Windows 8 machines burdened with crapware and Ubuntu a good alternative.

Posted: November 28, 2012. At: 12:34 PM. This was 5 years ago. Post ID: 4915

IBM 5100 Computer. Sought after by John Titor.
IBM 5100 Computer. Sought after by John Titor.

The Windows 8 launch is past and there are stories floating around that the computers running this operating system are polluted with crapware that slows down the machines and provides no real benefit. When I bought my ASUS eePC netbook; it was running Windows XP Professional with the extra ASUS crapware installed that is supposed to help the computer user; but I ended up installing Linux Mint 12 Debian edition instead; that is far better than running Windows XP. There are computer stores in China that are selling computers preloaded with the Ubuntu Linux distribution; running that is a better idea than Windows 8;not that anyone would use this; but the Internet Explorer 10 browser has already had one zero day attack against it and there could be others to come yet. So it is better to run Linux instead of Windows if you want a reliable and secure operating system to do your business with.

MAC Address trick.
MAC Address trick.

The Crunchbang and Arch distributions of Linux are very powerful and fast distributions. Arch Linux is built up from a command-line only installation and is very good once you get the initial setup working. You could partition your computer manually using the cfdisk utility and then install the Linux distribution; but it would be faster and easier to use the Gparted application in Ubuntu to modify partitions ready to install Arch Linux. Crunchbang Linux uses a fast and simple desktop that is a lot lighter on system resources than the Unity and KDE desktops if you want to run Linux on an older computer. But using openbox or Fluxbox is another way to get a fast and responsive Linux desktop environment. Fvwm is even better. That has many themes available when using the fvwm-themes package.

Here is a nice trick; how to capture the output of the top command to a text file. Use this command: top -n 1 -b > out3. Below is the output I get.

[ [email protected] ]
[ Jobs 0.PWD: ~/Desktop.bash 4.2.36. ] [ 10 ]
[ 22:39:15 ]
[ $ ]-> cat out3 
top - 22:39:15 up  1:00,  2 users,  load average: 0.60, 0.39, 0.40
Tasks: 121 total,   1 running, 120 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
%Cpu(s): 11.7 us,  2.6 sy,  0.0 ni, 81.7 id,  3.9 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.1 si,  0.0 st
KiB Mem:   2066524 total,  1132472 used,   934052 free,     5852 buffers
KiB Swap:  1037308 total,        0 used,  1037308 free,   842004 cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S  %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND
 4251 john      20   0  4496 1264  968 R  12.1  0.1   0:00.03 top
 3466 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   6.1  0.0   0:01.59 kworker/0:0
    1 root      20   0  2256  740  636 S   0.0  0.0   0:01.29 init
    2 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kthreadd
    3 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.58 ksoftirqd/0
    6 root      rt   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.02 watchdog/0
    7 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 cpuset
    8 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 khelper
    9 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kdevtmpfs
   10 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 netns
   11 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.02 sync_supers
   12 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 bdi-default
   13 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kintegrityd
   14 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kblockd
   15 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:01.62 kworker/0:1
   16 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 khungtaskd
   17 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.04 kswapd0
   18 root      25   5     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 ksmd
   19 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 fsnotify_mark
   20 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 crypto
  105 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 khubd
  130 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 ata_sff
  131 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 scsi_eh_0
  132 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 scsi_eh_1
  133 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 scsi_eh_2
  134 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 scsi_eh_3
  180 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 xfs_mru_cache
  181 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 xfslogd
  182 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 xfsdatad
  183 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 xfsconvertd
  185 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.12 xfsbufd/sda1
  186 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:01.26 xfsaild/sda1
  281 root      20   0  2924 1532  772 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.23 udevd
  441 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kpsmoused
  446 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 led_workqueue
  458 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 cfg80211
  466 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 hd-audio0
 1414 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.26 flush-8:0
 1467 daemon    20   0  1960  496  400 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 portmap
 1566 root      20   0 28100 1844 1136 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.25 rsyslogd
 1601 daemon    20   0  2128  316  192 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 atd
 1694 root      20   0  3816  968  768 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 cron
 1724 messageb  20   0  3612 1684  908 S   0.0  0.1   0:01.92 dbus-daemon
 1787 root      20   0 30708 3168 2676 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.08 lightdm
 1833 root      20   0 39768  13m 8324 S   0.0  0.7   0:55.16 Xorg
 1929 root      20   0  1908  600  500 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.02 mysqld_safe
 2245 mysql     20   0  316m  33m 5836 S   0.0  1.7   0:04.74 mysqld
 2246 root      20   0  1828  568  496 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 logger
 2275 root      20   0 22332 3124 2648 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.31 accounts-daemon
 2291 root      20   0 23380 4144 2828 S   0.0  0.2   0:02.71 polkitd
 2321 root      20   0 27040 3960 2880 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.62 console-kit-dae
 2471 root      20   0 26536 5124 4236 S   0.0  0.2   0:01.68 NetworkManager
 2501 root      20   0  6848 2736 2232 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.06 modem-manager
 2569 ntp       20   0  5356 2220 1752 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.40 ntpd
 2600 root      20   0 10456  888  612 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 pcscd
 2689 root      20   0  5792 2680 2276 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.25 wpa_supplicant
 2708 root      20   0  1824  308  232 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 minissdpd
 2726 root      20   0  3760  856  720 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 getty
 2727 root      20   0  3388 1836 1408 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.16 login
 2728 root      20   0  3760  856  720 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 getty
 2729 root      20   0  3760  852  720 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 getty
 2730 root      20   0  3760  856  720 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 getty
 2731 root      20   0  3760  856  720 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 getty
 2734 root      20   0 26328 3928 3244 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.92 upowerd
 2796 root      20   0  5164 3052 1336 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.01 dhclient
 2848 root      20   0 15180 3368 2804 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.17 lightdm
 2961 john      20   0  1908  580  500 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.03 sh
 2982 john      20   0  3844  868  640 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.01 ssh-agent
 2985 john      20   0  3492  752  524 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 dbus-launch
 2986 john      20   0  4352 1720  772 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.39 dbus-daemon
 2994 john      20   0  6296 2456 2060 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.10 xfconfd
 3000 john      20   0  6616 2392 1804 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.84 xscreensaver
 3002 john      20   0 27944 5856 4724 S   0.0  0.3   0:00.84 xfce4-session
 3007 john      20   0 21916 9232 7768 S   0.0  0.4   0:06.30 xfwm4
 3009 john      20   0 18876 3544 2728 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.02 xfsettingsd
 3010 john      20   0  140m  16m  13m S   0.0  0.8   0:01.12 Thunar
 3012 john      20   0  8552 2380 2012 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.07 gvfsd
 3015 john      20   0  130m  13m  10m S   0.0  0.7   0:04.65 xfce4-panel
 3016 john      20   0  132m  13m  10m S   0.0  0.6   0:02.48 xfdesktop
 3019 john      20   0  126m 8636 6888 S   0.0  0.4   0:01.44 xfce4-power-man
 3020 john      20   0 21092 3516 2448 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.38 xfce4-settings-
 3024 john      20   0  202m  20m  11m S   0.0  1.0   0:00.71 blueman-applet
 3032 john      20   0 10080 4032 2320 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.06 mintupdate-laun
 3035 john      20   0  1908  520  460 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 sh
 3036 john      20   0  151m  21m  13m S   0.0  1.1   0:00.87 mintUpdate
 3037 john      20   0 19672 6324 5316 S   0.0  0.3   0:00.27 panel-5-systray
 3041 john      20   0  351m  12m 9296 S   0.0  0.6   0:00.45 xfce4-mixer-plu
 3043 john      20   0  224m  11m 9468 S   0.0  0.6   0:00.91 nm-applet
 3048 john      20   0 26572 5120 4308 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.10 polkit-gnome-au
 3050 john      20   0 38044  16m 9484 S   0.0  0.8   0:00.54 system-config-p
 3055 john      20   0  8328 2688 1820 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.11 gconfd-2
 3059 john      20   0 19196 2876 2080 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.00 xfce4-power-man
 3062 john       9 -11 97608 5536 3924 S   0.0  0.3   0:00.34 pulseaudio
 3064 rtkit     21   1 18952 1248 1056 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.04 rtkit-daemon
 3071 john      20   0  260m 9272 6384 S   0.0  0.4   0:00.33 xfce4-volumed
 3128 john      20   0 16228 3068 2464 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.05 obex-data-serve
 3136 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 scsi_eh_4
 3137 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.59 usb-storage
 3139 john      20   0 34012 3764 3116 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.20 gvfs-gdu-volume
 3141 root      20   0 23204 3812 3128 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.33 udisks-daemon
 3142 root      20   0  6312  860  600 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.37 udisks-daemon
 3145 john      20   0  8628 2376 1928 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.01 gvfs-gphoto2-vo
 3147 john      20   0 19060 2388 1980 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.26 gvfs-afc-volume
 3152 root      20   0  2920 1356  576 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.03 udevd
 3153 root      20   0  2920 1352  572 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.00 udevd
 3180 john      20   0  8972 3172 2624 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.04 gvfsd-trash
 3182 john      20   0 25536 3692 3112 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.04 gvfsd-network
 3191 john      20   0  8768 2712 2264 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.02 gvfsd-dnssd
 3216 john      20   0  5852 3192 1676 S   0.0  0.2   0:00.60 bash
 3607 john      20   0 31320 2536 2068 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.06 dconf-service
 3612 john      20   0  8580 2532 2148 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.00 gvfsd-burn
 3629 john      20   0  7760 2040 1680 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.00 gvfsd-metadata
 3872 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.85 kworker/0:3
 4058 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.55 kworker/u:1
 4122 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.27 kworker/u:0
 4138 john      20   0  130m  12m 9.9m S   0.0  0.6   0:03.66 xfce4-terminal
 4139 john      20   0  2056  716  588 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 gnome-pty-helpe
 4140 john      20   0  5772 3040 1608 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.28 bash
 4196 john      20   0  146m  12m  10m S   0.0  0.6   0:02.99 leafpad
 4222 john      20   0  480m 118m  29m S   0.0  5.9   0:28.80 firefox
 4249 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.03 kworker/u:2

Here is another use of this command. Redirecting the output of the top command to head to only display a few lines.

[ [email protected] ]
[ Jobs 0.PWD: ~.bash 4.2.36. ] [ 3 ]
[ 22:43:04 ]
[ $ ]-> top -n 1 -b | head -n 18
top - 22:43:07 up  1:04,  2 users,  load average: 0.61, 0.53, 0.45
Tasks: 121 total,   1 running, 120 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
%Cpu(s): 11.9 us,  2.7 sy,  0.0 ni, 81.6 id,  3.7 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.1 si,  0.0 st
KiB Mem:   2066524 total,  1149736 used,   916788 free,     5852 buffers
KiB Swap:  1037308 total,        0 used,  1037308 free,   852428 cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S  %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND
 4323 john      20   0  4496 1268  968 R  12.3  0.1   0:00.03 top
    1 root      20   0  2256  740  636 S   0.0  0.0   0:01.29 init
    2 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kthreadd
    3 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.60 ksoftirqd/0
    6 root      rt   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.02 watchdog/0
    7 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 cpuset
    8 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 khelper
    9 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kdevtmpfs
   10 root       0 -20     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 netns
   11 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.02 sync_supers
   12 root      20   0     0    0    0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 bdi-default

And how to filter the output of top to look for certain commands.

[ [email protected] ]
[ Jobs 0.PWD: ~.bash 4.2.36. ] [ 8 ]
[ 22:45:39 ]
[ $ ]-> top -n 1 -b | grep getty
 2726 root      20   0  3760  856  720 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 getty
 2728 root      20   0  3760  856  720 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 getty
 2729 root      20   0  3760  852  720 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 getty
 2730 root      20   0  3760  856  720 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 getty
 2731 root      20   0  3760  856  720 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 getty

This ability to easily filter text using grep is the main benefit of using Linux and the bash shell instead of Powershell on Windows 7 or 8.

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