I had Ubuntu 10.10 running on my PC for a long time, and I was quite happy with the desktop performance (i.e. almost no lag while moving windows or shortcuts like alt+tab andctrl+alt+t all was so fast even when there is an installation or file copy/paste.

But now I have installed Ubuntu 14.04, and the new desktop environment is very user-friendly and nice looking, but the speed has gone.

I think after a certain version (11?), when the left sidebar (launcher?) arrived, this lag existed on my computer. So I think I want to reduce visual quality in exchange for speed.

So -how- can I get the simple desktop as in 10.10 back?

Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop

P.S. A few years ago, I tried something with Ubuntu 11. Changing the desktop environment to GNOME I think. But it was causing a lot of problems (like in Compiz), so I would prefer a safe solution, if possible :)

Thanks for any help!

  • You could try xubuntu; or install a few alternative window managers, you can pick these at login so comparing is easy. You could also try top & see if there's a CPU hog running, & free -m & see if you're low on memory. Odds on there's a few services running that you don't need; brltty comes to mind. Look in /etc/init.d/ - but be careful, this bit doesn't count as a "safe solution"! – Mark Williams Feb 8 '15 at 17:04
  • If you used Gnome back in ubuntu 10.10, you might wanna try Ubuntu mate, mate is a fork of gnome2. – xangua Feb 8 '15 at 17:05
  • Install CompizConfig Settings Manager. Here's one link, and another and another – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Feb 8 '15 at 18:16
  • From the answers to the duplicate question this answer gives a link to install gnome-session-flashback for a classic desktop. But of course there are many other lightweight desktop environments to choose from. – Takkat Feb 8 '15 at 21:35
  • Ubuntu 10.10? It's been unsupported for almost 3 years (April 2012)... And you missed all the Ubuntu unity controversy? There are a lot of other desktops to try, Mate is a fork of the old Gnome 2, XFCE is similar, see What kinds of desktop environments and shells are available? . It would just be a guess as to which one "feels" faster, try a few. – Xen2050 Feb 9 '15 at 0:51

You could try the Lubuntu distribution. It's not as pretty as Ubuntu but light on resources and very responsive.

You can even switch to it without a total system re-installation while retaining the Unity desktop in case you want to go back.


I also found that the driver for my Nvidia graphics card was missing, and installing it via sudo apt-get install nvidia-current made it much more faster!

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