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I just got finished installing and configuring Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS on my new Raspberry Pi 3 and I'm loving it!

Is there anything else I can do to help make Ubuntu MATE not so strenuous on my Pi?

I've went through all the default options and nothing has really stood out. I remember seeing something like "use less resources" option in MATE Tweak tool when using Ubuntu MATE 14.04 x86_64, but haven't found that option in MATE's ARM version.

By the way, I'm not looking to overclock my Pi, since I don't have a heatsink and fan yet. Just looking for a way to optimize Ubuntu MATE to be more responsive than the default setup.

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If you do not need a GUI the best you can do in terms of optimization is set the default system target to multiuser. This can be done using

sudo systemctl set-default multi-user.target
sudo systemctl isolate multi-user.target

This will also prevent any services from running that are apart of the graphical target.

You also might want to take a look into preload and start purging programs that you are not using.

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