20.04 Seems Heavier But Too Early to Tell For Sure

I've been a fan of Ubuntu Mate since 17.10, and I have found that Ubuntu Mate was always a beautiful and functional desktop that ran much better than Gnome on my main system which unfortunately has only 4 Gigs of RAM. With an SSD in this older laptop, I have been very happy with the performance and the full featured nature of the Mate desktop on my older hardware.

I just upgraded to 20.04 and with just a terminal and Mate System Monitor open I'm using 1.6 Gigs. I have an identical laptop also with Ubuntu Mate 19.10, and with just a terminal and Mate System Monitor open on that the exact same hardware I'm using 900 megs.

The biggest culprits for system resources on 20.04 on my system with only those two applications open seem to be:

  1. Gnome Software (not open, and listed as sleeping but taking 432 megs, I could probably uninstall this and just use the CLI which is fine with me)
  2. Dropbox (245 megs, I'm looking into taking this off this system because of number 3 can cover this functionality)
  3. Syncthing (238 megs)
  4. Xorg (144 megs)
  5. Caja (139 megs)

I noticed that on the 19.10 system I don't have Gnome Software, Dropbox, or Syncthing running which seems to account for most of the difference. Have others noticed an increase in resource usage from 19.10 to 20.04. I thought I remembered Ubuntu Mate on this same hardware being closer to 680 megs of RAM with nothing open but a terminal, but I don't remember checking this regularly with each release. This is still early days, and perhaps 44% RAM usage with little open won't be a big deal in my day to day use of Ubuntu Mate. Might as well use the RAM since it is there :blush:

My compliments to the whole team! Seemingly flawless upgrade from 19.10 to 20.04 from what I can tell. The desktop seems very stable. I look forward to kicking the tires some more as this week progresses. Thanks for a wonderful distro!


Hello mowestusa

If those applications are not needed, you might want to try preventing them from starting automatically. If you look at "Control Centre > Startup Applications" you may be able to free up some of that important RAM. :slightly_smiling_face:

Is increasing the amount of RAM you have an option, or is the mainboard only designed to have a maximum of 4 GB?

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I can increase the RAM to 8GB, but they have 4GB in the machine taking up both slots, so I would have to purchase two 4GB sticks of ram instead of just one.

The processor is Intel® Core™ i3-2310M Processor at 2.1 GHz, 3MB L3 Cache with Mobile Intel® HD graphics with 64MB-1696MB dynamically taking some of the 4GB of RAM. I noticed yesterday while using vokoscreen to create another teaching video that the fan spun up louder and more frequently than I remember under 19.10.

I plan to uninstall today Gnome Software and Dropbox since I have mostly moved over to Syncthing for that functionality anyway (sharing the same set of files between all my computers). That should free up about 700MB of memory which will get me back below 1GB after a fresh restart which is respectable.

I know that I'm probably pushing this older machine to do more than what is reasonable (a media creation station doing videos and audio). I have two of these older laptops in use weekly with Ubuntu Mate, and I don't have the capability to replace them at this time with something newer, faster, better. I posted this thread in "Thoughts & Feedback" to see if others have found 20.04 a little heavier in resource usage too. This is not meant to be cut or slight on Ubuntu Mate. As systemd, the Linux Kernel, Xorg, Marco, and the GTK stack develop, I would expect that each Ubuntu Mate release will get me closer to the day, I will either have to find a Linux stack that runs lighter on these machines or just retire them to scrap. I'm just interested in getting the most from the hardware I'm able to afford at this time. With what is happening in the world right now, resources are being stretched a little thinner these days.

Thanks @alpinejohn for your thoughts.

Hello mowestusa

Well then...

I'd really like to see you be able to do your computing with Ubuntu-Mate, but...

the time may have come to look at the bigger picture - you have things you need to get done, thus this sugestion:

on one of your machines try MX Linux

I run it on a seven year old machine myself. It is a different experience compared to an Ubuntu official flavour, but it is GNU/Linux :penguin: , and it works well. I'm guessing that you will be able to get along with it. You may find that it helps you in your particular situation, then again, perhaps not.
Good luck. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I'm going to stick with Ubuntu Mate on these machines for a little bit yet. I just upgraded to 20.04, and want to see if I run into any road blocks. Removing Dropbox and Gnome-Software helped a lot with the RAM usage. Not much I can do about the CPU except take the laptop completely apart and replace the thermal paste that might keep the fan from having to rev as often. I'm guessing it could use replacement since I think these came out in 2012-2013 time frame, but that is a big job that I've only done once on a different laptop.

When I originally posted this thread, I was considering moving to MxLinux. My teenage son has done and continues to do development work for the MxLinux team. It is his preferred distro. With all of the different flavors of Linux not even father and son run the same distro :blush:

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