Speed Up Ubuntu Unity On Low End Systems [Quick Tip]

speed-up-ubuntu-UnityUbuntu 2D has been dropped from Ubuntu 12.10. It may not mean much if you have a laptop with considerably good hardware, if not a powerhouse. But it may be worth paying attention if your computer is not rich on hardware (read graphics). The new Ubuntu 12.10 uses 3D hardware acceleration, which is not supported by older hardware. Though it does not mean that you will be not be able to use Ubuntu 12.10 but it does mean that you may be facing some performance issue every now and then.

If you are using Ubuntu with Unity as its desktop environment, you must be using its newest features such as preview feature in Unity dash. While using Unity and searching in dash, some low end computers might encounter occasional lags and delays. We have a clean and neat trick to get rid of it and give you a smooth ride with Ubuntu 12.10.

Here is how to do it:

  • Open the following file: ~/.xprofile. You can do it in terminal or in file manager (GUI). To show the hidden files in file manager use Ctrl+H.
  • If the above specified file does not exist, create it.
  • Now add the following line to that file: export UNITY_LOW_GFX_MODE=1

The above specified command actually disables some effects such as blur, transparency etc in Unity and thus gains some brownie points and overall gives you a smooth performance.

If you are looking for more, follow the best practices to sped up Ubuntu on low end systems.

  • pablord

    Nice one, thank you.
    A curiosity: It can be found in any Unity/Ubuntu documentation?

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      It is not mentioned in the user manual for Ubuntu 12.10 (as far as my memory goes) :D

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  • Deepak

    Wow.. it works. just had to restart the system !

  • Quang Nguyễn Ngọc

    Thanks you very much…

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      You are welcome

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  • mainmeister

    Does this pertain to 13.04 as well?

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      Yes, it is applicable to Ubuntu 13.04 as well.

  • Hirad

    I don’t have .xprofile (there is .profile). what should I do? btw I’m using Mint 15

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      If there is no .xprofile file, create one. It was speciefied in the article :P

  • Agnishwar Banerjee

    Sorry for being a noob, but where do you create .xprofile? Is it in the home folder?

    • http://www.computerandyou.net/ Abhishek Prakash

      Yes. if ~/.xprofile does not exist, create it. “~/” means home. You can simply use this command:

      mkdir ~/.xprofile