I am putting together a desktop for a 13 year old nephew with 3GB RAM and a single core 3.2 Ghz CPU (originally outfitted with Windows Vista). I have reviewed the system requirements for 16.04. An SSD has been ordered: I am unsure if 16.04 with the Unity desktop will run effectively on this machine.

I expect that the machine will be used for:

  • Word processing
  • Youtube
  • Email

My daily driver is an 16.04, however it is on I7 core with 8GB RAM.

I have the machine running with a USB install stick: is there a good test to tax the machine so that I see it performs under high demand? It is desirable to understand if the machine will perform for the student before shipping it out of state.


Here is an excerpt from the System requirements page.

A good "rule of thumb" is that machines that could run XP, Vista, Windows 7 or x86 OS X will almost always be a lot faster with Ubuntu even if they are lower-spec than the minimal requirements.

TexStudio will work just fine. So will browsers like Chrome/Firefox which require a processor that supports SSE2. I can't say anything about LibreOffice :(

The only challenges you may face is with the single core CPU. For manually stressing the system, install the stress-ng package.

To test the CPU run the following command :

sudo stress-ng --class cpu --sequential 0 -t TIME -v --tz

Replace TIME with the duration for which you want the stressors to run. For example 100s, 20m or 1h. The --tz option collects temperatures from the available thermal zones on the machine. For more information you can use info stress-ng. Also, take a look here which describes another yet similar sounding package for testing the CPU.

  • Can you comment on what is measured by the command? Thanks – gatorback Dec 13 '18 at 15:07
  • @gatorback The command measures the total time of execution of all the stressors along with the temperature of the machine when each stressor was run. In order to get the total user time and kernel time being used, you can add --times option at the end of the command. Detailed examples are given in the link : (wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/Reference/stress-ng) – NPsoft Dec 14 '18 at 7:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.