Lightweight Linux on Old Laptop, part 1: Xubuntu
My first attempt at creating such a thing came with Xubuntu 8.04. At first I tried to use the bundled Firefox 3 and Xfce desktop environment... but as it turned out, that was too much for the slow hard drive and processor of my old computer. I decided to replace Xfce with IceWM, an old favorite of mine. Similarly, I replaced Firefox 3 with Midori, a much lighter-weight web browser based on WebKit. I kept the Xfce terminal emulator though, because I much prefer it to
xterm and don't want to install
gnome-terminal. I also installed iDesk to provide some primitive desktop icons.
Here's a screenshot of my awesome new Linux desktop in action:
It is rather primitive, as you can see. Note the, uh, shamelessly ripped-off titlebar graphics. One problem remains, however: the computer takes far, far too long to boot up. It seems to me that, despite Xubuntu being relatively stripped-down compared to regular Ubuntu, it's still too bloated for my old computer. That is why this is only "part 1": my next plan is to see if I can build a super-lightweight Gentoo-based system for my old laptop, hopefully with something like software suspend (now TuxOnIce) to improve response times. At the same time, I might take a leaf from gOS (1.0)'s book and use the Enlightenment window manager.