HOWTO: Speeding up Debian

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Postby Lou » 2007-04-21 11:51

Hevoos wrote:What does these things do:
openbsd-inetd
rc.local ?


google.com/linux

How do I install and use localpurge? Apt-get clean is also a great thing to do. ;)


apt-get install localepurge
man localepurge
google for 'debian + localepurge'
search this forum for 'localepurge'
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Postby Pobega » 2007-04-21 14:56

Display manager: For those of you that find gdm is too slow for your system, may I recommend wdm? WDM is a very light display manager based on the WINGs widget set, and it blends with Window Maker (For those of you who use it). WDM has all the configuration options of GDM/KDM, though they're located in the /etc/X11/wdm folder and there are no graphical programs to configure them.

Speeding up boot: Although it's been mentioned before, one program that I use all of the time to speed up my system was completely left in the dust. sysv-rc-conf is a very useful program to switch what runs and what doesn't at different runlevels. The userface is the most simple console userface ever, navigate using the arrow keys and toggle the selected item with the space bar. Check out it's manual page, and read the documentation located at /usr/share/doc/sysv-rc-conf/README for more information on using sysv-rc-conf.

Lightweight file manager: Have you ever missed Nautilus? Well, pcmanfm is a file manager available in the Debian repositories that is a sure-fire way to relive your experiences with GNOME and Nautilus. PcManFM is a very fast and highly customizable file manager. It's user interface is like a hybrid between Thunar and Nautilus, and is quicker than the both of them.

Located in the file /usr/share/doc/pcmanfm/README.Debian is a HowTo on how to replace Nautilus with PcManFM in a GNOME environment; Very useful for those who want to speed up their install but can't live without GNOME!


That's all I have for now, although I'll definitely be posting back with more soon, when I remember everything I've done to tweak my system.
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Postby Lou » 2007-04-21 15:45

Very good! Now you're talking!

Although, IMHO, you need a DM (display manager) like you need another hole in the head. 'update-alternatives' can take care of that, or a simple editing of the .xinitrc. DMs are heavy and can be a headache if badly configured.
But hey, that's only my opinion.
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Postby Pobega » 2007-04-21 15:49

Lou wrote:Very good! Now you're talking!

Although, IMHO, you need a DM (display manager) like you need another hole in the head. 'update-alternatives' can take care of that, or a simple editing of the .xinitrc. DMs are heavy and can be a headache if badly configured.
But hey, that's only my opinion.

I don't use a DM myself, but if I'm helping a friend customize an install on an older computer I usually lean towards WDM; It is as lightweight as XDM, without having to spend hours configuring it, and it comes with all of the options of GDM.
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Postby pcalvert » 2007-04-21 19:06

Pobega wrote:I don't use a DM myself, but if I'm helping a friend customize an install on an older computer I usually learn towards WDM; It is as lightweight as XDM, without having to spend hours configuring it, and it comes with all of the options of GDM.


I tried WDM on Sarge, but didn't like it. For one thing, it had a clunky feel to it; but the main reason is that I didn't see any option that would allow me to drop to a console instead of starting a window manager.

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Postby Bulkley » 2007-04-21 23:01

Next, i edited the file /etc/inittab and commented the TTYS except two, this will save around 3 MB of RAM.


Good idea. How can I find out which ones my computer uses?
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Postby Dargor » 2007-04-21 23:12

Bulkley wrote:Good idea. How can I find out which ones my computer uses?


look in that file, the lines that are not commented(don't have a # in front) are in use.
you can test this by crtl + alt + F(1-6)
if there is a login then it is in use, if its just a blank screen it isnt.
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Postby Bulkley » 2007-04-21 23:37

Dargor wrote:look in that file, the lines that are not commented(don't have a # in front) are in use.


What I meant was, how can I tell if any hardware needs them? I no longer use a modem. Does anything else use them?
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Postby Lou » 2007-04-21 23:47

Bulkley wrote:What I meant was, how can I tell if any hardware needs them? I no longer use a modem. Does anything else use them?


AFAIK, they're there for your convenience, if you don't need them just leave 2, one for the X system and the other for whatever comes up.
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Postby Pobega » 2007-04-22 00:28

Lou wrote:
Bulkley wrote:What I meant was, how can I tell if any hardware needs them? I no longer use a modem. Does anything else use them?


AFAIK, they're there for your convenience, if you don't need them just leave 2, one for the X system and the other for whatever comes up.

Actually, the X system doesn't need one. X creates a new one when you call it.

Ex: I have TTY1 and TTY2 enabled as consoles, When I hit startx from the command line X shows up in what would be TTY3.
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Postby Bulkley » 2007-04-22 00:29

Thanks.

Streamlining Debian is a good subject. You and I come to this from different directions. You are starting from a minimalist install; I have used the same install for about six years, with regular dist-upgrades. I have to keep removing the no-longer-needed. In going through your list, I found that my install was trying to boot both apache and samba although I removed them months ago. So, your tutorial has already paid off.

BTW, I like the timeouts for Xorg.conf. Works great. I have now removed my screensaver.

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Postby Lou » 2007-04-22 12:42

Bulkley wrote: In going through your list, I found that my install was trying to boot both apache and samba although I removed them months ago. So, your tutorial has already paid off.


Keeping your system lean and mean, requires maintenance:

1. Removing is not enough, you have to PURGE! and not only that, then you have to go to your /home and enable the 'hidden files', and remove manually any vestige of the app you wiped out (dot files). Ex: say you purge xchat, in your /home you have to delete .xchat2, if you delete fluxbox, then wipe .fluxbox too and so on. The best command i've found is:

# dpkg -P [app] or wajig purge [app]
# apt-get install wajig

2. Once a week, i do:
# wajig orphans
# wajig purge-orphans
# wajig clean

Wajig is a front-end for dpkg like apt-get, aptitude, that combines most of their actions together with deborphan and debfoster, it's simple and to the point.

http://www.togaware.com/wajig/

it has a gui for gnome too.
Last edited by Lou on 2007-04-24 15:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mzilikazi » 2007-04-22 13:12

Anytime I build an older system I always put the swap partition as the first partition. The logic being that the outside of the disc spins faster than the inside there for making swap a bit faster. Probably not at all noticeable on newer machines but it always seemd to help (a little) w/ the low-end boxes.
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Postby Pobega » 2007-04-22 13:15

I have a question: Right now I'm using gnome-screensaver as a daemon for locking my screen, but I'd like something a bit more lightweight, without giving up usability (i.e. a daemon AND being able to call it from hotkeys/commandline). What would you recommend?

I've tried xlockmore and I really didn't like it; I haven't touched xscreensaver yet, but if it's suggested I will.
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Postby Lou » 2007-04-22 13:25

I use xtrlock, very light, no frills, you launch it and a blue lock shows in the screen, the screen freezes, to disable it you write your user's password (you won't see it) press enter and you're in like flynn. (Thanks Grifter, hurry back!)

In icewm i use the run box in the taskbar, in ratpoison: "bind x execute xtrlock" type of keybinding.
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