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Thread: Recommend light weight Gnome 2 alternative in OpenSuse 13.1

  1. #1

    Default Recommend light weight Gnome 2 alternative in OpenSuse 13.1

    I'm about to install OpenSuse on my mum's old laptop and I'm not sure about what environment to choose. The laptop is currently running openSuse 11.3 with Gnome 2 and that's what my mum's used to. As far as I know, Gnome 2 is no longer available, so I'm looking for something that's as similar to Gnome 2 as possible and also as lightweight as possible since the laptop is quite old.

    I came across LXDE, XFCE and Mate. LXDE should be the most lighweight whereas Mate should be the closest to Gnome 2. But I haven't really used any of them (I'm a KDE user). So what would you recommend?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Recommend light weight Gnome 2 alternative in OpenSuse 13.1

    On 2014-07-21 09:16, tobice wrote:
    >
    > I'm about to install OpenSuse on my mum's old laptop and I'm not sure
    > about what environment to choose. The laptop is currently running
    > openSuse 11.3 with Gnome 2 and that's what my mum's used to. As far as I
    > know, Gnome 2 is no longer available, so I'm looking for something
    > that's as similar to Gnome 2 as possible and also as lightweight as
    > possible since the laptop is quite old.


    Try XFCE.

    It uses the same libraries and some tools as gnome 3, but the look and
    feeling is similar to Gnome 2. It is what I use.

    Mate I have not tried, I don't remember if it is available out of the
    box on openSUSE.

    LXDE is very lightweight, but I don't like it much: it does not remember
    the session on logout for the next session, and that for me is
    important. I use it on another laptop, very old, that I use as small
    server (it has no battery).

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.

    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" (Minas Tirith))

  3. #3

    Default Re: Recommend light weight Gnome 2 alternative in OpenSuse 13.1

    Thank you. i've installed XFCE and so far it seems ok. It's slow but the laptop is really old

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Recommend light weight Gnome 2 alternative in OpenSuse 13.1

    On 2014-07-22 07:56, tobice wrote:
    >
    > Thank you. i've installed XFCE and so far it seems ok. It's slow but the
    > laptop is really old


    Typically memory is more of a hurdle in Linux than the CPU.

    So the first idea would be to try increase RAM, if possible and
    economical - some old RAM modules are now more expensive than they were
    originally, because those chips are scarce (they became obsolete).

    Lacking that possibility, the other one is to improve swap. If the
    machine can have two or more hard disks, then distributing swap with the
    same priority over them spreads the load.

    Also, with more than one hard disk, files can be distributed. For
    instance, root in one disk, usr in another, home in another. But only
    some high end laptops can do that.

    If using several hard disks is not possible, replacing the rotating,
    magnetic media hard disk with an SSD, one that has reasonable fast
    sustained write speed (there is variance here, and flash media tend to
    be slow in this respect). These things are relatively expensive, but
    results are often spectacular.

    However, if the machine is too old, maybe it does not have a modern
    style SATA port, and you will not be able to replace the HD at all.


    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.

    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" (Minas Tirith))

  5. #5

    Default Re: Recommend light weight Gnome 2 alternative in OpenSuse 13.1

    Oh thanks for the tips. The thing is that my mum isn't really demanding when it comes to performance. As long as it works, somehow, it doesn't matter. I also believe that any investment in such an old laptop (at least 7-8 years) would be waste of money.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Recommend light weight Gnome 2 alternative in OpenSuse 13.1

    On 2014-07-22 09:26, tobice wrote:
    >
    > Oh thanks for the tips. The thing is that my mum isn't really demanding
    > when it comes to performance. As long as it works, somehow, it doesn't
    > matter. I also believe that any investment in such an old laptop (at
    > least 7-8 years) would be waste of money.


    It is a risky investment, if it breaks down for some other reason.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.

    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" (Minas Tirith))

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Recommend light weight Gnome 2 alternative in OpenSuse 13.1

    Recently someone mentioned Cinnamon on opensuse mailing list. http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse/2.../msg00766.html

  8. #8

    Default Re: Recommend light weight Gnome 2 alternative in OpenSuse 13.1

    Quote Originally Posted by arvidjaar View Post
    Recently someone mentioned Cinnamon on opensuse mailing list. http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse/2.../msg00766.html
    I second Cinnamon as a recommendation for DE (I prefer it over KDE or GNOME3 actually) but it may not be fast enough for an old laptop if it struggles with XFCE. Also with the latest 2.3.0 there seem to be some configuration applets missing (at least for me) for Bluetooth, display and power management (I opened a thread here and filed a bug on BugZilla (bug 888137). The bugzilla is likely not properly assigned though. I can sort of work around this by setting everything in GNOME3, then using
    Code:
    cinnamonh --replace
    to launch Cinnamon with whatever display, power and network settings GNOME was using but it's not perfect. But it's such a pleasure to use Cinnamon that I bear with it for now.

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