2011-08-17

Review: Linux Mint 11 "Katya" LXDE

Main Screen
This week, I again found myself in the position of not having much to write about here. Then, I saw that Linux Mint 11 "Katya" LXDE had been released, and considering that I had previously reviewed Debian-based Linux Mint Xfce, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to try Linux Mint's newest Ubuntu-based lightweight distribution.

Recently, the various editions of Linux Mint have undergone much flux. The only certainties are that there will be two GNOME editions, one Ubuntu-based and one Debian-based. I guess it's also pretty much certain at this point that the Xfce edition will stick with the Debian base. Outside of these things, for now, it seems like the LXDE edition, which I am reviewing today, will stick with the Ubuntu base, but that may or may not change after this; furthermore, the KDE and Fluxbox editions appear to have moved to the Debian base, but neither edition has seen release candidate ISO files released, meaning that there still seems to be a lot of work to be done on both. (As a side note, I will probably review the KDE edition once it is released.)

I tested this LXDE edition on a live USB made with MultiSystem. I did not test the installation. Follow the jump to see whether this really makes good on its promise to be a more lightweight version of Linux Mint.

After getting past the boot menu, I was greeted by a black screen for a boot splash, which was also true in Linux Mint 11 "Katya" GNOME. Again, while I understand the reasoning in that it ensures a consistent experience across all hardware, I think it's better to have a boot splash so that way users can see whether the boot process has been hung up or not. After that, I was taken to the desktop.

YouTube on Mozilla Firefox 5 + AbiWord
The LXDE desktop looks remarkably similar to the GNOME desktop, as implemented in Linux Mint. The wallpaper and GTK+ theme are all the same, as is the presence of the thin scrollbars. The panel layout is essentially identical, though there are a few subtle details that give away the identity of the LXDE edition right away: the menu button only has the icon without the word "Menu", the window switcher buttons look fatter, and the clock applet uses a bigger font. Of course, the main menu is a traditional LXDE menu as opposed to the Mint Menu, while the clock doesn't have all the same functionality as its counterpart in GNOME, but those are minor details. The only other major difference is the Openbox window border, which is dark and blocky and doesn't match up well with the default Linux Mint Metacity window border theme; this is strange because there is a light-colored Openbox theme that does match up much better, so I don't know why that wasn't made the default. Overall, I feel essentially the same about the look and feel of the LXDE Linux Mint desktop as I do about its GNOME counterpart.

Mozilla Firefox is the default browser at version 5; though version 6 was released yesterday, version 5 was the latest one available when Linux Mint 11 "Katya" LXDE was released. It comes with most multimedia codecs included, as is expected of Linux Mint. In addition, the volume control keyboard shortcuts worked, which was a nice surprise for the LXDE edition; speaking of volume, though, the only comprehensive volume control application available is the GNOME ALSA mixer, which I find to be quite confusing and, honestly, not really in the spirit of Linux Mint being easy to use.
PCManFM + Obconf + LXAppearance + Light Theme
AbiWord and Gnumeric make up the productivity software included, which makes sense regarding this LXDE edition's goals of being lightweight.
Other software present includes GIMP, Dropbox, Pidgin, Mozilla Thunderbird, Exaile, and VLC.
PCManFM is the default file manager, as expected. One nice touch which I haven't seen anywhere else is the presence of a sidebar shortcut to applications, which essentially lays out the main menu in the main pane of PCManFM. This functionality is present in Apple's Mac OS X, as far as I know, but I haven't seen it in any Linux distribution thus far, so that's really nice.

There are other good and bad things present in the LXDE edition that were also present in the main GNOME edition; for example, the Linux Mint Software Manager is present with the same odd-looking boot splash and Microsoft Office text art-style logo, while the Linux Mint Update Manager is not running in the live session because it wouldn't make sense to install updates within the live session. Also, the Linux Mint Welcome screen is present in the LXDE edition, though it doesn't immediately appear in the live session for good reason.

Linux Mint 11 "Katya" LXDE is supposed to be fast and lightweight, and it's supposed to be able to run on only 256 MB of RAM, so how did it do on that front? Disappointingly, it never felt noticeably faster than the main GNOME edition, and it used 320 MB of RAM at idle, which is considerably more than the recommended minimum and almost as much as what the main GNOME edition uses at idle. The system monitor wasn't particularly helpful either, because it showed 6 or 7 mysterious BASH processes using about 6 MB of RAM each, along with a few mysterious Python processes and applets using even more. I didn't want to kill any of those processes for fear of breaking the system, but that was quite unfortunate that the system used as much RAM at idle as it did.

Well, that's basically where my time with the LXDE edition ended. The complicated nature of the GNOME ALSA mixer, which could be an issue for users if their sound settings aren't properly configured out-of-the-box, would be more forgivable if the LXDE edition were really lightweight and fast, but that just isn't the case. Given that I didn't see any noticeable performance improvement in the Xfce edition over the Debian-based GNOME edition as well, as much as it pains me to say this, I think the Linux Mint developers should just stick to the GNOME and KDE editions. Granted, the Xfce edition was, according to the developers, not supposed to be lightweight any longer; in fact, I think it has been designed to be a drop-in replacement for the main GNOME edition if and when the developers can no longer use GNOME 2 and are forced to use the "unholy mess" (according to Linus Torvalds) that is GNOME 3, and this is borne out by the presence of things like the Linux Mint Menu in the Xfce edition. But this LXDE edition is supposed to be lightweight but still easy to use, yet I've found that it is both harder to use and just as heavy on resources as the main GNOME edition, so I see no reason to recommend it over the main GNOME edition.

57 comments:

  1. "I tested this LXDE edition on a live USB made with MultiSystem". A live usb boot is not the best way to test performance or memory usage, is it?

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  2. @roszyk: It's a concern that other people have raised in my other reviews too, but for the handful of distributions that I've actually installed, the live USB RAM usage usually reflects the installed system RAM usage. Plus, Linux Mint 11 "Katya" GNOME uses about the same amount of RAM in the live USB session, while Lubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" (which I did not review here) which is most similar to this uses less than 200 MB of RAM at idle, so it's not like (1) live USB systems in general use tons of RAM or (2) all Linux Mint editions use tons of RAM in live USB form. I appreciate your concern, though, so thanks for the comment!

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  3. Yet another crap review.
    Reason: "I tested this LXDE edition on a live USB made with MultiSystem"

    When will you give us complete real review???

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  4. @Anonymous: Let's see here — the commenter above you (not mine, but the one before) gave a specific reason for why it might not be such a great idea to use a live USB for testing. When will you give me a good reason for not using a live USB i.e. when will you give me a complete rebuttal instead of making a blanket, unqualified crap statement?

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  5. I too would suggest that doing a "review" on USB (or LiveCD) is a very poor reflection on an installed system. It just seems that if time and effort is going to be put into doing a review it should be done properly.

    The only way I could see it being justified is to have make sure the reviews of USB installs are separated and made distinct from hard drive install reviews.

    Plus, the title of the review should show that as well - but I guess fewer people would read them.

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  6. @Anonymous: To clarify, I haven't actually installed many of the distributions I have tried. Almost all my reviews are done via live USB. Why? (For one, it's more consistent that way rather than mixing USB and hard drive tests.) My main goals are to see if a distribution will play well with my computer's hardware, has useful software included, can install and use popular software relatively easily, and and has a usable installer (which I test using a virtual machine). Now, it may be so that there may be problems with a system during or after installation that can't be seen within the live session. This is a valid concern, though from the handful of distributions I have actually installed, any problems I had during a hard drive install were replicated during a virtual install. But I see no reason to believe that any problems (aside from possible graphics card issues owing to live session GRUB parameter problems) encountered during the live session will magically disappear through installation onto a real hard drive; it's the same hardware being used, so honestly, why should the installed session be any different in that regard? If a webcam doesn't work in the live session, it probably won't work in the installed session either unless effort is put into manually making it work. Finally, as I may have mentioned in an earlier comment, regarding RAM usage (because that appears to have been the sticking point here), the live and installed sessions of the distributions I have installed used about the same amount of RAM at idle, so I don't really feel that's the cause of the problem. Thanks for the comment! (PS: I'm a huge fan of Linux Mint GNOME, both Ubuntu- and Debian-based. I was initially slightly less of a fan of the Debian-based Xfce edition, but I now understand and appreciate why it is the way it is. So no, I'm not trying to hate on Linux Mint. In fact, I expected this review to be even shorter and much more positive; I didn't expect this issue to come up, but it did, so I wrote about it.)

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  7. Actually I have used Lubuntu on one machine that had 256MB of RAM and it ran pretty smooth.

    I think that 320MB of RAM idle is simply the result of having more RAM available. Memory management is a difficult topic to tackle, but I can assure that LXDE desktop on Lubuntu's case was really nice and a lifesaver. There aren't much nice options for old machines with 256MB of RAM out there. Sure, you can install some really ugly and user-un-friendly distros, but that was not what I was after.

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  8. Talking about and comparing the RAM usage of different Operating Systems without specifying if they are 32bits or 64bits versions is a show of utmost ignorance.

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  9. Now it became fashionable to make lazy, cheap, and irresponsible reviews of a system without actually installing it, just running the Live USB.
    Upon criticism, their authors write many lines and even blog entries trying to justify their own laziness and unwarranted assumptions.
    Still, the fact remains that such authors did not actually test the system they claim to have tested, and thus are essentially just deceiving readers.

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  10. Now it became fashionable to make lazy, cheap, and irresponsible reviews of a system without actually installing it, just running the Live USB.
    +1 these are not reviews many images to not work correct unless installed correctly

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  11. When I boot the live cds, I check the ram usage, and it's generally mucy the same as installed usage, making this a valid form of testing. Don't complain just because you don't get a favourable review.

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  12. Why so much hate in the comments? :(

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  13. @dotmrt: For machines with less than 256 MB of RAM, I think the only option that presents a desktop that is slick and modern is #! (Openbox or Xfce). I don't think it's possible at that stage to run a modern distribution with a DE configured to look like...well...Microsoft Windows.
    @Anonymous 1: I never thought to clarify this, but while I personally run the 64-bit version of Linux Mint 9 LTS "Isadora" GNOME on my laptop, all my reviews are of the 32-bit versions unless otherwise explicitly specified. This makes trying out things like Adobe Flash a little easier. I apologize that I didn't make this clear; I admit that was laziness/complacence on my part.
    @Anonymous 2, kelvin: Because you have not given any conclusive evidence to the contrary, until you do so, I can't really take your comments seriously. Sorry, but if you're going to call a reviewer lazy, cheap, and irresponsible, it's best if your comments aren't all of those things as well. No, this review wasn't perfect, but I did try to detail my methodologies and findings as best as possible. You did not.
    @Anonymous 3: I always find it ironic that the number of comments on a review is inversely proportional to the favorableness of said review. Granted, in the past, I have written unfavorable reviews that have been largely due to my own ignorance, but this and the PCLinuxOS reviews were unfavorable due to unfavorable characteristics in the distributions themselves, as far as I have seen. Plus, unlike the other unfavorable reviews, I have made it clear that while I like Linux Mint very much, given that the LXDE edition is nearly as heavy as the GNOME edition, it makes more sense to use the GNOME edition; furthermore, I'm steering readers to another Linux Mint edition, not to another distribution altogether (though you could say I'm calling Lubuntu a better Ubuntu-based LXDE distribution for people who want Ubuntu-based LXDE), so I really don't understand all the hate.
    @Anonymous 4: Exactly. It doesn't make sense to me either.
    Thanks for the comments!

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  14. This is not a hate comment :), just my observation of live v/s installed sessions. Quite often i've seen Live CD's loading lot of services and gobbling up RAM as a result, however the same when installed doesn't translate that way.

    Case in point is Crunchbang XFCE that i've in live & in my hard-disk, live takes about 100-110mb while installed takes about 70-80mb. Even LMDE was like that atleast in my case. Likewise i've seen other distros as well that take up so much RAM in live session but not the same amount after installation.

    Also in some cases certain things don't work the first time, but the same usb and same image when loaded subsequently seem to work. Call it defective usb, bad install image or anything else but they dont always exhibit the same behavior when installed. Btw this was just to point out the differences in live and hd install, not to incite another war of words.

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  15. @Anonymous: Wow, this is great that you've been able to see such differences. I must thank you for bringing light and reason to a comment thread that has so far been marked largely by...rage...I guess...? Anyway, I always wondered how other testers were able to get under 100 MB RAM usage with #!; now I know! That said, I wonder if this difference is consistent across distributions; if it is, and given that I don't at this point have much reason to believe otherwise, that still means that on my computer's hardware at least, Linux Mint 11 "Katya" LXDE would use about 280 MB of RAM at idle, which is still pretty pathetic for an LXDE distribution, if you ask me. Also, if I understand you correctly (and please let me know if I'm not), I haven't had the same issue as you regarding a live USB not working the first time but working thereafter; I've been able to consistently reproduce any issues with a live USB system that I've seen upon first testing it. Thanks for the comment!

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  16. i agree, when testing in live mode, more memory is used for caching.. you always have to install to hdd to measure correctly the ram consumption. Lubuntu / Mint LXDE uses about 120-140mb after login.

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  17. I too have noticed a difference between running a Live CD and installing same. Even as far as wifi not working on the first but on the second. Different RAM usage also. Don`t have a clue why, but it happens. Why is it so hard to just install? I have a set of DVD-RWs that cost me $12 for ten of them, (Memorex, no less), at Wal-Mart. I`ve reused them over and over to install distros, which, as we all know, take a grand total of maybe 45 minutes tops. All I`m saying is, you would get a lot less flame in your comments section, yes?

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  18. This is another reason to review an installed distro.. There are always some little bugs here and there, little permission issues or a couple of non working tools on a live session.

    as example i remember when i was trying to make work my wifi stick on a past LinuxMint release.. on live session didnt work, but when installed worked fine.

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  19. I guess what I`m trying to say in a nice way is, I appreciate your taking the time to write a review, but here in Texas we have a term known as "half-assed", which I think speaks for itself, lol. There are plenty of other reviewers that do reviews based on installed distros, including Jesse Smith at DWW and Dedoimedo. I urge you to consider doing the same.

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  20. Honestly i can't speak on behalf of others but their differences of opinion is justified i think, but rage or hatred is not justified though. I guess most people (atleast i do) read other's reviews to get a feel of how the myriad Linux distros fare, as they behave differently in different hardware and most of us have that variation in hardware and definitely they would want to install it at some point, hence the so called "rage".

    Anyway coming back to my experience, yes #! does have that less memory usage as i read theirs is a nearly pure XFCE distro with not much gnome dependencies like in LMDE. It does use gdm so can't really say it's 100% gnome free. However the overall experience is really awesome even better than LMDE to some extent :) and Mint has always been my favorite. With E17 ram usage at idle is 73mb, believe it or not :)

    As to sometimes random behavior of live usb, some of the issues were wifi for one as @Neuromancer pointed out, kernel panics!! etc.

    Also since everything is in ram in live mode you could have a snappy experience whereas if your HD is huge and slow your hd experience would be really bad for the same distro.

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  21. My Mint 9 Gnome installation only uses 140mb of ram at idle. This with Cairo Dock(11 launchers, a weather widget and desktop switcher)with an analog desktop clock as well as a CPU/Ram usage graph running.

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  22. on live mode its not everything loaded in ram. (except "boot to RAM" boot option or some tiny distros like tinycore that uses this as native feature and goes speed crazy!)

    apps loads from media (usb cd) to ram when you run it thus you have slow start-up speed.

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  23. only 140mb?.. weird. do you have 512mb ram or less? coz Gnome tends to use more ram if its available to speed up things (not sure but this is what i have notice). My mint 9 and 10 with Cairo dock uses near 200mb with 6gb of ram available.

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  24. @Anonymous 1: That may be the case, but I must disagree with your comparison of Lubuntu and Linux Mint LXDE, because when I tried Lubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" on the same laptop with a live USB made with the same method, it used less than 200 MB of RAM at idle.
    @Neuromancer: The reason why I don't do installs on my existing laptop hard drive is because I'm paranoid about messing up the existing system, because that happened before — twice. Also, don't most major distributions require at least 5 GB of space for installation? Will a DVD-RW really work for that purpose?
    @Anonymous 2: I actually don't really bother with wireless much; I mean, when I can, I do try to see if wifi will work, but I almost never use wifi myself because of bad past experiences with it. Also, if I do encounter permissions issues (and I have), I know it's an issue with the session being a live session, so I don't tend to knock live sessions for such issues.
    @Anonymous 3: I may have unfairly characterized some of the commenters as "raging", but I think it does characterize a couple of the comments here. Anyway, as I said, I now better understand and appreciate why Linux Mint Xfce is as heavy as it is; it could be a potential candidate for being the main Linux Mint edition, if Ubuntu and GNOME (version 3) upstreams are too tedious to maintain.
    @Anonymous 4: Huh. That is quite strange!
    @Anonymous 5: It wasn't the startup speed that was the issue. It was the RAM usage while running that was the issue.
    @Anonymous 6: That's an interesting explanation. I should keep that in mind when testing these things.
    Thanks for the comments!

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  25. Oh Lord God, no. The absolutely biggest I`ve seen is Ultimate Edition at 4.3GB. There is only one distro called SuperGamers, I believe, that requires a two-layer disc. Are you kidding? People gripe when a CD isn`t big enough, lol.

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  26. @Neuromancer: To clarify, what I meant was, don't most distributions require at least 4-5 GB to be fully installed? I know some distributions like Sabayon require even 10 GB or so. Is that what you were talking about too, or were you talking about how much space distributions take up in order to be run as live systems? Thanks for the comment!

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  27. I was referring to iso size on disk, installed size is always more. 5-10GB is average on a HDD.

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  28. IMHO, any review, be it an USB, VM, Live, or actual install is useful because, as far as I know, intelligent readers have the ability to evaluate whatever findings the review points out.
    PV, keep reviewing any way you prefer.

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  29. @Mechatatoro: Well, that`s easy to say IF a live run was the same as an installed run. Unfortunately in too many cases, they aren`t.

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  30. @Mechatotoro: In the end, my goal is to be as consistent as possible, anyway.
    @Neuromancer: Well, if you're talking about the ISO file's size on disk, are you implying that there is a huge performance difference between live CD/DVDs and live USBs? Because if there isn't, and I haven't seen one (yes, I have made live CD/DVDs out of a few distributions), I don't particularly see any reason to not use live USBs.
    Thanks for the comments!

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  31. @Neuromancer: Your point is well taken. All I'm saying is that I hate to think that review readers simply accept information without even trying the distros. Besides, a review of a Live performance is useful for those who look for a rescue distro, so I don't see the need to disqualify PV's work.

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  32. I have 1gb of ram. But I have painstakingly trimmed a lot of fat from Gnome, startup applications, etc.

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  33. If you understood the internals of how the Live System versus installed system works, you would realize that what you have done is a horribly foolish method for reviewing a Distro.

    You can not even tell me now if the INSTALLER recognized and configured your hardware properly. only that the live script did.

    Not a big deal for me since I design custom remixes of Debian/Ubuntu for a living, and can tell you more about hardware compatibility then some of the folks on their development teams.

    As far as memory useage. believe it or not LXDE runs in no less ram then XFCE, and both of those only about 32-64MB less then Gnome with the same services running.

    I run xfce 4.6 in 116MB Ram at idle. LXDE in the same setup takes 110MB, and Gnome 132MB Ram. (NOT Gnome 3, which sucks and takes a boatload of Ram and CPU. My company and clients just parted ways with bloat-gnome in favor of XFCE.)

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  34. @Mechatotoro: To be fair, it's a point I should emphasize more often — it's not enough to read what I write, but I'm just trying to provide a sort of guideline on generally what to expect. This is certainly not the be-all, end-all of what to expect.
    @Anonymous 1: Are you the same as one of the anonymous commenters above who talked about Linux Mint using only 140 MB of RAM at idle on a 1 GB RAM system? In any case, that'll certainly do the trick; I've read that the reason why Elementary OS is significantly more lightweight than Ubuntu is because a lot of extra fat was trimmed.
    @Anonymous 2: You are correct that my method does not properly evaluate whether an installer will play well with my computer's hardware. Right now, I'm just seeing if the live system will play well with said hardware and what the installer is like. Also, I'm surprised that LXDE isn't all that much more lightweight than Xfce, but I've found that both are significantly more lightweight than GNOME (and I do consider more than a 40 MB RAM usage to be significant, and sometimes the difference is more than that). Finally, I do agree with you about GNOME 3.
    Thanks for the comments!

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  35. Anonymous1@PV
    Yes I am the one with Mint using 140mb of ram at idle. I wish there were a 'light' version of gnome.

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  36. I wish there was a Linux Mint 11 LXDE 64-Bit version.

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  37. @Anonymous 1: OK, I appreciate the clarification.
    @Anonymous 2: I'm sure there are plenty of people like you who want to use LXDE on a new, fast machine to be able to experience a really fast system, but given that this edition is more targeted at older, slower computers, it's unlikely that such computers will have 64-bit hardware (though that'll change over the next few years). I don't agree or disagree with the reasoning; I'm simply stating it.
    Thanks for the comments!

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  38. I have an old P4 dual core 64 bit box I built in late 2005. It was a screamer back in the day but holds its own quite nice today with Mint 11 Gnome and #!.I was recently given an old P3 with Win ME still on it. Remember that lovely OS? Perhaps I'll give this Mint LXDE a spin on it.

    Thanks for the reviews.

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  39. @JB: There's certainly no harm in trying it out. And while I never had the [dis]pleasure of working with Microsoft Windows ME, I do know that a relative's computer almost literally got fried in part because of that OS. Thanks for the support!

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  40. Hi,
    I've installed Katya LXDE and I don't know where are the 320 MB, on my VM it takes 162 MB in the live session and 153 MB installed.

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  41. To measure RAM usage you must turn off the swap and measure it using free command and check the "+/- buffers and cache" row, this is how it should be measured, Katya LXDE takes about 132-136 MB (installed on HD).

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  42. @Anonymous 1: I'm just wondering if that gives more credence to the idea that distributions use more RAM if more is available....
    @Anonymous 2: Is this a problem relating to its Ubuntu roots? Or is this a problem for just this version? Because I've measured other LXDE/Openbox distributions' RAM consumptions (a couple Ubuntu-based, others not), and none of them have had this problem; each of said distributions was tested using a MultiSystem-made live USB, and each had its RAM measured using the available system monitor tool. That said, I will try to do what you recommend from now on; it may in fact be a more accurate and consistent method of testing RAM consumption.
    Thanks for the comments!

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  43. @PV: I thought about this in the beginning, but after disabling the swap, it only changed from 132 MB when 256 MB of RAM is installed, to 136 MB when 2 GB is installed, so I think this negligible difference (only 4 MB) is only to manage more RAM, about the live vs. installed system, I think it depends on the compression used in the live image, some live images are not compressed at all while others are compressed using LZMA.

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  44. @Anonymous: I'll probably have to look into that more in the future then. Do you know if there is a way to find out the compression method of an ISO file? Thanks for the comment!

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  45. I installed lxde in pinguy eee os and it uses less than 200mb at idle.

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  46. sorry it uses 240 mb at idle ...(my mistake)
    but a strange thing i noticed is that firefox uses 90mb ram but the total ram usage is still under 280mb

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  47. @Anonymous: I don't have any experience with Pinguy OS optimized for the Asus Eee PC, but I'm guessing that the RAM usage discrepancy you experienced (240 MB of RAM at idle versus 280 MB of RAM with Mozilla Firefox supposedly using 90 MB of RAM) could be related to what an earlier commenter said, in that core system processes use more resources when said resources are available and use less when the hardware resources are stretched thin on more intense processes (like Mozilla Firefox). Thanks for the comment!

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  48. hi there.. nice review,,, i have been using mint for a long time,,,, my idle ram usage is 180mb,,, and if most of my applets are running its 230mb, and in some cases in the live mode the ram usage does increase... (no all the time) its a nice system, also i tried mint xfce, my god the ram usage is down to 110mb!! nice review by the way,...... www.facebook.com/rebrams

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  49. @rahim: Yes, I have also found that Debian-based Linux Mint Xfce performs much better than Ubuntu-based Linux Mint LXDE. Thanks for the comment!

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  50. "PV said...

    @rahim: Yes, I have also found that Debian-based Linux Mint Xfce performs much better than Ubuntu-based Linux Mint LXDE. Thanks for the comment"!

    Xfce is perfect.
    It took some of my time to get accustomed to it (I know very well KDE and Gnome legacy), but it is my day to day workhorse now and I'm happy with it. When there would be no Xfce I would use the very good and Gnome-like Lxde.
    I tested for some weeks WattOS and I liked it very mucht. Mint Lxde is also fine. The only tiny hook I had was install of the printer. And not working of tkmixer which is a great tiny mixer, which I use in Xfce.

    And yes: a terrible review. Not 10% of what could be tested is done.

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  51. @Anonymous: Could you elaborate what else you specifically wanted from this? I specifically said that anything I didn't explicitly mention could be taken to be (and was) the same as in Linux Mint 11 "Katya" GNOME, which is why I didn't repeat myself in the post, so if you want more details in that regard, please refer to that post.

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  52. The quality of a distro shows in months in day to day use and with some installing and de-installing applications. And also: only installed on a partition. Not used from a usb-key.

    I understand that a tester can't always do it in this way. But in fact testing has to be thorough and profound. Arising problems with a distribution appear after time.

    And not only with Linux...

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  53. @Anonymous: Did you read the review? I didn't say the LXDE edition was bad; I said I didn't see any reason to use it over the GNOME edition. The things that are supposed to set it apart from the GNOME edition, like RAM consumption, can be measured in the live session only; thus, based on my testing, I see no reason to use it instead of the GNOME edition.

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  54. Hi PV,

    I agree that Mint LXDE is heavier than Lubuntu and even Pepermint OS (though you cannot compare Peppermint with Lubuntu and LXDE) Will the installation inside virtualbox give better results of RAM and CPU usage than RAM. Virtualbox does not help in hardware compatibility, while LIVE CD / USB does.

    The reason for increase in size of ISO is that Mint LXDE provides more system options than Lubuntu and gives mint tools. Mint LXDE has Gparted and vlc and some more system settings.

    I am just an end user, but

    1. Does more number of installed app increase RAM

    2. Number of drivers also effect RAM and boot time.

    i just found this thread where Kendel dev of both LXDE and Peppermint was giving inputs.

    http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=175&t=48859&p=285868

    Another link
    http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=58630&p=424821

    Thanks for the review.

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  55. @White Lotus: This certainly does explain a lot. Thanks for the tip!

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  56. I find it odd that out of this entire comment stream no one brought up the case I'm in. I run without a hard drive. every system i use is live, cd, DVD, USB. This review told me exactly what i needed to know and the reviewer told us directly that it was a review of a USB install. It seems a lot of people read the wrong review and just had to complain that it wasn't what they were after.

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    1. @Anonymous: I think that's basically what it is. In their defense, though, most reviews are of hard drive installation experiences, so I forgive them for naively expecting the same here. Thanks for the support!

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