I will be developing this small tutorial with time. If you have a suggestion - send me private message.
# IMPROVING UBUNTU PERFORMANCE #
1. From time to time remove unnecessary files
In the home folder press "Ctrl + H" which will show you all hidden files. Remove catalogs and files from programs that you are not longer using (for example you were using Gimp, but you removed it months ago). Always remove to bin and leave it for few days just in case. DON'T remove file/folder if you don't know what is. means it's important
2. Every now and than remove old headers
First go to Synaptic, Click Reload. Next click Mark all Upgrades. click Apply. After installs are finished you might need to restart.
After that run in terminal:
It will return you something like:
This is your current header. Note it carefully! Go to Synaptic. In search window write
Linux ubuntu 2.6.35-23-generic
It will give you currently installed headers. Mark for removal all headers EXCEPT of you current one and last newest header. In this case 2.6.35-23 stays as current and 2.6.35-22 stays as last used before current.
3. Use cleaning programs
Programs listed below are popular and remove old, unused, orphaned, leftover files from disk. They are easy to use and should be used with CAUTION and backup! If you have problems operating them - google for manuals.
For duplicated files you can use:
- Bleech it
- Computer Janitor
- 2click Update
- Gconf Cleaner
4. Tar everything or at least what you can...
Some people are keeping millions of files like photos, mp3 with random numbers in random places. Sort out your files into main folders like Music, Pictures, Programs, Documents, E-books, etc. Create sub categories in those main folders for example Pictures -> Holiday 2010. Move all your pictures from holiday time into categories like for example June 2010, July 2010. Once all is sorted go into June 2010 where all pictures are, press "Crtl + A" (selects all files in folder). right click on them and choose "Compress". Use tar.gz as it's fastest. Once compressed - remove picture files = you have them in compressed archive. Keeping in archives will limit number of files. Not necessarily for the system (hdd), but when you enter folder which has 29.000 pictures they all start to buffer... When you enter folder which has 1 tar archive it doesn't Always try to split vast amounts of file into folders which will contain max 200-300 and tar them. Easy to search and un-compress.
5. Replace sluggish programs
Some default programs after time are not enough. You can replace Firefox with Chromium. Apparently it's faster. My opinion is - it takes less RAM and is as fast as Firefox so I use it... properly configured!
Replace Rhythmbox with Banshee, Evolution with Claws-Mail. I always replace Brasero with GnomeBaker as the first works on my nerves. Gwibber can be replaced with Hotot which is faster and better and doesn't load with system. If you like them after time - remove default programs.
Additional - Visit options for most commonly used (by you) programs and look for options to clean cache. Once a month is fine.
In synaptic always first click "Reload". On left choose "Status". You will see above it "Not installed (Residual Config)" Once a month go to Residual Config, choose all packages, right click them. Select Mark for Complete Removal and click "Apply" button.
Synaptic keeps history of installs/uninstalls in case you will need to come back to it. Check the history once a month. If you have installed programs from sources most likely they had dependencies which you installed as well. History in Synaptic will show it all. If you removed programs you can remove dependencies as well.
I have stopped using terminal and apt-get for cleaning because it doesn't keep history... or it keeps somewhere, but I'm lazy and like visual side by Synaptic. In case you want to use commands, run those ones from time to time:
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get autoremove
7. Control startup
System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications
Un-click everything that you don't want to load at the start of system. For example if your computer doesn't have Bluetooth - un-click it. Button "Close" will remember configuration. The less programs starting with system you have the better, but don't turn off systemic ones.
8. Remove programs you will never use
I know I will never use Remote Desktop Access and for example Games in Ubuntu so the first thing I do after installing fresh system is to remove all I am not interested in.
9. Remove old e-mails and cahe
You program probably keeps tons of old emails. Visit all your folders and remove what's unnecessary. Most programs after that should be archived = backup important emails should be done. General rule is to remove all clutter that is old. If it's likely you'll need it - TAR, Tar and Tar
Your media player as well as ubuntu keeps in hidden folders in your /home mases of small thumbnails of opened documents like for example pictures, or miniatures of played CD. You can clean that from time to time.
10. Re-compress your mp3
If you have a small disk and have lot's of mp3 they are probably compressed to different standard. You can use programs like "SoundConverter" which will allow you to take you mp3 which is for example 320kbps and re-compress it to 192kbps (standard good quality) or 128kbps (standard medium quality). Remember to use it first as a test. After that you can use it with option "Remove Source File" which is your ultimate goal. To be able to re-compress you mp3 you will need to install "lame" most probably from Medibuntu. Both can be found after net search. SoundConventer has also extensive help.
11. System menu
In you System menu you have few interesting options to optimize memory usage. System -> Preferences -> Appearance will let you turn off additional visual effects, which will slightly improve performance.
As few more experienced users pointed out - this point was not necessary.
Rest will come...
REMEMBER that you are cleaning your computer at your own responsibility and if you don't know what you are doing - DON'T DO IT