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I think my system more than meets the minimum/recommended requirements for Ubuntu, but its still running slowly. Especially when I try to multitask by having 4-6 windows open, then it becomes quite slow and often hangs completely.

Before this, I was using Linux Mint previously which ran perfectly (but due to some software not working, I've moved to Ubuntu).

My question is, if I replaced my Ubuntu with Xubuntu, will it run faster (equivalent to how Linux Mint was running)? Or do I have to go down to Lubuntu?

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What version an distro are you actually using? Is it xubuntu, lubuntu (because of the tags) or ubuntu. Is it 12.04, 12.10? – Luis Alvarado Jan 22 '13 at 20:52
You should have enough RAM to run Ubuntu, what processor and graphics card do you have? – Seth Jan 22 '13 at 20:54
Maybe give a bit more information about those 4-6 windows. Are they terminal windows running some task within? Or browser windows or video player? That will help us to suggest the next step of action(or question :P). – John Siu Jan 22 '13 at 21:00
@iSeth Processor: Intel® Core™ Duo CPU T2450 @ 2.00GHz × 2 , graphics card: 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller – Click Upvote Jan 22 '13 at 21:06
@ubfan1 May be that's the thing, I don't have a swap created. If I reinstalled and manually created a swap, is that going to improve things substantially?/ – Click Upvote Jan 22 '13 at 23:40

Running these commands may help in speeding things up a little by freeing some caches, but this won't fix the cause:

sudo su -

enter your password

echo 1 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
echo 2 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
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Sorry I cannot comment on your question. You may not have to reinstall if you can resize your partitions or have some unallocated space left over to create a swap partition. A swap partition would be advisable with only 2gb of ram. Try using gparted perhaps to do this.

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How much of an impact will swap have? – Click Upvote Jan 22 '13 at 23:53
Quite a lot! I personally find 2gb RAM to be a minimum for ubuntu if you want to do a few things at once. Even 3gb still eats up swap when using eclipse IDE and a browser with a few tabs open. The computer will run faster if it does not have to use swap space, and my other answer will speed give you a little boost when needed. – Mark Aroni Jan 22 '13 at 23:57

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