I have a dual boot of Windows XP and OpenSuse 11.3. It’s a pretty old computer (1.5 Ghz processor, 300MB RAM) so I install an XFCE desktop environment on 11.3. It still pretty sluggish though. Just wondering if anyone else is using XFCE…? I am considering buying more RAM for the computer to bring it up to 800MB. As it is, it can’t play a DVD - top and sar commands show that machine is absolutely maxed out, although Windows XP can play the same DVD without any issues. I am guessing that it’s the shortage of RAM which is causing the issue.



I have an old PIII with 256 RAM with opensuse 11.1 that works fairly with xfce and xp.
Maybe you can try LXDE. My son no longer use it so I have not touch it for a while.
Tomorrow I will try to load a newer version of opensuse with xfce and see if things change
with newer version. Stay tuned!

With 300MB of RAM (a weird amount btw), you should rather use LXDE or icewm. XFce is just NOT a lightweight desktop anymore.

It’s funny how looking for an answer, not only did i find one but actually replied.

I recently (last week) managed to restore into a working condition an “old” HP Dv2000 laptop. it’s an Intel Core Solo 1.86 GHz laptop, with only 512 MB ram. Loving openSuse i installed the LXDE distro (downloaded the openSuse 11.3 iso from the LXDE.org webite).

The laptop is running quick and smooth. love it !! better than Win XP installed on it before. I was still curious about XFCE. But this thread (and others i read) basically answered my question. looks like i will stay with LXDE.

I went to look on the PIII, problem is one memory stick is dead and was left only with 128 mb
Anyway I checked another one with 11.2, it is a P4 1.7 GHz with 1.5 GB ram with xfce
and runs fast and play videos with no hassle.

I made a quick Memory usage comparison between several wms in this post.

Sorry, I meant to say I am using LXDE… not XFCE.

icewm uses less RAM but is not freedesktop compliant, meaning it is a ‘traditionnal’ window manager organized in its own way, unlike KDE, Gnome, XFCE and LXDE which all handle menus in a similar manner. You could give it a try.


Check TOP, what process(es) are maxing your CPU?