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Lightest Weight OS for PB
#1
I've been using the out of box Linux mint for a while now and it's been working great! I want to try out something a little more light weight. Any suggestions?
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#2
I think lightweight is very much about memory consumption and maybe a snappy response time from the GUI.

So my suggestion would be to choose something with low memory requirements.
Linux itself can be set up in different ways but to be honest it’s difficult to save more than 50MB by that   in a modern environment.

Therefore I would suggest to look after lightweight desktop environments (DE)

The smallest, directly available for a Pinebook image is probably Q4OS with TDE.  

The next could be  LXQt wich you find in several images. It comes as an alternative for Q4OS and default in one image of Manjaro. Also I am sure you can install it on almost every image currently available for the Pinebook. ASOC seems to be aiming for lightweight as well, but I have not tested it yet.

The next a bit more medium lightweight DE is XFce.

Mind you this is just my personal view and others would cut this slightly differently. However the listed DE are quite lightweight.

I guess a good result is if you boot with nothing else started and about 300MB - 350MB of memory are used.

I don’ know Mint and what resources it uses and if you are close to that I guess it wont make much difference.

There two more things you can explore:

- dont use a desktop environment at all but only a window manager (wm). that would be a bit more simplistic user interface and there are versions that are more mouse oriented like the window manager openbox for example or there are tiling window manager which you usually use more with your keyboard, however that works surprisingly well. This can get you in the area of about 100MB memory use at startup but generally requires a bit more willingness to tinker with settings.
 A very popular tiling wm is called i3. An more simple but also with a nice works out of the box feeling is called spectrwm. 

- Turn the blink off in your desktop environment. If there is transparancy, turn it off. Fading of all sorts, turn it off, etc.. if animations have a parameter to set how long they take set it to super short. This will not safe so much memory but will give a very snappy response feeling of your GUI. This works even nice with KDE witch is probably a more heavy DE. (Don’t turn the compositor in KDE off though, it needs it)
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#3
(11-21-2018, 11:57 AM)Surehand53 Wrote: I think lightweight is very much about memory consumption and maybe a snappy response time from the GUI.

So my suggestion would be to choose something with low memory requirements.
Linux itself can be set up in different ways but to be honest it’s difficult to save more than 50MB by that   in a modern environment.

Therefore I would suggest to look after lightweight desktop environments (DE)

The smallest, directly available for a Pinebook image is probably Q4OS with TDE.  

The next could be  LXQt wich you find in several images. It comes as an alternative for Q4OS and default in one image of Manjaro. Also I am sure you can install it on almost every image currently available for the Pinebook. ASOC seems to be aiming for lightweight as well, but I have not tested it yet.

The next a bit more medium lightweight DE is XFce.

Mind you this is just my personal view and others would cut this slightly differently. However the listed DE are quite lightweight.

I guess a good result is if you boot with nothing else started and about 300MB - 350MB of memory are used.

I don’ know Mint and what resources it uses and if you are close to that I guess it wont make much difference.

There two more things you can explore:

- dont use a desktop environment at all but only a window manager (wm). that would be a bit more simplistic user interface and there are versions that are more mouse oriented like the window manager openbox for example or there are tiling window manager which you usually use more with your keyboard, however that works surprisingly well. This can get you in the area of about 100MB memory use at startup but generally requires a bit more willingness to tinker with settings.
 A very popular tiling wm is called i3. An more simple but also with a nice works out of the box feeling is called spectrwm. 

- Turn the blink off in your desktop environment. If there is transparancy, turn it off. Fading of all sorts, turn it off, etc.. if animations have a parameter to set how long they take set it to super short. This will not safe so much memory but will give a very snappy response feeling of your GUI. This works even nice with KDE witch is probably a more heavy DE. (Don’t turn the compositor in KDE off though, it needs it)

Wow, i3 is a hot tip! I'm totally a window manager type of person now! did not know this type of stuff even existed!
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#4
(11-27-2018, 03:30 PM)machinehum Wrote:
(11-21-2018, 11:57 AM)Surehand53 Wrote: I think lightweight is very much about memory consumption and maybe a snappy response time from the GUI.

So my suggestion would be to choose something with low memory requirements.
Linux itself can be set up in different ways but to be honest it’s difficult to save more than 50MB by that   in a modern environment.

Therefore I would suggest to look after lightweight desktop environments (DE)

The smallest, directly available for a Pinebook image is probably Q4OS with TDE.  

The next could be  LXQt wich you find in several images. It comes as an alternative for Q4OS and default in one image of Manjaro. Also I am sure you can install it on almost every image currently available for the Pinebook. ASOC seems to be aiming for lightweight as well, but I have not tested it yet.

The next a bit more medium lightweight DE is XFce.

Mind you this is just my personal view and others would cut this slightly differently. However the listed DE are quite lightweight.

I guess a good result is if you boot with nothing else started and about 300MB - 350MB of memory are used.

I don’ know Mint and what resources it uses and if you are close to that I guess it wont make much difference.

There two more things you can explore:

- dont use a desktop environment at all but only a window manager (wm). that would be a bit more simplistic user interface and there are versions that are more mouse oriented like the window manager openbox for example or there are tiling window manager which you usually use more with your keyboard, however that works surprisingly well. This can get you in the area of about 100MB memory use at startup but generally requires a bit more willingness to tinker with settings.
 A very popular tiling wm is called i3. An more simple but also with a nice works out of the box feeling is called spectrwm. 

- Turn the blink off in your desktop environment. If there is transparancy, turn it off. Fading of all sorts, turn it off, etc.. if animations have a parameter to set how long they take set it to super short. This will not safe so much memory but will give a very snappy response feeling of your GUI. This works even nice with KDE witch is probably a more heavy DE. (Don’t turn the compositor in KDE off though, it needs it)

Wow, i3 is a hot tip! I'm totally a window manager type of person now! did not know this type of stuff even existed!

This is a great video about tiling window managers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Api6dFMlxAA
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#5
I'm still exploring it, but DietPi seems really lightweight. First impression is very good!
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#6
Hi all, first post here, new pinebook owner. Been running/supporting unix since before linux was a thing, so I'm somewhat an "oldbie" ... and as such, I have no love for systemd. So of course, I'm looking for the most nimble OS for the pinebook which does not use systemd. Is there such a thing?

I have no fear of starting with a bare bones installation and adding the few things I personally need - but this takes time and planning and I would prefer to start with something that has most of what I need that can get me in the ballpark quickly. Unfortunately everything I've looked at so far seems to be based on a whizbang desktop with a lot going on.

So "lightest weight" in my case would include systemd-free, but in general would mean the smallest installation footprint in addition to lowest memory utilization and smallest number of running processes during my preferred session.

I spend 20% of my time in the firefox browser doing webmail and research, and 80% in the shell (either local shell/python or the same via ssh connection to one of the many servers I maintain). I've been using tiling window managers for a dozen years now; at any given time, I've used i3/sway/xmonad/wmii/awesome/scrotwm/spectrwm and a few others. My favored solutions would be those that work in linux on both intel and arm (of course), as well as openbsd/freebsd ...

Recommendations for any of these needs would be welcomed - particularly if they fill multiple (or all!) needs. I have not yet looked at the i3 pinebook image, though I plan to - but I'm expecting to find systemd there since it's based on a recent ubuntu ...
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#7
For what it's worth, DietPi does look interesting - but I'm failing to get it running on my pinebook so have yet to actually see it. Looking through their own forums I can see that it also runs systemd - but if it's as small and light as everybody seems to think I might be willing to overlook that. If I can get it running, of course. Just dumping the image to SD card via the Pine64 Installer and booting isn't working for me. I have another thread open for that issue, so hopefully someone will chime in there and set me straight.
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#8
I still like Armbian. It can be slimmed down / tweaked a bit for performance. Absolute first thing is to change the window resize method.

If you are putting something together from the ground up you can go so barebones you'll never want to look at your pinebook again (I'm looking at you TWM). LXDE is pretty lightweight. XFCE used to be but it gained enough bloat to be one of the heavyweights.

FVWM and IceWM isn't too bad with the lightweights I guess.

As said, lose the desktop manager and just run xorg if you want savings.

What else... Don't even consider trying AwesomeWM. I don't know what it's deal is but it is the slowest thing ever even on my desktop PC. I tried it on a netbook recently. Instant regret. If whatever is messed up gets fixed it'd be nice to use I guess. If they updated their documentation to reflect the current file structure.
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#9
(12-07-2018, 04:22 PM)dhylton Wrote: For what it's worth, DietPi does look interesting - but I'm failing to get it running on my pinebook so have yet to actually see it. Looking through their own forums I can see that it also runs systemd - but if it's as small and light as everybody seems to think I might be willing to overlook that. If I can get it running, of course. Just dumping the image to SD card via the Pine64 Installer and booting isn't working for me. I have another thread open for that issue, so hopefully someone will chime in there and set me straight.

I got it running using Etcher. Just downloaded the 7z, unzipped, and burned it to the microsd with etcher and it boots right up. Followed the instructions here: https://dietpi.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9#p9
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#10
I tried DietPi yesterday as well. It worked.
I had to create the SD card twice though. The second time was successful. I have dd'ed the image.
Also every now and then the boot process fails and I end up with the final message that Ethernet could not be started. I think the actual reason is a different one but I have not checked as most times a power off/on solved it.

DietPi only needs 170M memory at startup incl LXDE and feels quite responsive. Definately a good candidate for a lightweight environment.
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