I there! I'm a new Ubuntu user and I began with version 11.10. I recently installed Gnome Shell (gnome-shell package in Ubuntu Software Center) after running with Ubuntu 2D. I thought it would be faster but indeed not really (mainly) because (I guess) all the fancy visual effects. However, I really love the interface and so would like to keep running with GNOME Shell (not GNOME Classic).

How/Where can I disable all those fancy visual effects in order to work with the lightest interface I can?



The extension 'Disable Window Animation' don't work any more in Gnome 3.8, so just do this command to disable it:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface enable-animations false
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  • this is the correct answer!!! – Kokizzu Feb 1 '14 at 3:57
  • warning:on centos 7 by the next login this will be true again – Arman Jun 18 '15 at 10:21

It's possible to disable window animations with this extensin from extensions.gnome.org. You may have a look here:


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In Gnome Shell you can't disable any effect. Why? Because AFAIK there's not a tool à la CCSM that Handles this for Mutter.

In Unity 3D you can disable most effects with CCSM.

LXDE is fast, and lightweight it uses Panels and is GTK+ compatible so Themes for GTK 3 & 2 will work.

I ran an LXDE+Compiz setup that was fast, responsive, and light even if I didn't need it to be light.

A very light alternative to Compiz is xcompmgr it provides basic compositing, compositing is needed for most Docks (AWN and Docky need Compositing for Transparency).

I wouldn't say XFCE is not light anymore but it's definitely heavier than LXDE.

So if you're looking to save RAM this is not really an Option.

Enlightenment looks just awful and it uses the same amount of RAM and CPU as LXDE.

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GNOME is fat by definition. If you're looking for speed, you'll have to drop it and go with something snappier:

.. or you could build your own classical Desktop Environment using various lightweight components:

  • Window manager: Openbox, JWM
  • File manager: PCManFM, Thunar, ROX, Midnight Commander
  • Dock/Taskbar: Docky, Avant Window Navigator, GNOME Do, SimDock
  • Launcher: Synapse, Kupfer, GNOME Do
  • etc.

For the optimal solution in terms of speed and productivity, you should consider switching to a tiling window manager. Awesome, dwm, and xmonad are the most common ones.

Remember that you don't necessarily have to ditch aesthetics for performance, but you will enter a world with a different definition of eye candy. In that case, you might as well change distros to something more minimalistic such as Arch Linux or Gentoo.

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    Enlightenment? eye candy?! .. XFCE and LXDE look MILLIONS of times better than Enlightenment. – Uri Herrera Jan 4 '12 at 21:02
  • LXDE+Compiz (YES compiz it doesn't even add THAT much Weight to the System) looks Fantastic. It's Fast and it's very light aprox. 300MB of usage compared to Unity and Gnome Shell 600MB on both. – Uri Herrera Jan 4 '12 at 21:03
  • @Uri Herrera You clearly don't know what you're talking about. Although Enlightenment's default theme is arguably ugly, you can't deny the fact that E17 is unique when it comes to eye candy. It can also run alongside Compiz, by the way. – octosquidopus Jan 5 '12 at 14:06
  • Yes i know E17 it's just Ugly, ugly as hell, installed it changed some themes, it never stopped being horrible. Show 1 , 1 theme that even remotely matches Themes like Zutkitwo or Orta or the most simple one, Elementary for enlightment. – Uri Herrera Jan 5 '12 at 20:20

don't try to fix anything with CCSM if you're going to run the gnome shell interface since it not compatible... but you can switch to unity and using CCSM (compatible with unity) dismantle most effects... or install LXDE + compiz (CCSM) that way you'll have a light but good-looking interface

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