I'm new to Ubuntu/linux. Since my PC is very old and not very fast with Windows 7, I decided to give Ubuntu a try, so I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 11.10 today. When I first started it, I had bad 800x600 resolution and it was very slow and annoying. So I installed a driver for my graphic card and now everything looks very nice (1280x1024).But I think it's still far slower than Windows 7.

I tried to run in Ubuntu like a few people suggested on the forum but if I log in I get a black screen saying something like "this video mode cannot be displayed". I get that same screen when booting Ubuntu btw, but after about 15 seconds it disappears and just starts Ubuntu.

I also installed other drivers for my graphic card but everything stayed the same. I noticed that i.e. when I open Firefox or system settings it takes about 5 seconds till it opens (while Windows 7 takes under 1 second to start i.e. Chrome) and when I do this my CPU usage gets to 100% for a short time.

Computer specs:
Memory: 2GB RAM
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 6800 400MHz.

I read on various forums that 11.04 works flawless on many PCs, where 11.10 is very slow. Should I install 11.04 or could anybody help me with this problem?

closed as off-topic by Luis Alvarado Apr 23 '14 at 17:17

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  • Where do you have Ubuntu installed? Is it in a partition on the same drive as Windows 7 or is it on another drive? Out of curiosity, what is Ubuntu 2? I'm not familiar with the reference (which may just be because I'm ignorant). – irrational John Apr 13 '12 at 19:59
  • I think he must mean "Ubuntu 2D", i.e. all of the 3D effects/compositing turned off. It's an option when you are at the login screen. – pestilence Apr 13 '12 at 20:06
  • Sorry, I meant Ubuntu 2D. I installed Ubuntu on the same partition as Windows 7. Could this be the reason for being so slow? – Patrick Apr 13 '12 at 20:17
  • @pestilence OK, thanks. FWIW, I think it is also commonly referred to as Unity 2D. @Patrick I'm still not quite clear. How did you install Ubuntu? Did you boot from a Live CD or USB? Or did you use a Windows program called Wubi? – irrational John Apr 13 '12 at 20:33
  • I installed it using the Windows program you refer to "Wubi" as it was the easiest method for me. – Patrick Apr 13 '12 at 22:16

To get Ubuntu 2D to work, you should try running nvidia-settings to configure the X server more precisely. Under "X Server Display Configuration", set the desired resolution instead of leaving it on auto. Then click "Save to X configuration file" (it should be /etc/X11/xorg.conf) and reboot. Then try logging into Ubuntu 2D.

Another possible explanation is that you are feeling the performance penalty from running off a Wubi-installed partition. See What performance differences are there when installing with Wubi? for example. To get better performance, install ubuntu directly onto a fresh partition.

  • I changed the resolution from auto to 1280*1024 and clicked on Apply as when I clicked on "Save to X configuration file" he couldn't find that file. Rebooted anyway and Ubuntu 2D works now, but it is hardly any faster as the normal Ubuntu :( – Patrick Apr 13 '12 at 20:25
  • I've added a comment about your having installed using Wubi. – pestilence Apr 17 '12 at 17:00

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