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Linux Journal: The Ultimate (but Small) Linux Box!

Aug 20, 2002, 13:00 (6 Talkback[s])

"While we wait for the wine to arrive, let me tantalize you with some hints from today's menu. It is easy to get carried away with the idea of a super fast processor (or several), vast amounts of disk space and virtually endless memory. Unfortunately, that is not the machine we are all blessed with. In fact, those who might remember the days of being a poor student certainly will appreciate that, sometimes, we take what we can get. How, then, does someone with only modest hardware take advantage of the power of Linux?

"For starters, we could run a very small system by going to some Linux distributions on a single floppy and ignoring the graphical environment entirely, but I would like to avoid doing that. The idea is to create an attractive desktop with some friendly graphical tools while living within the constraints of limited resources.

"Here are some interesting numbers: on my new Red Hat 7.3 workstation, running the KDE 3.0 desktop with a single xterm, the free command shows roughly 34,000KB (not counting buffers and cache) of memory in use. This is after I subtract the base system requirements and without running a login manager, such as KDM. Granted, a lot of KDE's funky new features are running, such as fading tool tips, pop-up icons, sound themes and so on, but that is the default install. GNOME 1.4, again with a single xterm, comes in closer to 27,000KB. Those KDE and GNOME numbers present a sharp contrast to what I get when I run this IceWM--a mere 7,500KB..."

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