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Re: [school-discuss] Which is the fastest Desktop distro for schools?
Lincoln Peters wrote:
On Wed, 2004-11-03 at 06:07, Arjun Asthana wrote:
We are trying to promote Linux in schools. We have tied up with AMD to
provide PCs at low costs.
We want to find the fastest desktop distro so that the users can feel the
value of Linux.
Two really important questions:
1. What kind of specs do the computers have? CPU, memory, et al.?
2. What do students and teachers want to do on the computer? Any
specific proprietary applications you need to replace?
I'm not sure what the fastest desktop distro would be, but a few things
to look for:
* Kernel 2.6: It runs noticeably faster than the 2.4 kernel on the same
hardware; at least it does on every machine I've used. You might be
able to further improve performance by building a custom kernel for your
computers, but it's a major undertaking for anyone who hasn't built a
* For top speed, avoid GNOME and KDE. Try a lightweight window manager
like FVWM. You can still use GNOME and KDE applications while running a
different window manager.
You could also try Xfce. It may be a little heavier than FVWM, but it is
more GNOME/KDE-like and its goal is to be relatively light-weight and
Also, running KDE apps will cause most of the KDE support apperatus to
be loaded as well, which is neither light-weight nor particularly fast.
GNOME apps might be a little better in this regard (but don't quote me
on that or flame me, please, as I haven't actually measured it).
If you are not familiar with LTSP, you might want to take a look at
www.ltsp.org and http://www.riverdale.k12.or.us/linux/k12ltsp.html.
* Productivity applications are tricky; OpenOffice is notoriously large
(and thus rather slow), but no other programs are as complete. You
might be able to get away with AbiWord and Gnumeric for basic
word-processing and spreadsheets, but I'd keep OpenOffice available in
case they fall short.
Not knowing your specific needs, I'd recommend Debian/testing ("Sarge")
or a distro based on Debian/testing. Installation is fairly simple
(although not quite as simple as Fedora Linux), and the apt-get tools
make it very easy to add the applications you need and keep your systems
One can search the brain with a microscope and not find the
mind, and can search the stars with a telescope and not find God.
-- J. Gustav White
Don Christensen Senior Software Development Engineer
firstname.lastname@example.org Cisco Systems, Santa Cruz, CA
"It was a new day yesterday, but it's an old day now."