Desktop annoyance #2: Everything is very very slow after any package upgrade

David A. Cobb superbiskit at
Mon Feb 8 17:35:06 GMT 2010

  On 02/05/2010 01:34 PM, Jo-Erlend Schinstad wrote:
> On 5 February 2010 17:07, David A. Cobb<superbiskit at>  wrote:
>>   Again, recall I have "only" 256MiB real memory.
>> Because of another problem, I can only do software upgrades from "Recovery
>> Mode" -- single user console.  If I try it while Gnome is running, the
>> network speed is cut to around 1/60 of the speed I get from the console.  I
>> can't wait for two days to download the update packages.
> You don't have to reboot in order to shutdown X. Simply open another
> console by pressing alt+ctrl+F1, log in and run «sudo service gdm stop».
> That will shutdown X.
I've done this, without effect.  Clearly I need to dig a bit deeper on 
this one.
>> Anyway, when I reboot after an upgrade, it takes around 5 Minutes(!) to get
>> the GDM login screen, and I have timed the system from the password entry to
>> a functioning desktop at up to 15 Minutes.  Yes, I can get up and brew a pot
>> of coffee, and drink my first cup, before I can use the computer.
>> As a user experience, this just sucks!  And it doesn't help to have my dear
>> wife looking over my shoulder and saying "Shirley doesn't have this problem
>> with her Windows program!"  (of course, Shirley also has a 2GiB memory)
>> We are, supposedly, maturing to the point that Linux is a viable desktop for
>> average users, not just 'puter-geeks like me.
> You're not complaining about Linux here, but Ubuntu and GNOME. Linux
> itself uses very little RAM. I agree that the spesified minimum requirements
> for Ubuntu could be set a little higher, or be more specific, but I don't think
> it's fair to call this a usability issue.
And my quote about the stated minimum is from the Ubuntu 9.10 Release 
Notes.  I know the problem is in Gnome.  That's why I'm posting to a 
"Desktop" discussion, not the kernel-team.  It is certainly a usability 
issue for me!  In fact, being geeky, I'm more ready to cut some slack 
than would be an "average" user.

Hypothesis: every upgrade runs some "triggers for menu."  When next 
booting into Gnome, the user's menus may need to be updated, so things 
that were previously cached and able to load quickly, now need to be 
rebuilt.  Still, 10-15 minutes is a long time to wait!
> If I were you, I'd try LXDE. It's _much_ less resource demanding and will
> make your desktop fly in comparison to GNOME. It's a small download and
> you can choose between GNOME and LXDE in the GDM login screen.
Ah!  I'll give it a shot.  Thanks much.
> Best wishes,
> Jo-Erlend Schinstad

David A. Cobb -- computing t-rex

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