I have respect for Linux !!!

A few years back I made the mistake of buying a Chromebook from Acer. In Chromebook terms, I would say that this machine is top notch - 4gb ram, 32gb flash drive and a 14 inch 1080p ips display. Although a mistake, it wasn't an expensive one as I just paid around $120 bucks for it on acer refurbished. The reason I would call it a mistake is because I felt too constrained or rather the limited feature set made me hate the machine.

Chromebooks are good machines and no one can argue with that, but for me, I think it was ok. So I decided to remove chrome OS and add Linux on to it to make it a decent machine which I can use on the go. I switched between various flavors of Ubuntu and landed with Gallium OS as it worked similar to Chrome OS - This is a big deal as Chromebooks use different hardware spec than the regular windows machines like keyboard, mouse and sound drivers.

It's a decent machine - not as fast as a Chrome OS, but workable with some gaps.

Today I decided to give this machine a run for its money and see what can it really handle and let me say, i was definitely surprised. I would obviously have to credit Linux and not really the Chromebook as the Linux OS and the Kernel were the ones which were trying to keep this machine running. My goal was to check if this computer can be used as a development machine and my answer is yes !!!

As the machine has 4GB of ram, the default OS installation allocated 5.7 GB of swap space. My machine has a N3160 processor, which ranks 1001 / 1206 - So it's fair to assume that this is a pathetic one.

Here is what I was running

  1. Eclipse IDE 2019-12 J2EE - I was building a spring boot application which can speak to MySQL.
  2. Docker
    1. My app as a container on alpine
    2. MySql 8 container
  3. Postman - latest version to call my APIs
  4. Dbeaver - to connect and check the data in the tables which were inserted from my program.
  5. Chromium with 3 extensions and 4 tabs running - as I was reading the news. 
  6. Terminal - running htop to see whats happening.
N3160 is a quad core processor 1.6 Ghz and 2MB L2 cache. 
  • all 4 processors were hovering between 45 - 90% ~ they would basically go up to 90+ and drop down to 50s. 
  • Ram was around  3.1 - 3.5GB. Max on the system is 3.8 GB.
  • Swap was about 1.2GB

The machine was definitely humming smoothly except for Chrome as it was having a hard time. I could definitely feel it freezing every 30 - 40 seconds for may be 5 seconds.  But that seems to be happening now that everything has been turned off - so I would say its an issue with Chromium or it was dumped into the swap space and is still coming out of it. 

All in all - I have to say I am definitely impressed with how the test ran. If it was any other OS, it would have crapped all over the place. There is only one thing I have to say now - I HAVE RESPECT FOR LINUX more than ever.

and did I mention, my laptop was running on battery power the whole time. 


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