3 Ways to Improve Core Ubuntu Performance

By Adrian Cruce

Ubuntu is a lightweight Linux-based operating system. There are still some significant improvements that will deliver a performance boost for Ubuntu that someone new to Ubuntu can do on their own.

Here are three ways to improve core Ubuntu performance quickly.

1. Have You Set Up a Swap Partition? Here’s How…

The swap file is used in place of insufficient memory. When you’re running with only 1GB or 2GB of RAM, a swap file is needed. It creates a separate section on your hard drive known as a partition which usually has a different drive letter.

Ubuntu uses the swap file to save information and temporary files as part of its regular functionality. It operates slower than upgrading your memory, but if your system is at its maximum RAM already, then a swap file is the next best thing.

As a rule of thumb, you should set up a swap file for twice the size of your installed memory. Making a swap file larger than double the size doesn’t significantly improve the speed of the operating system. Here are some detailed instructions for how to create a swap file.

2. Get Preload Installed Pronto!

Preload has some nifty artificial intelligence and works behind the scenes. The tool considers how often each application is used. It then adjusts the loading speed depending on the priority of all the apps loading up at the same time.

Use Terminal and type the following command to get Preload setup in Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install preload

3. Shorten Grub Bootloader Display Time

The Grub bootloader has a default amount of time to display the boot menu before moving ahead using the default setting. The bootloader presents a list of installed operating systems to provide the choice to Ubuntu users of which operating system to load up. This could be a Linux distro, Windows or another O/S entirely.

The default countdown timer is set to 10 seconds to allow the user time to select a different operating system than the default one. This setting avoids booting accidentally into the wrong operating system and having to wait until its fully booted up to restart and select a different O/S. However, when choosing the default option most of the time, then a 10 second delay seems like an eternity.

To change the countdown timer, run the following command in Terminal:

sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

The Grub bootloader file now loads into the GEdit editor. Be careful not to change any parts other than noted before otherwise you could have trouble booting up.

Alter the GRUB_TIMEOUT=10 entry to read GRUB_TIMEOUT=2.

Once the edit it made, save the file and exit GEdit. Return to the Terminal app, and enter the following command to refresh the Grub bootloader:

sudo update-grub

There are different things you can do to speed up Ubuntu. Some affect bootup speed and others tweak operational efficiency. For instance, selecting the best repository for updates helps speed up updates. Using a different desktop environment instead of Unity, such as LXDE, also makes Ubuntu feel speedier on slower PCs. Pick and choose the optimizations that matter to you.