Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dealing with Ubuntu performance problems if you have an integrated video card.

On my work computer, both the latest Linux Mint and Ubuntu variants had huge performance problems in the last two months. When I had numerous tabs open (some with flash video) in Chrome, the computer turned sluggish, and after some time froze completely. I had to press the reset button once or twice a day lately - and that is really not healthy for the system.

Computer specs:
  • Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU    Q9400  @ 2.66GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel® G45/G43 
This spec should is not at all weak in my oppinion, so there must be some driver problem, or the usual culprit: flash.

I believe that the problem was caused by flash. I installed the Flashblock extension in Chrome and also turned off the 3D accelarated unity desktop of Ubuntu by installing gnome-session-fallback and choosing it at next logon.

The combined effect is amazing, the computer is blazing fast again...

Installing gnome-session-fallback:

 sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback  

One more thing:

The panels in the fallback mode can only be edited by pressing alt + super + right click...


The whole problem was caused by the lack of enough ram. Just adding 1GB to the previous 4 that I had eliminated all problems. According to 'top' I use about 4.7GB when using virtualbox.