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Author Topic: Live USB is really slow compared to other Distributions  (Read 2056 times)

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Offline cuscotravelservices

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Live USB is really slow compared to other Distributions
« on: August 09, 2014, 06:01:06 pm »
Hi Everyone,

I'm still researching and testing my options. For this I have been using a 2GB USB 2.0 Flash drive.

Although the Memory footprint (110 - 112 MB with only Task Manager opened) is acceptable, Peppermint 5 (32 bit) is really slow (> 3 mins) to get to the Desktop and is slow in operation whereas wattOS R8 (32 bit) LXDE (97 MB footprint with only Task Manager opened) and MATE (135 MB footprint with only Task Manager opened after "things have settled down") are probably the quickest I have used and pretty responsive. Both versions of wattOS R8 take around 1:30 to get to the Desktop.

I tried Peppermint 5 with and without nomodeset but there was no difference.

I would like to know your thoughts on the causes of these differences in performance and what I could expect to see in an environment installed to a hard drive.

The target computer has the following principle specifications.

Pentium 4 CPU 2.66GHz : 80786 = 32-bit
512MB RAM - 333MHz
Hard Drive - 40GB - 7200RPM
Graphics Card - 64MB - GeForce4 MX440 AGP 8X

Thanks, Michael.

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Live USB is really slow compared to other Distributions
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2014, 07:20:45 pm »
WattOS is Debian based .. Peppermint is Ubuntu based.

Debian based systems will likely have less running processes out of the box .. because of this I'd expect WattOS to be quicker in a Live environment .. this will be less noticeable in an installed environment, but with only 512MB RAM it may still be noticeable when you have multiple apps/tabs open simultaneously.

I'm afraid there's always some tradeoff between ease of use/configuration and pure speed/resource footprint.

If pure speed is what you're after and you're savvy enough to configure Debians rough edges, I think you've made a great choice in WattOS .. Peppermint on the other hand is likely to "just work" with more hardware and be quite a bit easier to configure.

Take your pick ;)

That said, 3mins to boot seems a little excessive .. but I've seen systems take 10mins plus to boot, where the boot *seemed* to stall at looking for a CDROM (when booting from a LiveUSB) .. this seems to be an issue with *some* hardware and Ubuntu Live image booting, I've never been able to 100% track it down and it mainly (in my experience) seems to happen on certain HP/Compaq systems .. once installed (or disconnecting the CD drive) it's fine  :-\

My point is, a Live environment is great for seeing what's included in a distro, and generally if it will work with your hardware, but it's absolutely useless for drawing "speed" conclusions (and even, though to a lesser extent resource footprint) .. only an install will tell you that.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 07:39:36 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline cuscotravelservices

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Re: Live USB is really slow compared to other Distributions
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2014, 01:02:14 pm »
That said, 3mins to boot seems a little excessive .. but I've seen systems take 10mins plus to boot, where the boot *seemed* to stall at looking for a CDROM (when booting from a LiveUSB) .. this seems to be an issue with *some* hardware and Ubuntu Live image booting, I've never been able to 100% track it down and it mainly (in my experience) seems to happen on certain HP/Compaq systems .. once installed (or disconnecting the CD drive) it's fine  :-\

My point is, a Live environment is great for seeing what's included in a distro, and generally if it will work with your hardware, but it's absolutely useless for drawing "speed" conclusions (and even, though to a lesser extent resource footprint) .. only an install will tell you that.

Hi Mark,

I tried disconnecting the CD-ROM drive but no change.

Thanks to a Topic posted somewhere on the Peppermint Forum, I discovered that antiX-MX14, which I've also tested, can be more or less simply modified to use LXDE by installing the LXDE package.

After a couple of tweaks, memory used at Idle, after the Desktop had stabilised, was 89MB and it gets to the Desktop in about 1:30 also..

And having persistence and a Java Runtime Environment already installed, I could also install lxmed without any problems in the Live USB environment unlike wattOS R8. Still to try the alacarte menu editor in MX14.

However, there is another curiosity I want to resolve and that is why VLC only shows a Volume range of 0-125% in Peppermint and antiX-MX14 whereas in wattOS R8 LXDE the range is 0-200% if I remember correctly. At least in the Mint 16 KDE environment I am still using on my Laptop the range is from 0-200%.

Thanks, Michael.

Offline rjm65

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Re: Live USB is really slow compared to other Distributions
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2014, 01:13:55 pm »
Hi Mark,

I tried disconnecting the CD-ROM drive but no change.

Thanks to a Topic posted somewhere on the Peppermint Forum, I discovered that antiX-MX14, which I've also tested, can be more or less simply modified to use LXDE by installing the LXDE package.

After a couple of tweaks, memory used at Idle, after the Desktop had stabilised, was 89MB and it gets to the Desktop in about 1:30 also..

And having persistence and a Java Runtime Environment already installed, I could also install lxmed without any problems in the Live USB environment unlike wattOS R8. Still to try the alacarte menu editor in MX14.

However, there is another curiosity I want to resolve and that is why VLC only shows a Volume range of 0-125% in Peppermint and antiX-MX14 whereas in wattOS R8 LXDE the range is 0-200% if I remember correctly. At least in the Mint 16 KDE environment I am still using on my Laptop the range is from 0-200%.

Thanks, Michael.
I also run antix mx14 on a very old laptop that is maxed out in ram at 512 megs...  However after setting up LXDE  de in it and some tweaks I was able to boot that machine using only 45 megs of ram, but I have tweaked very aggressively... I even removed the NM applet and went back to CENI on that machine for my networking, that alone saves about 35 megs of ram....
Robert
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Offline cuscotravelservices

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Re: Live USB is really slow compared to other Distributions
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2014, 06:29:57 pm »
I also run antix mx14 on a very old laptop that is maxed out in ram at 512 megs...  However after setting up LXDE  de in it and some tweaks I was able to boot that machine using only 45 megs of ram, but I have tweaked very aggressively... I even removed the NM applet and went back to CENI on that machine for my networking, that alone saves about 35 megs of ram....

Hi Rob,

I'm all ears, so to say, to learn more about your tweaks for MX14 or LXDE in general and which would be appropriate for the Target computer.

I currently have the 14.1.1 version but will download the 14.2 version soon.

According to the System Activity monitor in the KDE environment on my laptop, NetworkManager (network-manager 0.9.8.0-0ubuntu22) is using 1400K of Memory and 4704K of "Shared Mem". I don't know what that indicates in total though.

On the Target computer, the nm-applet (I think it's network-manager 0.9.4.0-10 which is what is listed as installed in Synaptic) is using 144MiB of VSZ and 13 MiB of RSS. What do those figures indicate?

The Target computer is connected to the Internet via a Wireless Device which has a USB connection for the Computer whilst the other end is connected to an antenna via some kind of co-axial cable it appears. It uses a Realtek RTL8187 Wireless 802.11b/g USB 2.0 Network Adapter chipset.

Also, the principle user will be a 9 year old girl and maybe at times her parents, who aren't computer literate, will also be using the computer.

Therefore a network manager with a graphical interface would be the best option.

I've read some of your posts about NM and WICD. As NetworkManager appears to be the usual recommended option for managing networks in LXDE, can you recommend a lighter weight graphical network manager?

Oh, hello there  :), I've just noticed NetworkManager is now listed in the Task Manager with 17 MiB for VSZ and 4 MiB for RSS.

I opened htop and there are 2 entries for NetworkManager each of which indicates that 0.9% (4.6MB) of Memory is being used.

So, is the target computer using 17 MiB for Network Management?

Besides Network Management, what other tweaks could be applied? Have these tweaks also improved performance?

Thanks, Michael.

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Re: Live USB is really slow compared to other Distributions
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2014, 06:43:12 pm »
I had no choice in the matter of tweaking that computer i have, if you look below my signature at the gateway solo you will see it is very old, I have it tri booting mx14 peppermint 3 and windows 98 so I can lay my old dos games when i get the urge, other then that this is a machine i would have tossed on the shelf as a paperweight or a bookshelf...  I tweaked mine by removing everything I was not going to ever use like bluetooth, cups, saned, samba, network managers, etc. anything i seen running in the background that took up ram that i could remove or replace, i did just that....   ;)
Robert
Peppermint 9 User

Gateway Solo 9300 Pro
IBM T40