I first tried Ubuntu way back in 2007 and finally abandoned Windows when Hardy Heron came out on April 2008. At the time Ubuntu was a lot faster than Windows XP – and probably still is. However, I have found that as time has progressed it has started to creak a bit on my desktop. I tried a few other distros earlier this year but eventually came back to Ubuntu mainly because it does just work.
A few weeks ago I had a bit of time and started looking around for lighter distros again. At this point I discovered that my CD/DVD drive had finally crapped out to the extent that burning an ISO was a gamble and trying to boot from it was hopeless. So now it’s time for Plan B – rip out all the stuff that I’m not using.
First to go is Gwibber. I started using this shortly after I signed up to Twitter and it does have some nice features. However it has also become something of a memory hog and appears to be struggling somewhat with the authentication changes Twitter recently implemented. Right now I’m satisfying my microblogging cravings with Pino on Identi.ca and am not missing Twitter at all. Even though Gwibber isn’t running on my PC, gwibber-service is sucking up memory so it’s been completely uninstalled.
Next to go is Ubuntu One. I know there is a fair bit of hype around this but, since it was introduced I can count the number of times I’ve used it on the thumb of one hand. The ubuntuone-synchdaemon is sucking up a sizeable chunk of my minimal memory, so it has to go.
Next to go is DesktopCouch. The desktopcouch-service is costing me half as much memory as Ubuntu One was and, since I’m no longer using Gwibber, I don’t need it. The question of why a twitter client should need any sort of database is something I shall leave to more surreal minds than mine.
Not deleted but no longer used is Firefox. For a while I have been using Epiphany as my main browser – it’s blisteringly fast very light, and has by far the best approach to bookmarks that I have seen. Rather than having to maintain a bunch of folders to manage your bookmarks what you do with Epiphany is simply tag each bookmark with as many or as few tags as you want and then let the browser figure out the folder structure for you.
There are a few services that I don’t expect to use but might. These have not been uninstalled but have been removed from my Startup Applications. They are; the Bluetooth Manager (I have a Bluetooth dongle but it’s horribly unreliable); the Evolution Alarm Notifier (I don’t use alarms in Evolution); and the Power Manager (I have a desktop PC, not a laptop).
Since Upgrading to Ubuntu Lucid, I’ve found that the memory usage on my PC regularly rises to 80% and everything starts grinding to a halt. I’m now using less than 50% of the available memory and am, once again, enjoying a slick and speedy desktop experience.