I am actually an Xfce user but now I need a VM on my laptop and will use the LXDE edition as guest. Download is running, I’m quite excited!
Good work, LXDE is still very quick.
I don’t remeber ever seeing Lubuntu look this good.
So it turned out that the virtual install is in principle very fast (and also completely unproblematic, feels like one of the flagship editions), as I hoped it to be, but as soon as I launch Firefox (which I need for its developer tools) it seems to not matter any more which desktop is in use… :’(
Not to be rude, but what did you expect? When you boot Manjaro LXDE, the base system is started. That is small and therefore fast. But when starting another program, like Firefox, you start the same Firefox as on any other distro or desktop system resulting in the same time to start it.
Yep, I know. I don’t know what I expected, some miracle maybe, but as always miracles don’t happen. But nevertheless, the LXDE edition itself is very nice!
It is, I installed it in VM and it is fast with a light footprint. I am a real KDE fanatic and for me it is only KDE, but I try others in VM’s just to know about them.
As an Lubuntu user, and someone who actually likes Lubuntu, you are correct…Lubuntu has never looked this good OOTB!
Lubuntu requires heavy customization to suit my tastes. Manjaro requires tweaks. Thanos has done an excellent job!
I tried this now with manjaro architect. Seems to be working well, but is a bit on the heavy side for a lxde desktop. It boots up with about 370Mb ram used. To put it in context, the next release of gnome edition uses about 400Mb ram, and one can easily get to 370Mb on gnome by disabling tracker.
Since lightness is kind of the point of lxde, I would suggest doing some adjustments:
- replace pamac-notifier and msm-notifier with update-notifier. This would save you about 80Mb ram without losing significant functionality.
- bluetooth applet… It seems kind of heavy, but is also very useful for someone who uses bluetooth. Maybe add some easy way to disable it from autostart, but have it enabled by default?
I did not have any theming applied in lightdm, but this was probably case manjaro-architect and out of sync mirrors.
All in all, good job!
Something doesn’t seem right with your installation Chrysostomus. I’m not disputing your claims; in fact, I wholeheartedly agree that 370MB is a LOT for LXDE…eye-popping, in fact.
For comparison’s sake, my main rig runs a heavily customized version of Lubuntu that hovers around 170MB-190MB of RAM in its default state from a cold boot…and that includes compton and tint2 autostarting.
I have Thanos’ version of Manjaro LXDE running in a VM, hovering around 52MB, which is unbelievably low, in my experience…more like a naked Openbox or Fluxbox session. Screenshot:
Something is different with your install. I don’t know enough about Manjaro to say something is wrong, but I know a fair amount and have a LOT of experience with LXDE…enough to agree with your assertion that 370MB is high for an LXDE distro. The question is “why?”
Is it possible that the method of installation (Manjaro Architect) pulls in packages, or autostarts packages, that the Manjaro LXDE ISO does NOT? I’m scratching my head here, trying to guess what may be different…
Well htop an top show big difference in memory usage comparing to lxtask application. They use different methods to measure RAM usage and I don’t know which is the “correct” one. In my system lxtask shows about 300 MB of ram usage when both msm notifier and pamac tray are active, which is a bit lower comparing to the xfce edition.
@Chrysostomus update-notifier seems a good idea, but I’m trying to keep this edition as close as possible to the xfce official edition. I haven’t followed exactly all the latest changes/discussions but do you know if any other edition is going to use update-notifier?
About bluetooth applet, if I have understood correctly how it works, then it gets activated only if bluetooth hardware is detected on a system. So, if someone doesn’t want it, then he can disable it on his own.
Okay, when I check usage from lxtask, I am also at 380MB, so at least we’re getting pretty consistent readings when using the same tools on the same distro, but different rigs.
I have always used top as a benchmark, for consistency across distros and desktop environments. lxtask obviously calculates RAM usage differently than top or htop. But it hardly seems fair to use lxtask as the benchmark, as it’s typically only available in LXDE installations, or someone specifically installed that package. Gnome, XFCE, KDE all have their own implementation “task” managers, which I’m guessing also calculate RAM usage differently. For that reason, IMO, lxtask isn’t a reliable benchmark unless you’re comparing LXDE to LXDE. Just my opinion.
When considering a new desktop environment awhile ago, I did several “benchmark” readings on various desktop environments, on different distros, for an overall comparison. Nothing definitively scientific, but general readings of RAM usage in default states from cold boots. Here’s a table of those findings:
The only way to do this with any semblance of consistency was to use CLI tools, available on every distro. Again, certainly not definitively scientific, but it was absolutely close enough for me to assess what I was considering. By this metric, Manjaro LXDE would have placed very well on this table…no surprise, being a lightweight DE based on Arch, which generally scored better than every other distro I looked at. FWIW…
Likely a outdated profile with stuff that was eventually discarded. I measure use with ps_mem.
If the iso profile package is outdated.
Gnome edition, with shell extension that interfaces it. But with lxde I would use just cron or shell scripts. Bspwm edition uses it like that.
This is my Htop picture from the LxDE version of Manjaro in a Virtualbox VM:
Immediately after boot I opened a terminal en htop and saw 315M memory usage. Is that much for LxDE? I have no idea, I never used it before.
Yeah it’s a bit high. But if someone disables MSM Notifier, Update Notifier and Pint Queue Applet (in case of a full install) from Desktop Session Settings application and reboots, then the usage is significantly lower (around 240 MB) which is acceptable:
@Chrysostomus I gave your suggestion a good thought, but I am afraid that I will break the good user experience if I use update-notifier. I believe it’s better to keep it as it is, close to the xfce edition (after all I’m using many similar components like xfce4-power-manager, xfce4-notifyd, light-locker) which provides a good user experience even for new users. At the moment, update-notifier seems suitable for gnome (because of the extension) and window managers’ editions. If any other full desktop environment edition (like xfce or lxqt) decide to switch to that then I will probably follow, but now I don’t want this edition to have many differences.
I use this to have consistent comparison accros DE/OS, not perfect but consistent.
Good tips @Thanos_Apostolou!
I also note that @DeMus screenshot indicates that Manjaro LXDE is running in a VM, so some services are running that probably wouldn’t be running on bare metal, FWIW. I also note that their VM has 4GB of RAM available, but is using around 10% of that; while your screenshot shows 2GB of RAM, also using around 10% of that.
While it’s true that “the more RAM you have, the more RAM gets used”, I’m not sure if this applies to a default reading immediately after cold boot. Someone smarter than me will have to explain that.
But I absolutely agree that 300MB+ of RAM usage is kinda high for LXDE. In my experience, LXDE should probably use about 175MB-250MB of RAM in default state after cold boot, depending on how it’s configured and what distro it’s running on. With all that said, RAM usage is just a metric to be quantified. IMO, a distro’s “responsiveness” is what matters. And all you need to measure that is a user, a frame of reference/point of comparison, and an “eyeball test”.
IMO, as a user, it doesn’t really matter if your desktop uses 175MB or 275MB RAM in default state. If you click an application and it responds while you blinked, is it really worth measuring, or stressing over how many micro-seconds the delay was? JMO…
The startup time and responsiveness are what one would expect from lxde. But actual ram usage also matters some, because lxde is used on some very weak machines especially in developing countries.
Ok I did 3 clean installs on 3 vitualbox machines for the editions lxde, xfce and gnome. I installed ps_mem on all of them and I run it multiple times after fresh boot until the RAM usage got stable (some processes run at startup but then they get closed so after a few minutes the RAM usage it’s a bit lower).
The results are:
lxde 17.0.1: 340MB
xfce 17.0.2-preview1: 400MB
gnome 17.0.2-preview1: 640MB (EDIT: That was a bit high, so I ran it again and after some reboots the RAM consumption is about 570MB)
I think the best way forward is to keep things as they are (meaning keep pamac and msm notifier) and create a guide/tips&trics topic for manjaro lxde edition which will have some tips like using compton in case of screen tearing and some tricks to make the system lighter on resources. After I create this topic, then I will keep improving it and I will provide a link for it in every announcement of a new release.
P.S. all the systems were fully installed (not live session or anything). The virtualbox machines have identical characteristics (22GB disk space, 2GB of ram, 2 cpu cores, 120MB shared video memory).