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 Forum index » Off-Topic Area » Programming
How to slim xorg xfce on "normal" slack distro?
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johnywhy


Joined: 20 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep 2018, 18:33    Post subject:  How to slim xorg xfce on "normal" slack distro?  

Porteus 32-bit (lite slackware distro) idles XFCE about 170 MB at boot.
https://forum.porteus.org/viewtopic.php?p=66293#p66293

DebianDog boots to under 80MB. Xtahr idles under 100 MB. How!?

What suggestion could be offered to Porteus devs to reduce memory footprint? Is it even possible, while remaining a "normal" linux?

Why? Cuz I'd like the advantages of xtahr (tiny) plus the advantages of Porteus (normal Linux).

THX

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Last edited by johnywhy on Mon 03 Sep 2018, 16:36; edited 1 time in total
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8Geee


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PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep 2018, 22:53    Post subject:  

Sometimes one has to wonder why, and not how'd they do that.

Xfce runs as a 70Mb *memory*... JWM about 3Mb, Openbox about 7Mb, IceWM 4.5Mb, and Fluxbox about 16Mb.
IIRC KDE is over 40Mb.

Xfce is the largest of these more popular/known Linux WM's.

Regards
8Geee

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Last edited by 8Geee on Mon 03 Sep 2018, 13:35; edited 1 time in total
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johnywhy


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PostPosted: Mon 03 Sep 2018, 01:45    Post subject:  

8Geee wrote:

Xfce runs as a 70Mb D/L... JWM about 3Mb, Openbox about 7Mb, IceWM 4.5Mb, and Fluxbox about 16Mb.
IIRC KDE is over 40Mb.


Hi 8Geee

Thx for breakdown. But are you talking about download size?

That adds up to about 150 MB. My Xtahr idles under 100 MB. So your figures don't match what I'm seeing.

THX

JW

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8Geee


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PostPosted: Mon 03 Sep 2018, 13:35    Post subject:  

I was in error with those numbers... those are the amount of memory used by each of the several Windows managers. So Xfce occupies 70Mb of memory, JWM 3Mb of memory, etc. The 70Mb used by Xfce is the reason the OS idles at 100Mb-200Mb. I will fix my post.

As example, I'm running JWM and the memory at idle is 46Mb. It could be the choice of windows manager causing the 'large' idle usage.

Regards
8Geee

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johnywhy


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PostPosted: Mon 03 Sep 2018, 14:04    Post subject:  

8Geee wrote:
The 70Mb used by Xfce is the reason the OS idles at 100Mb-200Mb.

It could be the choice of windows manager causing the 'large' idle usage.


Thx. 8Geee!

But, "large"? My idle is small. On DebianDog Jessie, i'm idling under 80MB at boot. That's the smallest xfce idle i've seen yet! (similar to other xfce puppies, such as xtahr).

Seems you're not comparing apples to apples. You listed components which are needed together. Eg, DebianDog doesn't run xfce or openbox or jwm. It needs a combination:
- xfce+openbox,
- or xfce+jwm.

Maybe my misunderstanding. Maybe xfce doesn't need openbox or jwm. If so, how can i remove jwm and openbox from DebianDog? That would be great Very Happy

THX

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8Geee


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PostPosted: Mon 03 Sep 2018, 20:06    Post subject:  

I can only hazard a guess that xfce was trimmed, and replaced by openbox components. Thus the reduced size and need for both.

Regards
8Geee

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johnywhy


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep 2018, 00:38    Post subject:  

yep, seems like something like that.

this thread is asking: what are the secrets Cool

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wiak

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep 2018, 03:45    Post subject:  

LXDE uses openbox as it window manager by default. Xfce used Xfwm4 as its window manager by default. I've never used Xfwm so can't comment except I've read it has built-in compositor so no doubt heavier in resource usage than openbox but with more features, I guess; apparently including good theme support. I get the impression you can mix and match Desktop environment 'components', using only some Xfce system components and some alternative window managers (presumably at the expense of 'features', which may or may not be important to the particular user).

http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:XFCE/Openbox

wiak
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fredx181


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep 2018, 04:51    Post subject:  

johnywhy wrote:
But, "large"? My idle is small. On DebianDog Jessie, i'm idling under 80MB at boot. That's the smallest xfce idle i've seen yet! (similar to other xfce puppies, such as xtahr).

Seems you're not comparing apples to apples. You listed components which are needed together. Eg, DebianDog doesn't run xfce or openbox or jwm. It needs a combination:
- xfce+openbox,
- or xfce+jwm.

Maybe my misunderstanding. Maybe xfce doesn't need openbox or jwm. If so, how can i remove jwm and openbox from DebianDog? That would be great


To clarify: the Debiandog openbox-xfce version has Openbox as window-manager and added just a few xfce4 components such as xfce4-panel, xfdesktop, thunar.
To install full xfce4:
Code:
apt-get update
apt-get install xfce4

But it's long time ago since I tried that, I remember that some tweaking was required to make all work as expected. (e.g. some startup applications not working, needs re-configuring)

Fred

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rufwoof

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep 2018, 09:04    Post subject: Re: How to slim xorg xfce on "normal" slack distro?  

johnywhy wrote:
Porteus 32-bit (lite slackware distro) idles XFCE about 170 MB at boot.
https://forum.porteus.org/viewtopic.php?p=66293#p66293

DebianDog boots to under 80MB. Xtahr idles under 100 MB. How!?

What suggestion could be offered to Porteus devs to reduce memory footprint? Is it even possible, while remaining a "normal" linux?

Why? Cuz I'd like the advantages of xtahr (tiny) plus the advantages of Porteus (normal Linux).

Linux is just a kernel. Later versions of kernels can initiate a frame buffer (graphical) - so you could just boot that and run something like netsurf-fb and be graphically browsing (early days yet for netsurf, so the experience is relatively low, but yes you see images etc and for instance bbc.co.uk web site looks pretty much the same as in other browsers).

On top of that its common to load Xorg - the X11 window system. The proper/full version of that includes the twm window manager, xcalc, xedit ...etc. But they're all really dated - don't look particularly nice (but can be reconfigured to look/work reasonably).

On top of that many use a alternative window manager - such as OpenBox, and add a panel, such as lxpanel. jwm provides both and can for instance also include all your startup commands (repeated <StartupCommand> tag(s) IIRC).

On top of that users/providers add other programs as desired. So the 'Linux base' system is very light.

In contrast, the OpenBSD system for instance, include many things within its 'Base' system. OpenBSD boots to around 25MB of memory used cli, rising to 65MB when X is loaded. Their X however includes the proper X (tweaked by OBSD for better security), so you get multiple choices of window manager, twm, cwm, fvwm, along with the other X programs such as xterm, xcalc, xedit ... which many of the Linux versions of X have stripped out. OBSD also security audit that base system as a whole, As a lightweight system if you add just a browser on top of that, your security is reasonable and operationally its quite good. cwm is often favoured by OBSD developers as the window manager and after a bit of persistence the feel of that does have great appeal. Fundamentally there are no window decorations and you can do things pretty much without a mouse - until you use a typical graphical browser. So good for laptops with touchpads that aren't particularly quick/easy to use. Alt-? (alt-shift-/) presents a exec prompt, type a single letter and it shows all of the program names starting with that letter, as you type additional letters that refines the list down quickly to more often leave just a single program name .. and then pressing enter launches that program. Maximise the window with ctrl-alt-M, flip between windows with alt-tab. Launch a xterm with ctrl-alt-enter, close a window with ctrl-alt-x. Moving and resizing windows involves alt left and middle mouse buttons, move a window with alt and mouse drag. No panel, no icons. My desktop OBSD is just the base OBSD system + iridium web browser (more secure version of chrome). With that setup I can browse, create/view PDF's play mp4's, graphical calculator ...etc. I use mc for the file manager and text editor. I also use online email, IRC, chat, diary etc. For many of the graphical programs that the likes of what Puppy provides scripts can replace those and just have them listed in a single folder ready to be run.

Linux in contrast in effect adds modules on top of its "base" system. One problem with that is it isn't security audited as well as a whole, as the whole is so variable from one system to another. Interoperablity can also create issues/problems. And memory utilisation will also vary considerably depending upon the choice of programs laid on top of the Linux kernel.

Security issues/bugs are just normal bugs that open up the potential to breach a systems security. The more exposure to potential bugs the greater the security risk. OpenBSD's primary focus is security, so they strip out code, ensure what code is in place is structured with security in mind, exclude Blobs (code that they do not have visibility of the source) ...etc. Linux in contrast more often focuses upon performance and depth/breadth of program availability. OBSD strive to do things properly so the range of programs available is less; Linux systems often take shortcuts or include things that put security at risk. OBSD for instance still use the dated fast file system - that in present day terms is relatively slow, such that OBSD tends to run some things slower than Linux based systems that use alternative file systems, but that introduce security weaknesses. OBSD also does many other security checks in the background - which adds overheads (Pledge - checks that programs stay within the boundaries of what they're expected to do/use, Unveil - checks things stay within the filespace their expected to access/use, W^X (write xor execute controls to restrict memory space from being written to and execute), randomisation of swap, kernel, PID's, fileID's ...etc. etc.

Bottom line is its difficult to compare as you're more inclined to compare apples to oranges, and even when memory utilisation may seem lower it doesn't mean faster operation. There's even the argument that 90% memory usage could be the better system, as that could have pre-loaded more of memory ahead of when it might be called upon, but in so doing opened up that data/content to a potential security breach (rogue user might be able to see that cached content but that was restricted from their sight when on disk).

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johnywhy


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep 2018, 19:29    Post subject:  

many thx rufwoof for the detailed explanation.
will take me some time to digest...

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technosaurus


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep 2018, 23:43    Post subject:  

Or you can just try "Muntzing" it.
Its a good learning experience and kind of a puppy right of passage.
I know at least amigo, ttuuxxx, goingnuts and myself all did quite a lot of muntzing back in the day and basically how Barry started the whole thing.

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johnywhy


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PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep 2018, 03:03    Post subject:  

technosaurus wrote:
Or you can just try "Muntzing" it.
Its a good learning experience and kind of a puppy right of passage.
I know at least amigo, ttuuxxx, goingnuts and myself all did quite a lot of muntzing back in the day and basically how Barry started the whole thing.


omg, i love muntzing! Thx for introducing me to Earl William "Madman" Muntz! He was actually a self-taught electrical engineer-- me too!


Earl William "Madman" Muntz
Quote:
He carried a pair of wire clippers around and when he felt that one of his builders was overengineering a circuit, he would begin snipping components out. When the TV stopped functioning, he would reinsert the last part


i love that!

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