Bonus: Debian 6.0.7 at 500Mhz, 256Mb

I had a little extra time today, so I did a ritual backup of my standard Arch Linux framebuffer system, and installed the full Gnome suite to the Solo.

The results were not as disappointing as you might have imagined.


Debian has always done a good job keeping the lid on Gnome’s grotesque proportions. The full desktop is floating on +/- 100Mb out of the 256Mb available, with just a tease of swap.

Responsiveness is acceptable, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t lag a little bit. I expect as much though.

What’s reassuring about this is, with a lighter desktop environment (LXDE being the obvious choice), I daresay 500Mhz might actually be more or less usable.

And I never thought I’d say this but … after years of Ubuntu Unity desktops, and the passé Gnome 3 arrangement, a la Fedora … it’s actually quite nice to see an old-fashioned desktop like this.

Call me crazy. Everybody else does. 😉

Even more odd though: Lately I resent having to poke at the touchpad and wade through menus to get applications started. Perhaps I have finally gone over to the dark side … a full-time tiling WM fan. 😯

7 thoughts on “Bonus: Debian 6.0.7 at 500Mhz, 256Mb

  1. Yu-Jie Lin

    “.. wade through menus to get applications started.”

    I use dwm and I don’t not have a menu to start a program. I use bashrun1 [1], which essentially still a launcher in terminal. So I still type in command with tab-completion support–from Bash–to start any programs I need, it can be from the terminal window (for this, of course, I have keybinding in dwm) to web browsers, to Libre Office, or any executable searchable in PATH.

    I only use mouse in GUI programs, well, not entirely, I use keyboard in Firefox, with awesome help of Pentadactyl add-on (a Vimperator fork).

    Going to the “dark side” does not mean you will have to lose the super power of terminal or from using keyboard. As matter of a fact, you can have the best of both worlds.

    By the way, I miss the old light blue color title bar, that reminds me of Fedora a lot, I haven’t had window decorator/border for very long long time.


    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Yes, the title bars and application bars were kind of nice to see again. I never thought I’d admit that, but there it is.

      Ordinarily, if I use Xorg, I either use IceWM mangled to look like this, or Musca, with everything I need tied to Mod4 hotkeys. Anything outside of that I can use dmenu for.

  2. Onyros

    K., you’re back! 🙂 and for a long time already, glad to read you again!

    I miss good old Gnome2, but the only Debian installation I’m running these days is already on Wheezy – an old iMac G3 (400MHz PowerPC) with 256MB, which just can’t handle youtube (gnash) or video of any kind but specifically transcoded to play there, though it chugs along nicely for pretty much everything else. I posted a picture somewhere on the Arch forums some time ago.

    Anyway, glad to have you back! Take care 😉

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Howdy! Long time no see! I can sympathise with your G3; this Solo has only enough power to show the weakest of videos, and probably next to nothing with Gnome running in the background.

      When I strip it down to the framebuffer it gets a little power back, but there’s not much to start with. 😉


  3. Pingback: Links 9/3/2013: Ubuntu Backlash, FSF Event Coming | Techrights

Comments are closed.