How To Make Ubuntu Linux Faster

I came across a page from the TvEase wiki the other day via Digg which specified a few tweaks on how to make Ubuntu speedier. As far as I can tell, they mostly do a few things like toning down memory swapping to disk (hmm, academically that kind of seems like a fundamental algorithm problem to me, but at least it’s adjustable), disabling IPv6 support, taking advantage of multi-threaded processors to thread init scripts at boot-up, changing various low level networking options, and changing the way which data is written and cataloged in the ext3 file system.

I finally got around to applying them earlier this evening to my workstation and here is what I’ve noticed thus far:

  • Boot-up time seems to be about the same. Granted, I’m on a fairly old workstation which has one of the Intel “hyperthreading” processors circa summer of 2003, so I didn’t really expect it to work anyway.
  • Browsing the internet has sped-up signifcantly! My geek-o-meter would guess that it’s about 200-300% faster now! For instance, I can literally load the front page of this site in as little as 1.2 seconds (according to Fasterfox) when I type in the URL
  • Multitasking seems to be much better, applications start a bit faster, and I never hear the “clank clank clank” of the OS paging out to disk

I’d highly recommend giving these changes a try on your Ubuntu system. Additionally, I would surmise that the boot-up time improves drastically on dual core machines. Personally I’m holding-out on buying a new workstation until the quad core machines are available at a reasonable price which is why my workstation is so antiquated.

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