Ubuntu 16.04 configured for a slow and low memory 2GB laptop
I am running a low memory 2GB ACER Aspire laptop, 10 years old with a Pentium double thread T4200 CPU. I have installed Ubuntu 16.04 alongside Windows Vista (though I rarely boot into Windows VISTA anymore for obvious security reasons).
I have the default Ubuntu Unity desktop installed and also installed the lightweight LXDE desktop as an additional desktop to Unity and this was installed specifically to overcome the heavy memory consumption and ultimately Ubuntu Unity desktop freezing sometimes when running web browsers with multiple tabs open that were eating up the available memory.
The performance using the LXDE desktop and running FIREFOX with multiple tabs open and running HTML video in one tab is very satisfactory whereas running the same scenario in Unity the performance is unsatisfactory. Unity loads up with about 1GB of the usable 2GB of memory whereas LXDE only loads in approximately 0.5GB of memory. Also, LXDE appears to work much better with the kernel using the swap facility than when Unity is running. I have a swap space of approximately 5GB.
I also have both Opera and Chromium installed and both accessible under the Unity desktop but both have heavy memory demands when running under Unity and so I only have one tab open at a time when using these browsers in Unity.
A tip when using heavy memory usage browsers:
I configure all of my 3 browsers (Firefox, Opera, Chromium) to "restore the previous session" on start-up. This allows me to close the browser at any time while in use if the performance is becoming unsatisfactorily slow and allowing the kernel to recover the memory and then re-open the browser to continue where I left off.
Please see screenshots of my LXDE desktop running multiple applications and multiple firefox tab windows:
- This screenshot of my applications running as well as multiple web pages in firefox.
- This is a screenshot of system monitor showing the memory and swap space usage