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Old 07-06-2012, 02:29 AM
Patrick Bartek
 
Default Small xorg?

> On Wed, Jul 04, 2012 at 06:29:55PM -0700, Patrick Bartek wrote:
>> * * Any recommendations for a small, compact version of X (limited features
>> * * OK) for an old Thinkpad 240X -- max RAM 192MB (design limit. *won't
> take
>> * * more. *tried.), 500MHz P3, 800x600 screen--to install Squeeze on?
> *I'm
>> * * running Etch and XFCE on it currently. *Want to see if I can install a
>> * * supported version of Debian with a small window manager without the
> bloat
>> * * of a full size X.
>> * * I really like this notebook for travel--what I got it for originally
>> * * before netbooks existed. *Great keyboard--I do a lot of typing.
> *Don't
>> * * want to put it in a closet to gather dust. *Waste not, want not. ;-)
>> * * Patrick
>
> Hi,
>
> I'm not entirely sure what you're asking for here. If you're
> strictly
> asking for a low-memory version of Xorg, then I think your only option
> is to recompile it. As far as I'm aware, there is only one variant of
> Xorg in Debian, but if you fetch the source and play around with
> compiler optimizations, removal of features (for example, you may decide
> you don't need autodiscovery of devices) and perhaps even different
> compilers (clang is the current hotshot), then you may find you can
> reduce the memory footprint.

Compiling X is one thing I've reluctantly considered, but would like to find a small binary, if possible, so I can just apt-get install it. *Less work. *Did find this, however:

http://agentoss.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/building-a-tiny-x-org-linux-system-using-buildroot/

> Next up, if you're after ANY X server (not necesarily the Xorg
> implementation), then Wikipedia suggests that Xorg and XFree86 are about
> your only options on Linux. You might, however, find that
> not-quite-X-servers such as MicroXwin are more to your taste. MicroXWin
> claims binary compatibility with XServers, so you should be able to run
> your existing programs with it.

Others have suggested just a frame buffer like XVesa or FBDirect. *Investigating that option.

> Finally, if you're happy with your X server, but are looking for a
> lighter-weight window manager/destop environment... Oh, never mind, I've
> just spotted you're running XFCE. That's fairly lightweight, but you may
> find programs such as heliwm or swm more applicable.


Yes, using XFCE, but even so, after boot, system uses 132+- MB, leaving only 55 to 60 MB free. *Hit the swap frequently even only running a couple of apps. *Need lighter options. *Small WM to be sure. *The only thing left is a small X or something similar.

Patrick


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Old 07-06-2012, 02:41 AM
Patrick Bartek
 
Default Small xorg?

> Patrick Bartek [2012-07-04 18:29:55 -0700] wrote:
>
>> Any recommendations for a small, compact version of X (limited features
>> OK) for an old Thinkpad 240X
>
> I have not used this myself but you could check xserver-xfbdev.
>
> Package: xserver-xfbdev
> Version: 2:1.7.7-14
> Description: Linux framebuffer device tiny X server
> xserver-xfbdev is a Linux framebuffer device tiny X server based on the
> kdrive X server.
>
> More information about X.Org can be found at: <URL:http://www.X.org>
>
> This package is built from the X.org xserver module.


Thanks. *I'll check it out.

Patrick


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Old 07-06-2012, 02:43 AM
Patrick Bartek
 
Default Small xorg?

> **** From: Patrick Bartek <bartek047@yahoo.com>
> **** Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2012 18:29:55 -0700 (PDT)
>> ... Debian with a small window manager without the bloat of a full size X.
>
> DirectFB should also be relevant.*
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectFB
> http://www.directfb.org/


Thanks. *Will check it out.

Patrick


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Old 07-14-2012, 11:40 PM
Joel Roth
 
Default Small xorg?

On Wed, Jul 04, 2012 at 06:29:55PM -0700, Patrick Bartek wrote:
> Any recommendations for a small, compact version of X (limited features OK) for an old Thinkpad 240X -- max RAM 192MB (design limit. *won't take more. *tried.), 500MHz P3, 800x600 screen--to install Squeeze on? *I'm running Etch and XFCE on it currently. *Want to see if I can install a supported version of Debian with a small window manager without the bloat of a full size X.

Patrick,

For my dad, I used Linux Mint, a Debian-based dist, to
setup a similar-spec Toshiba laptop with 128MB.

X works fine OOTB. I set him up with icewm with custom
menus for the few apps he needs.

Unless you *know* that you need a specially compiled X, why
bother? Whatever parts of the compiled xserver aren't being
used will just swap out anyway, IIUC.

Good luck,

Joel

> I really like this notebook for travel--what I got it for originally before netbooks existed. *Great keyboard--I do a lot of typing. *Don't want to put it in a closet to gather dust. *Waste not, want not. ;-)
>
> Patrick

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Joel Roth


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Old 07-16-2012, 03:04 AM
Patrick Bartek
 
Default Small xorg?

----- Original Message -----
> From: Joel Roth <joelz@pobox.com>
> To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
> Cc:
> Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2012 4:40 PM
> Subject: Re: Small xorg?
>
> On Wed, Jul 04, 2012 at 06:29:55PM -0700, Patrick Bartek wrote:
>> Any recommendations for a small, compact version of X (limited features OK)
> for an old Thinkpad 240X -- max RAM 192MB (design limit. *won't take more.
> *tried.), 500MHz P3, 800x600 screen--to install Squeeze on? *I'm running
> Etch and XFCE on it currently. *Want to see if I can install a supported version
> of Debian with a small window manager without the bloat of a full size X.
>
> Patrick,
>
> For my dad, I used Linux Mint, a Debian-based dist, to
> setup a similar-spec Toshiba laptop with 128MB.
>
> X works fine OOTB. I set him up with icewm with custom
> menus for the few apps he needs.

X works here, too--Debian Etch + XFCE--but the System eats up almost 70% of the 192MB of RAM leaving only about 55 to 60MB free for the user. *Almost 100MB is used for the GUI! *(Only 33MB is used in Terminal only mode--no X, no GUI.) *And I've leaned the system out as much as I can. *Nothing is running that doesn't need to be.

Haven't looked at Mint, but just tested Vector Linux Light,*the lightest "standard" distro I know of,*in VirtualBox set for the same RAM and hard drive sizes as the Thinkpad. *Even using its smallest Minimal option install, after booting, it uses 178MB.

Distros like Damn Small and Puppy, I've rejected as they don't satisfy important requirements of mine. *Although, I am studying how Damn Small (v3) when installed to the hard drive as "standard" Debian (4, I think) has such a small RAM footprint--only 55.6MB! *This kind of RAM usage is what I'm looking for.
*
> Unless you *know* that you need a specially compiled X, why
> bother? Whatever parts of the compiled xserver aren't being
> used will just swap out anyway, IIUC.

Custom compiling X can greatly reduce its size "in RAM," I've read. *Get rid of the fat!

Currently, I'm looking at DirectFB, a fairly sophisticated framebuffer, and XDirectFB, a very small companion X "emulator" or "translator" that runs "on top" permiting standard X applications to run transparently on DirectFB without alteration. *(You can even run a window manager to add features to the combo.) *But both are source code only. <sigh> :-(

> Good luck,

Thanks.

B


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Old 07-17-2012, 09:43 PM
Patrick Strasser
 
Default Small xorg?

Patrick Bartek wrote on 2012-07-06 04:00:

>> That was I was planning: window manager only. [...] found that xorg, plus all the stuff it loads, eats a lot of RAM -- about 100+ MB -- leaving only about 50MB out of 192 available for applications.

Hello Patrick!

Just to make sure: You did not install Recommended packages, just
Required ones, did you? I always disable Recommended packages in
aptitude and before starting the install procedure I look through the
list of Recommended and Suggested packages, just in case I find
something I really need or like.

Regards

Patrick
--
Engineers motto: cheap, good, fast: choose any two
Patrick Strasser <patrick dot strasser at tugraz dot at>
Student of Telematics, Graz Univ. of Technology, Austria


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Old 07-18-2012, 05:37 PM
Patrick Bartek
 
Default Small xorg?

----- Original Message -----

> From: Patrick Strasser <patrick.strasser@student.tugraz.at>
> To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
> Cc:
> Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 2:43 PM
> Subject: Re: Small xorg?
>
> Patrick Bartek wrote on 2012-07-06 04:00:
>
>>> That was I was planning:* window manager only.* [...] found that xorg,
> plus all the stuff it loads, eats a lot of RAM -- about 100+ MB -- leaving only
> about 50MB out of 192 available for applications.
>
> Hello Patrick!
>
> Just to make sure: You did not install Recommended packages, just
> Required ones, did you? I always disable Recommended packages in
> aptitude and before starting the install procedure I look through the
> list of Recommended and Suggested packages, just in case I find
> something I really need or like.


As I recall, only the required dependencies were installed. *I needed the system to be as lean as possible due to the RAM limitations, but still be easily usable. *Perhaps, a little background for clarification:

The Thinkpad 240X (500Mhz PIII, 192MB RAM) was acquired used about 5 years ago, and initially Debian Sarge and XFCE were installed along side Windows 2000 Pro--dual boot. *I used the installer's "Expert" option, and installed just the base system--no X anything, then used Aptitude to build the rest of the system, piece by piece. *I let Aptitude determine the necessary dependencies. *After everything was up and running, I installed what apps and extras I wanted either with agt-get or Synaptic. *A year or so later, I did a apt-get dist-upgrade (instructions strictly followed) to Etch which was the latest version at the time. *A while later, during a standard update/upgrade (not dist-upgrade)--Lenny was the most current release--somehow parts of Lenny were installed. *However, the damn thing still worked! *Gotta love Linux. *That's where the system sits today.

B *


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Old 07-18-2012, 06:57 PM
Andrei POPESCU
 
Default Small xorg?

On Mi, 18 iul 12, 10:37:14, Patrick Bartek wrote:
>
> As I recall, only the required dependencies were installed. *I needed
> the system to be as lean as possible due to the RAM limitations, but
> still be easily usable. *Perhaps, a little background for
> clarification:
>
> The Thinkpad 240X (500Mhz PIII, 192MB RAM) was acquired used about 5
> years ago, and initially Debian Sarge and XFCE were installed along
> side Windows 2000 Pro--dual boot. *I used the installer's "Expert"
> option, and installed just the base system--no X anything, then used
> Aptitude to build the rest of the system, piece by piece. *I let
> Aptitude determine the necessary dependencies. *

aptitude and apt-get install Recommends by default. In your situation it
probably makes sense to disable that, but be careful about what you are
missing.

Kind regards,
Andrei
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:06 AM
Patrick Bartek
 
Default Small xorg?

----- Original Message -----
> From: Andrei POPESCU <andreimpopescu@gmail.com>
> To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
> Cc:
> Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 11:57 AM
> Subject: Re: Small xorg?
>
> On Mi, 18 iul 12, 10:37:14, Patrick Bartek wrote:
>>
>> As I recall, only the required dependencies were installed. *I needed
>> the system to be as lean as possible due to the RAM limitations, but
>> still be easily usable. *Perhaps, a little background for
>> clarification:
>>
>> The Thinkpad 240X (500Mhz PIII, 192MB RAM) was acquired used about 5
>> years ago, and initially Debian Sarge and XFCE were installed along
>> side Windows 2000 Pro--dual boot. *I used the installer's
> "Expert"
>> option, and installed just the base system--no X anything, then used
>> Aptitude to build the rest of the system, piece by piece. *I let
>> Aptitude determine the necessary dependencies. *
>
> aptitude and apt-get install Recommends by default. In your situation it
> probably makes sense to disable that, but be careful about what you are
> missing.


I made sure only true dependencies were installed as far as the initial system set up. *I installed Sarge 4 or 5 times before I got it the way I wanted it. *I did, however, keep track of the "Recommends" for later install, if needed. *IIRC, at that time--5 years ago--Recommends weren't installed by default by either aptitude or apt-get. *Don't know about synaptic. *Used it more for searching than installing. *Still do.

B


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