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I'm setting up an old Thinkpad 600e laptop using Xubuntu. The machine has only 160MB of memory (all I could find - 32MB onboard, + 2 x 64MB expansions), so it's paging like mad during normal use.

I'm wondering if there's a way to achieve something like Vista's ReadyBoost on this laptop to improve it's performance.

I have a reasonably recent PC(MCIA) Card for reading flash memory, and a 256MB Memory Stick Pro that suits, but this does't show up as a volume when I insert it. (I've spent several evenings with Professor Google trying to solve this, but to to avail).

I'm using a 3Com PC Card for networking, so I know the PCMCIA subsystem is up and running.

A small USB Key I plugged in worked fine for transferring files, so I figure hotplug support is working too.

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You could set up the swap partition on the flash drive instead of your hard drive. At least that way the paging would be much faster. As for HOW to do that, I'm hoping someone else here will know... +1 good question. – Sasha Chedygov Aug 21 '09 at 23:19
up vote 1 down vote accepted

How to: ReadyBoost with Ubuntu Linux

mind you, Ubuntu, even in its 'lightest' flavor with the Xfce desktop environment is a rather heavy weight linux distro compared to DSL or Puppy.

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I tried both DSL and Puppy and had real problems with hardware detection. Neither picked up my 3Com PC Card, so I couldn't get online; I gave up trying to troubleshoot each after a couple dozen hours of failing to find useful answers online (my linux skills aren't hot, but I'm doing Ok, I think). – Bevan Aug 22 '09 at 2:02
the instructions aren't long; it'd be nice if you quoted them here. – quack quixote Oct 5 '09 at 2:12

Not an answer to your question, as it has already been answered. But try replacing xfce with something lighter like fluxbox. XFCE has gotten bulkier and bulkier over time and isn't the best choice for ultra-lightweight systems anymore unfortunately.

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Good to know. Thanks. – Bevan Aug 22 '09 at 2:03
actually i just installed Xubuntu and noticed some discussion amongst the developers about that. Ubuntu XFCE isn't a good example of lightweight XFCE -- stock debian (lenny, i think) is much snappier. tho, compared to Ubuntu GNOME, Xubuntu frickin' floats. – quack quixote Oct 5 '09 at 2:10

You can simply create and activate a swap partition on the flash drive, but keep in mind that if you do this, your computer will crash if the flash drive is unplugged.

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