Ubuntu is very powerful and polished Debian based Linux distro. Though Ubuntu Desktop Performance is remarkable good and fast on modern laptop and desktop. But after few days of installing Ubuntu, you might have noticed, that your system gives a sluggish performance. This might have happened due to many reasons. Your system might have unmanaged startup application, unnecessary Compiz Effects and much more.

Here I have listed several small tweaks and tips, which definitely help you to speed up Ubuntu desktop performance. These tweaks will let you have a smoother and improved system performance to do your regular task. You can follow all of it or some of it, but that will incredibly give you a high performer and faster Ubuntu system.

Tips To Speed Up Ubuntu Desktop Performance

You may find lots of tweaks and tips on how to speed up Ubuntu Desktop Performance. Some are safe and some are risky. Here I will be sharing only safe and stable tweaks. Because I believe that system stability and reliability is much more precious and important than gaining the speed.

1. Manage Startup Applications

Many startup applications take huge resource while the system boots up, and that makes the system slow and give poor performance. So at Ubuntu desktop, it’s better to manage startup application at the best level.

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There are many application i.e Bluetooth manager, email client, remote client, visual assistant etc which might not be necessary during startup. So to reduce the startup application follow…

Unity Dash >> Search for Startup >>Add/Remove/Edit as you like

Manage Startup Application-wiredmahir.com

2. Install Preload

Preload is a handy tool that runs in the system background and having an artificial intelligence to understand the behavior of the system user. This how it loads the application very fast depending on how often the user is using the application. Follow the command from the Terminal to install preload in Ubuntu.

sudo apt-get install preload

3. “Lower” The Compiz Effects

To speed up Ubuntu system significantly, you must minimize the use of Compiz effect. There are many Compiz effects loaded by default, which makes the Ubuntu system slow. So try to disable some of the eye catchy Compiz effects to speed up your unity desktop on Ubuntu.

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

4. Create a Swap partition

If you have less RAM on your machine, then you should make a swap partition during initial Ubuntu installation. Normally Swap partition is made double in according to your actual RAM. If you have 2 GB RAM then the Swap Partition will be 4 GB.

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This partition will use your HDD as RAM to speed up application launching and background system process. Discard of making this Swap partition, if you have RAM more than 4 GB.

If you have forgotten to make Swap partition during Ubuntu installation then search online “how to make Swap partition after installing Ubuntu”. Definitely, You will be getting a lot of tutorials for making a swap partition.

5. Remove Undesired Search Results (Only For Unity Version)

Though by default Ubuntu does not include Lens, Scopes or Amazon online search but on the old version, it displays all into unity dash. So remove it from unity dash, follow…

System Setting >> Security & Privacy

Remove unwanted search result

Here you will find all the information about files, applications, search, diagnostics, and security. So do the change according to your preference. Moreover, if you have installed Ubuntu Tweak Tool, you will get much more control on your privacy settings.

Unity Dash >> Ubuntu Tweak Tool >> Search

6. Reduce The Default Grub Load Time

While booting up a laptop, the Grub shows the options of dual booting OS or recovery to choose. Normally a user gets 10 seconds time to choose. That means user have to wait up to 10 seconds or need to hit enter to get inside.

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So it’s better to reduce the Grub load time, but remember don’t make it 0 seconds, then you will lose to select the OS from boot or recovery. Here how to do it.

Run the following command.

sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

Change GRUB_TIMEOUT=10 to GRUB_TIMEOUT=2. This will make the Grub load time to 2 seconds. After that to make the change effective, run the following command.

sudo update-grub

7. Choose The Best Mirror For Software Updates

If you have a slow internet connection then this procedure is required to select the best server for updating Ubuntu system.

Application Drawer >> Search for Software & Update >>Ubuntu Software Tab >>Select Best Server ( Download From Tab )

Best Mirror For Software Updates

This will start a test to find out which server is near to you so that it gets the update files faster into your system during a software update and upgrade. This will definitely speed up Ubuntu system with all new security bug fixes and install all the required missing drivers.

8. Reduce Overheating

Overheating problem is very common on laptops. This makes the laptop run slow and gives poor performance. There is a very effective tool in Ubuntu repository, which can help to cool down your system, and that will make the Ubuntu system smooth and faster. After installing TLP, you need not do any configuration rather just run the command.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw
sudo tlp start

You can also Install Laptop Mode Tools which help to reduce power consumption by slow down Hard disk speed and kernel control. To install it run the following command…

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/apps
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install laptop-mode-tools

After installing get the GUI for further customization. Run the command…

gksu lmt-config-gui

9. Clean up Ubuntu

First of all, I like to focus on apt-get command. This command is the most powerful command in UNIX/Linux Terminal, which lets you do almost anything about software install, uninstall, Downloads etc. before doing anything, it makes a cache in your HDD consisting of all downloaded data. So it gets bigger and bigger after certain of time. This makes the system slow and sluggish. To remove all those caches from your system HDD, run the following command.

sudo apt-get clean

Don’t get worried. It does not delete any installed application from your system.

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Now I will highlight the application “dependencies”. When an application is installed, other related small application also installed along with to have to full functionality. But if you uninstall the application that time the dependencies or small subsidiary application will not be removed.

So it creates junk files on the HDD and slows the system. To clean up all these unnecessary packages or unwanted “Dependencies” from the system, run the command.

sudo apt-get autoremove

Final Thought

All these above tips and tweaks are given based on Ubuntu latest version, but these tips also can be used in all other old versions of Ubuntu. Moreover, other Linux distros which are based on Ubuntu like elementary OS, Linux Mint etc can similarly apply these tips and tweaks.

These tips and tweaks help you to maintain and speed up your Ubuntu desktop Performance significantly.

Speak Now

Do you have any tweaks that helped your system to perform fast ? did you like all the above tweaks? Do share your views, questions, and suggestion in the comment below.

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  1. fans are not working and dell inspiron 7567 is HOT inspite of installing tlp. Nvidia drivers crash the system and i have to reinstall the OS when i try and use them, everything turns grey and the system locks up, the iphone won’t mount, can’t play overwatch because i couldn’t get wine to load. There is more I’m just back in win10 right now so the laptop is cool. This is really a pain in the neck to have to try this hard and make it work I want to run ubuntu I have never tried another desktop I love compiz and emerald which on the upside are working im tired or reinstalling. I’m sick of the snarky answers they post on Ubuntu forums and just googling endlessly. Any suggestgions?


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