Blog post

After an extensive use with a lot of modifications to the core system, I want to share some tweaks, to speed up your Ubuntu system. Please note that applying these tweaks of course, you're not turning your system into a rocket :), but you may achieve considerable speed up in some cases. To check your overall system perfomance, there are a lot of free tools (e.g. bootchart).

Change swappiness value

This tweak is noticeable on computers with relatively low RAM memory (1 GB or less), when system accesses the hard disk too much, because of the virtual memory, called swap. Ubuntu's inclination to use the swap, is determined by swappiness value. The lower the value, the longer it takes before Ubuntu starts using the swap. On a scale of 0-100, the default value is 60, which is much too high for normal desktop use (only fit for servers). You can check the current swappiness value by typing in the terminal:

cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

To change the swappiness value and improve the cache management, type in the terminal:

sudo pico /etc/sysctl.conf

and scroll to the bottom of the file to add the following lines.

# Decrease swap usage to a workable level
vm.swappiness = 10
# Improve cache management
vm.vfs_cache_pressure = 50

Install Preload

Preload is an adaptive readahead daemon. It monitors applications that users run, and by analyzing this data, predicts what applications users might run, and fetches those binaries and their dependencies into memory for faster startup times. In order to install preload simply run the following command in terminal:

sudo apt-get install preload

The configuration file for Preload is kept in /etc/preload.conf and the default values should be fine for most people. But if you want to tweak the operation of Preload, you can visit the official site and search for the options in configuration file.

Also, you can download and run, a bash script collecting all the above tweaks, after applying executable attributes with the following command.

sudo chmod +x