How to speed up KDE, easy and fast

KDE is probably the most complete desktop environment for Linux. It is also accused of being the one that consumes the most resources. To speed it up, the trick is to reduce some of its features, but it does not turn into a vulgar desktop.

Make changes automatically

Low Fat Settings promises to increase the speed and reduce the memory consumption of KDE. This package called Kubuntu-Low-Fat-Settings, provides a set of configuration options that attempts to reduce memory usage as well as speed up KDE loading time by 32% and 33% respectively.

Some of the settings it includes:

  • Composition off by default
  • It disables the automatic loading of various modules, such as bluedevil, the free space notifier, some Nepomuk services and other components.
  • It reduces the number of KRunner default plugins that are loaded automatically.
  • Reduces the amount of graphic effects used in window decoration.

The goal of the package is to allow users with older hardware the opportunity to run the Kubuntu desktop at an acceptable speed.

To install the package just:

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-low-fat-settings

Make changes "by hand"

Those without Kubuntu can make the changes by hand. In the following video several of them are shown:

For more information, I recommend reading Ubuntu Forums.


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  1.   Dah65 said

    In a conversation with one of the Klyde boosters (the traditional alternative KDE packaging, promoted by two OpenSuse developers), the maintainer of Kwin said that it was preferable, for the sake of stability, to keep the composition active and disable all the graphic effects.

    In this way, Kwin consumption is reduced without affecting stability; disabling composition will also run out of effects and consume less resources, but Kwin's stability may be affected.

  2.   alejandrodaz said

    I'm terrified at the percentage of CPU usage that the guy in the video has on his computer. It has your processor running at over 50% all the time and it has two cores. Mine is a P4 3.2 Mhz with almost 13 years (very old but I have grown a grape) also with two cores (one virtual) and with a monitor of the visualized system I do not reach more than 8%, on average stand by mode I am between 0.5 and 1%, YouTube at 360p plays videos with 25% CPU consumption.

    I can't say anything about the RAM, with the modifications the consumption is very similar.

  3.   alejandrodaz said

    Thank you very much for this clarification, it is very common to see the total disabling of desktop effects in this type of tutorials to save KDE consumption.

  4.   Rodolfo A. González M. said

    After reading several KDE columns on the blog, and due to a forced change of equipment, I decided to try KDE after years of using Gnome, everything seemed very good, I even have no resource problems, Core i5 6Gb of RAM, but what keeps me going back to Gnome is the limiting ones with Kio, I need to directly edit files from various remote servers, FTP, SSH, SMB, but not many editors are supported by Kio.

    But as a desktop for someone who comes from a Windows environment, it is very very very good, it has a super clean design and for me quite intuitive.

  5.   Dah65 said

    Out of curiosity: mounting the remote folders with Dolphin can't you edit those files?

    At home I have a central machine that is also an NFS server, and laptops can access and modify the files on the central machine.

  6.   Rodolfo A. González M. said

    Actually the answer is yes, but only with editors that support Kio. In my case I use Sublime, and when I modify the file and save, the changes are not applied to a temporary file on my computer, the changes are uploaded even when I close Sublime, with a message from Kio telling me that the file was modified and if I want to save the changes. Can you imagine working in php like this?

  7.   x11tete11x said

    It depends on how you encode, if you are recording the raw video, without compression it will not consume anything, but if at the same time it is recording, it is compressing the video, then it is logical that it has CPU usage

  8.   alejandrodaz said

    That's very true, thanks again.

  9.   alejandrodaz said

    I've done that test before and the processor never gives me such averages. Anyway thanks for the clarification.

  10.   x11tete11x said

    obviously you are going to have the processor at 50% all the time ... it is recording your desktop ...

  11.   Let's use Linux said

    Very good contribution! Thank you

  12.   daniboy said

    I did not understand you very well XD but have you tried with logical links? ln -l

  13.   daniboy said

    uppercase ln -L