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You are here: home's Optimization-support

We completely renounce any damages that may occur and all you do is on your's own responsibility including possible offending license. Before hardware tweaking do backup.

After you have downloaded and installed a basic Linux system you' ll only get full satisfaction if you spend more time to optimize your system: optimize your screen performance, processor, hard disk, memory, keyboard - language, network, and external equipment like printer, scanner etc. But then you got your system YOUR way without slow-down by superfluous programs or functions you'll never use. That is one time tweaked and you do not need to spend more than 5 minutes each month* to keep it updated & hacking resistant and do nothing else the next 3 years.
My best advices are these general guidelines:
Optimize only one hard disk and test it carefully. When OK do the same to the other hard disk.
Tweak only one function the time and test the performance.
Find your limit according to your computer age and time you want to spend on optimizations & specializations.

Click at the link below to choice the functions:
Optimize program accessibility (increase repositories, where you get your update and software)
Optimize your facilities due to your program choices.
Optimize screen performance (card drivers, resolutions)
Optimize processor usage (kernel version and overclocking)
Optimize hard disk and CDrom drives (hdparm)
Optimize memory access (grub)
Optimize keyboard (language locales)
Optimize network connection (proxy server setup - squid,
Optimize Internet browsing (multimedia ability: codex, fonts, flash & java, encoding, downloading)

Optimizing program accessibility: Start a terminal as seen in the bottom OBS.

sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources_bak.list
#(press the Enter button)
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list #(press the Enter button again)
(OR use another editor eg. sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list). Mark and Copy (Ctrl+C) the upper framed bold text - line by line into the terminal (paste using the middle mouse button) and press enter after each copy.
Replace the sources.list of the Dapper (the project for the schools - Also here is Edgy or Breezy) repository text from the right ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
and save.  What you do with cp is to make a backup copy of the place where you receive your programs and with gedit ... you replace where you now can receive much more programs. The reason why they are not in default in Ubuntu-Dapper is that you this way accept some licenses.
Check that it works - do the commands under the OBS.
Now you can eg. install a planner for your projects: search for planner under synaptic. Mark it once and press the select button twice and you have installed the program. (OR write sudo apt-get install planner in a terminal as under OBS). Click here for another way to explain how to increase your repositories.

Setup of School/Office computer with Edutainment & IP-telephone

Disclaimer of Warranty:
Copying these guidelines to your own computer MAY be helpful, but do it with  carefulness and remark any potential warnings given. This leave us with absolute no warranties.

Click on installation  to install the basic Ubuntu Dapper (OR : do this together in a Linux User Group)

  1. Be aware that the BIOS is setup to boot from the CD / DVD (activate immediately the BIOS pressing F1,F2,F12 or Del...written on the very first screen you see. If not: you just start no Ubuntu)
  2. You can normally say YES to all points, BUT be aware that you can also choose:

  3. To install a non-English language choose English US first and add your native language later (some non-latin languages expect English as default). Danish, you can choose without problems.

  4. Choose your native country and keyboard immediately.

  5. Choose your default administrator user (our is "hope". Use this hope user to get our scripts going)
  6. If you got two Hard Desk Drive (HDD) use the smallest eg. 10GB for storage by manual partitioning your /home in this drive and the system in the largest (and often) fastest HDD.

  7. Be aware that you are online through the installation – that will save you a lot of time

The system setup after the upper basic Dapper is installed.

(You can do it more easy but not more safe).
  1. Insert a BIOS administrator password (activate immediately the BIOS pressing F1,F2 or Del)

  2. Make the HDD the first and only startup in BIOS to keep install-CD's of children away. Control: place a floppy and a CD in the drive.

  3. Do upgrade your system by pressing your top icon for updating (as the system request). Let it FINISH everything before rebooting. Controll: Write in a terminal:

    sudo apt-get update #followed by:
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade --fix-missing #and press the buttom: Enter - let all finish.
    #If problems look for a tipp at:
  4. Create a new user - beside the default one. A user who has administrator privileges. The user we use is: lego     (Choose the same users to proceed our scripts)

    Restart the graphic interface (Ctrl + Alt + <- (delete backwards)), and login as the new user, logout and login again as our default administrator user (hope).  

  5. Transfer shortcuts to your desktop, if you like Scientific's concept by click on and unpack to your Desktop.
    Controll: all icons must have unique thumpnail-images when you have installed the programs below.

  6. Accept the repositories that are available in Automatix and skip this point OR better insert repositories from your country as seen --->
    You can also copy a Chinese source from: or a Danish source from into the sources.list file:

    sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list #and replace with your chosen sources.

    Repeat point 3. Controll: follow the update and remark from what country you get your update.

  7. If your computer is older than 1999, skip point 8 and 9 and go to point 10.
  8. a. Try to insert the Linux-686 kernel through System->Administration->Synaptic OR use the following command in a terminal:  
    sudo apt-get install linux-686
  9. ONLY if it won't start, press Esc in the very beginning and choose the Linux-386 kernel and remove Linux-686 after boot through Programs->System Tools->Synaptic.

    b. If it starts perfect your processor is boosted seriously in performance. Controll read while booting. You can now remove the Linux-386 kernel

  10. For later easy and safe upgrade, preferable install the programs available from the repositories:
    Glabels is for label-creation and Inkscape is a vector-drawing program, Skype is a IP-phone, links2 is a fast simple graph or text-browser, network-manager to easy get the internet-connection, vlc is for showing videos, mozilla-plugin-vlc, ttf-thryomanes is support for VLC, acroread is acrobat reader, amsn is a messenger, and the remainings are edutainment-programs:

  11. sudo apt-get install glabels inkscape network-manager network-manager-gnome vlc mozilla-plugin-vlc ttf-thryomanes sun-j2re1.5 acroread acroread-plugins skype links2 amsn gcompris childsplay links2 toppler mathwar tipptrainer tipptrainer-data-en tuxmath tuxpaint pingus xpaint armagetron bzflag gcompris-sound-da wormux slune flightgear gl-117 lincity-ng
  12. #Also promissing for edutainment, but for Ubuntu Edgy seams: littlewizard miniracer vdrift onyx billardgl glest lgenerals openttd mathpuzle
    #OBS: Remember to keep your system updated by pressing the upgrade icon in the top each time it request so (or frequently) to keep the system safe and let the process finish.
  13. An opensource IP-phone with webcam support, you can downloade from: have till now chosen the stable classic ver. 0.958m (In China it is 40% cheaper than Skype to public phones). (Wengophone 2.0 is now available using wget, unpack and run the file). In Dapper or Breezy copy the following lines into a terminal:
    # sudo apt-get install libssl0.9.7 ## needed line in Edgy
    sudo dpkg -i ~/wengophone-0.958m-1.i386.deb #In Edgy Wengophone 0.99 or 2.0 is better.
  14. Check that eg. Macromedia Flash-player starts at the page: and do the install if not.

  15. Installing programs all together, except programs from Automatix and Wengophone so far, do copy into a terminal:
    sudo apt-get install glabels inkscape network-manager network-manager-gnome vlc mozilla-plugin-vlc ttf-thryomanes acroread acroread-plugins linux-686 ttf-arphic-newsung cmap-adobe-gb1 cmap-adobe-cns1 cmap-adobe-cns1 xfonts-intl-chinese skype links2 amsn gcompris gcompris-data gcompris-sound-en childsplay childsplay-plugins links2 toppler mathwar tipptrainer tipptrainer-data-en tuxmath tuxpaint pingus xpaint armagetron bzflag gcompris-sound-da wormux slune flightgear gl-117 lincity-ng 
    # provided all sources are created as downloaded from
  16. If your PC's graphic card is onboard or not very fast you'll benefit of these 4 screen tweeks, remember especially to do the 16 color depth of the graphic setup writing DefaultDept 16 in stead of the demanding 24-bit color depth mode:
    Start and end with a test:

    and replace the value 24 with 16 for more speed:
    sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    #and choose color deapt 16 - change the line to:
    DefaultDepth        16
  17. Also you may decrease the resolution eg.:
    Modes        "1152x879" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" - and remove "1152x879"
    but let the minimum acceptable resolution 1024x768 remain. Lower values may handicap the system.
  18. Remove background: System->Preferences->Desktop backgrounds->no background
  19. Remove screensaver: System->Preferences->Screensaver->(unclick) Activate Screensaver when system is idle.
  20. Set your date and time correct by right-click the watch in the upper right corner and Adjust... That is a common problem eg. in Automatix installed below like "time warp or clock problem". Now you can pick the upper downloading "automatixKey.txt" method, which is also useful if you got the error: gpg: WARNING nothing exported.

  21. Consider to bring the £-suggested programs under Automatix in and these suggested edutainment-, multimediaplayer-, messenger-, fonts and utility-programs into your Linux-box with the commands. Insert Automatix2 and choose Installing on (K,X)Ubuntu 6.06 i386,amd64 (Dapper) as described at: OR you can do as follows:
  22. This way you get the public key downloading "automatixKey.txt" writing in a terminal:
    wget # key 521A9C7C is common for Edgy too.
    gpg --import key.gpg.asc
    sudo apt-key add ~/automatixKey.txt #if no OK message, try to reboot and redo this command again.

    If you recieve an "OK" message, you succeed to continue:

    sudo apt-get update 
    sudo apt-get install automatix2
  23. As also possible later - Run Automatix2 from Applications->System Tools->Automatix, write your password and at least select the £-suggested programs from this capability list below:

  24. Capabilities

    1. **Acrobat Reader (Adobe Acrobat Reader and plugin for Firefox 1.5)

    2. £-AMSN 0.95 (MSN client with webcam support, is available in Dapper and Edgy repositories)

    3. Amule (Latest version of a P2P file sharing client)

    4. Archiving Tools (Additional archiving tools (rar, unrar, ace, and 7zip))

    5. **AUD-DVD codecs (NON-FREE Audio and DVD codecs(w32codecs must be installed from repositories in Edgy to install the rest) (Installation of this option 5. is illegal in the United States of America)

    6. Avidemux (Video Editing Tool)

    7. Azureus (Installs Azureus bittorrent client)

    8. £-Backup and Restore (A graphical backup and restore solution for Ubuntu (GNOME))

    9. Beagle (A Mono-based search program)

    10. £-Bittornado (Bittorent Client)

    11. Boot-up Manager (Easy configuration of startup and shutdown scripts and services)

    12. Checkgmail (A nifty gmail checker)

    13. Ctrl-Alt-Del (This configures Ctrl-Alt-Del to Open Gnome System Monitor (GNOME ONLY))

    14. DCPP (Linux DC++ client)

    15. Debian Menu (Shows all installed applications on your system)

    16. £-Democracy Player (Internet TV platform) 

    17. DVD Ripper (DVD ripper)

    18. **Extra Fonts (Additional fonts and msttcorefonts)

    19. **Flashplayer (Adobe Flash Player for FF)

    20. Frostwire (P2P file sharing client (GPL clone of Limewire))

    21. Gdesklets (eyecandy for Gnome)

    22. Gaim 2.0 beta3 (The latest version of a popular IM client compatible with YIM/MSN/AIM/Jabber etc)

    23. GFTP (FTP client for GNOME with ssh capability)

    24. £-Gizmo Project (VoIP phone)

    25. Gnomebaker (The best GTK2 CD/DVD burning software)

    26. GnomePPP (Graphical dialup connection tool (GNOME ONLY))

    27. GnuCash (Money management software for GNOME)

    28. Google Earth (Satellite Earth imagery application from Google)

    29. Google Picasa (Photo editing application from Google)

    30. iLinux (iLife Alternative (Banshee, F-Spot, Kino))

    31. Liferea (A RSS reader for GNOME)

    32. Listen Media Manager (Latest version of a new media manager and player for GNOME)

    33. Media Players (Totem-xine, VLC and Beep Media Player (with docklet))

    34. £-MPlayer & FF plugin (MPlayer and Firefox 1.5 plugin)

    35. **Multimedia Codecs (Commonly needed audio and video codecs)

    36. Multimedia Editing (Audio (Audacity) Video (Kino) and ID3 Tag (Easytag) editors)

    37. Nautilus Scripts (Open Nautilus, and any file with gedit with a right click, as root (GNOME ONLY))

    38. NDISWrapper (A driver wrapper that allows you to use Windows driver for network cards)

    39. Network Manager (A program and menu applet that allows you to easily change networks)

    40. NVIDIA Driver (Installs NVIDIA drivers on select NVIDIA cards)

    41. Opera Browser (Opera Web Browser)

    42. OpenOffice Clipart (clipart in OpenOffice)

    43. Programming Tools (Anjuta (C/C++ IDE), Bluefish (HTML editor), Screem (web development), NVU (HTML editor)

    44. **RealPlayer (RealPlayer, available as realplay in Edgy) 

    45. Rhythmbox (Latest version of Rhythmbox)

    46. Ripper and Tuner (Streamripper (rips Internet radio streams) and Streamtuner (Internet radio client))

    47. Security Suite (ClamAV AntiVirus and Firestarter Firewall) – useful if you are working in a network with Windows PC's.

    48. Skype (A free (as in free beer) Voice Over IP software)

    49. Slab (Novell's "Slab" menu used in SLED 10)

    50. **SUN JAVA 1.5 JRE (Sun's version 1.5 JRE & The Firefox plugin)

    51. SUN JAVA 1.5 JDK (Sun's version 1.5 JDK (Most users DONT need this))

    52. £-Swiftfox Browser (optimized Firefox browser for your specific CPU)

    53. £-Swiftfox Plugins (Java, Flash, Acrobat, Mplayer, MS fonts)

    54. Thunderbird 1.5 (Email client)

    55. Wine (Installs Wine)

    56. XChat (a popular IRC client)


      Choose to keep your own repositories – from your country and upgrade if requested and always let upgrading and installations END without starting any other installation tools (like synaptic)!!

    -----------------------------Back to the checklist-------------------->

  25. Finish with the general control that all is up-to-date and well-working with  
    sudo apt-get update #followed by:
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade --fix-missing #and press the buttom: Enter - let all finish!
  26. Consider to make it possible to make a copy of this level of installed programs:

    sudo dpkg --get-selections > packagelist.txt #(<-that is backup of your program package list)
    sudo dd if=/dev/hda of=bootsector.img bs=512 count=1 #(<-that is backup of your boot sector)

    so you can return to this level of installed programs. How?:

  27. Optimizing each hard disc you may have installed:
    Normally, you do not have to worry if you make your hard disk a _little_ unstable through this process, because the settings are not saved between boot-ups unless you decide so (as seen below)
    Start writing your present settings on paper and perform a speed test in a terminal* from:
    sudo hdparm /dev/hda #(note this lines output at _least_)
    sudo hdparm -Tt /dev/hda
    gentle optimization of older hard disks -especially the multi read- start with:
    sudo hdparm -c1 -d1 -m16 /dev/hda #(experiment with adding arguments -u1 and -c3 (-X66 for newer drives only)
    For a modern hard disk you may try: sudo hdparm -X66 -d1 -u1 -m16 -c3 -A1 /dev/hda
    Be aware and reboot in case of instability.
    When you have tested thoroughly stressing the hard disk with a lot of large programs open (and noticed the best possible performance sudo hdparm -Tt /dev/hda) and you keep a level where the hard disk are still stable, insert e.g. your hdparm command-line with 12 times of 5 seconds spin down time exactly like this (no sudo): hdparm -X66 -d1 -u1 -m16 -c3 -S12 /dev/hda into the last line of the "/etc/hdparm.conf" file in Ubuntu (and in the /etc/rc.boot of fedora):
    Sudo gedit /etc/hdparm.conf #and edit
    Insetting the next lines to make the optimization permanent after your reboots.  
    # write eg. the following into the file:
    /dev/cdroms/cdrom0 {
    dma = on
    interrupt_unmask = on
    io32_support = 0

    command_line {
    hdparm -c1 -d1 -m16 /dev/hda
    #providing that your HDD is /dev/hda. Lookup if it is /dev/hda by writing:
    sudo fdisk -l
    For a deeper understanding and a better optimization of your hard disks please goto Speeding up Linux using hdparm or Speed vs. compatability or look in the manual by writing in a terminal:
    man hdparm
  28. If you are Linux skilled, we recommend to use a fast desktop manager like FMWM or IceWM in old hardware. Look how in the buttom.

  29. For non-english natives:
    Choose Timezone through right click on the date&watch in the top-menu and choose Adjust time and Syncronize (for China choose Asia/Chongqing). 

  30. Choose your language(s) from: System->Administration->Language support. Click the checkpoint for your choise of language from the supported languages list, but keep EnglishUS as default. After installation you can log-in choosing your own language. Here, the first time you choose SCIM (pressing Ctrl+spacesimultaniously), choose eg. Chinese simplified in the lower right corner, othewise only english keyboard is used. 

  31. An updated version of a short guide to the Chinese School PC's are available for download in English:  help2linuxENG.rtf and in Chinese: help2linux 帮助使用Linux.doc at
  32. Choose additional fonts Eg. for simplified Chinese also choose all fonts including GB2312 and ethnic fonts.  If you have not  deb unstable main/ttf-arphic-newsung in your repository you need it for inserting ttf-arphic-newsung)

    # Find fonts of your choise at least xfonts and ttf- that mention Chinese.
    sudo apt-get install cmap-adobe-gb1 cmap-adobe-cns1 xfonts-intl-chinese ttf-arphic-newsung
    # You can also check in synaptic for the words: arphic -zn -cn -tw -hk and chinese
  33. Choose how to setup your Firefox to show native search first and change more: In Firefox use the topbar: Edit->General->Location of your choice, unclick Privacy->Passwords on public computers!, unclick Content->Block popup windows for newcommers,  Advanced->Edit Languages->add eg. Chinese zh-cn and move it up on top, press OK.

  34. Optimize your Firefox (or Swiftfox) internet connection from or after started firefox once and if you got a midium-fast broadband Internet-connection and an older computer, you can download the file "user.js" from and place it at your firefox default directory:

    sudo cp ~/user.js ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default/
    #Control:In firefox write about:config [Enter], pipelining - If the value 8 exist OK
  35. Do the same for your user (lego) this way: start a terminal and copy:
    nautilus /home/hope/ #and another terminal with
    sudo nautilus /home/lego/.mozilla/firefox/
    #Open the *.default directory and copy the file user.js from /home/hope/ to this directory
    #Close both the (nautilus) windows and Control as above.
  36. Suggestion to change the main panel: Rightclick on top->Add to panel and select (the unconsuming Geyes and secret drawer for kids, Dictionary look up, Workspace switcher, the system monitor to dimm inpatiency on  slow PCs.  Remove the Workspace switcher in the buttom to make room for more open programs.
  37. For the teacher/administrator: Draw (Copy) the launger named "Transfer Desktop to user" from the maintainence directory "PC-vedligehold" till the top-panel to copy the administrator icons to the user [provided you have unpacked (dobbeltclick) the "desktop" after downloaded it from
  38. To write-protect the users Desktop in a terminal do: 

    sudo su -
    cd /home/lego
    chown root Desktop
    chmod 1775 Desktop
    exit #and press the Enter buttom.
  39. Establish an Email (eg. 5GB from and create a wengophone account):

  40. Consider installing SAMBA for easy filetransfer. Download and read the guidelines of "sambaconfig".

    General optimization of the computer

  41. Theft secure the cabinet of the computer with a one-way screw through the cabinet that also function as a device for hanging.

  42. Checkup cables, keyboard, install of scanner, printer, monitor, sound, USB/ps2 mice

  43. Place a new motherboard battery in the computer to avoid instability
  44. Consider BIOS flashing for better stability, overclocking of processor and RAM

  45. Overclock less than 30% and if you get a stable system 10% at least. It lower the life of the processor but after 15 years you probably do not use the computer anyway. If you get a collapse when you load heavy graphic, the processor run from your graphic card (which you may renew).

There are nomerious other optimizations not included for the school computers:
Optimizing harddisk-space
(even you'll have one rescue option less).

When you install the basic system and the packages using synaptic, aptitude or another apt-get command all installation files are saved in the directory: /var/cache/apt/archives/. But on an old computer these xxx.apt files will fill-up your limited harddisk space. As in Window$ 10-20% space has to be left empty for remain the harddisk to work optimal. To clean ALL older installations files write in a terminal*:

sudo apt-get clean
To remove only those packages of the cache which are found useless or partially complete write:
sudo apt-get autoclean
Optimizing CDrom for better speed (enable DMA)
Look where your CD-rom are located by writing in a terminal*
sudo cat /etc/fstab # Some special SCSI CD drives can be found using
sudo dmesg | grep SCSI
But assuming that /dev/hdb is the location of your CD/DVD-ROM
sudo dmesg | grep CD # this output tell you where your CD is located - maybe /dev/hdb as the example:
sudo hdparm -d1 /dev/hdb # change /dev/hdb if the CD is eg. on /dev/hdc
sudo cp /etc/hdparm.conf /etc/hdparm.conf_backup
sudo gedit /etc/hdparm.conf #Append the following lines at the end of this file
/dev/hdb {
dma = on
Save the edited file.
Sometimes better performance is slower performance.

setcd -x <4> # here we decrease the CD to 4 time speed, which can help reading damaged CDs.
Clean-up optimization
To be able to clean up and remove big superfluous files you can choice by hand to find and remove them from each directory through writing in a terminal:
ls -l *.* | sort +4n and delete e.g. .tif files you do not need:
To remove *.tif from [
theDirectoryWithManyGarbageFiles] recursively - go into a terminal*:
cd [theDirectoryWithManyGarbageFiles]
find . -name "*.afm" -exec rm {} \
You can uninstall un-needed program packages. In a terminal write:
To uninstall .deb files:
sudo dpkg -r package_name # where the
package_name is the one you need to uninstall.
To find if - and remove any applications or librarys are left behind in one process do write in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install debfoster # a frontend to dpkg
sudo debfoster # choose which applications you want to remove. Take care!

If you make a mistake with the answers, you can always edit the file:
sudo gedit /var/lib/debfosterkeepers

For cleaning up duplicate and problematic files install FSlint . Just unpack -dobbeltclick- the tar.gz file to a folder and startup FSlint from this folder you installed it. (Default the download go to your home directory).

sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales
Optimize your facilities due to your program choices.
Optimize OpenOffice:
Change the default values
6 to 128MB under the Graphics cache for Use for and from 0.5 to 20MB Memory per Object.  Less manipulation for older PCs or just run OpenOffice without multitask.
Also you can go to firefox optimization and others

For installing a flash-player:
sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree (not usable for amd64 bit PCs) and
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/ (to reactivate the sound)

Optimizing network
Especially on older equipment disable
sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/aliases # substitute the line: alias net-pf-10 ipv6 to
alias net-pf-10 off
save and next time after boot, you feel a better performance.

Optimize Wired / Wireless connections & switch between them.
Most simple normally for laptops is to use a black-box programs gtkwifi or network manager

sudo apt-get install network-manager network-manager-gnome

If this is not working for you, a 2005 solution was the program: gtkwifi
Click on automatic configure wireless.
and choose download.
In a terminal you can install and execute the script by writing:
sudo dpkg -i
gtkwifi-1.09.deb (later replace with the number of any new version you may download)
gtkwifi run-in-window
sudo dpkg -i gtkwifi-1.09.deb #later replace 1.09 with the number of any new version
gtkwifi run-in-window #start this every time you like wireless (easy through a script)
(Click here for a little more guidelines of this nice black box wireless tool)
Another tool NetworkManager should be suitable  for automating the process of switching between wired and wireless networks - even tell the strength when you direct your antenna to get the best signal on distant networks. It is easy to install sudo apt-get install networkmanager and help you on the Internet. But even with the link to NetworkManager difficult to launch.

A more complicated but informative choice to set-up wireless is to write a text-file:
sudo dhclient
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
# or
sudo ifdown wlan0
sudo ifdown eth0
sudo ifdown eth1
sudo ifdown ra0 # or whatever wireless hardware you find available from iwconfig
# followed by
sudo ifup wlan0
sudo ifup eth0
sudo ifup eth1
sudo ifup ra0

sudo gedit /etc/network/interfaces.wifi and in this copy the text:
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).
# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
auto ra0 #or eth0 or ?
iface ra0 inet dhcp
#or eth0 or ?
in a terminal:
sudo ifdown eth0 #stop the existing set-up of any wired network
#sudo modprobe rt2500  #eg. if you got a special Sitecom net-card
#sudo insmod /lib/modules/2.6.12-grml/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/rt2500.ko
#sudo update-modules #secure against conflict between more wireless networks
cp /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces.bak #backup your original wired interface setup
cp /etc/network/interfaces.wifi /etc/network/interfaces #substitute the wired setup with a wireless setup.
sudo ifup ra0
#or eth0 or ?Activate the netcard that use a ra0 in stead of the eth0
sudo dhclient #secure that the dhcp is running
sudo iwlist scan #scan for accesspoints
sudo ifconfig ra0 up
#or eth0 or ? aktivates the ra0 and show-off the status of the wired access

You can follow the status of wireless offers (like access-points) in the surrounding using

To keep wireless connection on long distances (but loose speed). Write into a terminal*:
iwconfig eth0 rate 1M auto
and later
iwconfig eth0 rate auto
#restore speed when better conditions:

Back to wired network:
sudo ifdown ra0
#or eth0 or ?
cp /etc/network/interfaces.bak  /etc/network/interfaces
sudo ifup eth0

If you have lost your interface file - you can insert a usable file by copying:
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).
# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

into interfaces through a terminal*

sudo gedit /etc/network/interfaces

test if the nameserver is running - if so you get the same result of writing:
ping and
if any problems with the last one but not with the first write the nameserver adress into:
sudo gedit /etc/resolv.conf #you find the nameserver in the papers of your internet-provider.
find the nameserver address from your papers of your internet provider - it can be written in the empty file like:

To safe energy you can set-up your laptop writing in a terminal*:
sudo apt-get install sleepd
man sleepd
sudo sleepd
In stead you can choose the mentioned: sudo hdparm -S 12 /dev/hda that is also useable for large PCs.
sudo apt-get install acme # Enables the "multimedia buttons" found on laptopsacme
Check tpctl for IBM ThinkPadhardware, toshset and toshutils for Toshiba, spicctrl and sjog for Sony Vaio Laptops.

Increasing firefox performance writing about:config setting the first 2 lines to true by a dobbeltclick.
network.http.pipelining.maxrequests #also part of the major optimation above
Set the last to 8.

In stead of Automatix all can be done by hand (in a terminal):
Optimizing fonts and codecs: To be able to get access to additional character lay out (fonts) and see different videos you have to increase the number of repositories as mentioned above under "Optimize program accessibility".  Install VLC or Mplayer after these codex.
sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts w32codecs libdvdcss libdvdread3 libavifile-* mfonts-*

Find more at for codecs (may be illigal in Microsoft countries.
If you got DVDs from different places do:
sudo apt-get install regionset
To view videos in firefox try the MediaPlayerConnectivity extension. That is to download it and restart firefox.

Optimize boot-up without acpi's power management
sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst
The acpi's power management is best to avoid in older computers. That give less risk of a freezing kernel, more stable wireless connection, ...)
What you need is to turn ACPI off in the Grub boot-loader:
Write in a terminal
sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst
Insert acpi=off or pci=noacpi in the end of your kernel line. Eg.:
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.12-10-386 root=/dev/hda1 ro acpi=off

Optimizing memory usage
Write in a terminal
sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst
In the one extreme you may solve problems to add mem=nopentium
if the computer is very old OR in the other hand in a PC with a lot of memory insert mem=1024M or mem=1048000K in the end of the kernel line - eg.:
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-1-686-smp root=/dev/sda1 ro mem=1048000K
Free memory by removing functions:
sudo gedit /etc/inittab # comment out tty 3 and tty 4 to save memory on older computers.

Optimizing sound
Optimizing sound is also an aspect of optimizing memory usage: If ALSA is set up right you spare memory. By default, Ubuntu uses ESD that is slowing down the system compared to ALSA. Click here to set-up ALSA + dmix made for Ubuntu-hoary, but also worked for Breezy and maybe Dapper!?

Use a lot of harddisk-swap if you have a limited access to memory (<500MB)
that is setting at 60, which is the default. If you have got a faster system use 10 to 20 but do experienze. Find out how it is now:
sudo cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
if you like less swap use:
sudo sysctl -w vm.swappiness=15
To make it permanent after boot write the line
vm.swappiness=15 to the empty file (beside the #commented lines) in
sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

Optimizing boot-up possibilities
Boot-up your computer if you use GRUB. It is default not hidden and without a password, but if GRUB menu is hidden, press Esc to enter the GRUB menu. If GRUB password is set, press p to unlock the GRUB menu
Look also under optimize memory.
Select e.g. Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.15-1-386, Press e to edit before booting. Select:
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-1-386 root=/dev/hda1 ro quiet splash
Press e to edit the selected command in the boot sequence. Add rw init=/bin/bash to the end of the arguments like:
Kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-1-386 root=/dev/hda1 ro quiet splash rw init=/bin/bash
and press b to boot.

You can establish a dynamic boot-up and secure your boot-up. If you still have got a floppy drive, it can be used as a safety boot device. when this floppy drive is mounted -to be writeable- and boot-up as the first device as th old default, you can enhance your choises to refer from the floppy drive 
and make possible to access other devices like USB-drives.

Edit the boot-up options by adding

title Boot from floppy-drive
root (fd0)
chainloader (fd0)+1

to the boot-up file:
sudo gedit /boot/grub/grub.conf

When you reinstall Windows, it will by purpose or erroneous distroy the boot possibilities of other OS. So if you really want to install it, you can create an extra possibility through old LILO. In a terminal do write:
sudo apt-get install lilo (keep the Grub files)
lilo -b /dev/fd0
You can manually increase the rate of the boot-up time:
sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst
Reduce the timeout to maiby: timeout 6

To make it fasten further, try the experimental InitNG Bootup script 
Although, you need to work around a problem for Ubuntu-Breezy

Optimizing your kernel
No doubt, the preferable is to make your kernel for your distribution and
compiling all your software yourself, optimized for your processor. But that you need every time you'll upgrade a new kernel for security reasons - and that is every month or so. I let the community do this task & upgrade when offered.
From the network you can start the specialization already installing a whole debian system from floppy: but we continue with focus on Ubuntu:
In stead of creating your own kernel, you can pick up some partly specialized kernels:
For Athlon choise the k7 argitechture
For old computers (before 1999) use the i386
For medium PCs or everyone before 2000 that can stand it use the i686
For new (not 64 bit structure) use the 686-smp even it is needed to use both CPUs in a multi-CPU motherboard, but also for the hyperthreading in any modern Pentium 4 CPUs.
For the 64 bit PCs and powerPCs, use the complete installation CD ment for these computers.
- So for the old PCs try in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install linux-686
For Athlon computers choise:
sudo apt-get install linux-k7
For the new ones do write
in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install linux-686-smp
For modern Athlon choise:
sudo apt-get install linux-k7-smp
Select all i686-headers that fit too eg. from synaptic
Choose if possible a K7 kernel instead of the i686 even most run on this 686 architecture.
To later find out what kernel you are running - write in a terminal:
head /proc/cpuinfo
An additional way of optimizing your processor in medium-aged or underclocked laptops is to optimize your processor by overclocking. Most new ones are already overclocked. With gentle overclocking you reduce the lifetime of processor with maybe 3 years - nobody use to care as after 15 years the processor is outdated anyway.

Optimizing start-up procedure (the less the faster - but take care!)
Usinng a tool you con install or remove start-up of existing procedures using a small tool in a terminal*
sudo apt-get install rcconf  #can be used even on terminal-only computers
sudo rcconf # or you can install the "bum" utility that do the same:
                    # sudo apt-get install bum that you can find in the menu of Ubuntu:
                    # system-->administration-->boot-up manager.
Check for not-needed procedures that only slow down your computer compare with Ubuntu Services
You can also step by step start any new scripts or programs from links in /etc/rcS.d to files in /etc/init.d
Eg. if you want to clean up your /tmp /run /lock files before any new section find this bootclean file and copy it by writing in a terminal:
sudo gedit /etc/init.d/ #and paste it here
sudo chmod 766
/etc/init.d/ #to make it executeable for yourself and the system
/etc/init.d/ #(test it)
sudo update-rc.d defaults #make the link to start up when boot as the last one.
(more? Look at bootcleanup)

Optimize silence - look at hard disk optimization or go to:
Remove noice

Optimizing text-only computers or just an easier user interface in your terminal
You need especially a nice text mode WWW-browser, a file-manager with an editor, easy download of new applications and mouse use in the terminal. That could be installing: Links, Midnight Commander with mcedit, Aptitude and GPM, respectively through writing in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install links mc aptitude gpm # lock-out synaptic or other download when you use Aptitude.

For NEW computers in stead of the 24-bit color mode you can try 32-bit color. Start with a test:
sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
and copy the 24 mode section (and insert the 32-bit):
SubSection "Display"
        Depth        32
Also you may decrease the resolution eg.:
Modes        "1152x879" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
and let the 1024x768 remain. In new computers you can experiment with larger resolutions (if you dare ;-)
(for new ones go the other way eg. try to make color Dept   32 default if possible). Test again.

Optimizing by removing programs / applications / funchnionality:
Optimize by remove unimportant graphic (eye-candy):
Install the Xcfe desktop (and always run gedit at start-up for speed) in stead of Gnome & remove Gnome - WHEN the full setup is finished OR:
Disable the Gnome Splash Screen using a terminal:
gconftool-2 --type bool --set /apps/gnome-session/options/show_splash_screen false
or by launching:
sudo gconf-editor
AND optimizing - minimalize Gnome
choise apps --> gnome-session --> options and uncheck show_splash_screen 

Use XDM in stead of GDM for old computers: sudo apt-get install xdm

For older computers or for minimalists use in stead of Gnome or KDE a windows manager look at screenshots from
xfce , OpenboxBlackbox, Fluxbox , IcewmWindowMaker, FVWMor one of other lighweight window managers. You can download all chosen - but choose one of them only:
sudo apt-get install xfce
openbox blackbox fluxbox icewm-gnome wmaker 
A little more complicated to install, but better with desktop icons are:  ubuntulite-icewm, FVWM or EDE. The installation of EDE, we have no experiences  (do not mix up with the ede found in synaptic), but to install ubuntulite-icewm download by click on icon-windows-manager write in a terminal*:
sudo apt-get install iceme icepref icewm icewm-common icewm-themes mousepad icewm-gnome
sudo apt-get install rox-filer python-gtk-1.2
sudo apt-get -f install # in case of any uncovered dependencies
sudo dpkg -i ubuntulite-icewm_1.2.18-1ubuntu1_all.deb
The FVWM has also icons and can be installed by writing in a terminal*:  sudo apt-get install fvwm
After installing a windows-manager -when you restart the computer you can as Session choise eg. Ubuntu-Icewm

Remove animations, simplify themes, remove graphic background except
unicoloured background.

More eye-candy for new computers:
sudo apt-get install xcompmgr transset
sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf # Add the following section after the "module" section:

Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "Enable"

The nvidia card runs better with acceleration activated. Add the following lines to the "device" section:

Option "RenderAccel" "true"
Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"

To overclock your Nvidia drive you can install and gently increase the rate:
sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx
sudo nvidia-glx-config enable
nvidia-settings #and increase the rate by 10% and test.

For an ATI card, add these lines instead:

Option "backingstore" "true"
Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"

Recommended programs
If you got a CD or DVD burner
K3B may be of interest, but you need

Optimizing by the application choises:
Music: find what suit you: Jack-Qjackctl, Rosegarden, Fluidsynth-Qsynth, Ardour and Jamin, Audacity

Video: For the vidio editor Kino to be able to import/export, do start with inserting modules:
sudo modprobe ohci1394
sudo modprobe raw1394
sudo chmod 666 /dev/raw1394

Optimize printing
If you got Gnome or KDE you can use the existing setup like in Gnome: Choise System --> Administration --> Printing --> New printer --> Add and choise your printer. Actually it is just a frontend setup procedure of CUPS. But sometimes you have to use CUPS directly:
Like in all other debian distributions, in all Ubuntu versions, you have to add printers to the cupsys group
before you can use the CUPS system. You may even have to circumvent the Ubuntu disable of the direct CUPS by commenting out the two lines "AuthType Basic" and "AuthClass System"in the file: In a terminal write:
sudo gedit /etc/cups/cups.confd # after which you can use http://localhost:631 even without any password (it is a not secure way - so remove the comment # of "AuthType Basic" and "AuthClass System" afterwards).

Optimizing for invalides or lazy-eyed ;-)
To make the curser larger write in a terminal*:
sudo apt-get install big-cursor
Trans-distribution optimizations
The graphical convalo system for all Linux distributions with good internet access even it is a slow computer.
sudo apt-get install
gpm xdm coda-client
Konvalo-startfile made executeable:
sudo apt-get install coda-client --reinstall

Another interesting cross platform terminal server solution is the FreeNX system described for thin clients.

For a survey of the ideas behind this IT-project go to the
example of our present projects
That is optimizing for your personal computers screen, processor, hard disk, memory, keyboard - language, network, and external equipment like printer, scanner etc.
For that reason we suggest that you step to our other technical support pages at:

*OBS! Independently how many optimization steps you prefer, please learn to keep your system updated:

Start a terminal  (Alt-F2 and write xterm) OR programs-->system tools--> terminal) and write the bold:

sudo apt-get update #(press the Enter button and write your password and press Enter again)
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade #(
and press Enter again and yes to all (reasonable suggestions))

These upgrading steps increase performance and security against viruses and hacking.
Click here for another explanation of howto use basic commands


Created by Phillip Sc. Bøgh
Last modified 2006-11-15
(Info. from

Dapper Repository (change dk. to your country code -eg.  cn. for China)
(the /etc/apt/sources.list)
# Example sources.list for Ubuntu 6.06 "The Dapper Drake" release

deb dapper main restricted universe multiverse

# deb-src dapper main restricted
## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
## distribution.

deb dapper-updates main restricted universe multiverse

#deb-src dapper-updates main restricted
## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from the 'backports'
## repository.
## N.B. software from this repository may not have been tested as
## extensively as that contained in the main release, although it includes
## newer versions of some applications which may provide useful features.
## Also, please note that software in backports WILL NOT receive any review
## or updates from the Ubuntu security team.

deb dapper-backports main restricted universe multiverse

# deb-src dapper-backports main restricted universe multiverse

deb dapper-security main restricted universe multiverse

#deb-src dapper-security main restricted
# deb dapper-security universe
# deb-src dapper-security universe
#deb dapper main
#deb dapper-commercial main
# deb stable/

deb dapper main
deb stable non-free
deb unstable main/ttf-arphic-newsung

Edgy Repository (change dk. to your country code -eg.  cn. for China)
deb edgy main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src edgy main restricted universe multiverse

deb edgy-proposed main restricted universe multiverse

## MAJOR BUG FIX UPDATES produced after the final release
deb edgy-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src edgy-updates main restricted universe multiverse

deb edgy-security main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src edgy-security main restricted universe multiverse

## BACKPORTS REPOSITORY (Unsupported.  May contain illegal packages.  Use at own risk.)
deb edgy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src edgy-backports main restricted universe multiverse

## PLF REPOSITORY (Unsupported.  May contain illegal packages.  Use at own risk.)
deb edgy-plf free non-free
deb-src edgy-plf free non-free                                              
## CANONICAL COMMERCIAL REPOSITORY (Hosted on Canonical servers, not Ubuntu
## servers. RealPlayer10, Opera, DesktopSecure and more to come.)
deb edgy-commercial main

## Listen

## multimedia packages
deb edgy-seveas extras seveas-meta custom
deb-src edgy-seveas extras seveas-meta custom

# superm1’s repository (mythtv and other nonfree) (GPG: 80DF6D58)
# deb edgy all
# deb-src edgy all

# Freedesktop compiz packages
#deb edgy .
#deb edgy-misc .
#deb edgy-dev .

# Tvfreeplayer Packages
deb unstable main

# Skype packages
deb stable non-free

# Easycam packages
deb unstable main

# Ubuntu Taiwan ubuntu extra repository
deb ubtw/
deb ubtw-testing/

# Subpixel Font rendering packages
# Improved font rendering - May violate some patents
# deb edgy fonts main
# deb-src edgy fonts main

# Automatix (GPG key: 521A9C7C)
deb edgy main

# Musicbrainz
#deb edgy musicbrainz
#deb-src edgy musicbrainz


#deb dapper-commercial main

deb edgy-security main restricted universe multiverse
Keys needed for above:
#for various packages:
wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -

#for Multimedia Packages
wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -

#For Automatix:
 gpg --import key.gpg.asc
 gpg --export --armor 521A9C7C | sudo apt-key add -

Breezy Repository (change dk. to your country code -eg.  cn. for China)
# Example sources.list for Ubuntu 5.10 "The Breezy Badger" release
deb breezy main restricted universe multiverse
## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
## distribution.
deb breezy-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src breezy-updates main restricted universe multiverse

## Uncomment the following line to recieve security uptades -when it works ;-)
#deb-src breezy breezy-security main restricted universe

deb breezy-security main restricted
deb-src breezy-security main restricted
deb breezy-security universe
deb-src breezy-security universe
deb breezy universe main restricted multiverse
deb binary/
deb breezy free non-free
deb-src breezy free non-free
deb etch non-free
deb breezy main
deb breezy/
deb-src breezy/

## Uncomment the following lines to add more software (some may work yet)
## N.B. software from this repository may not have been tested as
## extensively as that contained in the main release, although it includes
## newer versions of some applications which may provide useful features.
## Also, please note that software in backports WILL NOT receive any review
## or updates from the Ubuntu security team. Maybe usefull later has a # too.
#deb breezy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
#deb-src breezy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
# deb breezy main
# deb-src breezy main
# deb unstable main/ttf-arphic-newsung
# deb stable/
# deb breezy java
# deb free non-free
# deb breezy-backports-staging main multiverse restricted universe
# deb breezy-extras-staging main multiverse restricted universe
## created by arniefreeremoved and
## Uncomment the extra lines above to add software from these extra repository.
## They may conflict with the others - so do take a copy of your repositories:
## sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources_bak.list
## If you remain the Breezy repositories -with your changed land-code-
## you get the benefit of both Automatix installations and speed-downloads
## of the local servers of your country.

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