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My Ubuntu 12.04 LTS worked fine for few months after I installed it.

But it has now slowed down considerably. For example: initially it took about only 2 or 3 seconds to load LebreOffice Writer, but now it takes about 15 seconds to load the same.

I properly update essential security updates.

My hardware: 2GB memory and 2.3 GHz processor(Intel i5)

What may have gone wrong? Any ideas please?

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I've noticed system slowdown lately too, and been trying to diagnose it - but there's a mess on my hands- but only because 'buntu is awesome and has enabled me in horribly abusing it for years. I've got a box that's been through at least one major distro upgrade (maybe 2 or more, I forget), a transcontinental move onto 220 voltage (not that that has much to do w/ this, except as a warning to buy good hardware), many apps on-and-off of it, streaming just about all the TV & music in the house for about 5 years, 6 or 8 different VMs coming and going, and it's my web dev server. So let me preface – msouden Apr 26 '13 at 13:21
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There can be many factors responsible for this.

One of them is installing more packages. As you install more and more packages, the computer slows because they might have their daemons which take memory and hence slow down your computer.

If there is a process which is taking more memory, you can fix the problem using the commands given in the answer to this question: Ubuntu slows down over time?.

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It might be because you have a low amount of RAM. And I believe LibreOffice does take a good junk of RAM, so upgrading RAM might help (4 GB should be fine) Also Use Startup Applications to check what useless applications are running when you turn on computer.

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