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Thread: Ubuntu is very heavy on my (not too old) laptop . :(

  1. #11
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    Re: Ubuntu is very heavy on my (not too old) laptop . :(

    There's a few ways to speed up your gnome desktop:

    sudo gconf-editor /apps/nautilus/preferences
    When that comes up.. uncheck the show_desktop box

    That stops nautilus from managing the icons on your desktop. If you really need your icons you can use another lighter desktop manager to show them


    Another way I've heard that might speed things up a little is:
    (in terminal)
    sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

    and add the line:
    vm.swappiness=10
    If these methods work you should see some improvement after reboot.
    Last edited by Johnsie; July 12th, 2006 at 08:17 PM.

  2. #12

    Re: Ubuntu is very heavy on my (not too old) laptop . :(

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Mandla View Post
    I second that. Xubuntu is the only way to go. I run it on a 1.7Ghz 1Gb machine and a 750Mhz 512Mb machine, and have no problems whatsoever. I save Gnome for the 2Ghz+ machines.
    I should append this to say that while Gnome will run on these machines, I find it less snappy than XFCE. So I don't use Xubuntu because I can't so much as I want to. Just so I'm clear.
    Ubuntu user #7247 :: Linux user #409907
    inconsolation.wordpress.com

  3. #13
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    Re: Ubuntu is very heavy on my (not too old) laptop . :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnsie View Post
    Another way I've heard that might speed things up a little is:
    (in terminal)

    sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

    and add the line:

    vm.swappiness=10

    If these methods work you should see some improvement after reboot.
    In my personal experiences the default vm.swappiness=60 is okay for most users who don't like tweaking.

    You'll get a bigger speed improvement by using icewm / fluxbox instead of default xubuntu(which uses xfwm4 as a window manager) if you want to sacrifice (some) ease of use for a lighter memory foot print. You don't need to reinstall. Just install either fluxbox or icewm on top of xubuntu and choose it from the "sessions" option in your login screen (gdm).

    icewm and fluxbox are both lighter than xubuntu. They both use little memory and diskspace. It's a matter of taste which one you like more. If you want to go for the Ubuntu gnome look I recommend icewm with the icebuntu theme ( http://themes.freshmeat.net/projects/icebuntu )

    You can icewm install it by :
    $sudo apt-get install icewm

    To get more useful stuff for icewm :
    $sudo apt-get install iceconf iceme menu icewm-themes icepref

    For fluxbox :
    $sudo apt-get install fluxbox
    To get more useful stuff for fluxbox :
    $sudo apt-get install menu fluxconf

    log out of gnome and choose a fluxbox/icewm session from gdm.

    Also try opera (from the new dapper commercial repository) instead of firefox. You should go to the preferences dialog of opera in order to make sure it doesn't use too much memory for caching(tools->preferences->advanced->history->memory cache->off). I think opera uses less memory than firefox after having it running for a while.

    If you decide to go for even more tweaking. Now is the time for some swappiness tweaking :

    In my case I have 1 gb of memory and a large part isn't used (or only used for cache) I choose to prevent swapping as much as possible by vm.swappiness=0. For 512 mb of memory this is also the best setting if you use xubuntu and be careful (about not using too much memory).

    This was the best setting for laptop with only 64 mb of memory running icewm / fluxbox : vm.swappiness=100. Because with that amount of memory swapping is needed anyway so better to do it as soon as possible.

    In cases between 128 mb and 512 mb of memory you need to try and tweak and find out what works best for you. You can use "$free -m" to see whether swap is used.

    -If you (almost) succeed in not using swap at all then set vm.swappiness to 0

    -if your computer still needs to swap much set vm.swappiness to 100

    -if you don't notice any difference go for vm.swappiness=60

    You can find more information about "free -m" and swappiness here :
    http://gentoo-wiki.com/FAQ_Linux_Memory_Management
    Last edited by ubuntu_demon; July 20th, 2006 at 07:03 PM.

  4. #14
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    Question Re: Ubuntu is very heavy on my (not too old) laptop . :(

    Quote Originally Posted by ubuntu_demon View Post
    You'll get a bigger speed improvement by using icewm / fluxbox instead of xubuntu if you want to sacrifice (some) ease of use for a lighter memory foot print.

    ...

    You can icewm install it by :
    $sudo apt-get install icewm

    To get more useful stuff for icewm :
    $sudo apt-get install iceconf iceme menu icewm-themes icepref

    For fluxbox :
    $sudo apt-get install fluxbox
    To get more useful stuff for fluxbox :
    $sudo apt-get install menu fluxconf
    Thanks for these tips! I realized that I put some premium on the GUI, so I decided to stick with Xfce.

    My problem is: how do I remove these things? Should I simply type:
    $sudo aptitude remove iceconf iceme menu icewm-themes icepref
    ... and repeat in reverse order?

    Thanks in advance.
    OSS Monkey - hp
    Xubuntu 6.0.6 | Toshiba Satellite 1800 | PIII-850mHz | 128Mb RAM
    Linux user #422293 Get counted!

  5. #15
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    Cool Re: Ubuntu is very heavy on my (not too old) laptop . :(

    Quote Originally Posted by darwish View Post
    I have a Dell D505 laptop with a:
    * Pentium-M 1.5 GHz, 1MB L2 cache
    * 512MB 333MHz Ram
    * 1.5 GB swap space
    * Integrated 64Mb i810 video card
    I have a very similarly specked laptop and have the same bloated feeling while running Dapper. I have also tried xubuntu & kubuntu, strangely xfce was a lot slower than gnome but kde seemed a little snappier. I stayed with gnome because it's my favourite and Ubuntu because it's by far the best OS for my needs. I do wish that it was more responsive when using the menus and browsing files & folders.


    Tony.

  6. #16
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    Re: Ubuntu is very heavy on my (not too old) laptop . :(

    you could try using bum to shut off some of the stuff you don't need running.

  7. #17
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    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Ubuntu is very heavy on my (not too old) laptop . :(

    Quote Originally Posted by oss_monkey View Post
    Thanks for these tips! I realized that I put some premium on the GUI, so I decided to stick with Xfce.
    I added some desktop performance tweaks on my blog :
    http://ubuntudemon.wordpress.com/200...rmance-tweaks/

    The CFQ tweak might be nice.

    Prelinking IMHO makes no sense if you have little memory and a slow harddrive becuase then prelinking will take ages.

    The vm.swappiness tweak might be nice if you have problems with swapping (a lot of swapping going on on moments you don't like)

    The gnome tweak is for gnome and therefor not relevant

    Quote Originally Posted by oss_monkey View Post
    My problem is: how do I remove these things? Should I simply type:
    $sudo aptitude remove iceconf iceme menu icewm-themes icepref
    ... and repeat in reverse order?

    Thanks in advance.
    The order doesn't matter as long as you mention them all. You can also leave it on your system as it takes very little space and will cost you no performance at all.

    On a side note :
    There might be a couple of packages that were installed as dependencies left on your system but if that's the case don't worry about them because they will only take very little space and won't slow your system down. You can use debfoster / deborphan / gtkorphan to clean leftover libraries and dependencies in general. But it is an advanced topic which is more suitable to power users and you don't need to do it (though I can help you if you insist on it).

  8. #18
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    Smile Re: Ubuntu is very heavy on my (not too old) laptop . :(

    Quote Originally Posted by fuscia View Post
    you could try using bum to shut off some of the stuff you don't need running.
    Thanks Fuscia, that's a great little app.
    I removed some unwanted services & Nautilus now seems a little quicker when opening large system folders.

    Thanks again,

    Tony.

  9. #19
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    Re: Ubuntu is very heavy on my (not too old) laptop . :(

    my pleasure, tony.

  10. #20
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

    Re: Ubuntu is very heavy on my (not too old) laptop . :(

    Try a Debian SID [unstable] net install, add only packages that you need, and recompile the kernel.

    Works a treat on my old Dell Laptop.

    Cheers
    Desktop: Apple iMac 20" Snow Leopard 10.6.1, eeePC 1000H Karmic 9.10 Alpha 6, HTPC: Mythbuntu 9.04, MAME Arcade Machine: Debian Etch 4.0

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