lean X

I use Eclipse JDT with a huge project code, and naturally it hogs memory and does annoying swapping. Among others are Thunderbird, amarok, firefox(with ~50 tabs open on an average) and pidin. I happen to use mere 1G RAM. With no alternative to eclipse (mainly because of productivity boost), I started looking at other processes that consumed quite some memory. After some review, I found that GNOME was an important candidate.

So, instead of running a full fledged GNOME session, I just ran the parts of it that are absolutely necessary to me (after all, that's the beauty of xNIX systems).

This is what I did -

  • modify /etc/inittab to start in runlevel 3 by default
and wrote a script

export DISPLAY=:0

That's pretty much it. Within xterm, I can run almost anything :). Although the xterm is not necessary, it saves me from the pain of going to console mode and launching something.

This has saved me a few bucks for RAM upgrade !

The story doesn't end here. If you want almost all GNOME functionality like panel and menus, task list panel and stuff; without crap like wallpaper, session and other accesibility related features - you could well do this :


export DISPLAY=:0
metacity& (or fusion-icon&)
pulseaudio& (if you are interested in having sound support)
gnome-session&(if you want the pre-saved session to be restored. I wouldn't use this though)

There are other desktops too - like xfce and cde, but I really like the feeling of closeness to GNOME - can't explain why :)

n Sync

a nice linux util a colleague had introduced me to - sync!

At times, my system just refuses to work for many reasons and the only option left is a hard reboot. Before touching that tiny button, just run `sync` as root and at least my filesystem remains clean - it flushes all in core buffers to disk and also updates the superblock.

Not sure if it also works with fuse ie. things like ntfs-3g; but I suppose it does, because I never had a unclean ntfs partition after I started doing sync.

Overclocking nVidia cards in Linux

You don't need CoolBits or nvclock any more !

I assume you have the latest drivers installed. If not, get them for your distro. For Fedora 9, I use 'yum install xorg-x11-drv-nvidia' from livna. I am using 173.14.09 at the time of writing.

add Option "Coolbits" "1" in devices section of /etx/X11/xorg.conf or XF86config

it should look like
Section "Device"
Identifier "Videocard0"
Driver "nvidia"
VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation"
BoardName "NVidia GeForce 8800 GS"
Option "Coolbits" "1"

and restart the X server [logout, init 3, init 5], fire up nvidia-settings
and you will get the familiar controls :D


Remember that you can potentially render the beast useless by not respecting the real world freq limitations. You are warned.

Thanks to The_Jester @ http://www.overclock.net/faqs/115417-how-overclock-your-nvidia-card-under.html