Computer too slow after installing MATE for 48 hours

Hello guys,

I installed Ubuntu MATE 18.04 and it looks great and attractive as an interface more than Ubuntu 18.04 (for me ) .

But the performance is surprisingly too slow. My laptop is not bad and did not use to be like that. I mean it's slow while scrolling in a window, opening a folder with 500 files for example, or selecting a large number of files for copying to another place the system becomes unresponsive and very slow, opening a media file with vlc or totem alongside with firefox. and many scenarios.

Do you have any tips for that , any tweaking to make it faster , or system configurations ?
Please note that I am not an expert linux user when helping me .

I attached my system specs with this thread .

Thank you in Advance

Hello whyalwaysfadi

Looking at the screenshot you provided I guess you have a spinning hard drive. If this is the case, replacing it with an SSD drive will probably give you the single greatest gain in "user-apparent-reaction-time". If you can increase the RAM to 8GB that might help too. :slightly_smiling_face:

Hello, @whyalwaysfadi,
Provided that you notice slowdown on bulk operations the possible reason might be the default level of swappiness.


I got this output:

[email protected]:~$ cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
[email protected]:~$ gksudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

Command 'gksudo' not found, did you mean:

command 'gfsudo' from deb gfarm-client

Try: sudo apt install

But I think my hardware is not too bad ..

Let me cite:
The default setting in Ubuntu is swappiness=60. Reducing the default value of swappiness will probably improve overall performance for a typical Ubuntu desktop installation. A value of swappiness=10 is recommended, but feel free to experiment.

Feel free to use sudo pluma /etc/sysctl.conf

I want to add the line "vm.swappiness=10" , do I have to type this symbol at first "#" ? or just add the line after the line number directly ?

Yes, just add the line without leading #.

Hello whyalwaysfadi

If other measures such as changing the swapiness improves the performance of your system to a level that you are happy with, that is fine. :slightly_smiling_face:

But, if you are left with a system that is still slower than you would like, then replacing your hdd with an ssd would be something to consider. Your CPU allows a max of 8GB RAM, so that would be as far as you could go there.

If you decide to invest in an ssd and/or more RAM do your research first, to be sure not to buy the wrong thing. Particularly with regard to ssd drives - they are not all the same - the "controllers" on some work better with Linux than others, some do not seem to work at all under certain circumstances. I have used Samsung EVO twice, once in HP hardware, once in Lenovo hardware - both times without any problems.

Thank you , I did it . I just need to test it for some time if the problem is still there and I will give you feedback.

Do you mean that I have to extend RAM ? I will do it .
But about the hard drive I just bought it recently and the shop told me its the best hard drive to use :expressionless:

it's model is : ST1000LM014-1EJ164 (DEMD) and it's size is 1TB .

Update: I have increased swapfile size from 2GB to 8GB .. does this help ?

Hello whyalwaysfadi

The shop that sold you this drive sold you a good drive :slightly_smiling_face: :

A review of the drive:

An explanation of the difference between SSD and SSHD drives:

I wonder, however, if the manufacturer's built in software that makes the hybrid drive work functions well with Linux - I do not know the answer to that question.

You mean that my problem is hardware compatibility thing ?

Hello whyalwaysfadi

As you have 4GB of RAM there is nothing to be gained, as far as I know, from increasing the size of the swap file above 4GB. The old rule-of-thumb was - size of RAM = size of swap.

Hello whyalwaysfadi

Possibly. The cheapest way to find out would be to borrow an SSD (one that works with Linux and your hardware, Samsung EVO should work) and swap your SSHD for the SSD. Then install your Linux on the SSD and see if there is a difference, a difference that matters to you in a real-use situation.

ok I will do it and thank you for your suggestion.
But is there any tweaks or commands or some output to provide you to see if it's a software issue ?

Hello whyalwaysfadi

I'm not knowledgeable enough to help with that question.

Can anyone else help here? :slightly_smiling_face:

Guys anyone else can help ?

and thank you dude alpinejohn

@whyalwaysfadi I see by your initial post that you are running MATE 18.04.2 with the hardware stack enabled. I can tell that by your kernel version which appears to be 4.18.0-25-generic x86_64.

Alpinejohn's first suggestion to replace your hard drive with a Solid State Hard Drive was right on the money. That is, an SSD will provide you with a quite noticeable speed increase. His second suggestion to buy more RAM and install it was also good.

Please open a terminal and enter inxi -F and after it finishes, post a screenshot of the results. This command should give all of us a great deal more information on your next moves if you don't feel like upgrading your hard drive or your RAM.

Edit: Also, if you would, please open the System Monitor as you did in your first post but this time select the Resources tab and post a screenshot of that. I'm particularly interested in your Memory and Swap History but your CPU History could also be interesting. Thanks.

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