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Thread: HOWTO: Make Linux Faster and Smoother!

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    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Bentonville AR
    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Lightbulb HOWTO: Make Linux Faster and Smoother!

    Reduce Swappiness
    If your computer has 1GB+ RAM, you would be hardly needing your swap space in most cases. It is evident that the RAM is much faster than your hard drive (A good 677MHz DDR2 can give 3000+ MiB/s while a standard hard drive can give around 50MiB/s). So it's better to let the RAM handle most of the processes. The tendency to use swap is called swappiness.Swap space is a cached area on the HDD that the OS utilizes as a memory overflow/dump area. To reduce swappiness, at a terminal, type in:
    sudo sysctl -w vm.swappiness=10
    If you wish to reduce the swappiness permanently, do:
    sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf

    And change the vm.swappiness value to 10. If the line doesnot exist, add the line

    Using preload
    Preload caches the most accessed applications on your disk and memory. Preload should not be installed on systems having memory less than 1GB, otherwise, it would not have any effect, or rather would advesly affect the performance. To install preload, at a terminal:
    sudo apt-get install preload
    Once installed, preload will automatically start during boot. It normally takes 20-30 launches of a program to start being cached by preload.

    Disable unneeded startup services
    Some services start-up automatically even if you don't need them. Goto System->Administration->Services and press Unlock to provide your password for the keyring. You may disable services like Bluetooth, Logging and Printing services if you don't need them.

    Use lighter alternatives
    You can use lighter alternatives to the existing programs you may use:

    • Firefox: Firefox has slightly higher memory consumption. You may use Opera or Epiphany as an alternative.
    • OpenOffice: You may use AbiWord and Gnumeric Spreadsheet as an alternative to OO-Word Processor and OO-Spreadsheet
    • Nautilus: You may use Thunar or PCManFM as an alternative.
    • Gnome-Panel: You can use FBPanel as an alternative.
    • Gnome-Terminal: You may use XTerm as a lighter alternative.

    If you want to reduce RAM usage drastically, use a lite WM like Openbox and configure it to use Gnome apps. In that way, you can use all Gnome apps but you would use up very less memory.
    Openbox configuration guide:

    Disable unneeded ttys
    Ubuntu comes with 6 ttys enabled. You usually don't need more than 1 tty at a time. To disable tty2 to tty6:
    sudo bash
    cd /etc/event.d
    mv tty2 tty2~
    mv tty3 tty3~
    mv tty4 tty4~
    mv tty5 tty5~
    mv tty6 tty6~

    Now, at a terminal, do:
    sudo gedit /etc/securetty
    And carefully comment out tty2 to tty6 by adding a # in front of them. Save it and close the file. Disabling unneeded ttys also helps to enhance security:

    Make OpenOffice faster in Ubuntu
    Launch OO-Word Processor. Goto Tools->Options and click on Memory. From top to bottom on the window:

    • Reduce the Number of steps to 20
    • Set Use for to 128MB
    • Set Memory per object to 20MB
    • Set Number of Objects to 20
    • Check Enable systray Quickstarter

    And press OK button.
    Note: Enable the quickstarter only if you use OpenOffice extensively. Otherwise, the quick starter would be unneeded.

    After performing these changes, do a reboot for the settings to take effect.

    NOTE: This HOWTO is based on useful information collected from various online resources. This is neither a speculation, nor has been benchmarked and published. Users can try these tweaks, and keep the new settings if they find it beneficial, or switch back to their old settings otherwise, as these are completely safe and reversible changes to your system. I personally see productive output of these tweaks on my computers
    Last edited by sayakb; July 12th, 2008 at 07:22 PM.
    Sayak Banerjee
    KDE Sysadmin | KDE e.V.
    Need help? Contact us.


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