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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Is the windows manager the main resource hogger ?
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setecio

Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 326
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr 2007, 14:17    Post subject:  Is the windows manager the main resource hogger ?  

Is the windows manager (FluxBox, JWM, ICEWM ....) a BIG thing that affects the minimum system requirements required to run a distro/derrivative? So within Puppy, if I try to run some of the distro and choose different windows managers, then the fancier they look, the more powerful a machine would be required, and that that is the main factor for running the derivatives ?
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MU


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 13648
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr 2007, 17:25    Post subject:  

yes, you even may feel differences with different themes in Icewm.

JWM "draws" the window borders and titles, it calculates them.
The others load pictures instead and map them, what is more resource-hungry.
Internally, a window consists of many small windows (from the view of the XWindow System). The simplest window is a simple rectangle, like the bottom border of what we usually call a "window" (a area with a titlebar, and borders to resize it).
So if you drag a window in icewm, it internally has to calculate and redraw the bitmaps of many small windows.
I remember my old pentium 133, where you had to set the windows to "opaque" (you just saw a coloured rectangle then) while you dragged them around. This was faster than showing the full content and decoration.

But fluxbox and icewm still are very fast though, compared to some others.
The reason is, that they are "just" windowmanagers, while others like metacity try to include interfaces for all functions of the Gnome-Desktop and other programs.

So for example they depend on libstartupnotification, a lib that can change your cursor when you launch a program.
As icewm does not use such gimmicks, it still is fast, though it looks very good with the window-decoration using pictures.

Mark
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setecio

Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 326
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr 2007, 18:02    Post subject:  

Thanks for that.

So JVM is the least resource hogging of them all ?

Looking through the Puppy software installer list of WMs, what would you guess roughly would be the order in a list of least to most resource hogging of : (maybe some aren't wms?)

e16
enlightenment
fluxbox
gnome
icewm
jvm
meta theme bombayro
metisse
mdg
xdg
xfce

?
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trapster


Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Posts: 2098
Location: Maine, USA

PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr 2007, 19:28    Post subject:  

Don't forget windowlab.
Tiny and very fast!!! NO bells and whistles.
windowlab

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Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr 2007, 19:41    Post subject:  

If I may add to MUs thoughtful reply:

This seems to be a constant source of confusion over terms:
E.G. x-server for GUI usage vs desktop environments -
Shedding some light on Lightweights
"Resource hogging" is subjective - what options are desired vs bare-bones need to do whatever is expected .
Needs/desires will change - it would be better if the user knew beforehand most of the applications to be run.

A Google search of any home page site will be big help in deciding - then choose based on own hardware/peripherals.
Of "mainstream" full-blown desktop environments, Gnome/KDE have most dependencies.

The present smallest seem to be based on blackbox > fvwm2 twm etc.
Browsers (and ESP their PLUG-INS) are generally the biggest system load users.
Unless the user is E.G. creating /editing streaming Video applications (Maya ?)
But then, why would Puppy be the platform ?

Minimalist - might be >Fvwm2 combined w/a small GUI but text- based File Mgr., such as M.C (Midnight Commander)
or any other "two-pane" File Managers - (conversely , TKdesk)
~ And a text-based browser (Dillo/Links) uses least space/memory GUI resources.

Some compromises will be inevitable if wants and present computer capabilities are restricted.
Please bear in mind - unless running in Ram - the only "hog" will be space.
Speed in use - will depend partly on hardware.... once loaded, all Apps are subect to "power" of system.
In practical use - The greatest " bottleneck" to all In/out throughput - is always the user.

"Power" is knowledge, hardware/software is only potential ?
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Lobster
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Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15235
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr 2007, 21:12    Post subject:  

open a console and type "top"

this will show what resources are being used by which programs

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Bruce B

Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11488
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Tue 17 Apr 2007, 02:26    Post subject:  

Lobster wrote:
open a console and type "top"

this will show what resources are being used by which programs


I'd say that's the correct answer.

My present windows manager is Joe's Window Manager, but I don't really consider it THE windows manager, although it might be. I consider the windows manager to be a combination of jwm / rox, although it might not be Smile

What I get from top is at any given moment, unless being used:

ROX-Filer is not using any measurable CPU and occupies 1.2% of 1GB RAM
JWM is not using any measurable CPU and occupies 0.2% of 1GB RAM

As far as responsiveness, they both seem responsive, meaning they don't wait to execute commands and don't bog down the computer.

In answer to the topic title: I'd say the windows manager is not a resource hogger at all, let alone the main resource hogger.
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bobst

Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Tue 17 Apr 2007, 02:51    Post subject:  

trapster wrote:
Don't forget windowlab.
Tiny and very fast!!! NO bells and whistles.
windowlab


Unfortunately, I still can't get it to work properly - random crashes etc.

Anyone having any luck with it?

It's a very sweet little GUI...if only it worked better.
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veronicathecow


Joined: 21 Oct 2006
Posts: 544

PostPosted: Tue 17 Apr 2007, 03:37    Post subject:  

If you are happy with lower resolutions and number of colours, try reducing them. Especially if you have a built in graphics card that take memory from your main system and remember to lower the memory usage in the BIOS.
If you can use 800x600 with 256 colours you use 1mb RAM, at 1024x768 at 16 million colours you use 4mb.
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Bruce B

Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11488
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Tue 17 Apr 2007, 05:21    Post subject:  

veronicathecow wrote:
If you are happy with lower resolutions and number of colours, try reducing them. Especially if you have a built in graphics card that take memory from your main system and remember to lower the memory usage in the BIOS.
If you can use 800x600 with 256 colours you use 1mb RAM, at 1024x768 at 16 million colours you use 4mb.


My English teacher used to correct me when I'd spell colours the way you do.

I'd think to myself, "I though you were supposed to be an English teacher."
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veronicathecow


Joined: 21 Oct 2006
Posts: 544

PostPosted: Tue 17 Apr 2007, 11:49    Post subject:    

Hi Bruce, my English teacher just gave up...
My spelling is half the reason I got into computers!
The other half was my that my writing could be used to baffle cryptologist around the world Cool
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