Definitely Not Installing Xubuntu 9.04 on AA1

Just booted Xubuntu 9.04 (Jizzy Jackass or something) from USB on my AA1 to see if it’s possibly something I’d consider installing even though I think Ubuntu is really Swahili for “fucktard.” Or worse.

First thing I did when I got a desktop was open a terminal and use free -mt to see how much RAM it was using: 522 MB. Fuck, that’s about 200 (208, to be precise) more than my installation of Fedora 10 using Gnome. Then again, I have a lot of services off in Fedora, a smaller shell (mksh), no fancy wallpaper, etc. Maybe I could pare down Xubuntu to a more usable degree. But why? I’ve done that already with PCLOS and Fedora 10.

I already knew from a comparison of Xubuntu and Debian with Xfce at Distrowatch a few weeks ago that Xubuntu is a bloated pig. Now I have my own comparison after running Debian Live (Xfce) the other evening.

Would I possibly install Xubuntu on my AA1? Umm, hell no.

But I could be getting closer to installing something soon.

UPDATE – 11 Jun 2009 @ 20:05 US/Central: I booted into my PCLOS installation while ago to get an idea of resource use. I boot into runlevel 3 so I don’t do a splashy graphical login. Once I login and have a shell, I’m using 69 MB of RAM (per free -mt). Out of curiosity, I started xfce, opened a terminal, and looked at free again:


That, too, is with a few tweaks to turn off some services — but I’m still running bluetooth and cups and other stuff that I chose to keep running out of convenience. I expect some difference between running off CD/USB compared to hard drive. Over twice as much? Please. (I’m using pdksh in PCLOS rather than mksh. I saw a shitload of bash instances in Xubuntu when I ran ps aux.)

If I could get better hardware support under PCLOS, I would stick with it exclusively. Maybe a new kernel is in order? Last time I tried, I got an error that the kernel wouldn’t compile with the version of gcc in the base. Might screw around with it some more soon. Or maybe not. Right now I’ve narrowed down what I want to Xfce at most (I’d be just as happy with ratpoison or jwm or some other small window manager) rather than Gnome or KDE, OpenOffice 3.x (or Lotus Symphony), a handful of apps and utilities I like, and mplayer.

2 Responses to “Definitely Not Installing Xubuntu 9.04 on AA1”

  1. kruce Says:

    Hey man, your blog makes me laugh as well as provide interesting tidbits about different distros.

    I’m sure that you get this all the time (try this!), but I’ve found that CrunchBang is working solution for me. Its light (Openbox on top of Ubuntu core), reasonably well supported, and for the older hardware I’ve tested, the best out-of-box experience I’ve had.

    Anyway, thanks for all the reviews and stuff. I always learn something new here.

  2. lucky Says:

    Thanks for dropping by and for your kind comments. I’ve looked at #! a while back and I’d give it a shot on my AA1 except for three problems:
    (a) I want something with a lengthy release cycle and even the *buntu LTS versions’ three years is a bit less than I’d like,
    (b) it’s still based on Ubuntu and, accordingly, tied to its bloated repositories, and
    (c) I’d change out many of its base apps (pcmanfm, vlc, etc.) for things I actually like.

    I’m willing to compromise on the first point because I know Linux distro development overlooks those stupid lists of reasons “Why Linux is Better than Windows” — specifically the point that Windows versions are eventually superseded and no longer supported, which is true also of most Linux distros. The reality is, Microsoft supports their releases longer and better than most distros (exceptions being enterprise-grade distros like RHEL and SLED as well as Slackware). My other options are distros like Debian whose releases aren’t on a fixed time schedule but who continually update packages for function and bugfixes. Ubuntu’s release cycle is tied to Gnome’s release cycle (not a good idea, IMO) and non-LTS versions are supported for only 18 months (an even worse idea, IMO).

    That leaves those other two points. Point (c) is germane to (b), and it’s a deal breaker for me. Too many things to replace, too many things to delete, etc. But I do like that “CrunchBang Linux isn’t brown.”

    Finally, if I’m going to run openbox, I’d just as soon run Xfce and then not deal with some of the apps I don’t care for in #! (thunar is better than pcmanfm; but I’d be just as happy with emelfm2 or even mc). As you can tell from my “review” of Xubuntu — and especially my allusion to the Distrowatch comparison of its implementation of Xfce to Debian’s — I don’t think too highly of the *buntu development teams and their careless attitudes that put utility and function way behind beautification. If I were to go the eye candy route, I’d take e16 over openbox (formatting will most likely break but you can look up the chart yourself; otherwise the columns are: name, version, size, rss, vsize, number of libraries):
    Enlightenment 1: 1592 4500 8776 18
    OpenBox 3.4.2 3312 7780 11676 31
    XFCE/xfwm 4.4.0 1332 7508 13720 40

    Thanks again!

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