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For example in Windows XP (and onwards), you can Right Click My PC -> Properties -> Advanced System Settings and disable a whole slew of features that turn off eye candy and make the computer runs blazing fast.

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Since I'm running Ubuntu on a Virtual Machine for development purposes I really don't care if my windows have transparency or slide in and out. I just want it to run as fast as possible.

Is this possible in the latest version of Ubuntu?

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askubuntu.com/questions/2194/…;. Possible duplicate –  Stephen Myall May 12 '12 at 0:19
    
@StephenMyall: Not at all a duplicate. I'm asking specifically about visual settings I can disable to improve performance. –  Only Bolivian Here May 12 '12 at 0:25
    
Also, the 2194 question is from the 10.04-era (pre-Unity, no?) whereas the OP asks about the 12.04 ("latest version"). I agree with him---it's easier to configure Win XP wrt visual performance vs. appearance. –  jrennie May 12 '12 at 0:51

2 Answers 2

If you want Ubuntu to run as fast as possible, I suggest you choose a lightweight Desktop Environment.

At Phoronix there is a great comparison test that shows How Desktops Impact Performance.

Some examples:

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And:

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Also we can conclude that Unity 2D is not always faster than 3D:

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Can I use any of these desktop environments with Ubuntu easily? –  Only Bolivian Here May 12 '12 at 1:13
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Yes you can, just open Software Center, choose one of then to install. Logout and before log back in choose the desired environment. –  desgua May 12 '12 at 1:14
    
Woah. /Keanu - will post back with results! By the way which one would you recommend for a software developer to use? I don't want to configure anything is possible, but I do want most things a dev would want preconfigured –  Only Bolivian Here May 12 '12 at 1:16
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I would suggest lubuntu-desktop (that is lxde, very lightweight) or Gnome-shell, (which is pre-installed). –  desgua May 12 '12 at 1:16
    
Others options to look: kubuntu-desktop (kde), xubuntu-desktop (xfce) –  desgua May 12 '12 at 1:18

For starters, when you are logging in, click on the Ubuntu logo and select Ubuntu 2D.

Here are some great resources. Take careful note of the ccsm warning for 12.04 and other release-specific info. (Ccsm is the closest thing to the feature in Windows that you mentioned.)

"How can I improve overall system performance?"

How can I configure Unity?

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