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Re: Is Sarge too slow for a Toshiba Portege 330CT?

On 11 May 2005, at 2:11 pm, Nacho wrote:


I have a Toshiba Portege 330CT which actually runs Debian woody, its main
features are this:

Pentium 133 Mhz
32 Mb RAM
1'6 Gb Hard Disk

The fact is that it's enough for how I use it, mainly text programs like mutt,
slrn, w3m, bitch, vim, mp3blaster and sometimes firefox or staroffice.

My doubt is if I should upgrade it to Sarge or not, my main concern is that it could be slower, maybe because the size of shared libraries or something similar; also it runs a 2.2.x kernel which supports all of the hardware it has, but not the IR port, anyway I think no kernel version does because Toshiba
never released the information about that chip.

I run Sarge on a similar vintage machine:

Toshiba Libretto 100CT
133 MHz Pentium
12 GB hard disk

I don't use it for any interactive work; it sits on a shelf with its lid shut, permanently powered from the mains (its battery is long since defunct - works well enough to protect the machine from power glitches, but that's it), and it runs my home network's core services; DNS/DHCP, apache, Exim, mailman, squid, samba etc. 64MB is a bit of a stretch for all of this, but it *does* manage it.

Sarge requires a kernel 2.4.x or 2.6.x to run? or it can run with a old 2.2.x

My Libretto actually got faster when I moved to a 2.6 kernel. I don't think you need worry on that score.

For example, when I upgraded it from Debian 2.2 to Debian 3.0 I noted that it was much slower when using apt, because the list of packeges was much bigger and so it had to swap memory to be able to install new packages and so...

That is a problem; dselect et al are *really* slow on my Libretto because of the memory issues, and I have twice as much memory as you... here's the output of free, on a typical day:

14:51:43 tim@libretto:~$ free
total used free shared buffers cached Mem: 62192 59232 2960 0 1260 19740
-/+ buffers/cache:      38232      23960
Swap:       128512      36708      91804

So it is managing to use a fair bit of its RAM for disk cache, but there's also a goodly chunk of swap in use. I think 32 MB will be OK as long as you don't try running too much at a time.

Also I have read that Sarge use much disk space that woody, so maybe I would
also have problems with that...

Possibly; I upgraded my Libretto from its original 2GB disk to a 12 GB disk, which is loads of room, but watch out for the old 8.1 GB BIOS disk size limit if you're going to use the laptop's hardware suspend-to-disk feature (assuming the Portege works the same way as the Libretto). The partition layout on my Libretto is a bit odd as a result:

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1               1         279     2241036    b  W95 FAT32
/dev/hda2   *         280         304      200812+  83  Linux
/dev/hda3 305 320 128520 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda4             321        1467     9213277+   5  Extended
/dev/hda5             321        1017     5598621   83  Linux
/dev/hda6            1029        1467     3526267+  83  Linux

Notice the hole between cylinders 1017 and 1029 - this is the unpartitioned space at the 'end' of the disk, as far as the BIOS is concerned, and is where the BIOS will suspend the machine to if I put it to sleep.


Dr Tim Cutts
GPG: 1024/D FC81E159 5BA6 8CD4 2C57 9824 6638  C066 16E2 F4F5 FC81 E159

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