GTK-based applications #1: Terminal emulators summary (3/3)

Here’s the summary of the GTK terminal emulator test. It provides four tables for easier comparison of the results.

Overall Ranking

I’ll begin with the overall rating here since that’s the most important thing. I’ve compared all DEs in terms of 1. memory consumption (most important for me and thus weighted *3), 2. disk space used (weighted *2) and 3. size of packages to download. So, here’s the result:

Rank DE Version
01 Lwt 20130625
02 Mt .1
03 Lilyterm
04 Ftjerm 0.12.3
05 MLTerm 3.2.0
06 Stjerm 0.16_19
07 Tinyterm svn-20100223
08*) Lxterminal 0.1.11
09 QuTerm 0.1
09 Tilda git-20130625
10 vTerminal 13
11 Sakura 3.0.4
12 Evilvte 0.5.1
12 Termite 6
12 Xfce4-Terminal 0.6.2
13 ROXTerm 2.7.2
14 Gnome-Terminal 3.8.3
15 Dwt 0.3

*) Needed disk space not measured for Lxterminal

RAM usage

Here’s the table that compares memory usage of the tested terminal emulators:

<110 MB 110 – 115 MB 116 – 120 MB >120 MB
Rank DE Version Memory usage
01 Lwt 20130625 106 MB
01 MLTerm 3.2.0 106 MB
02 Lilyterm 107 MB
02 Tilda git-20130625 107 MB
03 Lxterminal 0.1.11 108 MB
03 Mt .1 108 MB
03 Stjerm 0.16_19 108 MB
04 Ftjerm 0.12.3 109 MB
04 QuTerm 0.1 109 MB
04 Tinyterm svn-20100223 109 MB
05 Termite 6 113 MB
05 vTerminal 13 113 MB
06 Sakura 3.0.4 114 MB
07 Evilvte 0.5.1 115 MB
08 ROXTerm 2.7.2 117 MB
08 Xfce4-Terminal 0.6.2 117 MB
09 Dwt 0.3 120 MB
10 Gnome Terminal 3.8.3 121 MB

Drive space needed

Here’s the next table:

<5 MB 5 – 10 MB 11 – 100 MB >100 MB
Rank DE Version Disk space used
00 Lxterminal 0.1.11 not measured
01 Lwt 20130625 +4.6 MB
01 Ftjerm 0.12.3 +4.6 MB
02 Lilyterm +5.3 MB
03 Mt .1 +8.0 MB
04 Tinyterm svn-20100223 +12 MB
04 Stjerm 0.16_19 +12 MB
05 Tilda git-20130625 +13 MB
05 QuTerm 0.1 +13 MB
05 vTerminal 13 +13 MB
06 Xfce4-Terminal 0.6.2 +17 MB
07 Evilvte 0.5.1 +104 MB
08 Sakura 3.0.4 +109 MB
09 Gnome-terminal 3.8.3 +111 MB
09 Termite 6 +111 MB
10 ROXTerm 2.7.2 +113 MB
11 MLTerm 3.2.0 +115 MB
12 Dwt 0.3 +137 MB

Download size

And here’s the last one:

<50 KB 51 – 500 KB 501 KB – 5 MB >5 MB
Rank DE Version size
01 Lwt 20130625 ~4 KB
01 Mt .1 ~4 KB
01 Tinyterm svn-20100223 ~4 KB
02 QuTerm 0.1 ~5 KB
03 Stjerm 0.16_19 ~20 KB
04 Ftjerm 0.12.3 ~25 KB
05 vTerminal 13 ~53 KB
06 Lxterminal 0.1.11 ~70 KB
07 Lilyterm ~160 KB
08 Tilda git-20130625 ~193 KB
09 Xfce-4-Terminal 0.6.2 ~699 KB
10 Evilvte 0.5.1 ~14,6 MB
10 Sakura 3.0.4 ~14,6 MB
11 ROXTerm 2.7.2 ~14,7 MB
12 Termite 6 ~14,9 MB
13 Gnome-terminal 3.8.3 ~15,7 MB
14 Dwt 0.3 ~16,6 MB
14 MLTerm 3.2.0 ~16,6 MB


The range of needed RAM on startup is not very large. Still on machines which have little memory available it makes a huge difference if the system with LXDE and a terminal emulator on top of it needs 106 MB or 121 MB of RAM! The range of drive space needed is a lot larger. Here it’s primarily GTK2 applications vs. GTK3 ones. Same thing for the download size: GTK3 brings in a few dependencies which means there’s quite a bit more to download.

What’s next?

The post will begin with a GTK+ file manager test.

New domain registered

Here’s some probably unexpected news: While it may look like things are slowing down if you just consider this blog, there has been a lot going on behind the curtain. So far I’ve given a few hints but now its time to reveal a bit more information.


Project EERIE was created with two goals in mind: I wanted to learn more about the nuts and bolts of Linux and I dreamed about creating a new distribution – both for learning purposes again and to change a few things I was never happy with the other distros. And while I was at it, it seemed like a good idea to share it. Still I wasn’t sure if I’d have the endurance to stick to that project. And of course I had no idea if anybody would actually care for what I was trying to do. Luckily those concerns proved to be false.

The monthly hits of the blog are increasing and finally people even start to write comments. Also the amount of people who don’t just read one or two entries but also visit the About Eerie page grows. Better yet: I’m in contact with two other Linux users who’d also like to build a new distro. While there’s still a lot things to be discussed actually quite a bit of work has already been done. We’ve done some tests which enable us to make important decisions. In fact I have already built a test distribution worth of over 500 software packages (about 2.6 GB compressed data). We’ll have to start over once we’re done with planning. But building these was a very informative task and will surely be very helpful in the future.

A step ahead

Since things are going nicely imo, I decided to make a step ahead and get a domain for the distribution to be. Today was registered! Right now there’s no content there, yet. But you can now use the new URL to reach the EERIE blog. For now it redirects here.

Placeholder text on the new page

There are a few things which I’d like to do in the near future. Of course I’ll continue with the toolkit tests. But I’ll also try to set up my own WordPress installation and will perhaps transfer the blog completely over to my own space. We’ll also have a forum where we’ll discuss all the issues of the distribution to be. Everybody is invited to join us there. There are almost always some points where people are not happy with their (otherwise) distribution of choice. Tell us what you think! What makes a good Linux distribution? What are annoying issues with the existing ones? What are things that should be experimented with?

ELDER Linux!

We’ve already got pretty clear ideas of where we want to go with ELDER. I’m going to save the details for a later post but one thing that I can already say is that it’s going in a light-weight direction. And while that word is often a bit, well, unsubstantial, be assured that we really mean it. What we have in mind is a desktop distro with a rather small base. It won’t exactly be minimalistic – just very light.

As the name ELDER suggests, it should also run well on older machines. Everything that needs a strong CPU and tons of RAM is strictly optional. If all works as intended, you will be able to do some pretty nice things on newer machines but it should also allow you to resurrect some of your old pre-Pentium 4 machines – and actually put them to some use!

Back to work

While we’re pretty confident that we’ll be able to cook up something any help is appreciated. Feel free to contact us if you consider lending us a hand. There are plenty of fields where some work could be done. Whether you want to discuss your ideas on how to organize the file system, whether you’re an artist and would like to contribute some nice artwork or whether you even think you have no special abilities but are interested in how a distribution is planned and created – just join the discussion. We’re all hobbyists. Linux is meant to be fun. And if one thing is certain then it is that there’s lots of fun to be had in the process of creating your own operating system.