Making your Ubuntu run faster on a slow computer is more exciting by different tricks and methods. But some of the tricks are safe but some are too risky to imply which harm our own computer. Here is the list of some safe tricks which can be implemented to boost your Ubuntu on your computers.

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4 Tricks to speed Up Ubuntu 14.X

1. Improving the System Memory Usage (RAM)

There are 3 ways you can improve your usage of the system memory:

1.1 Decreasing the swap use

While using relatively low RAM memory (1 GB or less): they tend to be far too slow in Ubuntu, and Ubuntu accesses the hard disk too much. There is a partition on hard disk called SWAP which is also called virtual memory. By the use of the swap too much computer slows down.

Ubuntu usage of swap is determined by a value. Lesser the value, more time is required by Ubuntu to start working. The default value of the swap is 60, which is much too high for normal desktop use, and only fit for servers.

The detailed explanation can be found Here

The Solution: 

1) Applications like gksu and leafpad must be installed first.

Launch a terminal window and type: sudo apt-get install gksu leafpad 

Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that the password will remain invisible, not even       asterisks will show

2) Now we check the swappiness value, for that type in the terminal window: cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

Press Enter
The result will probably be 60.

3) Now to change the value of swappiness type: gksudo leafpad /etc/sysctl.conf

Press Enter                                                                                                                                                         Scroll down the text file and you will find add your swappiness parameter to override the default. Copy/Paste the following lines: # Decrease swap usage to a more reasonable level vm.swappiness=10

Save the text and close the file, and reboot your computer.

After reboot, check the swappiness value by typing in the terminal window: cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

Press Enter.
Now it should be 10.

Note: You can even decrease the value for better performance, the ideal value of swappiness for:                   1GB RAM or more: swappiness at 10
Less than 1 GB RAM: swappiness at 5

1.2 For 1GB RAM or more

Shrink the inode cache which would be more beneficial for computers with 1 GB or more RAM memory. This is only possible for atleast 1GB RAM computers as certain system items will remain longer in the RAM memory, which decreases the amount of available RAM for general tasks.

The Solution:

1) Applications like gksu and leafpad must be installed first.

Launch a terminal window and type: sudo apt-get install gksu leafpad 

Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that the password will remain invisible, not even       asterisks will show

2) Then type in the terminal (use copy/paste): gksudo leafpad /etc/sysctl.conf

Press Enter.
Scroll to the bottom of the text file and add your swappiness and cache parameters to override the defaults, so copy/paste the following lines: # Improve cache management vm.vfs_cache_pressure=50

3) Close the text file and reboot your computer.

1.3 For 786 RAM or less

Even if you change the swappiness value of your computer having less RAM(786 or less) the also there might be problem as your computer slows down.

In such situation you might achieve better results by enabling the experimental kernel module zRam. zRam creates a compressed swap file in your RAM. The compression factor is the gain: with that, you “increase” your RAM.

But by applying this might affect your computer like your processor (CPU) is being taxed more heavily, because it’ll have to compress and decompress all the time. You can apply zRAM with only in combination with a swappiness that has been decreased to 5.

The Solution:

Launch a terminal window and type: sudo apt-get install zram-config

Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that the password will remain invisible, not even       asterisks will show

Reboot your computer.

After reboot your computer type: cat /proc/swaps

Press Enter.
If all has gone well, you should receive a report about one or more /dev/zram “partitions”. zRam is active then; no need for further action.

Disable the zRAM after use 

Launch a terminal window and type: sudo apt-get purge zram-config

Reboot your computer

Now check by the following command: cat /proc/swaps

Press Enter.
If all has gone well, you should receive no report anymore about one or more /dev/zram “partitions”.

SEE ALSO:

LINUX PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS AND TOOLS
LINUX IO STACK DIAGRAM
LINUX DIRECTORY STRUCTURE

2. Disable the visual effects by switching to a 2D desktop

As we see video on our computer we use video card which by default enables 3D visual effects. And this might be reason for slow speed for the Ubuntu as it degrades the performance. You can disable them by switching to a 2D desktop environment. Or switch to the Xubuntu desktop.

The Solution:

1) First, install gnome-session-fallback:

Launch a terminal window and type: sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that the password will remain invisible, not even              asterisks will show

2) Now Log out. In the login window, click on the Ubuntu logo next to your user name

Now click on GNOME Flashback (Metacity).

Note: don’t select GNOME Flashback (Compiz), because that also has 3D effects, and you want to get rid of     those.

3) Login again

3. Solid State Drive (SSD) should run faster

A Solid State Disk, or rather Drive (SSD), is sometimes only recognized properly by the BIOS or UEFI, when in the BIOS/UEFI the feature AHCI has been activated for SATA.                                                                           Do you have an SSD for hard drive?  Then optimize it run faster.

4. Remove the indexing application

By using indexing application apt-xapian-index speeds up certain search operations, but it can slow down older and weaker computers a lot. This package is not important for any task to perform so you can easily remove it.

If you have installed the Synaptic Package Manager: a side effect of the removal is, that the “Quick search” box disappears from the panel of Synaptic. This means that you have to use the search button (the one with the magnifying glass icon) in the panel of Synaptic now.

This search button is superior to the Quick search anyway (it produces more search results), so this disappearance is actually an extra advantage.

The Solution:

Launch a terminal window and type: sudo apt-get purge apt-xapian-index

Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that the password will remain invisible, not even             asterisks will show

Reboot your computer.

5. Disable Java in Libre Office

When you disable Java in Libre office you automatically increases the performance of a Libre office to a greater extent. By doing this some of the features will also disable but no need to worry as that features are not important and of no use.

The Solution:

Open Toolbar Libre Office Writer ->Tools -> Options…

Libre Office – Advanced – Java options:
Remove the tick for: Use a Java runtime environment

6. Off some of the startup applications

By disabling some of the applications provided by Ubuntu that help your computer to speed the Ubuntu. This point can be compared to tweaking msconfig in Windows.

Mostly all the startup application on Ubuntu are hidden so make all of them visible first.

The solution:

1) Launch a terminal window and type: cd /etc/xdg/autostart/

Press Enter

2) Now type in terminal window : sudo sed –in-place ‘s/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g’ *.desktop

Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that the password will remain invisible, not even               asterisks will show

3) Now check the Startup Applications:

Click on the grey Ubuntu logo (Dash home). Query: startup.
Untick what you don’t need and reboot your computer (or log out and then log in again).

Note: Do not remove the application from the list! Keep the tweak easily reversible (you never know).             When in doubt about a particular application: don’t do anything, just leave it the way it is.

7. Remove unnecessary Add-ons and Extensions from Web Browser

There are many Add-ons and Extensions on web browsers like Firefox, Chrome etc. Which makes our work easier, but they too have some disadvantages, because they are “applications within an application”.

– They can cause malfunctions; both with each other and in the browser itself                                                   -they slow your browser down, especially if there are a lot of them;                                                                   -it has occurred: add-ons with malicious content. Don’t trust them blindly.

So, don’t load your browser full of Add-ons, remove all the extra Add-ons and just use really imporatnt Add-ons only.

Add-ons which claim that they make your browser faster, eventually make your computer slow and harm more.

8. Speed up your wireless internet

Here is the method by which you can make your wireless internet run faster on Ubuntu.

The solution:

1) Applications like gksu and leafpad must be installed first.

Launch a terminal window and type: sudo apt-get install gksu leafpad 

Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that the password will remain invisible, not even       asterisks will show

2)  Now find out how Ubuntu calls your wireless chipset:

Click on the grey Ubuntu logo (Dash home). Query: terminal.
Click on Terminal.
Type: iwconfig

Press Enter.

Now you can see the name of your wireless chipset and besides that you can see the power management option whether it is on or off. If it’s off you don’t have to do anything.

Note: Here use the example of a wireless chipset called wlan0. Sometimes it’s called something else, like eth1. In that case of course you need to adapt the terminal command lines accordingly.

3) Create an executable text file called “wireless”:

Launch a terminal window and type: sudo touch /etc/pm/power.d/wireless

Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that the password will remain invisible, not even       asterisks will show

Now type: sudo chmod 755 /etc/pm/power.d/wireless

Press Enter

4) Now write something in the text file you just created

Now write in the Terminal Window: gksudo leafpad /etc/pm/power.d/wireless

Press Enter

Now text editor Leafpad launches with the empty text file “wireless”.

Copy/Paste the following text into the empty text file “wireless”: #!/bin/sh/sbin/iwconfig wlan0 power off

5) Save and close the file

6) Reboot your computer

7) Then check in the terminal, by the command iwconfig, whether Power Management for the wireless chipset is off now.

9. Clean your Ubuntu

Daily cleaning up the system will help make your Ubuntu run faster and smoother on your computer. Here are some ways to do so.

  • Never use cleaning applications, they will harm your system.
  • Remove unused remains of uninstalled software
  • Remove old kernels
  • Clear the thumbnail cache

These were some points to clean your Ubuntu. For detailed information click here

Must see: Linux commands cheat sheet