Saturday, February 05, 2011

WattOS distro review

WattOS is a very fast Ubuntu based distro which i have started using now on my not-so-old laptop (Dell Vostro). I tried several re-mastered Ubuntu distros but somehow i was not getting the optimum performance out of my laptop. It was generally running slower than my work laptop which has windows XP and even though my Vostro has modest RAM and processor but even with Ubuntu (Gnome desktop one) i could see the processor being used upto 40% with just some apps in operation (an IDE, a terminal etc). Also the browsing speed was sub-par. With WattOS i see the performance on the same Vostro laptop very good. I hope this is going to remain stable. WattOS only supports 32 bit for now and even though my Vostro has Core 2 Duo (64 bit processor) i was ok with using a 32 bit distro too as even Ubuntu site mentions that 32 bit edition is more stable release. It uses LXDE/OpenBox desktop environment. WattOS uses the latest Ubuntu Linux as a basis using only the core system and then slowly adding base modules to ensure a small memory footprint, and speed.

I tried several distros before and even liked them but had it been a faster machine the distros like pinguy OS are very good and beautiful indeed but for my Vostro they were just too bulky. WattOS does not come with any games at all nor does it have several of the applications that come with the standard Ubuntu distribution but comes with bare minimal of the applications only - for office they have AbiWord, Leafpad for text editior, KeepassX for password management, fotoxx for photo management, Firefox as the default browser (which i replaced with Chromium), and then you have the Synaptic Package manager to add any other that you want. I will be using this system mostly for Java development and programming stuff and not for any document editing at all (as for those i have a windows 7 desktop) so i wont care too much about how complete a desktop it has and i will prefer if it does not have too many extra apps that i will not use like at all. So i am happy with the speed and performance of the machine and feel like my old laptop is rejuvenated. I wish i had found such an OS as wattOS earlier without having to waste my time in trying out others. Now my CPU usage under similar load conditions as perviously described is around 3% and memory usage is 1% (i have 4GB RAM).

Introduction excerpted from the WattOS site:
wattOS is a lightweight Linux operating system remastered from the core Ubuntu Linux build. It is a free operating system that focuses on a small footprint, low power, and a simple quick interface. Bring your old computer back to life again with a fresh install of wattOS!

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