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Thread: How to select updates for my version of Ubuntu?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    How to select updates for my version of Ubuntu?

    My computer has begun to run very slow. I thought it might be the Update Manager co-opting system resources. I disabled automatic updates but I still get the orange triangle(!) to manually check updates and don't know if this alert is slowing down my system or not. There are too many update apps and I don't know which one's I need for my system and which ones I don't need, vs. merely desirable. (I have no idea what KDE, gnome, etc. mean) Last time I installed them all and my tech friend had to deinstall some because they weren't needed and hindered performance. I don't like being dependent on my tech friend.

    I tend to have lots of open browser windows and need to restart often just to have a semblance of speed. If it's not the browser, what's slowing me down? I have over 2 Ghz processor, a gig of memory and 10mbs connection which was more than adequate for speed months ago, but now everything is slow as molasses and I get nothing done. Is it the NSA capturing emails or browsing history? Is it just me?

  2. #2
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    Re: How to select updates for my version of Ubuntu?

    Stop being paranoid, I don't think NSA is to blamed here unless you are involved in some prohibited/suspicious activity. Even it they did that won't slow down your PC. I am sure they carry out their 'snooping' activity with minimum footprint on your PC for you to suspect anything.

    What version of Ubuntu have you installed? If you are not sure then post the output of the following commands from Terminal [ctrl+alt+t]:
    Code:
    uname -a
    df -h
    You say you have "a gig of memory", which I read as 1Gb RAM. This is LOW if you have a standard Ubuntu install. You must either consider adding more RAM (at least a total of 2Gb, more if you can) or install a light versions of Ubuntu, called LUBUNTU and XUBUNTU. If I were you I would go with Lubuntu.

    You can use Terminal to do your update check and install install updates/upgrades with the following:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
    Last edited by fantab; November 30th, 2013 at 05:40 AM. Reason: added lubuntu & xubuntu link
    "Evolution is Nature's way of issuing upgrades."


  3. #3
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    Re: How to select updates for my version of Ubuntu?

    Welcome. You don't mention what release you are using ...

    Try running this:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get autoremove
    This will remove everything you don't need. Then provide this file from a terminal. Run this command and post the file here:

    Code:
    nano /etc/apt/sources.list
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; November 30th, 2013 at 06:09 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: How to select updates for my version of Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by germeten-i View Post
    My computer has begun to run very slow. I thought it might be the Update Manager co-opting system resources.
    Almost certainly not - think about what Update Manager does, it periodically (every day) checks for updates and then does nothing until the next day. Merely displaying a symbol does not even use 1% of CPU power.

    There are too many update apps and I don't know which one's I need for my system and which ones I don't need, vs. merely desirable. (I have no idea what KDE, gnome, etc. mean) Last time I installed them all and my tech friend had to deinstall some because they weren't needed and hindered performance. I don't like being dependent on my tech friend.
    Updates will never use more resources than the previous version, unless something is very drastically wrong. Updates within one version of Ubuntu are very conservative - bug fixes or security fixes only, no new features. You can safely install all updates, remember they are only updates for packages you already have, and they replace the old versions.

    I tend to have lots of open browser windows and need to restart often just to have a semblance of speed. If it's not the browser, what's slowing me down? I have over 2 Ghz processor, a gig of memory and 10mbs connection which was more than adequate for speed months ago, but now everything is slow as molasses and I get nothing done.
    This depends on what is slow - is it just that web pages load slowly, or does your computer actually take longer to open programs and do non-web-related tasks?

    If it's just that the CPU seems to be running slower, you can try running this command:

    Code:
    top
    It will show you what is using the largest amount of CPU power, if your computer is supposed to be fairly idle and yet one program stays at the top of the list with a large amount of CPU% (more than a couple of percent) then it is likely the culprit and you could try killing that program (press K, type the "PID" number and hit Enter, then type 9 and hit Enter).
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Re: How to select updates for my version of Ubuntu?

    Wow, thank you everyone!

    Fantab:

    I blog and send emails mostly, often I have to allow scripts (not globally)
    using no-scripts and sometimes BS pop-up windows get through.

    I ran the version command and got:

    uname -adeanvon@deanvon-home:~$ uname -a
    Linux deanvon-home 3.2.0-55-generic-pae #85-Ubuntu SMP Wed Oct 2 14:03:15 UTC 2013 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
    deanvon@deanvon-home:~$ df -h
    Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sdb1 71G 7.0G 60G 11% /
    udev 612M 4.0K 612M 1% /dev
    tmpfs 248M 976K 247M 1% /run
    none 5.0M 0 5.0M 0% /run/lock
    none 619M 300K 619M 1% /run/shm
    deanvon@deanvon-home:~$

    Bucky Ball:

    I know I'm running Ubunto 12.04 LTS, the rest is greek to me. I ran your code and got:

    # deb cdrom:[Ubuntu 12.04 LTS _Precise Pangolin_ - Release i386 (20120423)]/ pr$
    deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise main restricted #Added by soft$
    # deb cdrom:[Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS _Lucid Lynx_ - Release i386 (20110720.1)]/ luci$
    # See http://help.ubuntu.com/community/UpgradeNotes for how to upgrade to
    # newer versions of the distribution.

    deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise main restricted
    deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise restricted main multiverse$

    ## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
    ## distribution.
    deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates main restricted
    deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates restricted main mu$

    ## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
    ## team. Also, please note that software in universe WILL NOT receive any
    ## review or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
    deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise universe
    deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates universe
    [ Read 88 lines (Warning: No write permission) ]
    ^G Get Help ^O WriteOut ^R Read File ^Y Prev Page ^K Cut Text ^C Cur Pos
    ^X Exit ^J Justify ^W Where Is ^V Next Page ^U UnCut Text^T To Spell

    When I check updates I see a lot of apps and such, always close to a quarter gig of stuff,
    it doesn't all seem necessary and how much disk space is really used up after running the
    janitor? (That's a digression from the speed issue, maybe.) Yes my tech buddy has told me
    more than once to add memory but I live on a budget. It didn't use to matter, current memory
    was adequate.

    3rdalbum:

    Point well-taken but SOMETHING is slowing it down. Could well be Firefox browser but
    killing that app also kills what I'm doing! Restarting with the only last open webpage is
    the only thing that brings back functionality. (I love Firefox's session manager for saving
    tabs, I'm embarrassed to say how many) But opening other apps with firefox as well,
    takes forever, didn't use to.

    Hey, that <top> command is cool. Yes it looks like Firefox is using + or - 50% of memory
    resources.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Mystletainn Kick!
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    Re: How to select updates for my version of Ubuntu?

    Yes my tech buddy has told me
    more than once to add memory but I live on a budget. It didn't use to matter, current memory
    was adequate.
    How much RAM do you have?
    Splat Double Splat Triple Splat
    Earn Your Keep
    Don't mind me, I'm only passing through.
    Once in a blue moon, I'm actually helpful
    .

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: How to select updates for my version of Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadflowr View Post
    How much RAM do you have?
    OP mentioned "a gig" of RAM which I interpret to mean 1 GB. If OP also has an "embarrassing" number of tabs open, then that's the problem right there. More RAM will definitely help. An easier solution is simply to close most of those tabs.

    @OP

    Firefox (and most browsers) is built so that every open tab is almost like having a separate instance of Firefox running. Okay, I exaggerate, but not by much. The point is that each tab is very memory-intensive. Having an embarrassing number of tabs open on a 1 GB system will quickly exhaust your memory and send you into swap, which will slow your system to a crawl and give you exactly the symptoms you are experiencing. If you don't have enough swap space, or disabled your swap, your system will likely crash—Linux does not handle running out of memory very well.

    Two simple solutions... pick your poison.
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just let me jump.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Reykjavík, Ísland
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    9,938
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    Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

    Re: How to select updates for my version of Ubuntu?

    Let's hear more about the hardware. Please run

    Code:
    sudo lshw -sanitize > lshw.txt
    and post lshw.txt in CODE tags.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    5

    Re: How to select updates for my version of Ubuntu?

    Duck Hook:

    Is an open tab in firefox considered open if the page hasn't loaded? For example I thought I could have a very large number
    of tabs visible, so long as I hadn't actually visited to reload the page. The pages that ARE loaded, (say video hosting sites),
    and blogs with advertising, could very well hog memory.

    Morgaes:

    I ran that code and got description of the command itself, no HW info.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: How to select updates for my version of Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by germeten-i View Post
    ...Is an open tab in firefox considered open if the page hasn't loaded?
    Excellent question. In all honesty, I've never experimented because whenever I open tabs, it's done dynamically. My often-visited sites are bookmarked and therefore actively invoked when visited. In a low-RAM system you can see memory being mapped to each additional tab simply by keeping a terminal open and running either
    Code:
    top
    or more summarily
    Code:
    watch free -m
    and then opening more tabs. On my system, on average, each tab is 15KB. Sites like UbuntuOne are, for some reason, almost 40 KB. YouTube is 30KB. Variances seem to be very site-specific. Ten tabs is 150KB, 20 tabs is 300KB—that's 30% of a 1 GB system. If the system decides to start a background task during this time (say, update manager), or you have a memory-intensive app open at the same time (say, GIMP or a photo-editing app), then it could easily push the OS over the threshold at which it starts invoking swap. And my experience is that once it goes to swap, you're response time drops to awful, especially on systems that are resource constrained to start with.

    Perhaps a never-invoked tab takes little/no memory. I don't know. But then, why have them? Dormancy means they aren't being used, so isn't that what Bookmarks are for? As to your question itself, it would be great if you conducted the experiment and reported the results. It should be easy using the top/free commands above.

    —EDIT—

    More evidence that I'm past my sell-by date... That should have been MB above. The cited usage in KB would be awesome. Unfortunately, it's MB.
    Last edited by DuckHook; December 2nd, 2013 at 03:53 AM. Reason: KB to MB
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just let me jump.


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