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Linux Mint 19 is slow, both Mate and XFCE

I've tested the latest Mint 19 (Tara) and the results are not good at all. More than Tara I would have called it Mint Vista. :-D

In the last 12 mont Mint 18 has lost the first position on Distrowatch, now owned by Manjaro, but I suppose that, with Mint 19, this is going to get even worse since Mint 19 brings basically nothing interesting accompanied by a huge penalty in performance.

I've done some simple tests on Virtualbox with VMs with the same exact config. Every test is made after 2 reboots to let the OS settle down.

NB: only for Mint 19, I've removed any unnecessary startup application to gain the maximum speed possible because the original config was ridiculously slow and even Mint 19 XFCE was booting in 1':11“ from grub to login window.

Mint 19 vs Mint 18 (Both Mate flavour)

Test Mint 19 Mint 18.2
Grub to login 47s 42s
Login to desktop 48s 8-o 18s
Opening Caja 3.3 1.9
Opening Caja again 1.1 0.3
Shutdown 7.5 5

Mint 19 vs Debian Stretch (Both Mate flavour)

Test Mint 19 Debian
Grub to login 47s 28s
Login to desktop 48s 8-o 22s
Opening Caja 3.3 1.1
Opening Caja again 1.1 0.5
Shutdown 7.5 6

Mint 19 Mate vs Mint 19 Xfce

Test Mint 19 Mate Mint 19 Xfce
Grub to login 47s 48s
Login to desktop 48s 8-o 20s
FS Caja 3.3 Thunar 1.5
FS again Caja 1.1 Thunar 0.6
Shutdown 7.5 7

So, compared to Debian there is no competition. That Mint 19 is really slow is also confirmed by many others:

(1) I installed Mint 19 XCFE x64 on my laptop. I formatted my old Linux 17 … the boot is very slow (about 3 minutes despite the SSD). Before it was around 20 seconds.

(2) 31.907s lightdm.service 31.904s plymouth-quit-wait.service

Startup finished in 1min 8.634s (kernel) + 45.095s (userspace) = 1min 53.729s

(3) Running extremely slow! The system goes slow! My disk and everything else looks fine now, but something makes it slow and I have been working with it for weeks now

(4) the disk started going to 100%…” What does this mean, please?

(5) I too am now trying to install Linux Mint 19, it is so slow it is ridiculous!

(6) At this point, I am done and will return to 18.3 until the dust settles and the side-by-side install error gets repaired.

(7) Back to 18.3 already until they fix this mess

(8) I put Tara on my aspire 4315 2gig ram , Last night and its slow to get started, it takes for ever to boot up. 18.3 boots up fast and never misses a beat, so have taken it off this morning and reinstalled 18.3 again

(9) Mint 19 Booting and logging in slowly So I'm having an issue with Mint 19. It takes much longer to boot than 18.3 (3-5 minutes at times) And after finally booting it takes another minute or two to load the desktop

… and so on

Is the new features worth the performance penalty?

NOT AT ALL! Having Linux with the speed of Windows Vista could be worth only if it had a button “materialize gold”.^_^

The best improvement I can see is Mate (or XFCE) but that has nothing to do with the OS itself (e.g. you can have the same on Debian).

Flatpack It's now integrated in the software manager and it's difficult to distinguish what comes from what. Removing Flatpack also removes the software manager. Just as I don't like the Xubuntu software manager filled with advertisment, I don't like this mix.

removing flatpack (and automatically the software manager) and using Synaptic, you'll be gifted with some second (3s in my test) less boot time.

Timeshift and Update policies
Timeshit… sorry… Timeshift on ext4 it's only an interface for rsync. No compression of the snapshots so you need double the size of the OS at the first run, plus every modified file the next times.

The first run takes forever: Clonezilla is 10 times faster and far more reliable, because rsync/timeshift snapshots can't be trusted for backups of a running system.

With the excuse that timeshift can recover problems, the update policies has been removed (despite I've found the equivalent in the options).

What are we gonna do now?

I'm using Mint Mate because it WAS a good compromise because it WAS:

  • Pleasant desktop from the beginning
  • Ubuntu based so no suprises
  • Fast enough
  • Mate is an official flavour and xfce as well
  • Good stability compared to Arch and others more bleeding edge distros
  • Friendly forum
  • Some app are updated, others are useless (e.g. Filezilla 3.15 8-O )
  • Stupid choice of kernels: in Mint 18 the only LTS is the 4.4 and the others are all EOL mantained by… who? Ubuntu itself?

In other word no fancy stuff and no hassle. Now it is different.

  • Still pleasant graphic but less responsive
  • Ubuntu based: now this is a negative point because Ubuntu 18 has a lot of problems
  • Not fast at all. Ridiculously slow
  • I can't say anything about stability because I get pissed after a few hours
  • Friendly forum: gone. Apart from some nice/expert persons like Xenopeek you can come across quite arrogant idiots.
  • Same stupid choice of kernels… and by the way I only saw the 5.15 in the list
  • No separation from what is free and what is proprietary (in every version)

So I'll keep going with Mint 18, not Mint 19, and in the meantime getting ready to jump on Debian or maybe MX Linux that has wonderful reviews, even from Dedoimedo that is a very picky reviewer.

Debian stable could be boring but is extremely fast, rock solid, separates proprietary and free, and flexible to the extreme (it also runs on Arduino).

I'm not the kind of person thinking: “I have a fast computer so I don't bother installing elephants”. On the contrary: “I have a fast computer, why slowing it down with shit? Let's try to make it even faster!” :-D

Since 2020 I've migrated my main workstation to Debian, and I'm going to migrate all the other computers to Debian XFCE and Mate flavours, both customized to have the same functionality of Mint without the bad stuff. Super fast, reliable and upgradable forever! It's not theory: I've already experienced 5 major upgrades: Debian 6 to 7 to 8 to 9 to 10.

linux/mint-19-is-slow-mate-xfce.txt · Last modified: 2020/08/17 19:00 by rik