Improving opensuse performance (boot time and memory consumption)

Dear all,
I have a “weak” laptop that has one monocore 1.1GHz and 1.5Gb of Ram. I am using opensuse 12.2 and xfce. I am wondering if I Can improve opensuse boot time and memory consumption. Below is what I plan to do with my laptop is:

Looking and replying emails
Connecting over ssh to remote connections and using screen
connecting with remote desktop or freenx to remote clients
Editing documents in openoffice
Running R
Editing latex documents

I do not plan to run any server on my system.

Do you think that are services that start on beginning that I can disable to speed up boot time as well as memory consumption?

I Would like to thank you in advance for your reply


One thing you can do is compile your kernel yourself. Just optimizing the kernel can yield you a performance increase as well as return some memory to you for other uses.

WARNING: if you are new to Linux, I wouldn’t necessarily try this - you can hose your system up pretty well if you exclude something you need (speaking from experience).

I can provide links that will help if you can’t find any on your own.

For bootup speed ups, using the fstab option called noatime as well as placing the partitions in order 1 through the highest as determined by the YaST / System / Partitioner will help speed up booting. Here is an example of using noatime in my fstab file.

/dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD6000HLHX-01JJPV0_WD-WXA1C20K0415-part1           /home                ext4       defaults,**noatime **                     1 2

This is just one line of many from my /etc/fstab file you can add yourself and then doing a system restart for them to take effect. I have a bash script you can use to make this change with here:

For removing unneeded services, you can try my bash script kernel compiler in Turbo Mode on the positive side, it will be the fastest and leanest you can get the kernel to run. On the negative side, any hardware module not loaded, because you were not using it at compile time will not be there later for you. You can connect up all hardware, put a disk in each CD and plug in all Thumb drivers before you compile or just recompile again without Turbo Mode. Your original kernel will be untoched and usable by doing a restart. Have a look here:

For fast reboots have a look at my Fastboot Utility:

And for working with the new Grub 2 OS boot Utility have a look here:

And if you like these bash scripts, write your own using this:

And you can get a copy of all of my best work from one script here:

Thank You,

I would like to thank everyone for their replies.
I would skip at the beginning any kernel modifications. I am mostly talking about services that I can disable based on the work I want to do . Any tips on that?

Btw, on web sites I have found people saying that opensuse is bloated and too slow (someone was even writing that 1.1GHz and 1.5GB ram==my system, I will not be able even to work). My experience though is quite different :slight_smile:

Once upon a time back in 2007 a young aspiring Linux user went to a popular distribution listing and review site. On the list of the most popular he saw the one recommended to him, openSUSE. However alas, in the downsides of the distribution it listed it as bloated and slow. Oh dear. He did not want that. It was why he was leaving Windows in the first place. This user decided to go with Ubuntu instead.

Though luckily his curiosity got the better of him. Later he tried openSUSE that was earlier recommended to him. It was not bloated and slow. It was fantastic! openSUSE 10.3, and he even bought a box set of it. Luckily so. In the next few years the user did not have home internet access so the dvd included all the software he needed. So he happily used openSUSE offline for years, just asking a friend to burn him the dvd on the next version. Though when he had internet again, he returned to Ubuntu and later Debian because of the active communities and to follow other peers.

Lastly tiring of (in his opinion) buggy, rapidly changing, or difficult to configure distributions, he decided to try openSUSE again. Yup, still as great as ever. And now he is back and an active member for the forums again not since 2009, hoping to help folk who made the same decision as him, that might have a bit of a rockier start. :slight_smile:

The moral of the story is, not everything read is true, or at the very least still true. Only you can judge if what you are using is sufficient for your needs, but we will help you out as much as we can.

To comment on your post helpfully; I will say that your specifications should work fine using any openSUSE desktop. Just use 32-bit. As 64-bit uses a lot more memory. The only potential issue is the gpu, if it is not so powerful or buggy you might have a poor experience. You might even be better off using fbdev or vesa drivers if so. You will not have 3d, but it shouldn’t be that buggy. Also the cpu may be a teeny bit slow for some tasks, though it should be adequate. Though absolutely nothing you do will fix that. Programs and especially browsing the web just need MUCH more cpu these days.

I will say I am using openSUSE xfce 64-bit, installed from the dvd image. Though I copied the dvd image to a usb flash drive (not a dvd) to install from, so it is possible but requires a few steps. I have 2.2ghz, 2 cores, and 3gb ram. Everything is fast and I probably will never even touch swap.

So I guess until you have tried every Linux release there is, it is hard to know if something faster exists, but openSUSE is not bloated in anyway and faster, with my tweaks, than Ubuntu or Mint, both of which I can boot. Every distro has its good points and bad I suppose, but bloated is a not a problem with openSUSE. openSUSE is considerably more customizable than any other version of Linux I have tried. I can say that Linux Mint is what I might suggest to anyone wanting a full multimedia experience with little knowledge about Linux and if you want to use what everyone else seems to be using, based on other publications, go for Ubuntu I guess. First off, I wish every Linux distro only the best of Luck and that you should not believe everything you hear without giving it a try yourself. With a little help from the openSUSE forum, you can have an Linux installation that can not be beat by any other Linux copy you could download and install. And, do not discount the ability to compile and install your own kernel version. The SAKC bash script makes easy enough to compile your own kernel that a six year old can do it, trust me on this.

Thank You,

Well, at least, one thing that you absolutely know is that whoever made that comment was talking rubbish…

There has been the comment that openSUSE is somehow bloated. If you want to make oS bloated, and you think that bloat consists of having loads of stuff installed that you never use, you can achieve this by installing everything that oS has to offer. You do not have to do this and it may not even slow your system down appreciably, but you could, if you wanted to. It would be hard to blame openSUSE for this, because it isn’t the default and oS does gives you more granularity of installation than some systems, so if it is a problem that you have, it is a problem that you have chosen to have.

Aside from the ‘noatime’ tweak, suggested above, and which you may already have, I’d say the next thing would be to look at the GUI.

Probably avoid KDE or Gnome in favour of XFCE or something lighter. If you feel that you must have KDE, there are some things that can make it a bit lighter, such as disabling any ‘symantic desktop’ or indexing features, but KDE will always be a bit heavyweight.

Have you had a look at what services you are running and how much memory those services are taking? you can get a snapshot from, eg,

top -b -n 1

but be aware that the memory numbers can be a bit difficult to interpret.

Or this, perhaps?

I will read through this when I get more time, but even the index is bigger than the normal time I want to spend reading. lol!

Thank You,

That’s why I made that post nice and short, to allow extra time for reading the info in the link.:wink:

I will check again for kernel recompliation but is not very clear how this is gonna make system faster. Is the kernel that makes booting time slow?

I guess that this also has to do with the number of services starting on start up and half of those might not be needed for my case (this is the reason that at the first post I gave a list of what I plan to use). Do you see any point in my post, in disabling specific services for improving load time? If yes which ones do you think I should remove?


The bottom line on this subject is that almost all easy to do speed ups have already been made to the kernel-desktop everyone gets by default. After that, there is no single set of things you can do to make your setup faster and it is up to you to dive into the possible things you can do. What comes next is based on your hardware setup and just what you actually use your PC for. We got this link that points to a complete document on the subject here:

openSUSE 12.2: System Analysis and Tuning Guide

Have you looked at this link and if not you are going to have to read through it to find out more. I gave you MANY pointers to several files including the bash script SAKC. Did you look at any of those links I posted for you? Any person can compile a kernel using SAKC and if you use the Turbo Mode, only the kernel drivers for your hardware will get loaded and nothing else. This will produce the fastest running kernel you can setup and there are caveats about using the Turbo Mode I have mentioned. I suggested you add the noatime value to each partition load command in your /etc/fstab file as root which helps speed up all activity to your disks as no writes are made based on when you just read your disk files last. And for a real system speed up, consider buying a SSD drive and loading openSUSE on to it which puts disk reads and writes as fast as main memory. As for services, if you go into YaST / System / System Services (Runlevel), you will find a minimum of services are activated by default and since switching to and using systemd, those service are already optimized by default.

The easy fixes are already in and you are not going to find any others just laying around for easy pickings, else they would already have been used. We did read your opening message, but its just not as easy as disabling two services activated by default that you don’t need. At least I don’t think it is else I would have already done it. But I can be shown the error of my ways by any example put forth here. And if I did not say so before, I wish you only the best of luck in setting up your openSUSE system to work just as you want it to work.

Thank You,