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Ubuntu NVIDIA Graphics Driver: Windows Competitive, But Only With KDE 306

Posted by timothy
from the layers-to-work-through dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The NVIDIA Linux driver across multiple GeForce graphics cards can compete with Microsoft Windows 7 on Ubuntu, but only when using the KDE desktop and not the default Unity/Compiz. It turns out based upon recent desktop environment benchmarking, Ubuntu's Unity desktop is now noticeably slower than GNOME/KDE/Xfce/LXDE with multiple GPUs/drivers. Sam Spilsbury of Canonical/Compiz acknowledges the problem but it may take longer than one Ubuntu cycle to correct."
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Ubuntu NVIDIA Graphics Driver: Windows Competitive, But Only With KDE

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  • by sootman (158191) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:10PM (#41325487) Homepage Journal

    ... about problems with Linux on the desktop? [slashdot.org] Yeah. Here you go.

    (I'm not saying it's Linux's fault, but it is undeniably a problem with Linux. If some guy drives into you while you're stopped at a red light, the result is still that you have a broken car.)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:16PM (#41325537)

      I've said for a while now that desktop Linux's biggest problem is that the de facto primary consumer distro doesn't use KDE by default.

      • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @03:35PM (#41326927)

        This is exactly right. So many people are bitching about Unity and Gnome3, all this would be moot if they'd just dump that crap and make KDE the default desktop, and different distros customize the many configuration options in it to their liking. KDE can be made to look and act very different with the config options and themes (and of course users can use that as a starting point and make further tweaks easily in "System Settings"). People who want something lighterweight can use XFCE or whatever, so that can be offered as an alternative to KDE in some distros.

        Why all the distros are so in love with Gnome, I have no idea.

        • by synthespian (563437) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @03:56PM (#41327163)

          This is exactly right. So many people are bitching about Unity and Gnome3, all this would be moot if they'd just dump that crap and make KDE the default desktop

          Right on! The sad truth is, many problems in the Linux arena are created by the community itself.
          One would hope Ubuntu to be the distro that unites the community (Shuttleworth - it must be said - has a vision) but they turned around and made a dumb choice, with a subpar GUI choice that went wrong in two different ways: 1) failed attempt to emulated Humanized's Enso modal interface; 2) failed attempt at "simple is better" with a horrible looking piece-of-shit no modern Windows 7 or Mac user would see the point in even going near the thing (hey, what's up with those horrible OpenOffice icons?). That stupid Unity interface is what you get when you take CSS web developers and let them design a desktop GUI...
          KDE is competitive. KDE has usability studies.
          This insistence on Gnome is insane.
          KDE is written in C++ this is a competitive advantage (compared to Gnome). That Gnome-based stuff is out-of-date is demonstrated by the article.
          Linux developers: are you gonna loose the C++11 bandwagon, too? If you do, you are dumb beyond belief...

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            It seems to me the problem isn't necessarily the community as much as it is the distro maintainers. Of course, the community make the distros popular or not through their choices.

        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @05:34PM (#41328519) Journal

          Unfortunately, stock KDE has all that "semantic desktop" bullshit. What's needed is for someone to take it and make it the default, but tuned it right. Kinda like what Mint does with Gnome3 (though the necessary changes would be much smaller here).

    • by BMOC (2478408) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:17PM (#41325545)
      The average desktop user is disappointed when they only get 347 FPS instead of 422 FPS on their 1080P 3D-accelerated desktop? This is news to me.
      • A user may get upset that their $200 Video card performs no better than a $150 video card because of inefficiencies in the OS WM.

        Also the performance difference should scale with more demanding games. So with a new enough game the user may be looking at 25 fps vs the 30fps they should be getting OR 50fps vs 60 fps, both of which are noticeable differences.

        • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @03:10PM (#41326635)

          In the L4D2 natively on linux comments pointed out the basic problem with this assertion.

          Functions have some overhead and efficiency. A function that has a minimum execution of 4ms will effectively cap your FPS at 250, some other API might have a minimum execution of 2ms, which caps at 500. But at the 60FPS range they can both be the same, or the performance could reverse, the 4ms function could scale much better than the 2ms function for example. Also, because no one really thinks too seriously about FPS in the range of 150+ a lot of weird shit can happen that won't effect normal use.

          That said, you're right, who wants to have to buy a 50 or 100 dollar more expensive video card for the same performance? New games especially try and push the limits of the hardware, and you're just not going to get 300 FPS on Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2 or Call of Duty 2 or with lots of details turned on using affordable hardware today. L4D2 is basically based on a 4 year old engine that aims to be fast on mid range machines. But getting 15 fps or even a steady 40 or 50 FPS with 15 in the marginal cases of major effects on screen can really hurt the experience. Obviously the next generation of consoles is going to raise the bar a step further.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          > Also the performance difference should scale with more demanding games. ...which have squat to do with the Window Manager.

          This is angels dancing on the head of a pin.

          If my BD decodes aren't impacted and my games get good FPS numbers and my apps aren't any more sluggish then I don't care.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sheik Yerbouti (96423)

        Actually it's quite noticeable in real world use. I just tried out Ubuntu 12.0.4 on a 12 inch netbook Asus 1201N with Nvidia ION graphics. It was all but unusable with Unity and had been running Windows 7 fine. I put Xubunutu on and it is much better. They quite simply and thoroughly screwed the pooch with Unity. It's pretty bad and this insistence that the Unity bar not be moved is insane when you can move the taskbar in Windows and the dock in OS X . It's a design choice that is antithetical to the commun

    • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:24PM (#41325623) Journal

      This is a problem with Ubuntu on the desktop, not Linux. Install Debian and whatever window manager you want and you have a perfectly useable Linux desktop.

      • by lister king of smeg (2481612) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:47PM (#41325829)

        ubuntu is fine one you rip out unity. Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu with mate desktop, all work great just because unity and gnome are a flaming pile doesn't make the rest bad. apt-get purge unity && apt-get install anything-else(except gnome3) problem solved.

        • by horza (87255)

          Or you can use Unity for day to day use, then switch to Kubuntu/Xubuntu when you want optimum GPU performance across multiple nvidia cards. KDE could be the alternative to Win32 for gaming.

          Phillip.

          • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @03:20PM (#41326737)
            You may be able to use Unity. I have yet to find anyone else that can. I have installed it for about 12 users now, and none of them was able to use it for more than 10 minutes*.

            All are perfectly happy with Gnome-shell (I am not, but that is different story).

            *The essential problem is that hierarchical text menu structures work. Unrecognisable icons are completely unintelligeable and non-intuitive. Things like the Ubuntu Software Centre take huge amounts of screen space - making it very difficult to find anything - worse (horrifically worse) this particular evil beast has masses of animated crap at the top, needlessly eating your bandwidth and processing power.

            • by Galestar (1473827) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @03:35PM (#41326931)
              Say what you want about it, call me a shill, whatever. I actually like Unity.
            • by horza (87255)

              I'm not sure what users you have that cannot use Unity, it's not really harder to use than an Android phone. It is also simple for those abandoning OS X, apparently it's quite similar, whereas KDE is more for Microsoft Windows refugees. There is a difference between not liking the look of Unity or not being able to customise it as much as desired (aesthetics), not being able to use it in in a way that is familiar (productivity), and not being able to use it because it is difficult to work out how to do thin

            • I really like Unity, especially in 12.04. It's a very clean, well organized UI.

              Just another data point for you, since you seem to be collecting them.

            • by Patch86 (1465427)

              I use it regularly on my netbook, and I like it well enough for that. I still resort to XFCE on my desktop (via Xubuntu), but in the small screen environment Unity is perfectly usable. I've even grown to like one or two of its features.

              It was pretty damned unusable in its first release, but that's not the case any more. If you find the current version "unusable" then you're far too sensitive.

            • by shellbeach (610559) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @04:55PM (#41328007)

              Sorry, but another vote for Unity here, FWIW, and I used to be a huge Unity nay-sayer (I even switched to linux mint for half a year out of protest) until I actually tried it and was pleasantly surprised. I find it's an excellent power-user interface with an emphasis on the minimal, and that suits me just fine -- any interface that provides more vertical screen realestate gets my vote. The dash panel works great for me, too -- I find typing much faster than hierarchical GUI menus, and Unity makes it possible to do everything via the keyboard if you want.

              I should add that I've only used the incarnation of Unity present in 12.04 -- it's quite possible it wasn't always as polished as it is now. But personally, now, I would hate to switch back to any other interface. I've used a hell of a lot of WMs and DEs over the years, and Unity's very much my favourite so far.

        • by Type44Q (1233630) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @03:49PM (#41327099)

          ubuntu is fine one you rip out unity. Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu with mate desktop, all work great just because unity and gnome are a flaming pile doesn't make the rest bad. apt-get purge unity && apt-get install anything-else(except gnome3) problem solved.

          user@gateway ~ $ apt-get install anything-else
          E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (13: Permission denied)
          E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), are you root?
          user@gateway ~ $

          ???! :(

        • by couchslug (175151)

          "ubuntu is fine one you rip out unity."

          We would be having fewer discussions of Unity Suckage if we spread the word how easy it is to be rid of it.

          http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/03/gnome-classic-in-ubuntu-12-04-its-like-nothing-ever-changed [omgubuntu.co.uk]

        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @05:37PM (#41328569) Journal

          Once you rip out the stock DE, what's the advantage of Ubuntu over Debian and a dozen other distros? It's no longer just right out of the box, and the amount of knowledge you need to replace the DE is about equivalent to what you need to install Debian with your DE of choice...

          • by PrimaryConsult (1546585) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @08:23PM (#41330209)

            Disclaimer: I love Debian and I believe it is the best OS money can't buy (with RHEL being the best distro money can buy but that is another topic)... for servers it is fantastic, for desktops it is excellent for building exactly what you want with absolutely no bloat. The support you can find online is consistently the best available.

            *However* I cannot agree that replacing a DE is equivalent to installing Debian with your DE of choice. I find a Debian install is 95% finished when the installer completes, but that 5% can feel completely insurmountable to a Linux newcomer. These issues have included:
            -Bootloader problems. Nightmare to figure out if you have never manually dealt with a bootloader. A 2 minute fix if you have. Never seem to have this issue with Ubuntu.
            -Network (wired and wireless) problems, primarily caused by the insistence of non-free not being installed as part of the installer... having to USB over network drivers is a huge turnoff and leads to people ignoring this. Then when the closest equivalent "free" driver is used, you end up with things like a wireless that doesn't scan, or a wired NIC that randomly drops to 600 kilobit speed or cuts out entirely... Ubuntu just makes it happen.
            -Graphics issues. If I really wanted to run with what only free or outdated drivers can provide, I would install it in a VM under my Windows 7 partition. Having to use scripts some random guy made to properly suppress the dated repo packages and get the latest and greatest NVidia drivers is not ideal. Ubuntu generally keeps graphics drivers up to date in the packages.
            -Codec issues... Ubuntu IIRC it was just some checkboxes for "Good, Bad & Ugly", in Debian I had to resort to adding a 3rd party repository debian-multimedia (now deb-multimedia) just to get multithreaded Mplayer...
            -Printer installation. This is a "too much choice" problem, you can go with HP's stuff or plain ol' cups, both will work but there's no clear choice presented. I don't remember what Ubuntu's was but it was one of those "ah my printer's already here" moments.
            -Purposely making things confusing. One word: iceweasel.

            I do love Debian but installing should be left for power users... after that 5% extra polishing anyone can use it, but that really is the difference between Debian and Ubuntu.

      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday September 13, 2012 @03:20PM (#41326735) Homepage Journal

        Not even Ubuntu, but its desktops. TFS says KDE is faster than Windows, which seems right to me -- I'm running W7 on a year old notebook and kubuntu on an ancient tower, and the tower (with a much slower processor and less memory) is faster than the notebook. The tower is running kubuntu.

      • by Punto (100573) <puntobNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday September 13, 2012 @03:44PM (#41327053) Homepage

        Yeah but this is still relevant to that other thread. Somebody at canonical decided it was a good idea to take over the GPU and RAM with their useless "unity" interface because that's their "vision for the future" and they have to force it on everyone. This is the problem that Linus and the rest of the kernel people are pointing out.

        • I haven't seen any huge RAM usage from Unity on my system -- the various processes are barely using 20-30Mb right now.

          As for my GPU, I'm not a gamer and I'm quite happy to see my GPU used for something occasionally, thanks all the same. But, you know, if you don't like Ubuntu, don't use it. Linux wouldn't be linux if there was only one way to do things, you know ...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:49PM (#41325847)

      You keep saying "linux" when you really mean "desktop linux". Two points on that:

      1. Linux is an entire world of computing, and desktop linux is actually a small part of that world. Linux is first a multi-user unix-like OS, and second everything else. Since when has a multi-user unix-like OS excelled at being a consumer-oriented desktop system? Never. They excell at being workstations and servers, and require a competant admin. That's just the reality of it, so why do you think it needs to be changed?

      2. You (and others) keep implying that desktop linux is worthless ("period"), when people like me have been using it for 15 years and wouldn't even consider switching to a consumer OS. What you really mean is that it doesn't hold up as a consumer-oriented OS, and I'll be the first to admit that you're right. CONGRATULATIONS.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Summary: "The common complaint about Linux really isn't a valid complaint if you argue using pedanticism and moving goal posts!"

        I've never actually seen a Linux Apologist before.

    • by symbolset (646467) *

      I see a lot of people enumerating absolute problems with Linux which should be cured and I would agree that there are many Linux distributions which are less advantageous than others and could be improved in some way. I've never found one that is just perfect to suit me and I don't expect to ever unless I take the time out to make my own distro. Frankly I'm not quite happy with anything I find in IT and I could improve each one if I had 20 man-years to do it. Many distros now available are quite fine wit

  • Two statements: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aussersterne (212916) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:12PM (#41325497) Homepage

    Linux advocate:

    "It may be slower, but you're not stuck with anything Windows-like and you can fix the code yourself!"

    Prospective user:

    "Wait... It's slower, AND it doesn't work like Windows, AND you want me to fix the code myself?!"

  • Ubuntu Unity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:13PM (#41325509)

    Im sorry, but can we finally admit that Unity is a mistake. I tried (REALLY TRIED) to like unity. Its not that bad after all, but it was a step BACKWARDS. Couple that with all of the GNOME devs going Batsh**t crazy and creating GNOME3 and we have a problem. KDE is where I live now, but I miss my GNOME2. For me this is just one more nail in the coffin of Unity. Dont get me wrong though, I can see myself going to Unity in a few years, but that is a LOOOONG time as far as Linux is concerned. There are just too many issues with it right now.

    • Re:Ubuntu Unity (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:25PM (#41325627) Homepage

      Dont get me wrong though, I can see myself going to Unity in a few years, but that is a LOOOONG time as far as Linux is concerned. There are just too many issues with it right now.

      Don't worry, by the time Unity's stability begins to materialize, they'll have lost interest and moved on to something else. Such is the way of the Linux desktop.

    • Re:Ubuntu Unity (Score:5, Informative)

      by MMC Monster (602931) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:42PM (#41325785)

      I agree about Unity. It sucks rocks, and I downgraded to an earlier version of Ubuntu for a while.

      HOWEVER, you may want to give Linux Mint 13 with the Cinnamon desktop. They basically take Gnome and add their own desktop to it. As a bonus, it's built off of Ubuntu and you can use all the Ubuntu repositories with it.

      So you get the bug fixes associated with the latest Gnome, the repositories of Ubuntu, the solidness of Linux, and the clean interface of Cinnamon.

      Been using it about a month and quite happy so far.

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Sounds like MATE [wikipedia.org] is what you want/need.

      Shame you didn't log in, as you're probably never going to come back and find this, are you?

    • Re:Ubuntu Unity (Score:5, Interesting)

      by horza (87255) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @02:53PM (#41326443) Homepage

      I appear to switch too early ahead of the curve. I couldn't stand Gnome2 so switched to KDE 4.0, even though I knew it was a buggy mess. By the time it got to 4.2 it was pleasant to use. I bought a new PC and decided I may as well install the relatively new Unity along side just for fun... and have been using it ever since. I do appreciate KDE but I just find Unity nicer to use. I find KDE a little too much like Windows, but other than than they are both very pleasant and productive. Both have file managers that suck though (Nautilus and Dolphin). Not sure why XFCE went with Thunar instead of taking ROX, come to think of it.

      Phillip.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      So shitcan Unity. I gave it the couple of hours it might have deserved, then found this handy info:

      http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/03/gnome-classic-in-ubuntu-12-04-its-like-nothing-ever-changed [omgubuntu.co.uk]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    may take longer than one Ubuntu cycle to correct.

    Actually you can correct it immediately, by using the KDE desktop. Plus, you get a richly featured desktop that isn't trying to cater to the Facebook crowd.

  • Who likes Unity ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 1s44c (552956) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:17PM (#41325549)

    I hate Unity.
    Everyone on Slashdot seems to hate Unity.
    The rest of the Internet seems to hate Unity too.

    Is there anyone that actually likes Unity? Or are Canonical just trying to piss everyone off?

    • by LeDopore (898286) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:27PM (#41325651) Homepage Journal

      I am on Slashdot and I do not hate Unity as of 12.04.

      I could not stand the Unity that came with 11.10 - I run a lot of MATLAB, and there was no functional way to switch between multiple figures. People would moan and complain about Unity taking a few more clicks or whatever; for me it was actually impossible for me to switch between windows as needed on 11.10, try as I might. I was fearing a forced switch to Unity, since Ubuntu wouldn't be an option for me anymore.

      Unity on 12.04 is a completely different story. While I still don't love its window-switching behavior, the super-W feature of displaying all windows is wonderful.

      Unity might not be as polished as KDE 3.5 yet, but 12.04 was so much better than 11.10 that I'm willing to see where Canonical's headed.

    • Re:Who likes Unity ? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ingenium13 (162116) <ingenium.gmail@com> on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:37PM (#41325747) Homepage

      I refused to update for the longest time when Ubuntu switched to Unity, but then I got a new laptop and figured I'd give it a shot first. I was pretty set of just using Mint but really wanted to give Unity a try before switching. I was surprised that I actually sort of liked it, especially once I learned the keyboard shortcuts. My task bar always got cluttered with lots of windows in Gnome 2, and their order wasn't consistent which was a minor annoyance. Realistically, Unity feels a lot like Windows 7 to me (though I've only used Windows 7 briefly on other people's machines, I really liked the UI), and it got rid of all the clutter. I like that Gnome Do is essentially integrated into Unity, and there are some other nice features as well.

      That said, I haven't seriously tried Gnome 3 yet. I installed it and loaded it up, and then did a wtf when I couldn't really figure out how to use it and wondered why it was so ugly before switching back to Unity. It felt like a very incomplete product. I've since read that you need to use a lot of add ons (or whatever the correct term for them is) to make it more usable, but at this point it's not worth the investment in time when Unity works well enough for me.

    • Re:Who likes Unity ? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by arkhan_jg (618674) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @02:11PM (#41326057)

      Iss there anyone that actually likes Unity? Or are Canonical just trying to piss everyone off?

      Problem is, lots of people hate GNOME 3 too. And KDE has always been divisive, even though the original licence problems have long been resolved. But then, they broke KDE in the transition to KDE4, and from I've seen recently, it's still buggy as f**k and has been for years.

      So that leaves, in no particular order;

      1) GNOME 2. Abandoned. Resurrected as cinammon in the mint ubuntu fork, but still niche. And dear god, the launch bar is TEENY.
      2) GNOME 3 /Gnome-shell. Hated by many, the 'let's take away all the stuff people liked' edition, complete with all the options to change virtually anything removed.
      3) Unity. Jeez, GNOME 3 really does suck. Let's do something else altogether! Hmm, how about a sideways touch friendly mounted springy dock, and all the apps need to be modified so their window options get merged into the top bar, until they don't.
      4) KDE4. Still buggy as f**k and options up to the eyeballs. And I'm struggling to think of a mainstream distro that really backs it; maybe openSUSE, but they kinda went agnostic with the whole Novell thing, and switched to GNOME.
      5) XfCE. OK, fine. It's lightweight, it's simple. But some of us want a GUI shell that does more than just be a holder for a bunch of terminal windows. And doesn't look like it's still the year 2000.

      So you have the most popular distro Ubuntu with a homegrown shell that's weird and slow, GNOME seem to have forgotten they actually had a userbase before they went off the deep end, KDE are bobbling around trying to work out how to make it not crash, and the remaining desktops are spraying off into a bunch of niche areas.

      I'm currently trying to work out what distro & shell to use on my home quiet/dev rig as I'm sick of bugfixing the hackintosh OSX that's on there at the moment.

      And right now, they ALL suck.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        I don't know what you're talking about with KDE and bugginess. It works just fine for me on Linux Mint 12 KDE (LM13KDE is even better, but I haven't installed that yet on the laptop I'm typing this on at the moment). It's perfectly stable.

        Yes, the versions before around 4.6 had problems (the ones before 4.4 were seriously buggy), but that's old news. Get something with 4.8 or 4.9 or better and it's fine. The latest Linux Mint KDE version is excellent.

    • by c (8461)

      > Is there anyone that actually likes Unity?

      I can't say I like it, but I don't hate it. I'm not even sure "like" is a word that applies to a desktop. If I'm noticing the desktop at all enough to like it, then there's something wrong... you're supposed to be using a computer for the applications, not the desktop.

      As a small screen/netbook UI, it's minimalist and generally pretty good. I've had it on my netbook since the UNR days and I can't really complain.

      As a general workstation desktop, 12.04 has fixed

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I don't hate Unity. Maybe I would if I ever actually tried it, but I'm happy with kde. Windows, now, I hate Windows, especially since they upgraded Office to that god damned ribbon, I can't figure out SHIT in that interface.

      I'll be glad when I retire, because I just hate MS products. I keep wondering where the myth of Windows useability comes from? KDE is far more useable than any flavor of Windows I've tried. When kde gets upgraded, you get more functionality but only have to learn to use new features, not

    • Can someone explain to me why I'm supposed to hate Unity? I find it a clean, well designed UI. It was kind of glitchy in 11.10, but most of those problems got fixed in 12.04. So what is supposed to be so awful about it?

    • by antdude (79039)

      My cyberfriend likes Unity. He didn't think it was bad. :O

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Is there anyone that actually likes Unity?"

      Not me, but apparently not enough Slashdotters know how easy it is to get rid of it:

      http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/03/gnome-classic-in-ubuntu-12-04-its-like-nothing-ever-changed [omgubuntu.co.uk]

  • Tried to install the latest ubuntu on a 733 MHz laptop, and it was slow as snails. Ended-up switching to LXDE (lubuntu) which runs fine.

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      Tried to install the latest ubuntu on a 733 MHz laptop, and it was slow as snails. Ended-up switching to LXDE (lubuntu) which runs fine.

      Even on high end hardware I'd use LXDE, all the extra bloat in KDE and GNOME serves no purpose but to waste memory and CPU cycles and the extra graphical fluff is just pointlessly distracting.

    • I'm running a 2002-era 1.4 GHz celeron & 512 MB of RAM with Peppermint 3 and it's still pretty slow. When I open up Chromium, Thunderbird & Pidgin at the same time I just walk away to go get a coffee. It MIGHT be done when I get back. How much RAM do you have in that thing?
    • by symbolset (646467) *
      The problem with a machine that old isn't performance or compatibility. At that point it's past the service life of its capacitors and prone to fail.
  • use kubuntu instead (Score:4, Interesting)

    by galaad2 (847861) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:18PM (#41325565) Homepage Journal

    well, i figured it would be some problem with the graphics drivers and that's why i switched to using the kubuntu 12.04 LTS dvd instead of the normal ubuntu/unity one, i've been having weird issues with unity lately (invisble mouse cursor and ignored keyboard input on a fujitsu siemens Amilo La1703 notebook - but KDE works perfectly)

    http://www.kubuntu.org/getkubuntu/download [kubuntu.org]
    ( for those that fell recently into the linux soup and don't know what this is, this is practically the same thing as ubuntu 12.04 LTS but with the KDE interface as default instead of unity. )

  • While I actually like Unity, it's still runs damn slow in general. It feels like there's some bad engineering going on there. Especially noticeable on netbook hardware, where Windows 7 runs OK and Aero is smooth, but Unity lags horribly even with basic tasks.
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @01:25PM (#41325631) Homepage

    What are they doing wrong that results in a slow desktop? Re-rendering all text from HTML on every frame cycle of a drag? The graphics power available in modern GPUs has orders of magnitude more power than needed to manipulate a set of flat windows and icons.

    • Because it is built on "services" and "platforms", built on libraries, built on libraries, ...

      A desktop is more than an X Window manager anymore
  • No one uses unity anyway.
  • .. Isn't VALVe Software (Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress franchises) working on a heavily optimized Steam client and OpenGL improvements for Ubuntu?

    What prevents users from simply loading Steam onto their Ubuntu PCs along with all the tweaked OpenGL drivers and just rocking that instead of the default drivers?

    HELP US GABEN, YOU'RE OUR ONLY HOPE!

    • I don't know why you think that Valve will keep their modified drivers to themselves. Hint: You can't mix 'n' match acceleration drivers between your desktop and your applications except under extremely controlled conditions.

  • whatchu talkin bout Spilsbury?

    sudo apt-get install kde-standard

    A few minutes later, problem solved. Longer than one Ubuntu cycle... what a joke...

  • by s13g3 (110658) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @03:17PM (#41326711) Journal
    If you're a *nix user of any skill or experience and running Ubuntu who is genuinely concerned about performance and stability, you should probably be running Debian anyway and pointing to the Ubuntu repos for anything that might be missing or too old for your liking.
  • who cares? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kenorland (2691677) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @05:09PM (#41328213)

    All these desktops (including Unity) are more than fast enough on even low end laptops. The real problem with Unity, KDE, and Windows for that matter, is usability.

    The irony behind all of this hoopla is, of course, that Windows and Mac users were always claiming that their desktops were faster because they didn't use X11 and "network transparency"; that was utter nonsense, of course. Nobody cared or even noticed that Windows and Mac graphics were actually worse. Now that temporarily, a couple of Linux desktops benchmark slower on a prerelease version of one Linux distribution, the sky is suddenly falling.

    To all desktop developers: fix your usability problems, forget about FPS pissing contests.

  • Just Move On (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FyberOptic (813904) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @10:07PM (#41330939)

    The irony is that many years ago KDE seemed to be what the majority of people ran. Gnome just didn't seem to have the features, or whatever the case. Then somehow Gnome took off somewhere along the way and got a lot of footing, then we started seeing lots of distros preferring it instead. Now that they've effectively ruined it, doing everything from cloning OSX to making "Tablet OS, desktop style" perhaps it's time to just use KDE as the default on the major distros and be done with it. Efficient hardware support should always be priority. When times change and something gets so many layers of bloat that it stops working as desired, dump it and move on. That's been the Linux philosophy from the start, even if that meant some headaches along the way until the system was inevitably better.

  • by Ambient Sheep (458624) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @10:18PM (#41330967)

    Last year I inherited a nice Acer Aspire laptop, just a year or so old. It came with that abomination called Windows Vista, which true to form managed to lunch itself (corrupting all user profiles) within 3 months of me having it. After a couple of half-hearted attempts to fix Vista, I switched to using an Ubuntu Live CD... and now I have to keep a fan sitting underneath it to stop it shutting down from overheating.

    It's not that the built-in fan is inadequate, it's that it just doesn't come on for long enough. The machine warms up, the fan comes on for about 20-30 seconds, and then, inexplicably, turns itself off again, leaving the machine to get hotter and hotter until it just turns itself hard-off to protect itself. Under Vista the fan just stayed on as long as needed.

    Last week I finally decided I'd had enough of this and went trawling round all the Ubuntu forums. I spent a couple of days installing lm-sensors and tinkering around with various other bits of software and various things that were suggested. Unfortunately lm-sensors can't see the fan on my machine, there's apparently one chip there it can't recognise. So it seems that I have no way to improve the fan handling on this machine, something the main install should be doing anyway without me having to tinker.

    The Ubuntu forums were full of other people with similar complaints "my laptop ran nice and cool on Windows, but on Ubuntu it fries". Mainly Acers, Toshibas and Vaios by the looks of things.

    I was planning on kicking Vista into the weeds, and doing a full install of Ubuntu onto this machine, but Unity (the stupid insane scrollbars more than anything else) gave me pause for thought, and now the overheating is the killer.

    Until Ubuntu can actually make the fan on my laptop work properly so I can actually use the damn computer, it doesn't actually matter which fricking user interface it's lumbered with. Priorities people, priorities.

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