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So I have an older MacMini. It's not the world's greatest machine, but it doesn't suck that badly:

Intel® Core™2 CPU T5600 @ 1.83GHz × 2, 1gig ram

I have installed Ubuntu on MUCH weaker machines with acceptable performance. I have installed Windows 7 on this machine with acceptable performance. But Ubuntu 12.04? SLOW. Horribly slow. Loading the system dialog is a 45 second affair. Starting chrome is a 2 minute affair. Launching Ubuntu Software Center? 5+ minutes. Something obviously isn't doing what it's supposed to be.

Any ideas where to start looking?

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Which GPU does your Mac mini use?, if Ubuntu isn't cutting it for you try other variants, Xubuntu, Lubuntu. – Uri Herrera Jan 11 '13 at 19:13
Intel GMA 950 using 64 MB of DDR2 SDRAM, according to – mschultz Jan 12 '13 at 17:07
I installed Xubuntu, and it seems to work a bit better, though it is still slower than I would expect. Will try Lubuntu later. – mschultz Jan 14 '13 at 17:03
possible duplicate of How can I improve overall system performance? – Eliah Kagan Aug 25 '13 at 11:44

Had the same problem and found a quick, simple and very effective performance.

Have a look at cat /proc/cpuinfo and see if your CPU is not being underclocked. I downloaded the simple script and ran it with the performance switch and got an amazing improvement. An alternative would be to use something like indicator-cpufreq app.

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Where did you get the simple script? Where would the OP get indicator-cpufreq app and what does it do? this is all useful information. – Wild Man Apr 29 '14 at 2:01

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