Photography Workflow on Linux – Which distro ?

Lot has changed since my article “Goodbye Bill” from 14 februari.
I had my Dell Studio 1749 portable computer reinstalled from Windows 7 to Ubuntu 14.04.
Although Ubuntu was reasonably fast, getting busy developing pictures with Rawtherapee, Gimp and other photography tools, slowed down the computer hard.
Running a tool called “System Monitor” showed me I almost used up all RAM memory ( which is 4GB in my case ).
I also learned that a reasonable part of memory went to the Unity desktop of Ubuntu (which I don’t really like).
Then I found out that you can install a different desktop on Ubuntu,
you can install the Xubuntu desktop for instance, but even also the XFCE desktop only – on which Xubuntu works.
Same can be done for other desktops.
This way, you can test out different distro environments without the need to reinstall everything.
Many people use the fast Linux Mint with the beautifull Cinnamon desktop,
but even this Linux distro uses a lot of memory to run that desktop.
I learned that Xubuntu is a lot faster than Ubuntu and even Linux Mint.
And if you need to get everything out under the hood, Lubuntu is lightning fast.

But remember, always back up everything because things can go wrong very fast.
And before you know, your computer doesn’t start anymore.

If you are interested in changing over from Windows to Linux,
and don’t have the fastest computer – mine is Intel core i5 M430 @ 2.27Ghz with 4GB RAM,
then I can (strongly) recommend installing Xubuntu – which I did – and as an option install the LXDE “Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment” to get the TURBO running on your computer.

The best way to do this, and to find out which distro fits you best, is to make a live cd or USB start up disk.
This way you don’t need to change anything to your computer yet, and you can see how the substitute OS performs.
Also, this live cd or USB can be used later to make the final installation.
Google ” live cd linux” and you will find out what you need and how to do this.


How to Install and Use Another Desktop Environment on Linux

and :

and :

How to make a bootable CD or USB :

Below, my portable computer with Linux Xubuntu, the taskbar can be placed on the bottom, this way you have a very Windows like look.
In fact, the start menu looks very much like windows 7.
On top, my favorite shortcuts for my photography workflow.
( will be treated later )



  1. Remember, that Linux always will eat almost all you memory – that because it reserve memory for cache and buffors. And this memory is in fact ‘free’ – when application needs more memory, Linux just allocate it – from cache/buffors.

    # free -h
    total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 2,2G 1,9G 327M 50M 55M 397M
    -/+ buffers/cache: 1,4G 780M
    Swap: 2,2G 59M 2,2G

    As you can see, there are two ‘free’ values – in row Mem – and in -/+ buffers – your real free memory is in this second row.

    • Hello dhor,
      Although I am a Windows network admin, I am completely new in Linux.
      And I am never to old to learn,
      So I welcome the tip !
      and also are any other tips !
      I’m sure there are other readers here that have the same problem as I have
      when starting with a whole new operating system.
      But i’m learning – fast.
      Many thanks dhor !

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