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I got this computer free and installed Ubuntu 10.04 on it + updates, plus followed the following tutorial all the way: http://www.unixmen.com/linux-tutorials/937-things-to-do-after-installing-ubuntu-1004-lts-lucid-lynx

I love the Docky which comes with it, but the computer has been running rather slowly. The System:

  • kernel 2.6.32-22-generic
  • Gnome 2.30.0 (I like Gnome!)
  • Memory: 1GB
  • Processor: Intel (R) Pentium (R) 4 CPU 1700 MHz (needless to say, it is 32 bit).
  • I think I dedicated 128 Mb to video memory while installing, but cannot find this setting now.
  • I did also install an NVidia driver for the 3D card, so I probably want to reclaim that memory back.

I want to trim the fat but I also want to keep some of the sex appeal of Ubuntu 10.04. I will gift this computer to a friend, who will use it for Internet, music, videos, word processing, Skype and instant messaging - he is non-technical, so this hardware and Linux should work for him; I just need to speed it up while keeping the good software and having a nice UI. I sort of know my way around Linux, but not that well. Feel free to ask me to run particular commands if you want more info. For starters, here are the services below. Which ones can I kill and how? What else can go? There is no need to run ssh or ftp or http or ntp servers. As I said before, this computer is for non-technical person. There is also absolutely no bluetooth or wireless networking needed - it will feed off a regular ethernet cable. What I do not want to do is reinstall some other distro or recompile a kernel. I want to make it 80% perfect spending 20% of the energy :) Thanks!

$ service --status-all
 [ ? ]  acpi-support
 [ ? ]  acpid
 [ ? ]  alsa-mixer-save
 [ ? ]  anacron
 [ - ]  apparmor
 [ ? ]  apport
 [ ? ]  atd
 [ ? ]  avahi-daemon
 [ ? ]  binfmt-support
 [ - ]  bluetooth
 [ - ]  bootlogd
 [ - ]  brltty
 [ ? ]  console-setup
 [ ? ]  cron
 [ + ]  cups
 [ ? ]  dbus
 [ ? ]  dmesg
 [ ? ]  dns-clean
 [ ? ]  failsafe-x
 [ - ]  fancontrol
 [ ? ]  gdm
 [ - ]  grub-common
 [ ? ]  hostname
 [ ? ]  hwclock
 [ ? ]  hwclock-save
 [ ? ]  irqbalance
 [ - ]  kerneloops
 [ ? ]  killprocs
 [ - ]  lm-sensors
 [ ? ]  module-init-tools
 [ ? ]  network-interface
 [ ? ]  network-interface-security
 [ ? ]  network-manager
 [ ? ]  networking
 [ ? ]  ondemand
 [ ? ]  pcmciautils
 [ ? ]  plymouth
 [ ? ]  plymouth-log
 [ ? ]  plymouth-splash
 [ ? ]  plymouth-stop
 [ ? ]  pppd-dns
 [ ? ]  procps
 [ + ]  pulseaudio
 [ ? ]  rc.local
 [ - ]  rsync
 [ ? ]  rsyslog
 [ - ]  saned
 [ ? ]  screen-cleanup
 [ ? ]  sendsigs
 [ ? ]  speech-dispatcher
 [ ? ]  stop-bootlogd
 [ ? ]  stop-bootlogd-single
 [ ? ]  udev
 [ ? ]  udev-finish
 [ ? ]  udevmonitor
 [ ? ]  udevtrigger
 [ ? ]  ufw
 [ ? ]  umountfs
 [ ? ]  umountnfs.sh
 [ ? ]  umountroot
 [ ? ]  unattended-upgrades
 [ - ]  urandom
 [ + ]  winbind
 [ ? ]  wpa-ifupdown
 [ - ]  x11-common

EDIT: I just changed the visual effects to None and things are running better, but Docky is now static. I guess I will have to just deal with it. Anything else that I can do to improve it?

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1  
can you tell us how you perceive the slowness? –  lajuette Jun 21 '10 at 15:41

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Stop Unnecessary Services From Starting

Go to "System>Preferences>Startup Applications". It is a nice GUI where you can check/uncheck services and read brief descriptions of them. Some suggestions to get you going are

  • Bluetooth Manager
  • Empathy (if you don't want chat)
  • Personal File Sharing
  • Remote Desktop
  • Ubuntu One
  • Visual Assistance

Basically check to see if you want the service and uncheck it if you don't. It is easy enough to re-check something if you decide you want it later.

A few more tweeks:

sudo apt-get install prelink
sudo prelink -amR
gksudo gedit /etc/defaults/prelink (change PRELINKING=unknown to PRELINKING=yes)

This will prelink binaries to libraries only once in a while instead of every time the an application is opened.


sudo apt-get install preload

Installs a program that preloades commonly used applications into extra memory so they launch faster.


Consider switching to lighter weight applications. Specifically get rid of Firefox. It is slow and a memory hog. Try Chrome or if you really want to go light weight try Epiphany.

share|improve this answer
    
"change PRELINKING=unknown to PRELINKING=unknown" -- Interesting definition of 'change' you've got there. –  Mircea Chirea Jun 27 '10 at 8:05
    
Fixed. Thanks... –  rybl Jun 27 '10 at 20:06
    
You say Firefox is a memory hog? I asked about this recently, and the stats showed FF to be consistently good, and Chrome to be consistently bad... –  Andy Jul 3 '10 at 9:50
    
I haven't used FF since Chrome came to Linux so maybe they have gotten better, but as I understand it Chrome uses a fair amount of memory if it is available, but uses it to make a very snappy responsive application. FF, at least the last version that I used, had a ton of memory leaks and was just plain sluggish. But like I said, if you really want to go light weight don't use either, use something like epiphany. –  rybl Jul 3 '10 at 20:52
    
There is an error in the script: There is no "s" at the end of /etc/default/prelink gksudo gedit /etc/defaults/prelink (change PRELINKING=unknown to PRELINKING=yes) –  user95221 Aug 23 '11 at 4:41

Have you considered trying the "Netbook" version of Ubuntu?

On a modest hardware, you should also switch from Firefox to Chromium, which is a much lighter web browser.

But I must say that to really improve your laptop's overall performance, you should change of desktop environment software (Xubuntu shipped with XCFE is a good place to start).

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there's another version of Ubuntu too - lubuntu. It uses LXDE which is lightweight. It may help. I agree with Nicolas - use something lighter than a full-blown Ubuntu. It's heavy and may be causing a lot of your perceived performance issues.

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I wasn't aware that there was a LXDE version of Ubuntu. Thank you for pointing that out nwgray :-) By the way you can find it on lubuntu.net Fantomas. –  Nicolas Bazire Jun 25 '10 at 17:25

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