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#1 2024-01-22 18:06

Registered: 2024-01-22
Posts: 2

What kind of tweaks does this distro introduce?

After knowing more about the linux ecosystem (specially Debian based distros) I'm left wondering what does distros like Q4OS do.
I saw a tweet about someone choosing this on an old Asus ee PC as antix wasn't as updated and 32-bit support is something you don't see everywhere.

For most Debian based I think lowering things down to a "raison d'Etre" helps figure out why the exist.
A lot of the time is mostly surface things like desktop enviroment and default apps.

Debian: Is the trunk of many distros, and apt/deb packages existence
Ubuntu: Debian but with updated gnome desktop
All the 'buntus: Another DE installed by default
PopOs: Ubuntu with easy nvidia drivers and design apps installed
Mint: Green ubuntu with gnome 2 design language DEs, also easy nvidia drivers
Kali: Debian with security config and apps

I could keep going but you get the idea.

I know Q4OS also has one of those top level configurations, after all, without it there wouldn't be much different from something like antix or void. In this case that's Trinity, based on KDE 3.5 but with updates.

Of course there's also other tweaks so you don't have to install Debian and strip down things manually, or install a minimal distro and then  install things so peripherals work.
And here comes the question, most of the work to make a lightweight distro is about turning down services, right? Might also be there a different selection of libraries, like a faster library, like OpenSSL vs LibreSSL that by themselves might not be much but end up adding up? Also think the init system might help a bit, Q4OS uses SystemD which has better compatibility but runnit might be lighter.

I don't want an exhaustive list ofc, just wanna know how many things I mentioned are true and to what extend and if I'm missing something, are there other settings like a different kernel or kernel parameters like zram turned on, etc...?


#2 2024-01-23 08:30

From: Belgium
Registered: 2020-07-28
Posts: 426

Re: What kind of tweaks does this distro introduce?

Maybe you could find this thread interesting: Keeping Q4OS light.

Q4OS machines: [Samsung R519 - Pentium T4200 2.0 GHz - 4 GB RAM - 500 GB SSD] & [Sony Vaio - Pentium P6000 1.87 GHz - 8 GB RAM - 500 GB SSD]


#3 2024-01-23 14:35

Registered: 2024-01-22
Posts: 2

Re: What kind of tweaks does this distro introduce?

Interesting, it mostly talks about one SSD optimization and now I'll have to check I'm actually using. While I only installed linux on a still more than capable i5-5200 with 8Gbs of RAM. I still have an older PC with a Core 2 Duo P8400 that is almost unusable due to a broken screen hinge. But sometimes I wonder what could it do nowdays, or what any other PC of that era if someone asked me to give new life to their PC.

On that old machine I used Ubuntu 12.04 back in the day until I had to switch to windows for video editing, but vista compatibility is not good. Nowdays you would defenitely have to run something like Q4OS to get a newer kernel, software and security fixes.

I also enjoy videos of people repairing and upgrading old PCs and the biggest RAM eaters nowdays are browsers, I found that on my i5 I mentioned above, turning off mitigations and using a different browser like Mercury or Thorium (AVX2 compiled firefox and Chrome for super fast speed) gave me almost like a 25-30% boost which is a lot, it even helped match my i7-9700H on windows on certain single-core javascript test I did which is mind-blowing.

Using a very minimalistic linux distro is still something that interests me, even on capable hardware, as I could for example render bigger scenes on Blender.

Something some of those old PC videos on youtube overlook is that apart from the browser, big websites using lots of CSS and javascript like Youtube have alternative front-ends like or safereddit and uforio for Reddit. (Twitter is a bit more complicated). I also think those site could be promoted by lightweight distros.

Also I wonder if these existed back then or are a new thing motivated by corporations insane tracking policy. Learning web dev made me curious about alternative front-ends for everything and CLIs for things UIs are too much.


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