I am trying to revamp an old HP Mini netbook and make it into a useable mini laptop with Lubuntu 16.04. The laptop was unuseably slow when it still ran Windows 7, now with Lubuntu it can be taken seriously once again. Thank you, Lubuntu team.

There is one thing so far which I have found works worse than it did on Windows 7, this is playing Youtube videos. Even when using the HTML5 player, I cannot get past 360p without getting immense framerate drops. The laptop used to be able to handle 480p without issues, and this is what I'd like to get to. The screen is too small and crappy to enjoy benefits of even higher resolutions anyway.

I have read through this high-quality answer. I haven't fully followed the guide yet of watching youtube through an external player, but it is true that downloaded video can be played significantly more smoothly.

Before resorting to 'work-arounds' like embedding youtube videos in external players, is there more I could do to get the web player to work? Going from Firefox to Chromium already helped (on Firefox I could only watch videos on 144p, too little to be able to read subtitles). The laptop's 1 GB of RAM won't be the problem I think, but the 1.66 Ghz Intel Atom N455 processor is a bottleneck. It's a 32 bit system. Internet speed is not a problem. Let me know if you need more specs, I am pretty sure this is the full list of specs.

1 Answer 1


I would say that the graphics processor is your bottleneck. I read an article about the Intel GMA 3150 saying 720p is not possible with it.

As you would like to watch Videos in 480p, it should still be possible.

I would guess that VLC might be slightly better than Chrome or Firefox when it comes to Video processing. So your wish of not needing an external player might not be possible.

Try to watch the videos from VLC directly

  1. Run VLC media player and navigate to Tools > Preferences.
  2. Under Show settings, select All.
  3. Click on inputs / codec tab on the left. Under Track Settings, click the Preferred video resolution drop-down list and select 480p (Choose whatever quality you want).
  4. Media --> Open Network Stream ... (Paste the Youtube Link here)

If that is still too slow or your video website is not Youtube, try to use youtube-dl to download and play the downloaded Video. Although it's named "youtube-dl", this tool can download videos from many websites.

Playing from local hard drive might render a bit better.

Install via:

sudo apt-get install libav-tools youtube-dl

As you like to download the 480p Version, you should see this answer how to Download specific Quality.

  • Thank you, I will give it a try soon. Any idea as too why this webplayer would function better in a Windows 7 OS?
    – Bib-lost
    Jan 3, 2017 at 10:10
  • Not sure. The official intel graphics driver for windows might be slightly better.
    – pLumo
    Jan 3, 2017 at 10:52
  • SMPlayer (as suggested in the answer I linked to) works flawlessly. Guess I'll just have to live with this instead of the web player. On a side note, it doesn't stop to amaze what a light linux distro can do to an old netbook.
    – Bib-lost
    Jan 3, 2017 at 12:17

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