Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:36 am

Really sluggish performance

Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:51 am

Hey everyone,

Let me start by saying that I am amazed at what this little device can apparently do, not to mention the joys that I had in setting it up with my own flavour of Linux.

I am posting here because I have not been able to fix a problem that I have had with performance of the pi. I know that the ARM processor has the capability of a 300Mhz Pentium, so I am not asking it to do a great many things.

The issue is very clear with Facebook and Youtube, with neither one of them managing to load in a decent time frame (30 minutes) and being exceptionally sluggish when they do load. I am using Iceweasle as a browser and have gnash installed as well as the latest Java and have updated the Raspbian OS and the firmware for the pi itself.

Quick list of solutions I have tried;
Different browsing software, Midori and Netsurf.
Different OS, [Two attempts at Arch Linux with LXDE and similar packages, one attempt at Rasbian with LXDE]
Different power supplies, [From my desktop PC, Nokia charger (1.2A)]
Set swap space up on an external, AC powered HDD.

In general desktop operation, the pi performs the way that I imagine it would, a little sluggish but nothing that could be considered unusable.

If anyone would have any constructive feedback, I would be very appreciative.

Posts: 186
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:24 am

Re: Really sluggish performance

Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:07 am

Youtube is unsupported until HTML5 video acceleration is available. I haven't tried facebook. Do other sites load in a reasonable time? Maybe you're running out of RAM on some sites. Could you post the output of the terminal command "top" while facebook is loading? How much RAM have you set aside to the GPU, and is your Pi a 256MB or 512MB model?

In iceweasel you could type "about:config" in the url bar. Then search for "click_to" in the search box, and double click "plugins.click_to_play" so that its value becomes "true". Restart Iceweasel and see if facebook loads faster.

Posts: 7878
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:30 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Really sluggish performance

Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:11 am

There are some optimized browsers for the Pi , like
"Minimal Kiosk Browser" (kweb). Else there is not much
you can do , perhaps overclocking (backup your SD Card).

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Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Really sluggish performance

Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:30 am

Thank you for your replies.

I have the Model B with 512MB of RAM. I haven't modified any of the settings in regards to memory allocation or clock speed, I was hoping to find out whether my problem could be solved in a more generic method.

I haven't trialled many other pages, these seemed to be the best places to start. I will trial each of these suggestions and report back.

Posts: 6139
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:07 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Really sluggish performance

Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:12 am

There are some tricks, that speed up things a lot. Disabling Javascript will speed up things a lot.

With Minimal Kiosk Browser, loads within 2 seconds. A youtube search needs about the same time; you don't get the preview images, but do you really need them? A youtube video page does not need more time. The video frame will remain black. To play the video you click the play icon in the toolbar and the video will be played full screen with omxplayer. With javascript enabled, everything takes much longer - about 4 times (estimated).

Google search sends a different website, if javascript is disabled. It loads within a second and you can use it in he same way, as when javascript is enabled (and loading takes 3 times longer).

Some websites will not work correctly with Javascript disabled. But it takes just a mouse click, to reload them with javascript enabled. And a little bit of javascript doesn't hurt speed.

Well, and 90% of the web is still plain old html and that will work really well. But for some people the web seems to be restricted to youtube and facebook.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

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