I just disabled the hud-service because it was taking up 2.8 GiB of my computers RAM.

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I understand that it is part of the unity ecosystem because others are posting solutions along the lines of installing xubuntu etc. However, I like running stock-ubuntu as this tends to make asking for help and diagnosing issues easier (just my opinion).


Could someone explain to me what this service is responsible for, and thus what I am sacrificing by disabling this service?

Possibly Related Info

I use synapse for searching/starting applications, and always have the unity-side launcher/dashboard hidden and never use it. I switch between applications using the compiz ring-switcher which is set to display everything from all workspaces, and the desktop "wall" combined with expo.

4 Answers 4


The HUD or Head-Up Display was introduced in release 12.04. It is still being developped and perfected and meant to ultimately replace menus in Unity.

This wiki should definitely help you understand some of the intent and portent of HUD (hud-service) as an integral part of the unity architecture. It is meant to be and functions as an "intent-driven interface" meant to facilitate the management of the desktop's applications' menu interface, the GUI end of it being the visible std-out (display).

To most users hud-service remains obscure and a "background thing". In fact its central promise is that it will help tap users' actions' predictability in navigating the GUI.

If you turn that service off you will arguably downgrade the efficiency of your GUI management in terms of responsiveness and RAM usage. Remember that Unity is a rather chunky bit of software and it puts a strain on any system, however big it happens to be.

  • 5
    "downgrade the efficiency of your GUI management" or "downgrade the efficiency of the HUD"? The latter implies: "if you don't use the HUD it's safe to remove". Jun 19, 2015 at 16:28
  • how to stop this service, its consuming lot of ram Dec 27, 2016 at 13:43

You can just remove the hud package: sudo apt-get purge hud. No need to mess with CCSM or the actual hud-service executable (your changes would be overwritten during upgrades).

  • libhud2 seems to have a lot of dependencies – in fact it reads, as iif it would remove the whole Ubuntu desktop; checkbox-gui* libhud2* libunity-action-qt1* libunity-webapps0* qtdeclarative5-ubuntu-ui-extras-browser-plugin* qtdeclarative5-ubuntu-ui-toolkit-plugin* qtdeclarative5-unity-action-plugin* ubuntu-desktop* unity-webapps-qml* unity-webapps-service* webapp-container* webbrowser-app* xul-ext-unity* xul-ext-websites-integration*
    – feeela
    Mar 7, 2016 at 14:37
  • Hmm, just checked on Ubuntu 15.10 and it does seem like it would basically remove the whole system... Not sure why I put that package on the list. Maybe I was still on 15.04 at the time and they changed the dependencies? Anyways, I'll edit the answer, just removing hud is enough. The hud-service executable is contained in that package. Mar 7, 2016 at 18:32

The HUD is related to the Unity Launcher. For example it analyzes the files you are using and offers them when you press Super.

On my system (Ubuntu 15.10) the hud-service started using 100% of one CPU.

I solved this by installing Compiz Config Settings Manager (ccsm) and disabled all effects and set "Enable Low Graphics Mode" in "Ubuntu Unity Plugin":

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

In general, hud should allow you to specify what you are doing by typing in the dash instead of using the menus of a program, as shown in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_WW-DHqR3c

At least in Ubuntu 16.10, some things of this (e.g. going to firefox bookmarks) does not work anymore (at least out of the box). If you aren't using hud, it is safe to remove it. This does not affect the dash usage for finding other things like the last program that you used, as this information is provided by zeitgeist (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Zeitgeist).

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