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Please note: This page was written before Lubuntu was released. For use on old hardware, the advice today is to install a default Lubuntu rather than tweaking Kubuntu.

I have an old computer (500MHz, 192MB RAM) so I have done some optimization for my Kubuntu. Here is what I did:

KDE wiki

This page is named 'Kubuntu', but actually only the tips on the following KDE wiki page are Kubuntu-specific. Other tips on this page work for all flavors of Ubuntu.

Read first: tips and tricks on KUDOS KDE FAQ


  • prelink: Excellent instructions on how to prelink your programs (should make them start up faster).

  • On the same page there are also instructions on how to turn off IPv6 for Konqueror (should make website loading faster in case your network does not support IPv6 - and most networks do not).

  • Also there is a bit on how to improve X's performance by decreasing its color-depth from 24 to 16 bits.
  • hdparm: There is also a page on how to make hard drives faster with hdparm

Then, read the Debian wiki

Some things can be applied also from the ideas listed on Debian wiki: http://wiki.debian.org/LinuxSpeedup

Install better kernel

(K)Ubuntu installs by default a generic i386 kernel for compability issues. Search the package archive for linux-image and it shows what kernel other flavors are available.

Of course, you could always recompile your entire kernel.

Install best hardware drivers

I do not know if this makes your computer faster, but at least it makes better use of it. Some drivers cannot be automagically installed, and thus you need to install them manually. Check out BinaryDriverHowto

Recompile your software (Gentoo style)

It is fairly easy to recompile your system, thanks to the easy availability of source code for every program in Debian/(K)Ubuntu (through the deb-src repositories). It just might take a really long time if you have a slow machine. The key commands are listed at http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/apt-howto/ch-sourcehandling.en.html

Problem: which packages are absolutely vital to compile for significant benefit? libc, gcc, kdebase?

Turn off unused consoles to save RAM

In the file /etc/inittab find following:

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1
2:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2
3:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty3
4:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty4
5:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty5
6:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty6

Replace with:

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1
#2:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2
#3:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty3
#4:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty4
#5:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty5
#6:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty6


How do you benchmark your system? Without good benchmarking there is no 'evidence' on what really makes you system faster.

KubuntuOptimization (last edited 2011-06-05 12:31:10 by 157-157-186-230)