Speeding Up Your Linux Desktop

Speeding Up LinuxFor some time I have been using Ubuntu as my desktop distribution.  Recently even though my computer is quite powerful I have run into issues of slow going. The first thing I did was change to using Google Chrome for my daily browsing and Firefox as my backup browser for certain things.  This has helped the issue greatly by just using Chrome and closing Firefox on occasion and restarting it when slowness occurs.  Yet the speed still was not there as it use to be for me.  So I made a simple but effective change to my desktop environment.  I switched from Gnome to IceWM which has made all the difference in the world. Gone are the nifty yet resource intensive Compiz trickery replaced by pure simplistic beauty.  Reminding me more of the basic X Windows days when all you needed was a terminal and your favorite shell. It seems in an effort to appease the Windows types the Linux sect has made their desktops bloated just like what they were trying to avoid doing.  I only use a small handful of things throughout my day.

  • Browser
  • XTerm
  • gedit (or similar text editor)
  • pidgin (for IM)

That is about it.  I sometimes might open GIMP to edit an image or something to manage images when I upload them.  But this is not a daily occurrence. For work I now use Google Apps which includes Google Docs so there is not even a need to use OpenOffice or a PDF viewer for that matter.  It’s a minimal new world and I am just fine with that.