, some other slower, same against macos or some other os.
                      2 is DE dependant, i suppose kde for windows also has that. And there's also 3rd party apps to provide that on windows, there was one i dont remember that was free that was later bought by some company and made premiun, that provided the multi-workspace ability and even the 3D cube.
                      3 i agree, but sometimes it also does less than windows' gui
                      4,5,8,9,13,14 are also available on windows, not linux's alone
                      6,7 still need standardization (as in everyone using the same) and some features, I know everyone is free to use whatever they want in their distro but we'll never get anywhere like this. There's some stuff that needs to be addressed, including interdistro compatibility.
                      10,12 yes.
                      11 said it above.
                      15 never heard about it, will give it a look :P

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ashkbajw View Post
                        In my experience, XP ran a lot better in my atom than mint lmde. I'm using cinnamon and even with zswap it still is pretty awful to use. Even in an old p3 933 with also 1 of ram firefox and xp ran without issues where now i have to constantly be freeing ram by killing firefox and restarting cinnamon because after a while, not sure if is a memory leak or those glibc issues, but ram goes up and it starts swaping and it never stops and the only way to fix it is doing that.
                        Why are you running one of the heaviest distro+DE combination there is on such low-end hardware? Iíve heard Manjaro (with Xfce) works great on a P3 with 1GB of RAM ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9TIkkkuwoc Ė though the authorís P3 is running at twice your P3ís frequency.)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For those who like (or need) to keep the desktop lightweight, I'd recommend using JWM rather than IceWM. I'm not sure which is lighter, but both are REALLY frugal windows managers while maintaining most of the functionality needed for the desktop within the WM, but IceWM doesn't seem to be maintained, while JWM is actively maintained, as you can see in the repo https://github.com/joewing/jwm/commits/master

                          Of course, there's always preference and it's a matter of taste.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mrugiero View Post
                            Of course, there's always preference and it's a matter of taste.
                            Yeap, you could use TWM

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by stqn View Post
                              Why are you running one of the heaviest distro+DE combination there is on such low-end hardware? Iíve heard Manjaro (with Xfce) works great on a P3 with 1GB of RAM ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9TIkkkuwoc Ė though the authorís P3 is running at twice your P3ís frequency.)
                              mint lmde + cinnamon isnt heavy at all, my atom has no problem running it, the only problem is when it starts hoarding a lot of memory for no reason, and same goes for firefox. I read somewhere that that kind of behaviour is from a design fault (or feature) of glibc, because allocations are expensive or something and so it wont free the lot of small memory sections which are constantly being reallocated.
                              the example showed that if you do a malloc(1GB) and then free() it, you return to your original memory size. but if you do a for with 1024 iterations of malloc(1MB) and then free() all of them, you'd still be at 1GB of allocated memory

                              anywats, windows XP could still do all those effects with some 3rd party software and would still do fine. I tried 7 and still didnt have memory problems with firefox. All of them use about 200mb of ram at start up.

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