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Mint 13 Performance Tips?

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:15 am
by Briand18
I installed Mint 13 a few months ago. The performance is truly appalling - does it really gobble up so much more resources than my previous Mint 9? It is really bad when there are two sessions open, but even normal operations in single user can be very slow.
My config is as screenshot below. I accept it is rather an old laptop, but Linux has always been sold as the o/s which gets the best out of older systems.
Resource 12-04-14.jpg
Can anyone give me some hints as to how I can tweak the set up to speed things up?

Re: Mint 13 Performance Tips?

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:42 pm
by Kalyk
Which desktop environment did you use, Cinnamon or Mate?
Today I installed Linux Mint 16 Mate on a desktop machine with the same specs and it really was very fast and snappy.

Re: Mint 13 Performance Tips?

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:04 pm
by Flemur
- Disable boot-up items you don't use: bluetooth, cups, etc., with the menu/GUI ("Startup applications")
- Additionally, I look in:
/home/username/.config/autostart
/etc/skel/.config/autostart
/etc/xdg/autostart
/usr/share/mint-configuration-xfce/autostart
/usr/share/upstart/xdg/autostart

and, for the items in those directories I *think* I don't want, do this:
$ sudo mv dontwant.desktop dontwant.desktop.save
(e.g. -> xfce4-tips-autostart.desktop.save and mintupload.desktop.save)
Be careful cuz you can break things - hence mv rather than rm. Sometimes updates will put them back.

This script
https://raw.github.com/pixelb/ps_mem/master/ps_mem.py
does a nice job showing what's using how-much memory.

Your "desktop" (as in KDE, MATE, etc) makes a big difference; my Mint16 w/fluxbox uses about 100 MB at boot (time=17sec); a fairly fresh install of LMDE/MATE used over 500MB (time=~50sec). My Arch install w/fluxbox used about 110MB. If you go over your 1GB memory (your pic), it'll start using swap and then things get pretty slow. Fluxbox is a bit weird for most people, and Xfce is probably the "lightest" regular Mint install.

Re: Mint 13 Performance Tips?

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:35 am
by Briand18
Kalyk wrote:Which desktop environment did you use, Cinnamon or Mate?
Today I installed Linux Mint 16 Mate on a desktop machine with the same specs and it really was very fast and snappy.
It's Cinnamon. Can you point me to a tutorial on changing the desktop environment?

Re: Mint 13 Performance Tips?

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:32 pm
by Kalyk
Since it is a new install I would choose to reinstall and then select the Mate-version of the distro.
But if you want you can install Mate

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install mint-meta-mate
I don't know if some Cinnamon stuff has to be uninstalled, but if so it might make your system less stable, I'm not sure.

Re: Mint 13 Performance Tips?

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:45 pm
by Briand18
Kalyk wrote:Since it is a new install I would choose to reinstall and then select the Mate-version of the distro.
But if you want you can install Mate

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install mint-meta-mate
I don't know if some Cinnamon stuff has to be uninstalled, but if so it might make your system less stable, I'm not sure.

Not that new an install, unfortunately - a couple of months into it, with all associated baggage. Anyway, by mentioning even the possibility of things becoming 'unstable' if I get under the bonnet I shall probably have to live with the poor performance.

Re: Mint 13 Performance Tips?

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:17 pm
by Kalyk
Only adding Mate doesn't make it unstable, so you might just do that.

Re: Mint 13 Performance Tips?

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:21 pm
by Briand18
Kalyk wrote:Only adding Mate doesn't make it unstable, so you might just do that.
But your earlier post adds (after the terminal instruction to install Mate) "I don't know if some Cinnamon stuff has to be uninstalled, but if so it might make your system less stable, I'm not sure."This sentence is what made me nervous!

Re: Mint 13 Performance Tips?

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:36 pm
by Kalyk
I did the install of Mate on my fathers laptop and it worked ok.
Then using Mate might solve the problems.
But if it doesn't solve the problem then something from Cinnamon might cause the problem.
And I'm not sure about the uninstalling of parts or all of Cinnamon.

Re: Mint 13 Performance Tips?

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:16 pm
by passerby
Install MATE (or XFCE, if you'd rather). It does not conflict with Cinnamon, and it will not make your system unstable.

In regards to a new install and your current data, you should look into moving your data to a separate /home partition.
It's much easier to do during install, but there are plenty of tutorials out there for moving it post-install.
With a separate /home partition, you can upgrade from version to version without losing your config files, documents, etc. (though you would need to reinstall whatever programs you've added)