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I installed ubuntu netbook edition on my netbook* expecting to get the best performance out of it, but apparently, that didn't turn out.
Unity is a bit slow on it, and when I click on Files and folders it takes a while to load the respective interface and the bar at the top disappears and then loads in.

Is this expected? Is there anything I can do to improve the performance? Is this problem specific to my netbook?

*Netbook info:
Acer - Aspire One
1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor
1 GB RAM Memory
Intel GMA 950 graphics card

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Unity is at its first public release... – badp Oct 10 '10 at 15:05
This is too vague of a question to be objectively answered here. For extended support on items please try the Ubuntu Forums or via IRC. You may also want to search LaunchPad to see if this has already been reported as a bug. – Marco Ceppi Oct 10 '10 at 15:10
Can you revisit my question? I have implemented some suggestions as to make my question more 'answerable'. – Severo Raz Oct 10 '10 at 15:21
Reopened in light of edits – Marco Ceppi Oct 10 '10 at 15:32
Ubuntu 11.10 didn't find drivers for my GMA 950 so the slow response could be because there is no hardware acceleration. – Psyconn Oct 22 '11 at 12:44
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Installing Unity 2D might work better on your hardware, it's the supported fallback desktop.

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Yes, as soon as I found out about Unity 2D, I installed it right away. And let me tell you, its a huge difference. Its probably the best solution up to now, but I hope they fix the original Unity because it looks a bit more polished. – Severo Raz Jan 25 '11 at 16:44

I have some problems with Acer Aspire One which are coming from fact that SSD drive in this netbook is very cheap and slow. I guess, that is not necessary Unity fault that everything is slow.

There are many tips about performance of Ubuntu on this hardware.

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A specific answer to your 'files and folders being slow' query is that this is a known issue in Nautilus. To see this really in action open /usr/lib or /usr/bin. Basically nautilus has this feature where to looks to identify file types, etc, and this can take a while, specially on slow spinning disks.

One fix here is to change your file manager to pcmanfm, which is a lightweight file manager and skips the file lookup stuff that nautilus does. This thread should outline how-to -

Your desktop will still be rendered via nautilus, but you can change all other filemanager actions to this filemanager, and have lookups be speedy.

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May be this is not an answer that you expect, but you can try some other Ubuntu distros like Xubuntu and Lubuntu (still in beta).

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Yeah... you're right about my expectation :^P anyway, I guess I'll just give Unity some time to grow, meanwhile I'll be using it. I'm not using this netbook all the time, so its not that much of a big deal to have it slow down a bit with some tasks. – Severo Raz Oct 11 '10 at 4:48

Not really an answer, but more of a work around...

1) Log off 2) Click on your Username 3) Set the session to "Ubuntu Desktop Edition" 4) Complete log in

The you'll be running normal Ubuntu, which should be snappier than Unity.

FYI, I'm also experiencing really bad performance with Unity. It's a shame because it's a nice interface!

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I like Unity as well however that is not really an answer.. :/ – NightwishFan Oct 16 '10 at 11:32
The problem is there is no answer. There was an update to Unity a couple of days ago, but I haven't tried it. I've started using a minimilistic desktop version and cairo-dock which is working better. – Jonny Oct 20 '10 at 14:05

It is said that Zeitgeist is slowing unity animations and increase cpu usage.

Zeitgeist is a service which logs the users's activities and events, anywhere from files opened to websites visited and conversations. It makes this information readily available for other applications to use in the form of timelines and statistics.

You can remove zeitgeist easily, but don't remove libzeitgeist-XXX if you use unity :

sudo apt-get purge zeitgeist zeitgest-core zeitgeist-datahub

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