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#1 2021-05-18 00:32:43

JSM
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Registered: 2021-05-18
Posts: 36  
Website

low memory installation

Hi

I installed Devuan today, Beowulf 3.1. I have 1GB of ram and use a 2GB swapfile.

Which desktop should I choose? Which one is for little ram?

Which browser? Opera should be good with little ram?

Is there zswap for Devuan or is it even the default?

What other measures can I take to get the best result with 1GB?

Thanks for the tips :-)

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#2 2021-05-18 06:57:11

berni51
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From: Middle of Germany
Registered: 2018-12-20
Posts: 55  
Website

Re: low memory installation

Hi,
when Im on the road with a motorcycle I always have my old Asus eee701 PC in the saddlebags: Its small, very small, has an old 868 processor and 2 GB of RAM. There is no internal HD and instead I use the build-in SSD (4GB) and a SD card of 128GB for OS, apps and swap.
The system runs beowulf without Xorg.

My applications are:
text processing: joe, nano, emacs
spread sheet: sc
browsing the net: lynx, links
mail & news: alpine
file manager: mc
music: mpg123
playing: bsdgames
programming: php, ruby26
off course various tools are installed as ncftp, neofetch, nmap, arp-scan, wpa_supplicant,wget, git and a lot more.

All that may sound very poor, but for me its perfect on travelling. And the eeePC offers enough entertainment for a long and rainy eveneing in a hotel.
And believe me: After a while you will love the pure shell (bash) with its various options.
Thats my solution.

Regards
Berni


The good ol' days will not return, and the rocks might smelt and the sea may burn.

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#3 2021-05-18 07:07:21

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,218  

Re: low memory installation

You might also want to check out the Devuan derivatives.  Some of them have a very small footprint.

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#4 2021-05-18 07:35:50

dice
Member
Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 520  
Website

Re: low memory installation

JSM wrote:

Hi

I installed Devuan today, Beowulf 3.1. I have 1GB of ram and use a 2GB swapfile.

Which desktop should I choose? Which one is for little ram?

Which browser? Opera should be good with little ram?

Is there zswap for Devuan or is it even the default?

What other measures can I take to get the best result with 1GB?

Thanks for the tips :-)

I would do something similar to what bernie mentions for that amount of ram but you might get away with an lxde desktop environment, you would be better of with something like a window manager setup though if you wanted a gui setup. I dont really know how a fully equiped browser like opera would go, but there are some lightweight browsers around like dillo, netsurf, surf but they lack functionality of what opera would give you.

You should be able to use zram swap, see here >> https://wiki.debian.org/ZRam

I would get used to using terminal cli programs that dont use as much resources as gui programs as an added measure.


Do good things.  Share.  Be helpful.  Be decent.  Live large.
E.V.I.L = Electronic Virtual Intelligent Life
"everything is magnetized" - kmart employee
"you just opened pandora's shitbox ray" - jim lahey

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#5 2021-05-18 09:30:04

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 93  

Re: low memory installation

I've just installed the regular live version (XFCE) onto my 80GB HDD on my 1GB ram old (2006) Toshiba Satellite 32bit laptop. smile

I gave it 2GB swap to help it along when using Firefox online - perfectly usable system, if a little bit slow at times on the internet, which could just be down to the internet itself. wink

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#6 2021-05-18 14:12:51

andyprough
Member
Registered: 2019-10-19
Posts: 65  

Re: low memory installation

You can try the badwolf browser if you need a very lightweight privacy-oriented graphical web browser: https://hacktivis.me/projects/badwolf
The .deb files from the antiX repo will install and run on Devuan: https://mirrors.evowise.com/mxlinux-pac … b/badwolf/

Otherwise I would use a cli web browser like links, lynx, or elinks like @berni51 said.


Primary Computer - Commodore 64: Processor - MOS 6510/8500, 1.023MHz; Memory - 64kb RAM, 20kB ROM - 8k BASIC V2, 8k Kernel, 4k Character ROM; Display output - 320x200, 16 colours; OS - BASIC V2.0; Weight: 1.8kg

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#7 2021-05-18 14:29:21

JSM
Member
Registered: 2021-05-18
Posts: 36  
Website

Re: low memory installation

Ok, thanks for the first tips!

I used zRam with Lubuntu. But with only 1GB Ram it is questionable whether it is of much use, especially when surfing. I had zRam configured to 25% of the Ram. I also had a 2GB swapfile. I worked with Chromium and found that there were always long waiting times, even blockages. It went better without zRam. I assume that zRam, swapfile and the browser cache do not coordinate and therefore all 3 together can cause a problem. Of course only with a small ram.

Opera is not particularly small, but it uses very good algorithms to coordinate the RAM and the browser cache. Opera never fills up the RAM, but always leaves something free for other applications. Opera also has very interesting options in the settings. Vivaldi isn't quite as good, but not bad either. Chromium and Firefox regularly lead to waiting times (swapfile, browser cache) or even to blockages.

zswap would be of interest to me. So a swapfile that works with compression. This could speed up swapping, especially swapping back. But so far I haven't found any good instructions. It is apparently still very new and still under development. Maybe someone knows more?

I installed the default desktop, so X ... Maybe I can reduce a few things, wallpaper for example. With antiX I have a RAM usage of about 130MB after booting. Let's see how deep I can get down with Devuan without losing too much GUI. Because after all I want that, because otherwise I would not have installed Devuan next to antiX :-)

Thanks for pointing out the Devuan derivatives! I see there is a lot to read and test :-)

But first I'll test something else, namely to replace alsa with OSS. I have the impression that alsa is not really very well-founded when it comes to the acoustic basics ;-)

I'm always grateful for further tips regarding low ram :-)

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#8 2021-05-18 14:57:03

dice
Member
Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 520  
Website

Re: low memory installation

JSM wrote:

Ok, thanks for the first tips!

I used zRam with Lubuntu. But with only 1GB Ram it is questionable whether it is of much use, especially when surfing. I had zRam configured to 25% of the Ram. I also had a 2GB swapfile. I worked with Chromium and found that there were always long waiting times, even blockages. It went better without zRam. I assume that zRam, swapfile and the browser cache do not coordinate and therefore all 3 together can cause a problem. Of course only with a small ram.

zswap would be of interest to me. So a swapfile that works with compression. This could speed up swapping, especially swapping back. But so far I haven't found any good instructions. It is apparently still very new and still under development. Maybe someone knows more?

I'm always grateful for further tips regarding low ram :-)

I did read that using zram can take a cpu performance hit, so this is where the slowdown might be.Ive never used zswap but its a kernel feature and you just need to enable it i believe?

See this tutorial >> https://rotelok.com/enable-zswap-in-linux/

Last edited by dice (2021-05-18 14:57:35)


Do good things.  Share.  Be helpful.  Be decent.  Live large.
E.V.I.L = Electronic Virtual Intelligent Life
"everything is magnetized" - kmart employee
"you just opened pandora's shitbox ray" - jim lahey

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#9 2021-05-18 17:00:10

JSM
Member
Registered: 2021-05-18
Posts: 36  
Website

Re: low memory installation

@dice

Thank you so much smile

@all

And if anyone knows a Devuan derivative that is light in Ram and comes with OSS by default, please let me know! Today I will defently not install another, but try to remove alsa "by hand" and install OSS in the same way...just to know if this is working fine also for my antiX installation.

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#10 2021-05-19 12:21:49

dice
Member
Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 520  
Website

Re: low memory installation

JSM wrote:

@dice

Thank you so much smile

@all

And if anyone knows a Devuan derivative that is light in Ram and comes with OSS by default, please let me know! Today I will defently not install another, but try to remove alsa "by hand" and install OSS in the same way...just to know if this is working fine also for my antiX installation.

alsa is fine, sounds like you may need the alsa-oss package perhaps?

https://packages.debian.org/buster/alsa-oss


Do good things.  Share.  Be helpful.  Be decent.  Live large.
E.V.I.L = Electronic Virtual Intelligent Life
"everything is magnetized" - kmart employee
"you just opened pandora's shitbox ray" - jim lahey

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#11 2021-05-19 15:37:16

JSM
Member
Registered: 2021-05-18
Posts: 36  
Website

Re: low memory installation

@dice

Unfortunately alsa has some very basic problems with handling the acoustics. It seems like the folks at alsa don't even understand what a logarithmic scale is and how to handle it correctly. Just regulating the loudness (Mixer Master) is completely wrong. Simply reducing it in 1dB steps leads to a total distortion of the 0-100 scale. In the upper area the scale is pressed, in the lower area it is stretched, of course. The correct handling of a dB reduction in loudness is this:

IF Master = 0 THEN mute volume
ELSE
dB-reduction = 10 x log2 (master / 100)
ENDIF

Examples:

Master = 50
dB-reduction = 10 x log2 (0.5) = 10 x -1 = -10

Master = 82
dB-reduction = 10 x log2 (0.82) = 10 x -0.286 = -2.86

On the following page there is a calculator for “Sound level change and loudness ratio” in the first line of the two tables:

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-levelchange.htm

And here is a log2 calculator:

https://miniwebtool.com/log-base-2-calculator/

The fact that Master = 0 has to be dealt with in a special way is due to the fact that 0 is not really a number, but just a trick to mathematically map “nothing”. log2 (0) would result in “infinite”, because in order to reach the zero point with reduction on a dB scale, the reduction would have to be infinitely large.

Distance and other constraints can be neglected, as it is basically a matter of regulating the volume of computer speakers or headphones. And the user is sitting right in front of the computer. You don’t know other environmental conditions anyway, because you don’t know what situation the user is in. So you can’t treat such influences either.

So, alas isn't fine, it's a pretty weird thing. I hope OSS is better and tackles acoustic problems properly.

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#12 2021-05-19 15:50:22

dice
Member
Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 520  
Website

Re: low memory installation

^ alrighty then!

You obviously know much more about audio on computers than i do.

I will say this, the best sound i have listened to were never connected to a computer like a laptop or desktop machine and instead a made for purpose unit like what denon build, aka speakers and amplifier setups. There is no comparison to this and in my opinion cheap computer hardware will never be able to match it.

https://www.denon.com/en-au/


Do good things.  Share.  Be helpful.  Be decent.  Live large.
E.V.I.L = Electronic Virtual Intelligent Life
"everything is magnetized" - kmart employee
"you just opened pandora's shitbox ray" - jim lahey

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#13 2021-05-20 01:33:29

pcalvert
Member
Registered: 2017-05-15
Posts: 84  

Re: low memory installation

I would use a window manager like fluxbox, IceWM, or JWM. Up until 2013, I used Debian with IceWM on a 300 MHz Pentium II laptop with 256 MB of RAM. It was slow (the web browser, mainly), but usable.

For the web browser I would use SeaMonkey along with NoScript "Classic" (version 5.1.x). I would also disable the ChatZilla and Lightning extensions if you aren't going to use them. Using NoScript may seem annoying and inconvenient at first, but it really helps speed up web browsing by preventing a lot of unnecessary JavaScript from running. Some websites are loaded up with so much third-party JavaScript it's ridiculous.

The best way to install SeaMonkey is to use the Ubuntuzilla repository. Despite the name, the packages are compatible with Debian and Debian derivatives.


“It is better to believe than to disbelieve; in doing so, it brings
everything into the realm of possibility.” — Albert Einstein

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#14 2021-05-20 17:03:46

Kelsoo
Member
Registered: 2016-12-09
Posts: 13  

Re: low memory installation

Notion4 (no addons)
leafpad
xterm
spacefm & rox-filer
htop
fittstool
geeqie (not the lightest but huge bang for your buck)  If you want light sxiv or qiv or pqiv
ffplay
seamonkey

As I run light and seamonkey is my default browser. I thought I'd share the extentions I use now i's getting harder and harder to find them.

https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock-for-firefox-legacy

I struggled to find older versions but need this for NHS webrtc conferences. I set it i chrome 99 and windows and it allows it to work! Yes I have complained. his zip has the legacy xpi and xml
https://derryth.com/s/user-agent-swicher-0-7-3-xml

For webrtc to work you need access to your default mic and webcam. Not secure so only us on th page you're doing he web conference. then toggle it off. 
https://github.com/IsaacSchemm/webrtc-p … -ui-toggle

If you use a netbook or device with a small screen littlemonkey is for you
https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/se … seamonkey/

Fantastic plugin. Lets cookies load. The site opens then it deletes them.
https://github.com/JustOff/cookies-exte … tag/2.9.10

If you find a xpi file that is to new to use copy it as a zip extract it and edit the version to a higher one.
or use
http://addonconverter.fotokraina.com/
https://github.com/lemon-juice/AMO-Brow … -SeaMonkey

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#15 2021-05-20 21:10:41

MLEvD
Member
Registered: 2021-02-14
Posts: 90  

Re: low memory installation

Shhh it's a secret, the best sound in the olde worlde comes from that remarkably good soundcard in the asus eee pc 701 connected via rca to a sharp nsx-10

Due to bugs, I have to install lmde and upgrade to beowulf, I have a separate 0.5GB swap partition, 3.23 GB root, and the mate desktop.
Music comes from an SD card, usually 128 GB

Alternatively, I use one of these 701s in each room as slick monotasking pulsaudio receiver boxes. Even running firefox minimised playing youtube videos, the swap file is hardly used at all. Hibernation is intermittent but not needed.

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#16 2021-06-01 19:16:35

JSM
Member
Registered: 2021-05-18
Posts: 36  
Website

Re: low memory installation

Hi all!

I'll let you know that I've now set up my Devuan pretty well and can actively work with it. It runs very well, faster than antiX!

I came from Lubuntu looking for something smaller and first came across Q4OS. But after a month of productive work, I was still dissatisfied with the performance. So I kept searching and failed at first on the WiFi setup of Void Linux. Then I found antiX and thought I'd give it a try, even if I'm not an anti-capitalist. antiX runs quite well and after a while I got used to being a former systemd user without knowing it smile

When antiX was running and I also received new hardware, Toshiba 2010 with 1GB Ram, I started working with TinyCore. And I'm still working on it. Sure, it's the fastest, but you have to get used to it. I can already work on it with Vivaldi Browser. I would prefer Opera. TinyCore has a zram standard and I created a swapfile with 1GB. I also dealt a little with swapiness and understood what it is about and what is not. Some distributions recommend a swapiness of 10, which is absurd for a small Ram! 60 may be too high, I work with 30-40 and have very good results on all distros. I suspect that with a deep swapiness the swap task, if it is activated, is given a fairly high priority, since at this moment the RAM is already very full. This then automatically slows down the other task, for example the browser. If the swapiness is higher, the swap task is given a lower priority and runs more or less "on the side", but earlyer, longer and more often. But since the CPU is extremely fast compared to us users, it doesn't bother us at work. Delaying swapping is therefore not necessarily wise with little ram. It just fills up the RAM and lets the CPU work at a low level until it is swapped. But then the CPU is fully utilized because the late swap task is given a very high priority.

But now to Devuan!

Believe it or not, I surf faster with Devuan than with antiX! Wow! Here is my swap:

devuan @ devuan: ~ $ cat / proc / swaps
Filename Type Size Used Priority
/ swapfile file 2097148 372736 -2
devuan @ devuan: ~ $

Here my sysctl:

#swapiness
vm.swappiness = 40
vm.vfs_cache_pressure = 10

You see, with the right settings swapfile is actually sufficient. I couldn't activate zram yet, I wrote a post about it. But actually I don't need it at all. Everything that is compression loads the CPU selectively and leads to waiting times in other programs.

I had just opened 8 facebook tabs (!) and could switch from one to the other with a waiting time of less than 5 seconds! Opera has some very interesting settings on this subject, but everyone should know for themselves whether they want to use Opera, because of the license.

Here is an article about swapiness that helped me a lot:

https://www.howtogeek.com/449691/what-i … change-it/

Unfortunately, I had the negative experience on antiX forum that anti-capitalism has priority and that the constructive solutions come afterwards. One is bullied, posts are deleted, accounts blocked and even the update function is manipulated. I also noticed strange waiting times while surfing. Shortly after I posted about it on antiX and also here, the problem "solved" ... and my post about "jOS" disappeared on antiX forum smile

That brings me to the last point, which is "jOS". Apparently Fedora CoreOS is something like that. As soon as I have completed all the areas at Devuan and I'm a little further with TinyCore, I'll test it. I have 4 partitions and one is still free smile

Last edited by JSM (2021-06-01 19:17:58)

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#17 2021-06-02 09:29:14

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 93  

Re: low memory installation

I have a 2006 Toshiba Satellite running the standard 32bit 'live' Devuan installed to disk, with just 1GB ram - I use a swap partition of 2GB, which allows for Firefox on the internet at reasonable speed.


<Having just come over from AntiX, which I'd been using for many years, (since the demise of #! [Chrunchbang Linux] ), your experience sounds very suspect, I have never encountered any negativity or bullying on the forums in all my time there.>

Last edited by Camtaf (2021-06-02 09:30:09)

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#18 2021-06-03 21:54:44

zapper
Member
Registered: 2017-05-29
Posts: 269  

Re: low memory installation

If you want low memory installation, I recommend two things for window managers, JWM, used by puppylinux among others, or i3-wm or dwm which I find somewhat dull and confusing at times.

I focus more on cpu usage then memory usage though.


Black Lives Matter!  I am white, but I prefer equality over hatred.
Haughtiness comes before a fall, pride before destruction.
Peace be with you!
May those who exalt themselves be judged if they refuse to repent!

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#19 2021-06-04 02:20:48

andyprough
Member
Registered: 2019-10-19
Posts: 65  

Re: low memory installation

zapper wrote:

If you want low memory installation, I recommend two things for window managers, JWM, used by puppylinux among others, or i3-wm or dwm which I find somewhat dull and confusing at times.

I focus more on cpu usage then memory usage though.

There are two kinds of people in this world:
1. Those who know how to use DWM
2.


Primary Computer - Commodore 64: Processor - MOS 6510/8500, 1.023MHz; Memory - 64kb RAM, 20kB ROM - 8k BASIC V2, 8k Kernel, 4k Character ROM; Display output - 320x200, 16 colours; OS - BASIC V2.0; Weight: 1.8kg

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#20 2021-06-04 03:45:44

starbreaker
Member
From: United States
Registered: 2021-06-03
Posts: 16  
Website

Re: low memory installation

JSM wrote:

Hi

I installed Devuan today, Beowulf 3.1. I have 1GB of ram and use a 2GB swapfile.

Which desktop should I choose? Which one is for little ram?

Have you considered not using X11? You can build a useful desktop that runs in the text console without using a lot of RAM.

  • editor: emacs, vim, neovim, nano, joe

  • web browser: lynx, links2, w3m

  • gopher browser: lynx, bombadillo

  • gemini browser: bombadillo

  • email: mutt, alpine, nmh

  • irc: irssi, weechat, bitchx

  • music: cmus, mpd with mpc/ncmpc/ncmpcpp

  • file manager: shell, mc, ranger, nnn

  • usenet reader: tin

  • file sync: rsync, unison

Of course, if you have Emacs and are willing to spend enough time on your configuration, you can get Emacs to do everything. smile

Last edited by starbreaker (2021-06-04 03:46:41)


"Out of order? [BLEEP!] Even in the future nothing works."
desktop: refurbished ThinkCentre M92p (i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD)
laptop: refurbished Thinkpad T60 (Core 2 Duo, 3GB RAM, 1TB SSD)
gemini capsule: starbreaker.org

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#21 2021-06-04 09:31:53

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 93  

Re: low memory installation

I'd use Elinks for browser.... wink

Plus, mc as file manager, editor, & music player using mpg123. smile

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#22 2021-06-05 11:36:15

Ogis1975
Member
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 184  
Website

Re: low memory installation

zapper wrote:

If you want low memory installation, I recommend two things for window managers, JWM, used by puppylinux among others, or i3-wm or dwm

Or xmonad smile

zapper wrote:

I focus more on cpu usage then memory usage though.

Very well said. I want that too.


MyLiveMatter

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#23 2021-06-13 12:45:41

zapper
Member
Registered: 2017-05-29
Posts: 269  

Re: low memory installation

andyprough wrote:
zapper wrote:

If you want low memory installation, I recommend two things for window managers, JWM, used by puppylinux among others, or i3-wm or dwm which I find somewhat dull and confusing at times.

I focus more on cpu usage then memory usage though.

There are two kinds of people in this world:
1. Those who know how to use DWM
2.

Heh,  I used dwm a few times briefly, but its just too dull for my tastes.  I am not sure how to configure autostarting apps among other things.

Dwm aka is a pile of sludge. tongue

Also, its not even that much lighter in cpu usage/ram than i3-wm and jwm. 

My two cents.

wink


Black Lives Matter!  I am white, but I prefer equality over hatred.
Haughtiness comes before a fall, pride before destruction.
Peace be with you!
May those who exalt themselves be judged if they refuse to repent!

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#24 2021-06-13 13:46:02

dice
Member
Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 520  
Website

Re: low memory installation

zapper wrote:
andyprough wrote:
zapper wrote:

If you want low memory installation, I recommend two things for window managers, JWM, used by puppylinux among others, or i3-wm or dwm which I find somewhat dull and confusing at times.

I focus more on cpu usage then memory usage though.

There are two kinds of people in this world:
1. Those who know how to use DWM
2.

Heh,  I used dwm a few times briefly, but its just too dull for my tastes.  I am not sure how to configure autostarting apps among other things.

Dwm aka is a pile of sludge. tongue

Also, its not even that much lighter in cpu usage/ram than i3-wm and jwm. 

My two cents.

wink

I can tell you are only shit stirring so ill only bite a little bit.

You can patch dwm to autostart apps, depending on your setup and whether you are using login manager. Login manager i think you can use xsessionrc in debian.

https://dwm.suckless.org/patches/autostart/ <-- wrong patch

https://dwm.suckless.org/patches/cool_autostart/ < --this one

dwm is complicated for many as they dont understand how to use it, which is probably your issue zapper.

Last edited by dice (2021-06-13 13:57:07)


Do good things.  Share.  Be helpful.  Be decent.  Live large.
E.V.I.L = Electronic Virtual Intelligent Life
"everything is magnetized" - kmart employee
"you just opened pandora's shitbox ray" - jim lahey

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#25 2021-06-13 15:23:00

Ogis1975
Member
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 184  
Website

Re: low memory installation

zapper wrote:

I am not sure how to configure autostarting apps among other things.

You can start apps with a bit of help from .xinitrc  It is handy to run programs depending on X and set environment variables on X server startup. If it is present in a user's home directory, startx and xinit execute it.


MyLiveMatter

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