Display performance regression in Xubuntu 13.10 and 14.04 as VirtualBox guest

Bug #1299286 reported by Ed Schofield on 2014-03-28
6
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Xubuntu Website
Invalid
Wishlist
Xubuntu Documentation
xubuntu-docs (Ubuntu)
Wishlist
Unassigned

Bug Description

I have been using Xubuntu 13.04 with good performance.

Recently I have tested Xubuntu 13.10 and Xubuntu 14.04 LTS beta. I see noticeable performance regressions on these with display updates. Merely typing in the terminal has noticeable screen lag.

I have tested Lubuntu 14.04 beta and the display performance is markedly better than that in Xubuntu. The procedure I used to migrate was:

    sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop
    sudo apt-get purge xubuntu*
    sudo apt-get purge xfce*

and a reboot.

This is not a performance bug in xubuntu-terminal. Display responsiveness with LXTerminal and other terminals and text editors is consistently slow under xubuntu-desktop on 14.04 (and 13.10) whereas the display is responsive under lubuntu-desktop. There is also no problem with display performance when typing in the console (Ctrl-Alt-F1) on Xubuntu 14.04.

I am using the x86_64 versions of Xubuntu 13.10 and 14.04 running as a guest under VirtualBox 4.3.10 on a Mac OS X 10.9.2 host. The VirtualBox guest additions are installed correctly. The effect of the 3d acceleration option in VirtualBox makes no difference, nor does the VirtualBox version (tested back to 4.2.22).

Ed Schofield (ed-1) on 2014-03-28
description: updated

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug. Can you please turn off XFCE's built-in compositor (Settings Manager > Window Manager Tweaks > Compositor) and test if this change improves the overall performance?

Thanks very much for your response, Thaddäus! I can confirm that turning off the display compositor drastically improves Xubuntu's display performance so it’s on a par with Lubuntu.

I would like to propose that the documentation for Xubuntu include this simple suggestion in big, bold letters on its own page (so search engines can index it well):

    “If you are using Xubuntu as a virtualized guest under VirtualBox and you see slow display performance, turn off the compositor by going to Settings Manager > Windows Manager Tweaks > Compositor."

I suspected that some simple solution such as this would exist but I didn’t know what to search for, and I wouldn’t have known how to find . Googling “Xubuntu slow display” and “Xubuntu improve display performance” didn’t turn up anything useful.

Thanks again,
    Ed

On 29 Mar 2014, at 9:18 pm, Thaddäus Tintenfisch <email address hidden> wrote:

> Thank you for taking the time to report this bug. Can you please turn
> off XFCE's built-in compositor (Settings Manager > Window Manager Tweaks
>> Compositor) and test if this change improves the overall performance?
>
> --
> You received this bug notification because you are subscribed to the bug
> report.
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1299286
>
> Title:
> Display performance regression in Xubuntu 13.10 and 14.04 as
> VirtualBox guest
>
> Status in “xubuntu-meta” package in Ubuntu:
> New
>
> Bug description:
> I have been using Xubuntu 13.04 with good performance.
>
> Recently I have tested Xubuntu 13.10 and Xubuntu 14.04 LTS beta. I see
> noticeable performance regressions on these with display updates.
> Merely typing in the terminal has noticeable screen lag.
>
> I have tested Lubuntu 14.04 beta and the display performance is
> markedly better than that in Xubuntu. The procedure I used to migrate
> was:
>
> sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop
> sudo apt-get purge xubuntu*
> sudo apt-get purge xfce*
>
> and a reboot.
>
> This is not a performance bug in xubuntu-terminal. Display
> responsiveness with LXTerminal and other terminals and text editors is
> consistently slow under xubuntu-desktop on 14.04 (and 13.10) whereas
> the display is responsive under lubuntu-desktop. There is also no
> problem with display performance when typing in the console (Ctrl-
> Alt-F1) on Xubuntu 14.04.
>
> I am using the x86_64 versions of Xubuntu 13.10 and 14.04 running as a
> guest under VirtualBox 4.3.10 on a Mac OS X 10.9.2 host. The
> VirtualBox guest additions are installed correctly. The effect of the
> 3d acceleration option in VirtualBox makes no difference, nor does the
> VirtualBox version (tested back to 4.2.22).
>
> To manage notifications about this bug go to:
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xubuntu-meta/+bug/1299286/+subscriptions

--
Dr. Edward Schofield
Python Charmers
+61 (0)405 676 229
http://pythoncharmers.com

Pasi Lallinaho (knome) wrote :

A realistic target for the documentation fix is 14.04.1.

Changed in xubuntu-docs (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Pasi Lallinaho (knome) on 2014-04-11
no longer affects: xubuntu-meta (Ubuntu)
Pasi Lallinaho (knome) wrote :

Moving this to xubuntu-website as the website is our preferred way to inform people about potential performance issues. Practically, we should write a general FAQ article about Xubuntu in virtualized environments.

Changed in xubuntu-docs (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Won't Fix
Changed in xubuntu-website:
status: New → Triaged
assignee: nobody → Xubuntu Documentation (xubuntu-doc)
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Pasi Lallinaho (knome) wrote :

Ed, could you confirm if the performance regression is still happening with later Xubuntu versions or if it seems to have gone away?

Pasi Lallinaho (knome) on 2016-04-11
Changed in xubuntu-website:
status: Triaged → Incomplete
Sean Davis (bluesabre) on 2020-05-21
Changed in xubuntu-website:
status: Incomplete → Invalid
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