I'm dual-booting Xubuntu and elementary OS just for fun and comparison... I'm finding Xubuntu faster and smoother, which is a big surprise to me, as I was sure the ultralight Pantheon desktop would be quicker and more nimble, even if less configurable (which is okay with me - it's perfect as is - just slower and "choppier"). I'd like to speed it up, so it's at least as fast as Xubuntu! I looked at System Settings > Applications > Startup to see if I could disable any unneeded services, but no startup apps are visible in the Startup box! I know they must be running, since I have this gorgeous desktop and a superb network connection and my printer works, sound, etc. How do I select and disable unneeded services and keep it set up that way? Also, do I need to decrease "swappiness" and other things to speed up elementary OS?

Thanks in advance for thoughtful replies.

  • What computer is this
    – Suici Doga
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 9:51
  • Xubuntu is lighter and faster than elementary OS, because Xubuntu has been built to run on older hardware, while elementary OS has been built to bring the best overall user experience. Less configuration does not mean less work load. Please specify what exactly do you mean with "services". What features do you want to disable? Swappiness should only be a concern if you have very limited memory. Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 9:51
  • Thanks, Daniel! Bluetooth is one of the services I would disable on this ancient desktop. I'm not sure what else, but I'm trying to not run anything I don't really need (keyboard, monitor, network, printer, scanner, sound is about all I need).
    – Robin
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 21:41

2 Answers 2


You can install preload and zram-config. It will make it a bit faster and it will use less ram.

In Elementary install gnome-system-monitor first to check your ram usage.

sudo apt install gnome-system-monitor

Open it, got to Resources and see how much ram is using.

Now install preload

sudo apt install preload

If you have a 32 bit machine and less than 4 gb of ram, you can also install zram-config

sudo apt install zram-config

Reboot your machine and then run System Monitor again and see if it made a difference.

You can do this in Xubuntu also.


I think i know what you mean. Xubuntu is build with the philosophy to let hardware do nothing. elementary os is build with the philosophy to give users the best experience. elementary's philosophy automatically means it will do alot for the user so the user doesn't have to do anything, other than the feature they want.

everything that is running in the background like sound, bluetooth ect. is running to have the best user experience. but it is true some can be shut down. disable services will have negative effect on the user experience

that having said, both world can not exist in one OS there has to be a balance. to my opinion elementary os already has this balance quite good.

then here is my question what is your hardware and what are you doing when it feels slow or slower than xubunutu.

because if you doing nothing on xubunut and on elementary os sure elementary os will do more compared to xubuntu but shouldn't feel slow at all. It can also be a graphical thing elementary os uses animations to have seemles overlapping and looks nicer. xubuntu doesn't so can feel static but a bit faster.

best way to test speed is by benchmarking. try any linux benchmarking on both systems, they will end having points or a core close to each other. when this is true which i think it is. It can only feel a bit slower because we use animations which gently will fade in and out. these animations can be 0.1s till 0.5s which can be noticed as slower

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