I've recently changed my laptop to a much powerful one and i'm wondering how can i tweak ubuntu to use all the hardware power to speed up system.

My Previous laptop was a i3 Sony Vaio, And my current laptop is a i7 Toshoba with 16 GB of ram.

Specs are:

  • Intel® Core™ i7-4700MQ Processor
  • 16GB DDR3L 1600MHz memory
  • 1.0TB (5400 RPM, Serial ATA)
  • Mobile Intel® HD Graphics

‌Based on my experience with my old laptop, i expected to gain a huge performance improvement with this much more powerful laptop. Actually ubuntu is fast enough but sometimes it takes time for a window to open up (Like System Settings), So is there anything to improve the performance ? (I know the obvious advise whould be to change HDD with an SSD one, but at the moment i'm a little short on money...)

I did this tweaks already:

  • I Installed Preload
  • Changed the value of Swappiness to 10
  • Installed zram-config (i don't know if it helps or not since my laptop has lots of ram)
  • Moved /tmp directory to RAM

Also there are few things that bother me:

  • When i login to ubuntu, screen turns black for few seconds and then Desktop is shown
  • Function Keys on my laptop are reversed but in ubuntu i need to hold down FN to access those functions (i.e. F7 Key should Play/Pause music by default and to access actual F7 command, FN sholud be held down, but in ubuntu it's opposite)
  • Touchpad is Multi-Touch but i cant set 3-4 finger gestures even though i installed touchegg
  • Keyboard is backlit and FN+Z should turn light ON/Off, but it doesn't work under ubuntu

And one thing else, the laptop has touch screen display, i don't really use this feature ( i even didn't know about it when i ordered), but is there any package or anything that lets ubuntu use this feature in a more specific way ? (i don't think so, just a long shot ;) )


  • Did you take the hard drive out of the i3 Sony and put it into the i7 Toshiba? There is a wiki on Multitouch here as well. – Wilf Dec 16 '13 at 12:30
  • @wilf No, its brand new – Nevercom Dec 16 '13 at 12:31
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    for the keyboard this might help - you can use xset led 3 or setleds.... There is a tutorial here for speeding things up by removing some of the flashy effects Unity has, and there is a wiki here for Touchscreens. – Wilf Dec 16 '13 at 12:39

"I know the obvious advise whould be to change HDD with an SSD one ...", wait until you can afford a SSD. All other optimizations will give you only measurable, but not sensible, perfomance boosts (apart from preload maybe). Your machine has more than enough power to work fluidly with ubuntu.

You should think the other way around, how to use this processing power reasonable? Lastly, there has to be a reason to buy a laptop with so much processing power.


  • The reason why your screen turns black after login for a few seconds, is due the fact that your hdd is preloading something.
  • Because you haven't posted your lsusb output, i assume that your touchpad is from synaptics. Do you have installed gsynaptics and the xserver-xorg-input-synaptics?
  • Actually I'm Android Developer, I changed my laptop because i needed to have Eclipse+NetBeans+GenyMotion+Chromioum opened at the same time and it got so slow sometimes, right now I've configured my IDEs to use much more ram at start up. And no, I didnt installed those packages, would you please explain more about them ? – Nevercom Dec 18 '13 at 22:05
  • i'm sure my touchpad is from Synaptic, it works OK, two finger scrolling is working, i've installed touchegg and ginn but none of them worked for me (i can't use 3-finger or 4-finger gestures), as i understand its a bug that affects ubuntu 12.10 and above – Nevercom Dec 18 '13 at 22:11
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    Maybe this could help you to use multi touch gestures. PS: If you want a short description about a package use the onboard tools: f.e. aptitude show gsynaptics. – klingt.net Dec 18 '13 at 22:13
  • I've installed gpointing-device-setting but didn't help on gestures, that's not a big deal although, two fingers is enough for now. Any idea on how to reverse F-Keys behavior ? – Nevercom Dec 20 '13 at 18:07

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