[svlug] New to Linux
rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Jun 26 23:35:22 PDT 2005
Quoting Karsten Self (kmself at ix.netcom.com):
> 700 MHz / 128 MiB is a reasonable, if somewhat modest, configuration.
> Running a full desktop (e.g.: KDE / GNOME) may not play well though.
> While GNU/Linux itself is pretty amenable to very modest system
> configurations, a lot of the latest'n'greatest desktop environments are
> pretty power hungry. Like Rick, I run Window Maker, and a sampling of
> other apps, most notably a lot of terminal windows (e.g.: this mail),
> a browser session, and occasional other GUI tools.
Just to let the other shoe drop, Bill Hubbard did visit CABAL for
Saturday's meeting, and I hope he had a relatively useful and fun visit.
He does indeed turn out to have 128MB of RAM, as both you and I seem to
have suspected, not to mention FC4's mild surfeit of questionable
background processes chewing up the small amount of RAM available. That
was the root of Bill's problem, in a nutshell.
I started out helping Bill by starting up and picking failsafe mode (or
whatever it's called) in gdm, resulting in the canonical
xterm-and-no-window-manager primordial mess. After some stumbling about
because I'm rusty on RH stuff, I determined that xfce was no longer
provided (apparently, dropped after FC2), but twm (eek!) was still
there. We made due with that until one of our other volunteers -- more
current on RH stuff -- stepped in to beef up the Yum repository
information, grab and cache current package catalogues, and install
xfce4 and related packages.
When Bill left, he at least had xfce4 at his disposal as a
more-lightweight window manager, though he would be well advised to open
a terminal and run "top" or "ps auxw | more" to list the running
processes, so he can track down why they're running and whether he'd
like to continue to run them.
He should also do "su -" followed by (I guess) "chkconfig -list" or
serviceconf, or whatever's the currently recommended tool for RH/Fedora
for examining/adjusting System V init scripts -- in order to see what
services get started at system boot time, which he might consider paring
The other thing I mentioned is that, well, if it's economically
justifiable, he should consider boosting the RAM in that box, as that
would remove the need to be quite so diligent in such matters.
> That sounds like memory starvation, in general.
Got it in one. ;->
I very much regret that the well-intentioned and detail-oriented
volunteer who set about helping him augment yum's configuration did not
leave time to address Bill's other concerns, before he had to leave. My
apologies to Bill for that. Perhaps we can help him, here.
If memory serves, Bill would like to adjust his configuration so that
Apache and MySQL start up -- and presumably would like to make those
daemons do something in particular. ;->
Bill, the aforementioned "chkconfig" or "serviceconf" utility will be a
good place for you to start: Those are tools to help you adjust
startup-time services. For your information, they readjust on your
behalf some symbolic links in /etc/rc3.d/ and adjacent directories that
actually control startup actions.
 I was floundering around trying incantations like "yum install xfce",
which wasn't getting me very far because that wasn't the exact package
(I note that FC4, like many distributions, doesn't bother to background a
copy of /usr/bin/updatedb, and Bill had evidently never let the machine
run overnight, so that had never run on its own. Distros aimed at new
users, in particular, might want to fix that.)
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