Maximize Desktop Speed

Are you a speed junkie who wants the fastest, most responsive machine? Try these changes and get even more speed out of your Linux box.

By applying just a few changes to your Linux box, you can get a faster response and greater speed, and you will be able to show off your machine to everybody. Then, after following the suggestions in this article, look around the Internet on your own, and you will be able to pick up more speed, but be careful, making these enhancements can become addictive!

Federico Kereki is an Uruguayan Systems Engineer, with more than 20 years' experience teaching at universities, doing development and consulting work, and writing articles and course material. He has been using Linux for many years, having installed it at several different companies. He is particularly interested in the better security and performance of Linux boxes.



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

How to get rid of fonts?

Roland's picture

OK, so 'xfontsel' shows I have over 10K fonts. Many of the families are clearly foreign languages, that came with install. How do I get rid of some of them? 'apropos font' was no help, and 'adept' indicated I didn't have any font packages installed. I use Kubuntu. 'man apt-get' didn't give me a clue about finding font packages. Suggestions? Thanks.

Wrong information about prelink

sspr's picture

The section about prelink is incorrectly stating that...

Using prelink in this way obviously requires more disk space (for there will be a copy of every prelinked library within each executable file), but with the current large disks, this won't even be noticed.

This is complete rubbish ! The author is clearly confusing rewriting the relocation tables with hard-wiring the libraries in executables. The scheme set up by the author would turn all binaries into static linked programs. Nothing is less true ! As a simple peek at the man page (or even Wikipedia) reveals, only the relocation tables are rewritten such that when a library is loaded into memory, it's symbols sits at the right spot in the virtual memory, such that the calculation of the symbol locations no longer needs to be done, but is exactly there where the program expects them.

So prelinking does not use a single byte (apart from the lightweight checksum mechanism) more disk space.

Another blatant fault:

Include the -m option so prelink will try to conserve memory, if you have many libraries in your system (highly likely) and not a very large memory.

This has *nothing* to do with your actual memory, but with the 4GB virtual address space limit on 32bit systems ! It just means that, _if_ each library was used in a single program (and that's what prelink allows without the -m option), you'd exceed the virtual address space limit. The solution is to see which libraries are mutually exclusive linked and let them overlap in virtual memory, as they'll never occur at the same time in the same process.

This article is also quite mediocre in the section about compiling a kernel, you're supposed to know how many RAM your system has. Wrong again. It's perfectly safe/performant to turn on "High Memory Support (4GB)", even if you only got 1GB. And the instructions for compiling a kernel are of the lesser quality I've seen around. You, a daring non-kernel hacking user, should nowadays only install a kernel through your packaging system (like make-kpkg for Debian/Ubuntu) and not using the good old 'make' command, which might as well overwrite your current kernel image and leave your system in an unbootable state (for example, when initrd support has been omitted and your filesystem drivers are compiled as modules.)

This article had good intentions, but the proof reading (if any) clearly missed some faults.