Making a Pentium 4 Laptop useful with antiX

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  • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated Oct 9-10:25 pm by christophe.
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      antiX on a memory starved pentium 4 from 2003. Only 494 MB RAM. 2400 Mhz processor.

      It ran OK. The only problem (a big one, however) was that, with such a small amount of RAM, it was quickly using the swap partition. That caused a very distinct gap or pause when interacting with the computer.

      I dusted off one of my old go-to tools — zram.

      Zram uses a portion of RAM as the priority swap device. My logic told me this would make things worse. But it actually corrected the issue, to a large degree. It made this antique computer run adequately in 2022. Perhaps this can be chalked up to being part of the “antiX magic.”

      I recommend that anyone who is using an old memory-starved computer to enable zram on their antiX computer. It is pre-installed. Just run these two commands to enable it:

      sudo cp /usr/local/bin/zram /etc/init.d
      sudo update-rc.d zram defaults

      Then reboot. It will be enabled on startup. Use sudo sysv-rc-conf to disable it, if you don’t like it. (But I really think you will.)

      • This topic was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by christophe.

      confirmed antiX frugaler, since 2019


        Hello Christophe,
        this looks really promising.

        Some time ago Matheus from PC-Linux-OS Brazil has made me aware of a script, managing this zram thing. You might want to check it out (I hadn’t had time for this). This script may run in antiX as well (or may need some adaptions).

        It is downloadable as zip attachement at this Posting, and if any questions you can talk with him directly on #antiX-tranlators channel in IRC, he is frequently present there.

        Many greetings

        Windows is like a submarine. Open a window and serious problems will start.


          Regarding the antiX version of zram, it comes with a nicely preconfigured default of 20-25% of RAM being used (according to my experience). And that also appears to be an estimate based on the compression percentage it expects to get, so the amount of RAM used is much less than the size of the zram swap file reported.
          So, in antiX (I cannot speak to how any other distro handles it), it is preconfigured nicely. Once the 2 commands are run (as above), just reboot — and it’s active.

          confirmed antiX frugaler, since 2019

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