OK, first week really working with the X200s ThinkPad and Ubuntu (12.04, but really the development branch as the installer was broken in 12.04LTS). Two days of event note taking – this is great! 6 hours battery life, eye-kind matt screen, wonderful IBM keyboard. Really snappy.
Import some of my data, slurp down and index my GMail. And…it’s a dog. As in slower than OpenSUSE/KDE4 on the five-year old Sammy Q45. Specifically, the hard disk is pegged all the time, churning away, cutting the battery life by 50% and keeping it nonresponsive all the damn time. Kswapd is the biggest churner, but Firefox is at it, too, and it doesn’t stop when Thunderbird isn’t running. It’s as if having data in the home directory was a problem in itself.
Also, although there is a lot of swapping going on, half the available swap space never seems to be touched. I theorise that this is because the home partition is encrypted; the crypt swap is fully utilised and the noncrypt swap empty. Anyway, it looks like I’ll have to do a substantial repartitioning exercise, which might as well be a re-install as you can’t alter the partition you’re running from.
(Slightly annoying: Ubuntu’s installer defaults to putting / and /home/ in the same partition, OpenSUSE’s gives you separate system and data partitions by default.)