Ubuntu 9.10 runs quite slugglish on my old laptop from 2004. Slower than Windows XP that was on there.

It has 512mb RAM and probably 1.2ghz (can't remember) CPU.

I have turned off Visual Effects under Appearance Preferences.

Are there any other tricks to get better performance, or do I just need a better computer to try Ubuntu?


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    Try Windows 7 ;-) – Ivo Flipse Apr 22 '10 at 6:04
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    Try other distros. Ubuntu isn't all that great for slower computers. I've been using crunchbang (#!) and on boot it only uses ~70mb ram. I've only got a GB ram and it hasn't even used my swap once, even when I set half my RAM to virtual box. – Rob Sep 13 '11 at 15:47

Gnome (the desktop environment that comes with the standard Ubuntu install) is a big resource hog, Try XFCE for better performance. You can install it via Synaptic, just grab the Xubuntu meta package (xubuntu-desktop). Then switch your session to XFCE at the login window. If you like it you can make it your default session.

You can also try LXDE, an even lighter desktop environment. Install the lxde package from Synaptic. And there's also the *box desktop environments like blackbox, openbox and fluxbox.

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  • You can use Fluxbox, too :) My Ubuntu with Fluxbox takes about 200-300MB RAM when fully loaded. – Ivan Petrushev Apr 22 '10 at 6:17
  • @Ivan Petrushev: What do you mean with 'fully loaded'? My Gnome uses less then 300MB right after start including Compiz. ^^ – Bobby Apr 22 '10 at 8:40
  • Skype, Pidgin, audacious2, firefox, couple of urxvt's open... Maybe even Azureus with console UI :) – Ivan Petrushev Apr 22 '10 at 9:58
  • @Ivan Petrushev: Ahhh...okay, you win. ;) (Firefox, Pidgin, XChat, Evolution, 575MB). – Bobby Apr 22 '10 at 19:32
  • Openbox is what I've been using on #!, meaning to try others but don't want to break anything. Going to be installing again on the desktop instead of the netbook, though, so flux and XFCE are going to get used. – Rob Sep 13 '11 at 15:48

You could try Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

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I went through a similar search for my netbook. I didn't really like the netbook remix. I tried Xubuntu, but it still seemed a bit slow at times. The fastest that I tried were crunchbang (openbox) and fluxbuntu (fluxbox).

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