Further Speeding Up My Laptop

Recently, I switched to Lubuntu and, for the most part, I couldn’t be happier. Before that, I tried speeding up the aging Dell Vostro 1000 by adding more RAM — some people online insisted it was possible — but DV1k was having none of that. Yes, I expect and accept an overall slowness from an older machine but in the last few months, Ubuntu updates would either frequently lock me out of the login screen (note to self: write post with solution) or break my wi-fi.

So far, my only real issue with Lubuntu is if I close the laptop, put it in my bag and go somewhere, when I take it out the fan is cranking even louder than usual and the laptop is hot to the touch. It runs too warm to actually have it on your lap on a good day — and I always keep it on something elevated with airflow underneath … this is way worse.

Also, it hangs when trying to put it to sleep, reboot, shut down, etc. so I always have to manually press the power button.

So my new “excited and nervous” task is switching from lxde to LXQt in an effort to further speed things up, if possible. If I’m correct, it only comes by default in 18.10+ and I’m using 16.04 because DV1k is old. Somewhere, I saw instructions for installing it on 16 and they wouldn’t provide instructions unless it was totally safe, right? 😉

So let’s go … as I do these steps …

    1. sudo apt-get update
    2. sudo apt-get install lxqt
      Terminal asked if I wanted to install the ten billion things I said y.
      Wow, this is taking a while …
    3. My notes say to sudo apt-get install lxqt-common but Terminal tells me lxqt-common is an invalid operation. I’ll look that up later.
    4. I need to log out then log back in choosing “LXQt desktop”.
      There was no menu on the login screen …
    5. Based on a different source, tried sudo apt install lxqt-common and that is working.
      Done. Now trying to logout/login … woo-hoo! We have a menu!

WOW, does it look different! I’ll let you know how it works out.

And I need to look into temperature management and stuff …

Other issues:

  • Chrome is still a RAM-devouring beast that slows everything down and often freezes but, to my knowledge, there’s nothing I can do about that if I want/need to use Chrome.
  • Lubuntu does often make me log in twice. Someday, I might look into that.

SAD UPDATE: 24 hours later, I’ve switched back to the regular Lubuntu DE.

  • There are long-standing bugs with adding apps to the widgets/panel at the bottom which drove me crazy. I hated having to use the menu for everything.
  • At first, the WiFi appeared in one of the widget-things but, after I tried customizing it (and everything suddenly flashed and all the panels and widgets were empty) and everything disappeared. I added some things back but two things wouldn’t reappear
    • Battery status
    • Network Manager

As it turns out, that wonkiness is also a long-standing issue. While researching this and trying various solutions, I logged out and noticed there was another choice besides LXQt for the desktop environment — “openbox” — so I chose that … and got ANOTHER longstanding LXQt/openbox issue … a black screen.

After trying various solutions, I finally rid myself of LXQt which makes me sad.

Odd Update = two of the apps I tried adding to the panel in LXQt now appear in the panel in regular Lubuntu.

Cool Update: While going through several sites filled with tips on speeding up Ubuntu, Lubuntu, and basically googling “why does Chrome suck so bad in Linux?” I found some dandy tips on speeding up both Chrome and Firefox.