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Hi all, Linux Newb here.

I've just installed SuSE 9.0 Pro on an older machine as follows:
P-II 300MHx
256MB Ram
nVidia GeForce2 MX (?)

I'm finding the KDE environment very slow. Most apps seem to take 30-60 seconds to open and I don't see a lot of HD activity while waiting.

A colleague mentioned that the KDE version that ships with SuSE9.0 is known for being slow and is expected to be improved in the next KDE release.

I'm just wondering if there are any basic tweaks I can make to speed things up a little. It's an old desktop, and meant just for me to learn a little Linux. Blazing speed isn't a priority. Basically I installed pretty much the default package.

Thanks in advance.
If you really want it to run well, downgrade to on older version of KDE or switch to a lighter desktop like Enlightement or WindowMaker. The new versions of KDE are ment to be run on fast machines, that of which yours in definitely not. I wouldn't even both trying to slim down KDE (though it can be done) and just switch.

If you really want to try to slim down KDE go into the "Configuer my Desktop" menu and turn off anything like window decorations, animations, transperent windows, anything like that. That will help get you started. But really, KDE is not the GUI to run on old machines.
I agree with lest0039 ... KDE is going to be slow on that machine (as would GNOME be as well).

You will also need to pick your programs wisely ...

I use AbiWord (word processor), Gnumeric (spreadsheet), Firefox (browser), aterm (command terminal), evolution (e-mail) and fluxbox as my GUI (along with XFree86) on a pII 367 laptop with 192mb RAM.

When I open GNOME on the laptop, it shows 25512 kb free and 166320 kb used with nothing running but a terminal. For GNOME 65 processes are running ... and after 5 minutes of doing nothing but running top I have 2560 kb RAM free, everything else in use. This doesn't leave any resources to run programs at all.

If I load the fluxbox desktop (instead of GNOME) and have aterm open right after boot, the command free shows 111048 kb ram free and 80784 kb in use. There are only 48 processes running. After 5 minutes of running top, still only 48 processes and only 81104 kb in use.

I don't have KDE installed to check.

I have openoffice installed, but I only use it to open other peoples files that are sent to me via e-mail.

Your problem (like mine) is that when you open programs, it starts using swap space. You can help prevent this in 2 ways ... use a light window manager like fluxbox, icewm, xfce, blackbox, etc. ... or increase your physical RAM. I have a pIII 800mhz test machine with 768mb RAM and it runs great with gnome and KDE.
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