I have been using Ubuntu since Ubuntu 16.04 and now on 18.04 I find that the system runs much slower with GNOME compared to with the Unity desktop environment.

I also love Unity DE because it has more features that I like than GNOME does.

Is there anything I can do about this?

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    Can you also update the question with your computer make, model number and amount of RAM installed? This may benefit other users with similar hardware to choose the Desktop Engine best for them. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Oct 21 '18 at 14:52
  • I fully agree. Made the jump from 16.04 to 18.04 and the system lags to a point that I make many typos! I would not mind to use Gnome instead of Unity because I am most of the time anyway in the console, but the keyboard input lag is so annoying that I started to look for solutions! And this on a Thinkpad X1 Extreme which is supposed to be a fast laptop! I am not alone: askubuntu.com/questions/1029256/… Just installed Unity on 18.04 and it's snappy again! Just in case it helps. – Max von Anon Feb 25 at 18:01

You can still use Unity in 18.04

This detailed article has a screen shot-filled tutorial for installing Unity in Ubuntu 18.04. To summarize:

sudo apt install ubuntu-unity-desktop

When installation starts you are asked if you want to switch to the Unity lightdm greeter. You will likely want this as you get the familiar login screen with the ability of easily changing login screen wallpaper.

Reboot and next to your User password field you will have either:

  • a Ubuntu logo if you picked Lightdm greeter
  • a Gear logo if you picked Gnome login

Click the Ubuntu Logo or Gear and now you can pick between the Gnome Desktop or Unity Desktop at login time. The next time you login the last choice is defaulted and you don't have to change it again.

Speed decreases

As for speed decrease, this is common in software generations adding more features as hardware becomes more powerful. The extra features slows response time on older hardware but new hardware usually provides acceptable response time.

Programmers will fine-tune their code after release to improve performance. Sometimes shortcuts are made to rush the project out the door to meet marketing's deadlines. After release extra time can be spent researching slow response times.

No one has a crystal ball but I'd say around the time 14.04 hits end of life (EOL) that's the time to seriously consider moving from 16.04 to 18.04.

Those making brand new hardware purchases today though would be better off installing 18.04 first as it has better support for new hardware with default kernel chain 4.15.0-XX-generic. Additionally it will save the pain of upgrading from 16.04 to 18.04 down the road.

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    Many users should also install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics , it's not a recommend of ubuntu-unity-desktop but is needed for full mouse & touchpad settings. – doug Oct 21 '18 at 14:18
  • @doug It's doesn't appear to be in Ubuntu 16.04 base install but shows up in Hardware Enhancement Stack: xserver-xorg-input-synaptics-hwe-16.04. On my machine anyway... – WinEunuuchs2Unix Oct 21 '18 at 14:25
  • It was always included in 16.04, ck. any of the manifests here old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/xenial – doug Oct 21 '18 at 14:38
  • @doug Thanks for the link. Perhaps when my -hwe-16.04 suffix version was installed it flagged autoremove for the original... – WinEunuuchs2Unix Oct 21 '18 at 14:47
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    @heynnema Yes I'm still on 16.04. I try 18.04 upgrade about once a month to see if list of my problems have been fixed. You should post "18.10 is snappier than 18.04" as an answer with some examples. It could become the accepted answer :) FTR I've never installed a XX.10 release, just the XX.04 releases which I keep for years. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Oct 21 '18 at 16:33

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