I just downloaded UM 16.10 Beta 1. It still has the same inherent problem as UM 16.04 and UM 16.04.1. At idle it is using almost 1.0 GB of memory! I really wonder why this problem hasn’t been fixed in the past 6+ months. I have already moved away from Debian/Ubuntu distros and installed a better one on two of my laptops. Just a heads up that this problem needs to be addressed by the development team.
Xenial and newer are heavy. Not much UM devs can do about it. It’s the Ubuntu base. What you can do is uncheck start-up applications you don’t need. You should be able to reach 600 MB idle. I think this is the end for lightweight Ubuntu-based distros…
I have removed some startup programs and it doesn’t make any noticeable difference with 16.10, 16.04 or 16.04.1. It is still idling at close to 1 GB memory right after startup. I’ve tried this with many other distros based on the Ubuntu 16.04 release. No difference. I have switched both my production and test Lenovo Thinkpads to Manjaro Linux MATE, a rolling release distro based on Arch. It is Arch made user friendly and is as easy to use as Debian/Ubuntu/Mint.
Manjaro has moved up quite a bit on Distrowatch in the past few years. My laptops now idle at 380 MB (32-bit) and 450 MB (64-bit) after startup. My other two Thinkpads only have 2 GB of memory and will stay with Linux Mint 17.3 for a long time to come. Just like Ubuntu 10.10 was their best and last release I used, LM 17.3 will probably be my last Mint release I will use as well.
I don’t know about 16.10, but I have a clean install of Ubuntu MATE 16.04 x64 on virtualbox and the memory usage is about 500MB when no other applications are open.
After updates and Mate xenial ppa: