Jump straight to the Unity is a Burden below because first three paragraphs are my common Ubuntu talks that might not interest you.
Two years back I wanted my Ubuntu to perform fast and I looked upon some tweaks and tricks to make it perform fast. Back then I was a beginner to Linux and programming stuff. Well, I still am a beginner and the expertise that I’ve gained over time is building/configuring/installing any Debian package and make it run on my machine. Which is kind of cool? Even though you don’t build any tools, being able to run tools build by some other developers also keeps you updated with technology.
After years of using Ubuntu and upgrading from 10.04-12.04-14.04 to my current version 16.04LTS, the performance issue is gradually increasing. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) was one of the best distribution version from Ubuntu which performed to its optimum capability even in my old Dell Inspiron Dual Core Processor and 2GB RAM. That was That was 4 years back and I was worried since then I might get the performance issue on my obsolete machines after the Ubuntu Version starts upgrading.
Back then I have written a blog on my approach to speed up Ubuntu in this article A Learner’s Approach To Speed Up Ubuntu.
And I got no chance to ponder back into the performance issue and find some more tweaks which could help. But I did one thing which has been helping me for a year or a two.
Unity is a burden
If you check memory usage of your system you can see that Unity occupies like almost 10-15% of your memory usage. Just for the interface, your 20% of memory gets occupied. And this is not after you start browsing applications but right after the system gets booted. And the memory usage increases gradually after you start surfing other applications.
Let’s say you opened your file explorer which takes 3% memory usage. Then Unity doesn’t manage the memory usage with its initial 10-15% occupied memory, but an additional 3% memory usage is added.
So why the heck do you need Unity if anyways it won’t be managing your usage? And why do you let your 20-25 percentage of memory usage be occupied initial and get no benefit in the performance?
i3 Desktop Manager
I was done with Unity and started exploring some lightweight desktop managers. After some online surfing, I found i3 Desktop Manager, a famous easy windows tiling Desktop Manager also lightweight.
sudo apt install i3
After you download and install i3, log off your machine. You are currently using Unity so you need to log out of it. After you log out in your locked screen choose the i3 desktop manager. The Desktop Manager Selection is available on the right side of your password entering area. You will currently see Unity’s logo click it, it will list i3 desktop manager. Select it and enter your password.
If you check your memory usage by your desktop manager you can find a drastic change.
NOTE: If you are new to Ubuntu, I would suggest you use Unity for some time and ignore the memory usage issue. Because switching to I can be a trouble. i3 can be customized and is geeky. It has a minimum user interface and you need to manually type for the commands that you want to perform.