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So, in the interest of feeling informed about the varied desktop environments that exist, I've performed two apt-get install for xubuntu-desktop and lubuntu-desktop in recent months. I didn't really much care for either one, I guess I've just come to appreciate the Unity UX.

At any rate, and entirely anecdotally speaking, I can't help but feel like ever since the first apt-get for xubuntu-desktop that load time was a little slower than before. Talking from Power On to the login screen here. Not only that, but it replaced my loading screen with the xubuntu one :( After downloading lubuntu-desktop, I feel more certain that the computer takes a little longer from power button to login screen (and the splash screen wasn't even present at last login, but honestly that seems cosmetic to me so I'm not terribly concerned). Of course, I've never taken a stopwatch with me to watch things boot up, so this is nothing but my limited perception.

I'm on the verge of doing a re-install just to clear the Win7 partition (and possibly the Win7 recovery partition, if that's safe) off this computer altogether as I just don't use it, so this may be a moot point. But that doesn't mean I won't get an itch to try out something like Cinnamon desktop or any of the myriad that are out there, and so before I go recreating the same problem for myself - is it conceivable that the startup sequence gets a little wonky after installing all those desktop environments?

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Installing lots of packages can definitely have a negative impact on performance. Many people argue about the actual impact; some call it insignificant, which theoretically might be true if none of the packages install start-up daemons. The reality is that many packages install daemons, and each daemon will require additional resources at boot time.

If you want to rectify this perceived problem, I recommend you carefully review your packages, and remove those you deem extraneous. Without knowing the packages, and what each one provides, this can be a very confusing task. You may find you've over-removed, and might have to install specific packages again.

To make the process less risky, I highly recommend installing deborphan. It will help you locate orphaned dependencies. Additionally, you may want to also use debfoster, to identify which meta-packages should be removed. Just proceed with caution, and investigate package names if you're unsure.

To install Deborphan and Debfoster, run:

sudo apt-get install deborphan debfoster

Here is a small list of commands, which I use to help this process:

  • List Installed Packages: dpkg -l | cut -d' ' -f 3 | sort
  • List Orphaned Lib Packages deborphan --guess-all
  • List Orphaned Packages deborphan -a | awk '{ print $2 }' | sort
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wonderful place to start, thanks! –  Stick Mar 10 '13 at 20:43
    
The ArchWiki has a nice list of daemons. –  user25656 Mar 11 '13 at 3:31

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