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kieron3886
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 9:20 am    Post subject: Considering Installing Gentoo. Will it work well on 1GB RAM? Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

I am new here, and only recently decided to look up gentoo. I have been a Debian user for a few years now. While I do think Debian is a great system, my computer struggles to run it with only 1 GB of RAM. My computer is a netbook (Asus EEE PC 1015 PEM).

I have distro-hopped probably 50 times in the last year. Debian seems good, but struggles to run a few programs with my ram, my calculations show that this is only off by 200-300 mb.


My question: If I install Gentoo, could I tweak the system somehow (maybe a window manager and lightweight programs) to free up a couple hundred megabytes of ram usage, that way giving my computer more force to run a couple troublesome programs?

I do not intend to buy additional ram, as I am quite sure this computer will not last more than a couple years for the most (If I'm lucky).

Is this possible with Gentoo? I will try installing it to a Virtual Machine to test it out, before considering installing it on my actual computer.

Please advise.
Thank you!
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kieron3886,

Welcome to Gentoo.

There are two issues here. Running Gentoo and building and installing Gentoo.
Unlike binary distros, Gentoo is a toolkit you use to build your own distro.

With your Atom N550 Dual Core Processor and 1G RAM, it will run most things but building will be slow if you build on your netbook.

You say you are going to try Gentoo in a Virtual Machine. If this Virtual Machine is on a more powerful system, you can use it to build for your netbook.
Stay away from GNOME and KDE and use the libreoffice and firefox binaries (unless you really want to build you own) and you will be OK.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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C5ace
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: Considering Installing Gentoo. Will it work well on 1GB Reply with quote

kieron3886 wrote:
Hello Everyone,

I am new here, and only recently decided to look up gentoo. I have been a Debian user for a few years now. While I do think Debian is a great system, my computer struggles to run it with only 1 GB of RAM. My computer is a netbook (Asus EEE PC 1015 PEM).

I have distro-hopped probably 50 times in the last year. Debian seems good, but struggles to run a few programs with my ram, my calculations show that this is only off by 200-300 mb.


My question: If I install Gentoo, could I tweak the system somehow (maybe a window manager and lightweight programs) to free up a couple hundred megabytes of ram usage, that way giving my computer more force to run a couple troublesome programs?

I do not intend to buy additional ram, as I am quite sure this computer will not last more than a couple years for the most (If I'm lucky).

Is this possible with Gentoo? I will try installing it to a Virtual Machine to test it out, before considering installing it on my actual computer.

Please advise.
Thank you!


I can run 64Bit Gentoo with XFCE, Libreoffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. inside VirtualBox with as low as 512 MB RAM, single processor, 4GB SWAP, 3GHZ clock speed. Your problem will be compile time..
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kieron3886
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
kieron3886,

Welcome to Gentoo.

There are two issues here. Running Gentoo and building and installing Gentoo.
Unlike binary distros, Gentoo is a toolkit you use to build your own distro.

With your Atom N550 Dual Core Processor and 1G RAM, it will run most things but building will be slow if you build on your netbook.

You say you are going to try Gentoo in a Virtual Machine. If this Virtual Machine is on a more powerful system, you can use it to build for your netbook.
Stay away from GNOME and KDE and use the libreoffice and firefox binaries (unless you really want to build you own) and you will be OK.


Thank you for replying! I will try and see what I can do. For some reason the iso download keeps failing. I can borrow a more powerful computer from a family member and build it there.

I will see how it goes.
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kieron3886
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: Considering Installing Gentoo. Will it work well on 1GB Reply with quote

C5ace wrote:
kieron3886 wrote:
Hello Everyone,

I am new here, and only recently decided to look up gentoo. I have been a Debian user for a few years now. While I do think Debian is a great system, my computer struggles to run it with only 1 GB of RAM. My computer is a netbook (Asus EEE PC 1015 PEM).

I have distro-hopped probably 50 times in the last year. Debian seems good, but struggles to run a few programs with my ram, my calculations show that this is only off by 200-300 mb.


My question: If I install Gentoo, could I tweak the system somehow (maybe a window manager and lightweight programs) to free up a couple hundred megabytes of ram usage, that way giving my computer more force to run a couple troublesome programs?

I do not intend to buy additional ram, as I am quite sure this computer will not last more than a couple years for the most (If I'm lucky).

Is this possible with Gentoo? I will try installing it to a Virtual Machine to test it out, before considering installing it on my actual computer.

Please advise.
Thank you!


I can run 64Bit Gentoo with XFCE, Libreoffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. inside VirtualBox with as low as 512 MB RAM, single processor, 4GB SWAP, 3GHZ clock speed. Your problem will be compile time..


Thank you for the information. I don't mine waiting for a while.
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keet
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ran Gentoo on a Pentium IV with 512MB of R.A.M. until the hard drive failed half a year ago. I used the same setup as I use on my i7 with 8GB R.A.M.:

Window manager: Openbox
Menu: obmenu-generator
Taskbar and system tray: tint2
XScreensaver
conky

It ran well, being able to run Chromium and Thunderbird and a couple other programs at once without swapping (or swapping very little). However, some things look a long time to compile (I forget exactly how long, but 'emerge -eq system world' took most of a week), like Chromium and LibreOffice, so I used distcc, and ended up modifying the libreoffice ebuild not to check for R.A.M.
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cwr
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Thinkpad T23 was a bit slow with 512MB of RAM, but with 1G the 1GHz PIII
gave useable performance; build times were long, with Gnome taking 15 hours
or so, but bearable if run overnight.

What finally killed the machine was the video processor, which couldn't handle
modern desktops. I still have it around running a Gentoo from 2012.

Will
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kieron3886,

You can use almost any live system you want to install Gentoo. None of the code from the install media ends up in your install.
System Rescue CD is a good place to start. Its Gentoo based too.
Be sure to boot a 64 bit kernel if you want a 64 bit install.

With 1G RAM a 32 bit install will be smaller and more memory efficient. However, in 64 bit mode you get more CPU registers, so it may be faster.
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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schentuu
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some years ago, i ran gentoo on a pretty old netbook with an intel celeron 400MHz single core CPU and 192 mb RAM .... Installing gentoo with fluxbox took a week nonstop compiling 8)
Nowadays i run gentoo on a raspberry pi

So almost everything is possible. Of course it depends a bit on packages you use.
If you're low on RAM, don't use KDE or Gnome, as mentioned by NeddySeagoon.

XFCE is more resource friendly.
Fluxbox does only need a few mb of RAM, but its not everyones taste.

Regarding compile time, you might have a look at distcc and cross compiling.
This may save you a lot of time.

And if you don't want slower systems feel unusable during compiling updates, you might consider adding
Code:
PORTAGE_NICENESS="19"

to your /etc/portage/make.conf to make portage use only cpu resources that are not used for your user applications.
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