Linux is bloated

I’ve literally spent all day trying to install Fedora Core 8 on my old laptop – the one I used to (fairly easily) develop Evolution on. Hmm, default – too slow and bloated to be remotely usable (took about 2 hours to boot the live-cd and get the installer running from the console). Got xfce installed (after some mucking about) – barely better. Got rid of the bloat of gdm – xdm – now the desktop is back to gnome. Sigh. Hacked it to get xfce to run after a lot of buggerising around (there seems to be no easily obvious way to get it to work – and while I was there I saw the twm login wont ever work). What’s all this python shit sucking 50mb of precious ram doing stuff I don’t give a shit about? Sigh. chmod -x /usr/bin/python* … horrah, finally I can log in in under 2 minutes. Cut my login overhead in half – the other half is still too much – xfce is rather bloated. Pity the python chmod broke yum.

Yum isn’t so yummy after-all. Re-enabled python so i could run yum. Wow 120mb of vm to install a couple of packages. Not bad considering the box only has 128mb. This is crap.

Hmm, should I try xubuntu – or will it be just as crappy and bloated and blighted by python poo?

Guys – python isn’t a fucking system language. Just like perl, it isn’t suitable for long-lived applications (or crapplets) either. Use it to write your shitty little throw-away perl scripts in a different syntax, but don’t fuck up linux desktops with this rubbish.

54 thoughts on “Linux is bloated”

  1. A parallel question for you: how much of GDM’s bloat is due to Python?

    Since the beginning of my Linux experience, I’ve run only the lightest window managers and desktops (xfce is the lightest available nowadays). My work with VR/AR/VRML always demanded more out of the hardware than it had, so doing things in X with a minimum of interference was quite important.

    The reason for the question above: if you’re wanting to re-claim the RAM, just launch your X session from the commandline with ‘startx’. GDM pre-loads 2.3 tons (metric) of stuff with it. While much of it will load anyway if you’re using a desktop system, it will at least minimize the impact after the swap-fest gets you graphical.

    And I’ll agree – Python is not the panacea everyone feels it is. It’s great for doing “proof of concept” implementations, but it’s just *thick*. Lingers on the stack longer than chocolate chip cookies on my love handles…


  2. Yes, would be nice if Gnome would run on older machines as well… Ubuntu LiveCD worked on my old Dell laptop (256MB) up until Ubuntu Edgy 6.10, everything afterwards fails to properly get the desktop up. Maybe if 8.10 is now also targeted at mini-laptops like eeepc and other mobile systems, this will improve again (also, there seem to be efforts to analyze memory fragmentation in Gnome – let’s hope it gives similar massive savings as it did for Firefox 3 :) .

    However, I don’t think the memory is mainly “wasted” with Python… In my experience:
    – Python is less memory-hungry than Perl (seen when trying to write a very simple passive Jabber bot that should run on a 64MB machine – the Python version used ~half the memory as the Perl one, according to `top`)
    – quite a lot of memory is used by the Gnome panel applets, even if they are written in C
    – generally, if I look at memory usage on a Hardy LiveCD desktop, most memory is used by the panel and nautilus – and IIRC there are no Python processes in the top ones
    – finally, who would actually like to write C code when there’s Python available? C’mon, at least use C++ Seriously, IMHO it’s way more work to write the same app in C or C++ instead of Python or Perl, and the associated costs are not really visible on a recent machine.

    So I suppose any serious memory saving will have to happen in Gnome (GTK?) libs first.

  3. Hi:
    You should read the minimum requirements before proceed to the install *
    #Minimum RAM for graphical: 192MiB
    #Recommended RAM for graphical: 256MiB

    And for *ubuntu the requirements are almost the same:
    Low-spec computers (Xubuntu)
    If your system has less than 192 MB of system memory, use the Alternate Installation CD. (not live)
    Recommended minimum requirements
    256 MB of system memory (RAM)

    Maybe python is not the best idea, but it’s the right one for “today” computers

    Kind regards


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