Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Ubuntu Unity 11.10 windows slow and laggy with ATI and NVidia GPU’s

I’ve spent alot of today playing with Ubuntu and Unity, I noticed that when Zooming in, the graphics tore and windows where slow to drag. I found this on the Ubuntu forums which seems to do the trick and make it super smooth.

ATI Radeon GPU’s

  1. Install fglrx driver (stock driver is choppy…); to do this, just open “Additional Drivers” application and select “ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX driver” (do not use post-updates/release), then click “activate” and wait for it to finish. EDIT: if it doesn’t appear in the list, your hardware may not be supported.
  2. Open “AMD Catalyst” (after reboot !)
  3. Enable “tear free” desktop option (one will find it easily)
  4. Open compiz config (command: ccsm)
  5. OpenGL plugin, untick the Sync to VBlank, Texture = BEST, Lighting effect ON (be careful here, to open the settings, click on the buttons and NOT on the tick/untick for the element, or entire desktop will disappear).
  6. Composite plugin, Detect refresh rate unticked, set the refresh rate at double your video frequency (in my case 60 Hz, I set it to 120)
  7. Close compiz
  8. Log off
  9. Log in again, it should be now smooth as silk and tear free

NVidia GPU’s

A variant of this seems to work as below just change the Compiz settings

  1. Open compiz config (command: ccsm)
  2. OpenGL plugin, untick the Sync to VBlank, Texture = BEST, Lighting effect ON (be careful here, to open the settings, click on the buttons and NOT on the tick/untick for the element, or entire desktop will disappear).
  3. Composite plugin, Detect refresh rate unticked, set the refresh rate at double your video frequency (in my case 60 Hz, I set it to 120)
  4. Close compiz

Link to: Original information on Ubuntu Forums

Is too much choice in Linux distro’s a problem?

Ubuntu really opened up Linux again for me, but since getting 11.04 (Natty) working well for me with Unity I’ve read many posts regarding Unity vs Gnome Shell. Both of which change the way the desktop works quite significantly and for some people not in a good way. Almost changing the desktop to work like a netbook. If you have lots of screen space, why would you want to do this?

This leads to then the possibility of looking at other solutions and finding out that there are other desktop environments such as XFCE, LXDE even with an Ubuntu based distribution or using other distro’s and modifications / extensions to Gnome Shell such as Linux Mint. With Linux it becomes very easy to “distro hop” as you find a feature in one distro that you like and simply move over.

With Windows and Mac this almost doesn’t happen. The choices for the OS are fairly limited to “Do you want Windows or Mac OS and maybe 32bit or 64bit choices for Windows.” There’s not alot else.

For me a PC is about getting work done and achieving the day to day tasks, the PC should help me to do that. If an OS is sitting in the way of doing that, its not so productive and where an OS can be customised so heavily and the options / flavours available are so diverse does this not just lead to a problem of what you should choose? Certainly for a corporate environment, where would an admin start in specifying an OS for all employees in a company.

At my next change I think I’ll be giving Xubuntu a spin, right now Unity is doing an OK job, but I just don’t like having to type in names of apps I am looking for. It just doesn’t seem right.