Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

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BowWow
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Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by BowWow »

I was really surprised to learn from this blog post that XFCE is just barely "heavier" on memory than cinnamon:

http://l3net.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/a-memory-comparison-of-light-linux-desktops-part-2/

(look at graph just above blog comment section)

Is this correct? XFCE 70 and cinnamon 79

What I want to know also is **why** was LXDE discontinued? it is around half the memory (36) !!

I know there are ways to install LXDE but it doesn't look as nice as when linux mint had a native lxde version ( I think it was back in version 12 Lisa). It was awesome!

Anyway, thank you for reading and for answering this n00bs question.

I really do appreciate linux mint and everything about it!! lots of love :)
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by nomko »

Xfce is still much a much lighter desktop environment than Cinnamon although Cinnamon doesn't use that much of memory too. Xfce, and distro's using Xfce, is designed for low-spec and low-memory systems, basically old computers with less than 1 gig memory.
Is this correct? XFCE 70 and cinnamon 79
Can't tell you if that's correct or not. I think i use more memory on my system with Cinnamon. But as i read the article, it seems that the person who wrote that article is running all the desktop environments within a virtual machine. That can have it's impact as well.....
What I want to know also is **why** was LXDE discontinued
LXDE is still alive! There's only no Mint LXDE version any longer available. Why? I don't know. I find LXDE good for starters but not for the novice users. For me LXDE is really serious as a desktop environment.
passerby
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by passerby »

In my experience, Cinnamon is much heavier, especially after it's been [url=http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=208&t=141356]running for a while[/url].
You shouldn't go by RAM usage alone either. CPU and GPU usage are just as important when calculating how "heavy" a DE is. In my case, Cinnamon uses 2.5 times as much VRAM at the bare minimum.
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by nomko »

passerby wrote:In my experience, Cinnamon is much heavier, especially after it's been [url=http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=208&t=141356]running for a while[/url].
You shouldn't go by RAM usage alone either. CPU and GPU usage are just as important when calculating how "heavy" a DE is. In my case, Cinnamon uses 2.5 times as much VRAM at the bare minimum.
My idea too! If i'm not mistaken, in a normal situation Cinnamon uses about 150-200mb memory. Which is quit more than what's been given in the test. And beside that. Is Cinnamon running in 3D mode or the 2D fallback mode???
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by nerdtron »

Same here. XFCE is definitely lighter than Cinnamon. Well, maybe you can try both and see for yourself. Some features of a specific desktop environment may appeal to the user and these features can make or break what you would like to choose.
However, I give my vote to XFCE. :D
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by Adelante »

For me, Xfce is somewhat lighter and faster than Cinnamon. Unlike others, I don't notice the difference is terribly significant in use, at least in the more recent releases and that also goes for KDE. I wouldn't discourage anyone from using Cinnamon on that basis. LXDE is still the faster, lighter system of all, though, in my experience. I believe the only reason for LXDE being discontinued by Mint was for the development team to be able to focus better on fewer systems. Clem had a user poll that showed fewer users voted for LXDE. He's the guy who decides finally, which is as it should be. I too, however, still love LXDE and would welcome it back again.
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nunol
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by nunol »

I also feel that Mint 15 XFCE is faster and more responsive than Mint 15 Cinnamon despite the RAM usage.

On Mint 15 the Mate edition got faster and the XFCE slower than in the previous versions so now I use MATE for computers that can't run Cinnamon properly instead of XFCE. Also, the MATE version arrives first and looks like Mint 9/10/11 and I like that.

I guess Mint could use a CD sized official LXDE edition for older computers and slow netbooks. There are unofficial Mint LXDE versions and they look good so someone already is having some work.
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jesica
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by jesica »

Definitely XFCE
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by BowWow »

Thank you everyone, appreciate the helpful answers. I have two follow-up questions, if you don't mind:

1. Is there a quantified measure of *how much lighter* XFCE is compared to Cinnamon (or other desktop environments)? The blog I linked to tried to do this and showed this resulting graph:

http://l3net.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/cmp-all3.png

So is this quantified measure correct? or not? I can't find any others on the internet.

2. Is there a way to persuade the linux mint to roll a linux mint lxde edition (like before)?

This is mostly based on the fact that lxde is significantly lighter than both XFCE and Cinnammon based on the chart above.
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by kukamuumuka »

BowWow wrote: 1. Is there a quantified measure of *how much lighter* XFCE is compared to Cinnamon (or other desktop environments)? The blog I linked to tried to do this and showed this resulting graph:

http://l3net.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/cmp-all3.png

So is this quantified measure correct? or not? I can't find any others on the internet.

2. Is there a way to persuade the linux mint to roll a linux mint lxde edition (like before)?

This is mostly based on the fact that lxde is significantly lighter than both XFCE and Cinnammon based on the chart above.
1. Yes, it is correct.
2. Yes, you can make it yourself also .. :wink:
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=145009#p766232
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by passerby »

I'm sure that the results were correct in their tests, but this is the kind of testing that can vary between systems, and the tests conducted were by no means exhaustive.
For example, on my PC Cinnamon's resource usage escalates over time. It may be moderate at the beginning (around the same or more than the tests), but after a few hours it has climbed significantly. On my laptop, however, the RAM usage is the same and its CPU usage is what escalates.

You should also factor in other processes that link in with the DE, such as any applets in use. eg. XFCE divides up its resource usage into separate processes, such as whisker menu and xfce4-panel. By the time you add all of these processes together and compare the total resource usage of applets, desklets/screenlets, etc. necessary to provide the same functionality between DE's, the results will have changed.
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BowWow
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by BowWow »

Interesting.

Can you please tell me which linux mint edition is best for this machine?

Toshiba NB305
http://www.cnet.com/laptops/toshiba-mini-nb305-n410bn/4505-3121_7-33948073.html

I've expanded RAM to 2 GB
CPU = Intel Atom N450 / 1.66 GHz
HD = SSD (adata)

:)
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by passerby »

Of the LM distros, I'd go with LM 13 (32 bit), either XFCE or MATE. Definitely not a graphics-intensive environment like Cinnamon or KDE.
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by nomko »

BowWow wrote: http://l3net.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/cmp-all3.png
This "test result" seems like a hoax to me, really... 79 mb for Cinnamon??? Can't be true if you ask me. If i check my system monitor, Cinnamon is using at least more than 150 mb on my machine. And now it's using over 600 mb, uptime of my system: 3 full days... Cinnamon reacts slower, it feels more heavier. That says enough i think!

I don't agree with the test and the test result. My biggest question really is: is he running the test with Cinnamon in 2D fall back mode?? Because that could save some memory too...
JosephM
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by JosephM »

Actually those numbers seem right to me. I have Mint 15 with Cinnamon installed on my machine and it clocks in at about the 150-170mb range. However I installed it into VirtualBox awhile back to mess with some things and was suprised to see how much lower it's memory usage was. It was right around the 80mb mark. I don't know why the difference but it would be interesting to find out why.
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by Orbmiser »

Hmmm totally confuse as on a Amd dual-core Ati 4350 using default open drivers with 4gb ram.

Cinnamon on desktop startup idle was clocking in at 700-800mb with a few applets like weather & gmail.
On KDE am starting up desktop clean at 425mb'ish which is quite a difference to Cinnamon.
Using same startup applets weather and gmail.

Loading up a Term,Dolphin file manager. Also Firefox with a few tabs cranks KDE up to 750-800mb.
And on Cinnamon that goes to 1.1-1.3Gb range.

Clean default install on my system has never seen 100-300mb default desktop.
Achieving 425mb now with KDE 4.11.1 on SolydK.
Don't know why maybe someone can enlighten us on the issue?

Also don't see the advantage of a 200mb DE vs. 400-500mb DE. As when you start actually using it then how well it performs and apps used will eat up any ram savings pretty quickly. To me many Desktop Environments start out pretty snappy until you start running apps.
.
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by JosephM »

Talking about the Cinnamon process itself. Not the memory usage of the system overall.
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by Orbmiser »

JosephM wrote:Talking about the Cinnamon process itself. Not the memory usage of the system overall.
Ahhh I see now
The process plasma-desktop (with pid 3728) is using approximately 129.7 MB of memory.
It is using 115.7 MB privately, and a further 44.8 MB that is, or could be, shared with other programs.
Dividing up the shared memory between all the processes sharing that memory we get a reduced shared memory usage of 14.0 MB. Adding that to the private usage, we get the above mentioned total memory footprint of 129.7 MB.
Tho there chart seems to indicate almost 2x that.
So still question their numbers. Mine running two panels and yaWP weather applet.
And could probably trim it down close to 100mb. So don't know where they are getting the 201mb from.

Still eludes me why a 50mb vs. a 200mb DE process is significant in the overall functioning of the Desktop environment tho.
Unless you are running a 512mb system and then wonder how significant the savings is?
Like I mentioned I could be wrong but what's the point once you start running apps?
And how well that DE performs in doing tasks and overall function.
And eliminating features or functions to have it skinny isn't an issue for me and I assume most others?
And would think most users have at least 2gb-4gb systems nowadays.

But each their own I guess.
Some get joy just knowing that their DE is running in less than 100mb whether they really have a need for it or not.
So don't want to rain on their parade and hope them joy in striving for the smallest running DE.
.
Last edited by Orbmiser on Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:38 am, edited 3 times in total.
passerby
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by passerby »

Orbmiser wrote: Still eludes me why a 50mb vs. a 130mb DE process is significant in the overall functioning of the Desktop environment tho.
Unless you are running a 512mb system and then wonder how significant the savings is?
Like I mentioned I could be wrong but what's the point once you start running apps?
.
Personally, RAM usage doesn't bother me (unless it keeps escalating without reason).
CPU and GPU usage, on the other hand, are things I think the DE should keep to a minimum, even if you're on a high-spec system.
Can't game or run vmachines adequately if the DE is sapping those.
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Re: Which is "lighter"? XFCE or Cinnamon?

Post by Orbmiser »

Yep that would be more significant gage for me. And how will a DE handles games,video,etc.
Doing post editing on large raw image files or editing video or playing games.

Just not seeing the significance of a DE's window manager that runs in 50mb or 150mb.
Could be me tho as no linux guru.
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