Fast clocks on slow hardware
Posted Jul 3, 2005 4:12 UTC (Sun) by dmag
In reply to: Fast clocks on slow hardware
Parent article: What to merge for 2.6.13?
It's probably the CPU type your kernel is compiled for. Nowadays, most distros optimize for recent CPUs. This code will run on your Pentium, but much slower. Having a slow CPU running a non-optimized program is a double whammy. A kernel recompile (telling it exactly which CPU you have) will give your 'slow' CPU a speed boost.
I've seen some distos targeted at older computers, but I don't think they go far enough. Here's what I would do:
- Use the KDrive X Server. I think the new X.Org server is based on this, but I'm not sure if it's still as minimalist.
- Don't run KDE/GNOME. I'd use Matchbox if you're targeting grandma, or maybe EDE. If you still like lots of eye candy and compatibility with the fun KDE/GNOME desktop toys, use WindowMaker.
- Boot with BusyBox. Maybe have a 'real' environment in a chroot. Get rid of all that silly SysV init stuff and must have a simple rcS script start what you need.
- If FireFox is too slow, try Dillo.
- Maybe avoid ReiserFS, unless your disk is really slow too. ReiserFS tends to use a lot of CPU to avoid disk access, which won't always be a win. Ext3 should be fine, I think.
- There are also many other performance-enhancing techniques, such as prelinking.
I'm too lazy to make this distro just to turn my old laptop into an in-car MP3 player and GPS mapper.. Hopefully, someone else will :)
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