I use these setting on a laptop with a Core 2 Duo and 4 GB of ram. It might seem like overkill to tweak this system. However since it is a work machine at any time I am running Lotus Notes, VirtualBox, OpenOffice, Chrome, etc. Should you have a system with limited resources I would recommend Xubuntu for a light full-featured DE. Another option and very light on resources would be any of the open|flux|blackbox window managers.
Looking to get a bit more performance from your Ubuntu desktop (laptop)? Here are a few tweaks I currently use.
We all know what a bottleneck swap can be. This setting will force your system to keep more data in cache. The applications/data in cache will feel be more responsive as they are not unloaded to disk/swap. Experiment and find what works best for you.
The Swap file is controlled by a variable called “swappiness” and higher the number, the greater the tendency to go to the disk.
- swappiness can have a value of between 0 and 100
- swappiness=0 tells the kernel to avoid swapping processes out of physical memory for as long as possible
- swappiness=100 tells the kernel to aggressively swap processes out of physical memory and move them to swap cache
Identify your current system swappiness and vfs_cache_pressue settings by using the commands below.
$ sudo cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
$ sudo cat /proc/sys/vm/vfs_cache_pressure
Ubuntu’s default swappiness value is 60, vfs_cache_pressure value is 100.
Now change your swappiness to 10 and cache_pressure to 50.
$ sudo sysctl -w vm.swappiness=10 $ sudo sysctl -w vm.vfs_cache_pressure=50
The changes above using sysctl are for testing, they will be reset on reboot. When you are comfortable making the settings persistent they will need to be added to the
$ sudo vim /etc/sysctl.conf
Add the following to the end of the file.
# swap/ram tweaks vm.swappiness=10 vm.vfs_cache_pressure=50
Additional reading: Ubuntu Community Documentation: SwapFaq.
$CPU_THRESHOLD setting is the point that your system will increase/decrease the processor frequency. In the example below we will set this value to 40. When your CPU sampled load rate exceeds 40% the CPU frequency will scale. Adjust as needed.
To change the CPU threshold you will need to add the following command into your
for CPU_THRESHOLD in /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/ondemand/up_threshold do [ -f $CPU_THRESHOLD ] || continue echo -n 40 &gt; $CPU_THRESHOLD done
/etc/init.d/ondemand and add the code above into the $CPUFREQ for loop.
$ sudo vim /etc/init.d/ondemand
It should looks like this when added.
for CPUFREQ in /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor do [ -f $CPUFREQ ] || continue echo -n ondemand &gt; $CPUFREQ for CPU_THRESHOLD in /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/ondemand/up_threshold do [ -f $CPU_THRESHOLD ] || continue echo -n 40 &gt; $CPU_THRESHOLD done done
Some people recommend changing the $CPUFREQ from ondemand to performance. Doing so will set your processor to full speed. This option is not recommended for a laptop as it will drain your battery and might cause heat issues. For a standard desktop it might be worth testing out.
This script reminds me of powerpill for Archlinux. Powerpill is a wrapper for Arch’s package management tool pacman. As you might have guessed apt-fast is a wrapper for apt-get. Apt-fast uses Alex download accelerator as opposed to apt/aptitude’s use of wget. Axel is available in the standard repositories and is required for the script to function.
Download apt-fast here
Save the script and make it executable.
$ sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/apt-fast
Use the script as you would apt.
Download atp-fast from http://www.mattparnell.com/linux/apt-fast
There was a bug in the previous version of Gnome that caused a performance problem when the hostname was missing from the /etc/hosts file. It is easy enough to address and will not cause any issues.
/etc/hosts and add your hostname to the loopback address. Replace myserver.mydomain.com myserver with your actual hostname.
127.0.0.1 myserver.mydomain.com myserver localhost
Note: These settings are not recommend for use on server systems.