In this piece I will show how the system usage differs among Live CD distributions running different Linux Windows Managers mainly on distros considered to be lightweight. The first distro we will look at is a bit dated, but it is the most recent Fluxbox edition of Linux Mint, Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition, and is a damn fine distro that I must say looks great and it’s fun to use. The next lowest contender in regards to initial system usage is PCLinuxOS 2011.08 Openbox edition. Thirdly, we are looking at Crunchbang 10 (Statler) running Openbox. Finally, for comparison’s sake we also looked at the modern, full-featured Gnome distro, Linux Mint 12. We booted each distro using default boot options, then opened a terminal window and ran the ‘ top ‘ command.
As you can see, this distro comes in at a svelte 536 MB of RAM usage upon intial boot
Next, we see a still slim offering from the PCLinuxOS team which comes in at 580 MB (this distro also curiously only saw 388MB of my 1GB swap space on my HD??)
The last offering we are looking at today is the latest Crunchbang distro, based on Debian that comes in at a very surprising 815 MB of RAM – I’m really puzzled by that number and I’d love to know why it comes in so high on this test. (this distro also did not even see my 1GB swap space on my HD??)
To show you what a current, standard distro uses we have included the latest Mint distro. As you can see it is running just past Crunchbang at 869 MB of RAM.
As you can see, the alternate Window Manager distros really do start with a lower system memory footprint, however that isn’t always the case we discovered by looking at Crunchbang.
This post proudly written using Firefox on Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition!