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I downloaded VirtualBox onto my Windows 7 machine after which I successfully downloaded Ubuntu v 14, which I updated to v.15. However, I find that Ubuntu runs very very slowly and that the @ sign does not seem to be recognized. Do I have to pay a yearly subscription to get Ubuntu to work optimally? If so to whom?

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First of all Ubuntu is 100% Free. And latest ubuntu is 14.04 so there is not 15 version. If you are running ubuntu in virtual-box then check the amount of RAM Allocated to ubuntu. Ubuntu need minimum 1 GB RAM and 700 MHz processor.

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