low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Here you can post about your various experiences with PC hardware. You can also post about hardware that is not compatible with the linux kernel or not recommended for use with Porteus.
Bogomips
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low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Post#16 by Bogomips » 23 Sep 2017, 11:36

^ So, it looks like apart from cpu (2cores, add 50%) ~2.5 GHz, the resources seem to be in every way superior to mine. :)

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guest@porteus:~$ sudo /usr/sbin/dmidecode -t 6
# dmidecode 3.0
Getting SMBIOS data from sysfs.
SMBIOS 2.5 present.

Handle 0x0006, DMI type 6, 12 bytes
Memory Module Information
        Socket Designation: A0
        Bank Connections: 0 1
        Current Speed: Unknown
        Type: Other Unknown EDO
        Installed Size: 1024 MB (Double-bank Connection)
        Enabled Size: 1024 MB (Double-bank Connection)
        Error Status: OK

Handle 0x0007, DMI type 6, 12 bytes
Memory Module Information
        Socket Designation: A1
        Bank Connections: None
        Current Speed: Unknown
        Type: Other Unknown EDO
        Installed Size: Not Installed
        Enabled Size: Not Installed
        Error Status: OK

Handle 0x0008, DMI type 6, 12 bytes
Memory Module Information
        Socket Designation: A2
        Bank Connections: None
        Current Speed: Unknown
        Type: Other Unknown EDO
        Installed Size: Not Installed
        Enabled Size: Not Installed
        Error Status: OK

Handle 0x0009, DMI type 6, 12 bytes
Memory Module Information
        Socket Designation: A3
        Bank Connections: None
        Current Speed: Unknown
        Type: Other Unknown EDO
        Installed Size: Not Installed
        Enabled Size: Not Installed
        Error Status: OK

guest@porteus:~$ sudo /sbin/fdisk -l /dev/sda
Disk /dev/sda: 232.9 GiB, 250059350016 bytes, 488397168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0xe0239727

guest@porteus:~$ /sbin/lspci
00:00.0 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 Memory Controller (rev a1)
00:01.0 ISA bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 LPC Bridge (rev a2)
00:01.1 SMBus: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 SMBus (rev a2)
00:01.2 RAM memory: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 Memory Controller (rev a2)
00:02.0 USB controller: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 USB 1.1 Controller (rev a3)
00:02.1 USB controller: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 USB 2.0 Controller (rev a3)
00:04.0 PCI bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 PCI bridge (rev a1)
00:05.0 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 High Definition Audio (rev a2)
00:06.0 IDE interface: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 IDE (rev a2)
00:07.0 Bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 Ethernet (rev a2)
00:08.0 IDE interface: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 SATA Controller (rev a2)
00:09.0 PCI bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:0b.0 PCI bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:0c.0 PCI bridge: NVIDIA Corporation MCP61 PCI Express bridge (rev a2)
00:0d.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation C61 [GeForce 6150SE nForce 430] (rev a2)
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 10h Processor HyperTransport Configuration
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 10h Processor Address Map
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 10h Processor DRAM Controller
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 10h Processor Miscellaneous Control
00:18.4 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 10h Processor Link Control
Interestingly enough M$ are offering a surface pro 2017 with an i3, but the stores were not offering this, saying processing power insufficient to be of any practical use. (Again M$ crows about new Edge browser, specifically to run on tablet for win10, but they don't provide a user guide! (captive clientele). Now Edge on tablet has a third of display taken up by tab bar, and have no idea how to get rid of the bar or minimise it. Therefore just use PaleMoon which serves me good.)

Already described how box maximised in various topics. However the one major precaution is to keep Javascript on a tight leash, otherwise even when minimised, browser could be running a script of no use to user, but which will guzzle up cpu cycles and bring system to standstill. :evil: This requires turning on JS only when absolutely necessary, and thereafter stopping JS execution in all open tabs. And in the same vein setting up the hosts file should also help.
Linux porteus 4.4.0-porteus #3 SMP PREEMPT Sat Jan 23 07:01:55 UTC 2016 i686 AMD Sempron(tm) 140 Processor AuthenticAMD GNU/Linux
NVIDIA Corporation C61 [GeForce 6150SE nForce 430] (rev a2) MemTotal: 901760 kB MemFree: 66752 kB

Bogomips
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low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Post#17 by Bogomips » 30 Sep 2017, 13:12

Rounding Off
  1. Low Physical Memory Strategies
    • Using just 30% of ram. ramsize=30%

      Code: Select all

      guest@porteus:~$ df -h .
      Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
      aufs            262M   39M  224M  15% /
      
    • Swappiness

      Code: Select all

      guest@porteus:~$ cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
      10
      
    • Redirecting /tmp to Real Filesystem (See CLI Trivia last section of post Live Running for more details)
      cliexec=mount~--bind~/mnt/sdXy/Path/to/tmp~/tmp
  2. Software Stategy
    Activating kde5 after starting cinnamon. i.e. 003-kde5.xzm Most of kde apps becoming accessible. ;) This can also lead to fewer dependencies for usm to find, and consequently smaller modules. This setup allows making do with swap partition total of 645 MiB. (At the moment using 50% of swap. ram usage 77% of 872 MiB. Conky, Konsole, Kate, Nemo, PaleMoon windows open, Javascript not enabled.)
    • Low Physical Memory Restriction
      Normally able to have open or minimised: Nemo, Konsole, Kate, Conky(always open, serving to keep tabs on system usage when Javascript enabled), but as well can only run one of Browser or SMPlayer or LibreOffice. (Managed to run SimpleScreenRecorder with Browser in order to record embedded video.) Should cpu load reach 100% with Browser open and Javascript enabled, Magic SysRq is your friend: Alt+SysRq+f ;) to get Browser once more functioning.
Linux porteus 4.4.0-porteus #3 SMP PREEMPT Sat Jan 23 07:01:55 UTC 2016 i686 AMD Sempron(tm) 140 Processor AuthenticAMD GNU/Linux
NVIDIA Corporation C61 [GeForce 6150SE nForce 430] (rev a2) MemTotal: 901760 kB MemFree: 66752 kB

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low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Post#18 by francois » 30 Sep 2017, 20:21

@bogomips:
...the one major precaution is to keep Javascript on a tight leash ... ...This requires turning on JS only when absolutely necessary...
Thanks for taking some interest on this topic of mine. Sorry, for not providing some feedback. I have been quite occupied. I dig the question of java script on my side as well as I could, but without satisfactory solution. Is there some sort of java script blocker utility that you reccomend?

I am digesting your second post. I will come back on it. Meanwhile, I am trying to fix some scanning issues that I got recently on my current porteus installation. Building anew the os.
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low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Post#19 by Bogomips » 01 Oct 2017, 00:37

francois wrote:
30 Sep 2017, 20:21
I dig the question of java script on my side as well as I could, but without satisfactory solution. Is there some sort of java script blocker utility that you reccomend?
There are quite a few JS toggles that one can search for. Difficult to find is Disallow Script Button https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... pt-button/ does it on a tab by tab basis, but sometimes one gets away! :x
Linux porteus 4.4.0-porteus #3 SMP PREEMPT Sat Jan 23 07:01:55 UTC 2016 i686 AMD Sempron(tm) 140 Processor AuthenticAMD GNU/Linux
NVIDIA Corporation C61 [GeForce 6150SE nForce 430] (rev a2) MemTotal: 901760 kB MemFree: 66752 kB

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low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Post#20 by francois » 01 Oct 2017, 00:55

Working on my fastest laptop this weekend a 2012 box which reacts very fine for my needs with porteus:
http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac ... 590/review
Toshiba's Satellite Z930-10X is built around an Intel Core i5-3317U CPUand runs at a clock speed of 1.7GHz, or 2.6GHz

I will be back to take care of the old box during weekdays or if I get the latter going on fine, tomorrow.
Thanks.
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low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Post#21 by francois » 13 Oct 2017, 01:44

Optimizing Linux for Slow Computers, a very good paper:
http://www.akitaonrails.com/2017/01/17/ ... -computers
Suggestions from the paper:
The great suspender to suspend activity of the non used tabs of the chrome browser:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... nakg?hl=en
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low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Post#22 by Bogomips » 24 Oct 2017, 12:27

http://www.akitaonrails.com/2017/01/17/ ... -computers Interesting link, but seems to be in different ballpark when comes to RAM. Discusses RAM in multiples of GIB, while I have under 1 GiB, 872 MiB to be precise. Also no mention of using zram, although I myself have perceived no advantage from giving over 5% of RAM to its use. Article recommends:

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vm.swappiness=1
vm.vfs_cache_pressure=50
and in comparison I run with:

Code: Select all

vm.swappiness=10
vm.vfs_cache_pressure=100
Swappiness setting less than 10 has given me trouble, however must try cache_pressure readjustment.

Snapshot of System: Porteus Cinnamon with KDE activated (003-kde5.xzm)

Browser PaleMoon open with 10 tabs, current tab you tube video paused.
Minimized: Nemo, Conky, uxterm, Kate, Konsole
Cinnamon applets available: Pomidore, Timer, Screen Save Blocker

Conky Stats:

Code: Select all

RAM:	688/872 MiB		78%	Usage
SWAP:	287/645 MiB		44% Usage
CPU:	2700 Mhz		3-4 % Usage
Swap Management

Sometimes when running PaleMoon swap usage reaches 588/645. Now after closing PM and restarting, swap usage still shows 588, and gradually increases from there. Thought PaleMoon was to blame, However if after closing PM make another swap area of greater size available, then turn off swap on area showing 588 MiB, the new swap area shows something like 245 MiB usage. And after restarting PM the swap usage will show something over 300 MiB, and gradually increase from there. So maybe there is still some room for tuning of swap management.
Linux porteus 4.4.0-porteus #3 SMP PREEMPT Sat Jan 23 07:01:55 UTC 2016 i686 AMD Sempron(tm) 140 Processor AuthenticAMD GNU/Linux
NVIDIA Corporation C61 [GeForce 6150SE nForce 430] (rev a2) MemTotal: 901760 kB MemFree: 66752 kB

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low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Post#23 by francois » 18 Dec 2017, 04:00

I am now with nemesis-artix plank desktop with a few xfce4 components. Everything works really fine, except when I open the browser. I have tried your

Code: Select all

[porteus ~]# sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.d/99-sysctl.conf <<-EOF
> vm.swappiness=10
> vm.vfs_cache_pressure=50
> EOF
vm.swappiness=10
vm.vfs_cache_pressure=50
palemoon seems to react better even when I open gmail. At least for now. ;)
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low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Post#24 by nanZor » 10 Apr 2019, 02:18

Great subject, particularly the strategy!

For me, no matter what rig you are running, don't cheap out on the monitor! You can't replace your eyes, so if you are running a $35 RPI, don't feel weird with a $350 monitor behind it.

Power: unless you are running an heirloom or museum quality computer, how much power / performance does it have compared to say a $35 Raspberry Pi running stock Raspbian off a *quality* 5v wall wart supply? Ie, there's a reason I don't fire up my Microvax with Netbsd 2.11 very often.

From that standpoint of power consumption compared to what you can get now, then maybe it *is* time to recycle the old generic beige-box computer if you are still on one and not feel guilty.

Strategy: for low resources, perhaps change your use-case. Does everything *have* to be desktop-oriented or even online? I purposely bought some low-memory SBC computers to force me back to the past - that is what would have been a rockin' "workstation" from the past. Sure a lot of fantastic dev taking place to make the graphics and whatnot speed up, but for me, I don't fool myself trying to turn them into something they are not. Fascinating price / power / performance ratio regardless.

So yeah, purposely limiting my resources is a VERY cool challenge to see what I can do with the original Unix concept of squeezing the most out of limited resources - which means a lot of cli fun / learning. Use a nice console font like Terminus and you may not even need X graphics. Somehow you grok what kept Ken, Dennis, Brian and Doug (and others) so fascinated at Bell Labs...

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low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Post#25 by nanZor » 18 Apr 2019, 10:51

I waited awhile to say this, since recommending a different distro is always kind of bad taste...

But, I can say this - if you repurpose your old computer to NOT be a multimedia box, but perhaps light-duty web browsing, text editing, office apps, shell programming etc, nothing beats running solely from ram, AND using Xvesa rather than X11 to get the job done. And since you are light duty, you don't need a billion colors either.

Thing is, Xvesa is yeah - very old and some systems just aren't worth the effort, or old monitors may behave badly no matter how you tweak it.

So I'm saying give TinyCore a shot. You'll be amazed. You can take it further into X11 and more and start to use a lot more resources, but the default with Xvesa can be pretty amazing. Thing is, with Xvesa, you *may* end up purposely changing your monitor's resolution lower (and possibly tweaking with vga=ask in your boot stanza) to see how low you can go and still have reasonable monitor quality. Tip: dump your tube type monitor and upgrade that. :)

Skills learned from Porteus and Tinycore (or picore for you rpi fans) kind of go together. But be prepared for some hands on to get the most out of it.

I'm not recommending any sort of "switch", but just an option for total low-resource freaks. RAM use is low, but the key is a snappy Xvesa desktop - if you can actually stand it.

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Post#26 by n0ctilucient » 19 Apr 2019, 13:47

Tinycore? Hmmm... that means systemd. :cry:
:hmmm: I do NOT have the "right" to tell anyone what they should do...
but I reserve the "right" to tell them what they should "consider".

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Post#27 by ncmprhnsbl » 20 Apr 2019, 05:54

n0ctilucient wrote:
19 Apr 2019, 13:47
Tinycore? Hmmm... that means systemd.
nope, not as far as i can see..
Forum Rules : https://forum.porteus.org/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=44

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Post#28 by nanZor » 20 Apr 2019, 06:45

Yeah, but no - just busybox init. Forgot to mention fltk / flwm as very light weight components...

But back to Porteus - I noticed in some archival flash screen bootups, the option to use Xvesa. Which of course makes me wonder if one actually wanted to, they could use something like nomodeset combined with other options to basically do the same with today's latest versions. Unless it doesn't support xvesa, or gaks on fltk/flwm. Hmmm, I'd have to research that.

Which reminds me, like Tinycore, I gotta' give major kudos for the devs (and users) of both projects hanging in there for so many years.

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low ressource computer: your setup to maximize your box

Post#29 by francois » 20 Apr 2019, 13:08

Tinycore, I will try for an old hp 1540ca. Porteus 4.0 does not boot.

Thanks.
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Post#30 by n0ctilucient » 20 Apr 2019, 13:54

nope, not as far as i can see..
I stand corrected...
http://without-systemd.org/wiki/index.p ... tributions
:hmmm: I do NOT have the "right" to tell anyone what they should do...
but I reserve the "right" to tell them what they should "consider".

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