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I'm new to Ubuntu/linux. Since my PC is very old and not very fast with Windows 7, I decided to give Ubuntu a try, so I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 11.10 today. When I first started it, I had bad 800x600 resolution and it was very slow and annoying. So I installed a driver for my graphic card and now everything looks very nice (1280x1024).But I think it's still far slower than Windows 7.

I tried to run in Ubuntu like a few people suggested on the forum but if I log in I get a black screen saying something like "this video mode cannot be displayed". I get that same screen when booting Ubuntu btw, but after about 15 seconds it disappears and just starts Ubuntu.

I also installed other drivers for my graphic card but everything stayed the same. I noticed that i.e. when I open Firefox or system settings it takes about 5 seconds till it opens (while Windows 7 takes under 1 second to start i.e. Chrome) and when I do this my CPU usage gets to 100% for a short time.

Computer specs:
Memory: 2GB RAM
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 6800 400MHz.

I read on various forums that 11.04 works flawless on many PCs, where 11.10 is very slow. Should I install 11.04 or could anybody help me with this problem?

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closed as off-topic by Luis Alvarado Apr 23 at 17:17

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Where do you have Ubuntu installed? Is it in a partition on the same drive as Windows 7 or is it on another drive? Out of curiosity, what is Ubuntu 2? I'm not familiar with the reference (which may just be because I'm ignorant). –  irrational John Apr 13 '12 at 19:59
I think he must mean "Ubuntu 2D", i.e. all of the 3D effects/compositing turned off. It's an option when you are at the login screen. –  pestilence Apr 13 '12 at 20:06
Sorry, I meant Ubuntu 2D. I installed Ubuntu on the same partition as Windows 7. Could this be the reason for being so slow? –  Patrick Apr 13 '12 at 20:17
@pestilence OK, thanks. FWIW, I think it is also commonly referred to as Unity 2D. @Patrick I'm still not quite clear. How did you install Ubuntu? Did you boot from a Live CD or USB? Or did you use a Windows program called Wubi? –  irrational John Apr 13 '12 at 20:33
I installed it using the Windows program you refer to "Wubi" as it was the easiest method for me. –  Patrick Apr 13 '12 at 22:16
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1 Answer 1

To get Ubuntu 2D to work, you should try running nvidia-settings to configure the X server more precisely. Under "X Server Display Configuration", set the desired resolution instead of leaving it on auto. Then click "Save to X configuration file" (it should be /etc/X11/xorg.conf) and reboot. Then try logging into Ubuntu 2D.

Another possible explanation is that you are feeling the performance penalty from running off a Wubi-installed partition. See Wubi Performance Difference for example. To get better performance, install ubuntu directly onto a fresh partition.

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I changed the resolution from auto to 1280*1024 and clicked on Apply as when I clicked on "Save to X configuration file" he couldn't find that file. Rebooted anyway and Ubuntu 2D works now, but it is hardly any faster as the normal Ubuntu :( –  Patrick Apr 13 '12 at 20:25
I've added a comment about your having installed using Wubi. –  pestilence Apr 17 '12 at 17:00
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