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Browser speed

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Browser speed
« on: April 08, 2015, 10:14:00 AM »
 

ChrisL

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Although I have newer machines I use, I have a couple older Pentium 4 boxes (2.66 and 2.8 Ghz, 533 bus (both), 2 Gb ram on both) that I like playing around with. I dual boot as there are some XP games that won't run on Wine.  I don't go on-line with the XP side due to security concerns, etc so frequently go on-line with the Linux side.   


I have tried a bunch of Distros on these machines, especially those with low system requirements.  Usually these run quite well and fast until I hit the icon to pull up a browser ... then it takes forever to get a browser window open.  Once open it will take forever to pull up Gmail,etc.  Obviously if it's Chrome or a similar browser it is somewhat quicker the next time as it's running something in the background, but still slow.


 I was recently watching the resource usage when I hit the browser icon and the CPU did not max out (pretty close though 90+%, the memory did not max out, no swap used.  So, based on this I figured it's limited by bus speed or something and that's as good as it is going to get.  I am always trying new Distros though, more of a hobby than anything , and last week I loaded a Debian-testing based Distro, I think it was Sparky Linux, and the browsers (relatively) screamed! I would say they came up 5X faster than on the Ubuntu releases tried, and once up loading new pages was faster!  After a couple days of trouble with Sparky though I gave up.  For whatever reason Debian does not seem to run well on these older boxes of mine and I getinto enless loops, can't load drivers, etc.  I liked the speed though, so tried some more Debian based Distros, the last I tried was a Makulu Distro.  I really liked it, but again had some issues and gave up.  Then I noticed that Makulu had a Ubuntu based Distro, and figured "what the heck ..." and tried that.  I seems stable, and the browsers are quite fast.  I should note that most of these Distros tried (incl. Makulu) used xfce (or a similar lightweight DE if the Distro did not have xfce as an option).


So, what's the deal ... why do browsers run faster in Debian (even though I can't use them), and why are browsers running much faster on Makulu (7.1) Ubuntu based than other Ubuntu based Distros I have tried?  This would lead me to believe that a lot of the speed issue I am experiencing is due to OS/software not my old hardware.  What effects browser speed (way beyond my knowledge but I find it puzzling)?  Anyone have and ideas, just curious more than anything?


Chris   
 


Re: Browser speed
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2015, 11:51:34 PM »
 

N4RPS

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Hello!

Are you using Firefox, or something else? On Debian systems (which, to me, seem to run faster than their Ubuntu counterparts), they use browsers like SeaMonkey and IceWeasel. They're still based on Mozilla technology, but seem to run faster than Firefox seems to. Add-ons could also be a factor.

Midori is a very fast, but less capable browser. Compared to some of the other browsers, it is still 'not quite there yet'...

73 DE N4RPS
Rob


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Re: Browser speed
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2015, 07:44:31 AM »
 

ChrisL

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Hey Rob,

No, I am not using any of the lightweight browsers.  I compared Chrome, Firefox, and Slimjet (which is pretty much Chrome).  I tried them first use, and follow-on use.

They were all faster on Debian based systems (lightweight systems) than on Ubuntu (lightweight) systems except for the Makulu Ubuntu based, which is "Debian fast".  I wish now I had timed them but honestly on these old boxes it's essentially day/night ... a couple seconds vs. 10-15.  Maybe something to do with memory use, or ??  In no case was swap used (2Gb ram).  Just curious.

Chris
 

Re: Browser speed
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2015, 08:28:33 AM »
 

N4RPS

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Hello!

I wonder if your having a swap file = RAM might not help with that?

73 DE N4RPS
Rob


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Re: Browser speed
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2015, 08:45:46 AM »
 

ChrisL

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Hello!

I wonder if your having a swap file = RAM might not help with that?

73 DE N4RPS
Rob


I have swap files of about 4Gb on these machines, but it is not being used.  The RAM memory use is not maxing out either. One of the 1st things I do is plug a resource monitor into the panel and swap is not being utilized; both of these older machines have 2Gb Ram which is all they can accept.  It is interesting in that I have been looking for Distos with extremely low resource usage thinking that would keep them "snappy".  Some of the faster OS though are using more memory routinely than the slower systems (again though, none of the systems slow/fast swap at all when opening browsers).

Chris
Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 08:47:53 AM by ChrisL
 

Re: Browser speed
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2015, 09:16:45 AM »
 

rokytnji

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Short answer. Processes running.
Tasks: 106 total,   1 running, 105 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie

in my Debian install running icewesel 38.0
replying to this post.
Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 09:19:51 AM by rokytnji
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Re: Browser speed
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2015, 04:11:58 PM »
 

ChrisL

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Short answer. Processes running.
Tasks: 106 total,   1 running, 105 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie

in my Debian install running icewesel 38.0
replying to this post.
So, if I fire up a Makulu machine running Slimjet, it looks pretty similar, a few more processes but all but 1 sleeping.  What is "sleeping", and are you indicating that is the reason for for faster browsers?  Is this a consistent typical difference Debian vs. Ubuntu?  Not advocating Debian by the way as I have had a lot of issues with it, just trying to understand.
 

Re: Browser speed
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2015, 06:01:43 PM »
 

rokytnji

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Quote
What is "sleeping", and are you indicating that is the reason for for faster browsers?

No. I said short answer since your question delves into how a distro is built.
Links2 or Dillo browser pulls less cpu and ram than Firefox or Chrome.
UZBL browser also.

I have no dog in this hunt so all I can say is use

Code: [Select]
man top
to answer your curiosity on this subject.
I know what runs good on my P3 IBM T23 and Ubuntu is not in it.
Neither is systemd.

Your question is too general and complicated for a nice simple answer.
I figure your drag on start up is probably processor and video driver related
maybe. But I cannot say on the limited info in this thread. All I can do is guess
and like I said. I have no dog in this hunt.
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Re: Browser speed
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2015, 06:31:49 PM »
 

ChrisL

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Your question is too general and complicated for a nice simple answer. 
I figure your drag on start up is probably processor and video driver related
maybe. But I cannot say on the limited info in this thread. All I can do is guess
and like I said. I have no dog in this hunt.

If you read through earlier in the thread, I was comparing the same browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Slimjet) in each Distro.  I understand the lightweight browsers will be quicker, but ultimately don't do what I want so why compare them?

Yeah, I know about "top" but unfortunately I have not been using that every time I loaded a Distro (wish I had been more methodical now).  I suppose as you indicate there is no simple answer to this question.  I have no dog in the hunt either, just had some questions trying to understand a little more.


Thanks,
                  Chris
 


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