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Thread: Looking for some system optimization suggestions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    1

    Looking for some system optimization suggestions

    I'm trying to salvage an old Toshiba laptop for my son to use for school work. Basically, I just want him to be able to use Firefox for accessing email and Google docs and also to get to his online textbooks. It used to run Windows XP, but when I tried to restore it from the original factory disc, Windows update wouldn't work. Anyway, I figured this would be a good time for me to try Ubuntu. So far so good, except that it's still running quite slowly. The computer is ridiculously old and lame, but I'm on a tight budget, so I have to work with what I have. Here's what we're looking at:

    Toshiba Satellite L35-S2161, Celeron M 410 @ 1.46GHz, 512 MB of RAM

    My question is simple: What suggestions do seasoned Ubuntu users have for getting the most I can out of this thing? I'm running Ubuntu 12.04.3, and all I really need it to do is run Firefox, LibreOffice, and Dropbox. No games, graphics, or media required (except that he sometimes needs access to online videos of one kind or another.)

    I'm assuming a RAM upgrade is the biggest thing I can do, so I've just ordered a 2 GB upgrade, which is the most this unit will accept. But is there anything else I can do to help it out? I've used CCleaner for Windows in the past to keep down the number of background processes running; is there anything like that for Ubuntu? Helpful suggestions are appreciated. Useless scoffing at the lame hardware, not so much. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Beans
    15,720
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Looking for some system optimization suggestions

    Hi, I recommend installing lubuntu it is the easiest on resources.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Hills CA
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    9,365
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Looking for some system optimization suggestions

    I have Linux Mint Mate 14 (based on Ubuntu 12.10) running on a similar Celeron M. It's not a terrible processor. With 2GB of RAM you should be OK.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Scotland, UK
    Beans
    150
    Distro
    Lubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Looking for some system optimization suggestions

    Combine both of the above.

    Today i discoverd you can install LXDE desktop on Mint and you get the best of both worlds. The times we live in.
    Boab1993

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    WI USA
    Beans
    10,669
    Distro
    Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet

    Re: Looking for some system optimization suggestions

    I think the ram upgrade will vastly improve performance with 12.04. The lighter flavors Lubuntu and Xubuntu come with different office programs the last I checked , but Libre Office is available for them . If you have a choice install the ram upgrade first before changing flavors, Lubuntu being the lighter of the two . Linux has no registry like Windows so no need for programs like CCleaner .

    You can remove programs from startup in all Linux desktops, but there should little to remove and I have never experienced any problem with non essential processes running in the background on Linux. Lubuntu and Xubuntu don't require Compiz of which the Unity desktop is a plug-in of and resource hungry.

    Installing the gnome-session-fallback and choosing the no effects option at login is another option if you can get your son to use it . You can set Ubuntu to auto login to a session , but that compromises password security.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Somewhere on Earth.
    Beans
    513
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Arrow Re: Looking for some system optimization suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu_Minnis View Post
    I'm trying to salvage an old Toshiba laptop for my son to use for school work. Basically, I just want him to be able to use Firefox for accessing email and Google docs and also to get to his online textbooks. It used to run Windows XP, but when I tried to restore it from the original factory disc, Windows update wouldn't work. Anyway, I figured this would be a good time for me to try Ubuntu. So far so good, except that it's still running quite slowly. The computer is ridiculously old and lame, but I'm on a tight budget, so I have to work with what I have. Here's what we're looking at:

    Toshiba Satellite L35-S2161, Celeron M 410 @ 1.46GHz, 512 MB of RAM

    My question is simple: What suggestions do seasoned Ubuntu users have for getting the most I can out of this thing? I'm running Ubuntu 12.04.3, and all I really need it to do is run Firefox, LibreOffice, and Dropbox. No games, graphics, or media required (except that he sometimes needs access to online videos of one kind or another.)

    I'm assuming a RAM upgrade is the biggest thing I can do, so I've just ordered a 2 GB upgrade, which is the most this unit will accept. But is there anything else I can do to help it out? I've used CCleaner for Windows in the past to keep down the number of background processes running; is there anything like that for Ubuntu? Helpful suggestions are appreciated. Useless scoffing at the lame hardware, not so much. Thanks.
    Try out Lubuntu, and then install Libreoffice from the Lubuntu Software Center (or just stick to Abiword and the rest of the office apps included). Chromium (a light version of Chrome) is installed instead of Firefox. Try it out, and if not, just use Xubuntu and install libreoffice through Synaptic.

    Note: Xubuntu is heavier than Lubuntu.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Beans
    77

    Re: Looking for some system optimization suggestions

    A 2gb ram upgrade should help out a lot, but I would also recommend you to use Lubuntu or Xubuntu instead of the regular Ubuntu with Unity. Try this and see how it works, if it is still slow you can come back and we will see if we can help you out some more with further optimization, but I don't believe that should be necessary. =)

    Good Luck!
    Help me help you, by reading these suggestions before asking for help!
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    I'm currently running Kubuntu 13.04 on my laptop and Debian 7 on my desktop pc.

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