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Recommended hardware for running and using LyX.

The hardware you need to run LyX effienciently depends on several factors:

  • Operating system — old Linux system or Windows XP
  • Type of document — a few pages with mostly text or a full book with lots of figures
  • Style of using LyX — not showing images inside LyX and only updating the generated DVI/PDF infrequently requires much less powerful hardware.

1.  Hardware examples

Feel free to add your own examples of computer systems you've used to create various documents. The purpose is to give prospective LyX users an idea of how powerful their system needs to be for their particular use. So please don't describe your latest gaming computer... Instead, try to describe relatively slow computer that you still find usable (or barely usable, or too slow).

See the bottom of this page for instructions/tips on adding an example.

1.1  Scientific articles and presentations — Christian Ridderström

I've written several articles (typically 6-8 pages).

Computer system

  • Computer: Dell Latitude Cpi D300XT (from 1999 or 2000).
    • CPU: Pentium III, 300 MHz
    • RAM: 256 MB
  • OS: Linux RedHat 7.3 using GNOME (v.1 ?)
    • Window manager: Sawfish
  • LyX version: LyX 1.3.3 - XForms frontend
  • LaTeX version: teTeX 1.07


Writing scientific articles with this laptop was quite pleasant. I frequently re-generate the DVI (or PDF), but that was certainly quick enough. The window manager, Sawfish, probably helps quite a bit as it doesn't require a lot of resources (I like it a lot!). It also helped that I usually doesn't show the images inside the LyX window (on the other hand, I re-generate the PDF more often).

In addition to the thesis describe above, I've also written several articles using the Dell laptop described above. It was a quite pleasant experience writing articles (5-8 pages) with that system.


1.2  Conference presentations — Christian Ridderström

I've also used the laptop to create presentations for conferences using the laptop described above. Actually, the presentations were typically finished at the conference...

Computer system

See the Dell laptop described above.


Creating presentations requires a bit more power, especially when there are lots of pictures. Actually, the limit wasn't so much writing the presentations as showing them (which I did as PDFs). Anyway, creating presentations with this system is quite ok.


1.3  PhD thesis — Christian Ridderström

I wrote large parts of my PhD thesis using LyX 1.3.x (versions changed while writing:-) on the computer system described below.

Computer system

See the Dell laptop described above.


It wasn't lightning fast, but it was definitely workable. Especially as I prefer (even on powerful systems) to not show images inside the LyX window. I do however have a tendency to frequently re-generate the PDF (or DVI). That was somewhat time consuming but not to bad really. The final touches before sending it to the printers where however done one a "faster" desktop system (a 1 GHz CPU).


I wrote the thesis as a multi-part document, which let me work on each part separately. That made compiling a separate chapter much quicker, but it was still doable to compile all of it on the laptop.


1.4  Adding an example

When adding an example, please try to answer the following:

  • What type of document did you produce?
  • Type of computer (laptop or desktop)?
  • How powerful is the system?
  • Operating system? (Window manager? Gnome or KDE?) Versions?
  • LyX version? (Including frontend, i.e. XForms or QT)
  • LaTeX version?
  • Other important software related to the performance?
  • How did the system perform? A delight to use or bloody painful? What was your experience?

2.  Contributors

  • Christian Ridderström - chr

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Page last modified on 2010-03-13 20:01 UTC