Arch Linux on a Thinkpad 600E

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Gullible Jones, Jul 6, 2012.

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  1. After my success with Salix, I decided I'd give it another try with a more popular (and more up to date) Linux OS...

    Some notes:

    - I had to disable ipv6 to get pacman working correctly. This is either a bug in the latest pacman, or (more likely) my ISP's fault.

    - This time I did try messing around with swappiness - I set it to 1 (default is 60), and responsiveness did improve quite a bit, even though the Thinkpad has less than 200 MB of RAM. Not sure how good an idea this is; on the one hand, it might result in swapfests when running too much stuff. On the other, you don't want to run too much stuff at once on a Pentium II anyway. On the gripping hand, reducing swappiness significantly improves Xfce's usability on this machine; and usability is what matters here.

    - GTK3 applications are unfortunately a mixed bag. Simple GTK3 programs like dconf-editor are snappier than GTK2 ones; OTOH, more complicated programs like File-Roller are a good deal slower (though not unusably so).

    - The best X11 settings are the autodetected ones. Don't mess with xorg.conf on this computer; trying to e.g. enable shadow framebuffer will lead you to pain, misery, and disappearing consoles. Just use the neomagic driver with default settings, and things will be fine.

    - As indicated before, enabling outline move/resize is vital. Neither the Pentium II nor the shoddy Neomagic GPU can handle continuous redraws.

    It's not fast, and in fact it gets pretty sluggish when pacman is installing stuff. Also, sound doesn't work (unsupported hardware); and the Opera icon and some widgets are corrupted, probably because they're not designed for 16-bit color.

    But... it can browse most of the web, and be used to write code and compile stuff (slowly). Could be used for word processing too, though Abiword is still quite frankly a pain, and OpenOffice would probably bring the system to a standstill.

    To be honest, I'd still hate to be stuck with this thing; but hey, it works, and with a modern OS (and actually faster than old distros like DSL). Certainly a big improvement on Windows XP, let alone 2000.
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