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Old 12-10-2011, 04:01 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2011
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Slow response to commands from the GUI

I recently upgraded to 11-10. I now find that response to commands from the GUI is very slow. I notice this most in connection with Firefox and the Software Center.
I don't know if it is related, but I am also getting fluctuations in background light intensity. I have 500 megs ram in an older computer and will probably increase that, but it shouldn't be the issue. Any ideas?
Old 12-11-2011, 10:45 AM   #2
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Ubunut 11.10 documentation recommends a minimum of 512 meg RAM, though it will run with less (with loss of performance). Since your RAM is borderline, increasing the amount of RAM may solve all the problems.

You should also consider the possibility of RAM on the verge of failure. Get a liveCD with memtest86. When the liveCD starts up, don't boot into an OS. Scroll down the menu list and select memtest86. It will run a diagnostic suite on your installed RAM and report any problems. The tests are more thorough when RAM is not in use by an OS.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mountaineer View Post
I have 500 megs ram in an older computer and will probably increase that, but it shouldn't be the issue. Any ideas?
As bigrigdriver said, the Ubuntu minimum (and this is indeed a bare bones minimum here) is 512mb memory. So having too little memory will most definitely impair performance.
If you are planning on using this computer for a while, then increasing the memory would give a very noticable and cost effective performance boost to your computer. About 1GB of memory would be the
sweet spot (i.e., the most bang for the least bucks) for an older computer.

For an older computer I would recommend running the lightest and fastest member of the Ubuntu family, which is Lubuntu with the LXDE desktop:
I have been running Lubuntu in place of K/X/Ubuntu for about a year now. My computers have enough muscle to run a full on Ubuntu; but I have found that Lubuntu runs much faster than Ubuntu and still does everything I need an operating system to do.

Last edited by tommcd; 12-11-2011 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
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If you are running the default GUI then it is a good idea to install something lighter, Ubuntu bring Gnome as default which is fat no doubt and memory killer. There are many other GUIs that you can try, Fluxbox is a popular one I prefer Blackbox, Wmii, DWM, they are simpler but way lighter than Gnome, Using one of these will drop the memory usage at least by half and probably less if pick really lightweight ones. Check this:
There are many things you can do to reduce memory usage, some googling and you'll find easily.
Like disabling some daemons that are not in use. Keep one thing in mind you don't want to load in your truck more weight than it really can carry, it might run for while but it is gonna broke.
Meaning don't fry your motherboard giving it more work than it can handle !


PS. please post your hardware CPU, Video, etc.

Last edited by ukiuki; 12-11-2011 at 02:51 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:18 PM   #5
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Wow! I'll have to take this one step at a time. I think my first is to upgrade my ram to 1 GB, cheap enough. Also, I know that I can handle that. As for memtest86, I got the ISO and burned it to a CD, but don't know how to add it to an Ubuntu install disc. The CD has an ISOLINUX directory with 6 files, a zip with a flock of files, and a single file. I don't even know which if any is the executable. About Lubuntu, I would have to wipe my Oneiric. I also have XP on this computer, so I'd wipe the whole disc to dedicate it to a Linux system. I'm keeping notes on this option, as well as the alternate GUI's noted by ukiuki. Trying all of these will tax my skill, so first the easiest.

Thanks all for your time and thoughts.


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