Performance Enhancement in Ubuntu

I am using Ubuntu for an while now and over the last few months and I find that the performance of my system has been drastically reduced. I know its more because of improper system management than hardware ineffectiveness (mine is a 2gb ram with 160gb hard disk). If it were windows it would have been simple..:) Run disk defragment, %prefetch%, %temp%, temp in cmd and delete all temporary files. But ubuntu is more fun, because you don’t employ some tool to do the job that you should bend yourself and do..:) So here is the list of things that I did in order to increase the performance of my Ubuntu System.


Go to Synaptic Package Manager and search for ‘prelink’ and you will find a single app. Install that and then come over to terminal and edit the following file, /etc/default/prelink  i.e give gksu gedit /etc/default/prelink and in the file that opens up, change the PRELINKING=unknown to PRELINKING=yes. This will help in prelinking applications, enabling it to start quickly.


Swiftfox is an optimized build of Mozilla Firefox. Swiftfox has builds for both AMD and Intel processors and is based on the most cutting edge Firefox source code available. Add the repository to /etc/apt/sources.list Deb unstable non-free.

Install from a terminal window as root using the correct package name:

apt-get update

apt-get install swiftfox-prescott

Most firefox plugins are compatible here and even your existing firefox bookmarks and plugins are imported automatically..:)

3. Openoffice tweaks:

We all know OpenOffice takes little time in loading. And in most likelihood we will be looking for better word processors. But we can optimize it. Open the word processor and go to tools->options and then change the following options based upon the screenshot attached below. (change the setting little according to your system specs). I found the word processor opening instantly now..:) But with 11.04, LibreOffice looks too cool. More info on that, here

4. Autoclean

There is an inbuilt package autoclean that should remove most irrelevant packages.

sudo apt-get autoclean

5. Residual Config

Go to Synaptic Package Manager and click on the ‘Status’ button in the left bottom end of the screen. Then in the window on the left hand side, you will find menus like installed, manually installed, not installed, etc… If there is a menu not installed (residual config), then select all applications under that (you can choose only one by one..:( and i had a long list) and give ‘Mark for Complete Removal’ and Apply the changes.

I think after performing all this also, there is a high risk that your system is slow. Then it boils down to the application, say for example for me Netbeans is a dream in all ways, it makes app development too easy but literally eats my system, so in such cases you need to tweak your application rather than the system.

About Shankar Balachandran
Technical Manager, Openbravo operations, Kailao Consulting Private Limited

3 Responses to Performance Enhancement in Ubuntu

  1. Pingback: Ubuntu General Tips – 1 « Shaan – Openbravo Developer, India, Fugo

  2. Pingback: Ubuntu General Tips – 1 « Openbravo Technical Development – Do's and Dont's

  3. Pingback: Ubuntu General Tips – 1 – Shankar Balachandran

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