[mythtv-users] desktop environment efficiencies.

Nick Rout nick.rout at gmail.com
Sat Nov 14 21:52:53 UTC 2009

On Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 10:17 AM, Michael T. Dean
<mtdean at thirdcontact.com> wrote:
> On 11/14/2009 04:10 PM, Johnny wrote:
>>> I agree that a Desktop Environment is a waste.  And--though I'm guessing
>>> on
>>> this--I /think/ that with any of the major Myth distros, you can
>>> configure
>>> them to show the Desktop Manager (i.e. GDM or KDM) on bootup rather than
>>> automatically logging in, then you can select a Window Manager
>>> (FluxBox/RatPoison/twm/fcwm...) or Desktop Environment (GNOME/KDE/XFCE)
>>> for
>>> your X session--depending on how you plan to use the system during that
>>> session.
>>> It's not exactly what you want--but it's not too far from it (and only
>>> requires logout/login to switch).
>> I know that with GDM when you change your session it prompts you to
>> see if you want to use that session as default. So it is easy to
>> change your default session to whatever window manager or desktop you
>> want.
>> This is my personal opinion, but I think a lot of folks worry about
>> this stuff out of habits from the past rather than any real benefit to
>> the user experience, power, etc. Xfce or even Gnome are going to use
>> somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-100 MB. On a system that is just
>> running mythtv and has a 1 - 2 GB of RAM this really isn't an issue. I
>> know there are still lots of people on older hardware with < 512 MB or
>> RAM. But at some point you have to wonder is this worth the hassle or
>> is my time better used by spending $15 on a stick of RAM and enjoying
>> the convenience of a modern desktop. I have a combined FE/BE and I
>> have been thinking about switching from Xfce back to Gnome just so
>> things are cleaner and nicer looking when I am occasionally doing
>> stuff outside of myth. I have 2 GB of memory and I just don't think it
>> is going to have any impact on my user experience inside of mythtv. If
>> you are someone that likes to tweak things to get a minimalist setup,
>> then more power to you. But for the average user on a modern system it
>> going to be easiest to just stick with the default setup.
> Very good points--it's not 1999, anymore.  And thanks for the follow-up on
> my desktop manager guesses.
> One additional point, though--some Window Managers used by Desktop
> Environments may impact Myth usage.  (Where "some" is read as "Compiz"--its
> use of OpenGL may cause issues with OpenGL/VDPAU/... in Myth. ;)  But note
> that you should be able to change the Window Manager used within the Desktop
> Environment.  If you don't see issues with it, using such a Window Manager
> is not a problem, but if you do, try switching Window Managers (even within
> the Desktop Environment).

as a data point i run mythbuntu and therefore xfce on a p4 2.8GHz with
512M Ram. I see no issues arising out of mem usage for the desktop. I
wouldn't bother with trying gnome or kde though.

I have used ratpoison on a gentoo setup on much lower hardware and it
was fine too.

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