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I have set up an Ubuntu 11 virtual machine, and I think that the pretty, animated UI is making it much slower (everything flickers and seems unresponsive). I would like to disable this and make the UI as simple as possible, so it works well inside virtual box, but I am not familiar with Ubuntu. Can you guys help?

Also, if you have any other tips to make the install work better as a VM, please share them

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which version of Ubuntu (11.04 or 11.10). Which type of VM are you using? –  fossfreedom Oct 28 '11 at 9:39
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migrated from serverfault.com Oct 28 '11 at 9:33

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you want something lightweight for VM usage, you may want to use Lubuntu. It basically is the LXDE/Openbox GUI environment but with the Ubuntu backend, so you can do all the stuff you'd normally do in Ubuntu, but without half of the resource sink.

To install Lubuntu into your Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop

If you want something a little more prettier, you may wish to try Xubuntu, although that even may a bit too "heavy" in terms of memory usage when compared to Lubuntu/LXDE. Also, it comes with a ton of extra packages to replace the default GNOME offerings, so if you want to replace things like image viewers, for example, then Xubuntu is the best offering one can get. If you just need to run scripts into a terminal and a few minor file management things, Lubuntu is the better offering.

To install Xubuntu into your Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

And of course, if you want to be even more lightweight, consider installing fluxbox or downloading a Fluxbox distro.

To install Fluxbox into your Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install fluxbox openbox

Remember, Fluxbox does require a bit of setting up in order to use it. The menu is highly customizable, but by default doesn't come with all the options that the GNOME environment does. Again, if all you need to do is solely run the terminal for whatever commands, Fluxbox is a brilliant alternative.

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Lubuntu is great. But there is one more step to switch to it after apt-get install on Ubuntu 13.04. I have to logoff, then I logon, then click a small icon close to my login name, then select Lubuntu. I spent about 10 mins to figure that out, so I put it here in case it may help someone. –  Jiang Sep 18 '13 at 22:40
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You might consider using a no-frills desktop environment, i.e., XFCE or something more minimal.

Also take note of the so-called "JeOS" distributions, delivered just enough Operating System for a virtual machine, e.g. Ubuntu JeOS (official site).

Edit: Apparently, there's a also the "Unity 2D"-option but I can't find anything useful on this; not sure if its still supported by Ubuntu.

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I tried using Unity 2d but it was slow as well. I just installed XFCE and it runs great BUT, and this is a huge but, I cant open the terminal in it, something seems wrong with the permissions, do I need to do anything after installing it? –  oalo Oct 28 '11 at 10:16
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On the logon screen, click the "gear" icon next to your name and choose a "unity 2d".

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or Ubuntu Classic (no effects) –  Giovanni Toraldo Oct 28 '11 at 10:12
    
Unity 2d is slow as well, and I dont have Ubuntu classic,I will trie to install it –  oalo Oct 28 '11 at 10:17
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