How to achieve reasonable Unity performance in Ubuntu 12.04

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Gullible Jones, Oct 2, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Took me too long to figure out, but here it is.

    1. Get rid of apt-xapian-index.
    This service indexes various data about packages, making searches of that data faster. It also maxes out your CPU for a while once every week. Most people probably don't need it; Debian doesn't use it, and apt-cache on Debian is fast enough.

    apt-get remove apt-xapian-index

    2. Get rid of Ubuntu Oneconf.
    This service lets you synchronize configuration data over the internet, or something like that. Whatever exactly it does, I don't need it; especially seeing as it eats up ~150 MB of RAM and uses CPU resources continuously.

    apt-get remove oneconf

    Note that this will also remove the Software Center and the ubuntu-desktop metapackage. Neither is essential; the Software Center can be replaced with Synaptic or some other GUI frontend.

    ...

    And that's it. Unity 2D should now be usable on your netbook/Celeron desktop/other low-spec machine (unless I'm just really lucky).

    I seem to be missing something here though. Why does Canonical include services like this in the default Ubuntu install? From what I can see, their resource consumption is hugely disproportionate to their utility for most users.
     
  2. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Posts:
    9,148
    Computer hardware will improve over the years. Most of the focus is about getting features into the product and *then* making them perform better.

    Unity 6.0 should improve performance.
     
  3. In Ubuntu's case, though, OS versions seem to be getting released before the performance issues are ironed out (or before the hardware is powerful enough to support it). That's a good way to turn away new users IMO.

    I mean, sure, I can look around in top, see what's hogging my RAM and CPU power, and remove it. But I suspect that most new users will give it 30 minutes, notice that their computer gets godawful slow, and go straight back to Windows.

    Also, this is ignoring what is IMO the crux of the problem: these features are not necessary for most users. As I said, Debian does not use apt-xapian-index, and apt/Synaptic/etc. are fast enough on it. And Oneconf might be useful for some people, but I see no pressing reason to make it part of the default install, as opposed to an installable extra.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2012
  4. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Posts:
    9,148
    Ironing out performance isn't easy. Unity had awful awful performance when it was released two years ago. In that time the performance improvements are drastic but it has taken a while.

    And you can't fix performance issues without pushing the software out first.

    I agree that keeping performance acceptable is important it's just easier said then done.
     
  5. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Posts:
    1,441
    The problems are reduced with a lightweight window manager and desktop environment.

    One doesn't have to sacrifice eye candy for performance.
     
  6. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Posts:
    1,984
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks for the tip, Gullible :)
     
  7. tlu

    tlu Guest

    It can also done with KDE. Read this Phoronix test: If you chose to automatically suspend desktop effects on full-screen applications, KDE 4.9 is as fast as Xfce and LXDE. As a matter of fact, KDE with this setting was the fastest desktop in most test runs.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.