Home > Desktop User > Ubuntu 9.04: Making Sense of Resources

Ubuntu 9.04: Making Sense of Resources

So you are enjoying the new Ubuntu 9.04 but maybe you notice some issues. Like at times your desktop seems slow…why? Or maybe your are just curious to know what is happening under the hood. Ubuntu provides an easy to use interface to take a look at resources and what is happening.

Select System/Administration/System Monitoring.


The “System” tab gives you a summary of your operating system, your hardware and the status of the system. Here you can see that Jackalope is installed. Note it also provides you with the exact kernel that you are using. As you update the kernel this will change. The hardware shows the total amount of RAM on your system. Keep this number handy as you will need it to evaluate what you are using later. Here it looks like there are two processors, when actually there is only one but it is using hyperthreading so it functions as two. The status is basically showing available disk space.


Processes are the applications running on the machine. Now you may see a lot of “sleeping” processes and want to say, “hey you guys wake up and do something!”. Well, that is exactly it, they are waiting to be called upon to do something. Basically these processes are ready to go, they just are not needed right now, this is how your system can save on resources. If you are looking for what is slowing your computer down check the “%CPU” as this will list the processess usage. If you see a process hogging the CPU it may be because it has a problem, so you need to look into it. You also see a column with memory listings. This is another area to check for processes that are using a lot of memory. Write them down so that if you see a pattern you can dig into it later.


The “Resources” tab provides a real time view of how your computer is using available resources. The CPU History shows what percentage is active for each processor. The Memory and Swap History shows the amount of RAM that is used. If you are consistently using a lot of RAM you may want to purchase new RAM for your machine as that will certainly slow down your computer. SWAP is hard drive space that will be used if the RAM runs low. SWAP can be 10 to 100 times slower if it is used so be careful. The Network History will show traffic on your network connections.


Drive space is viewed in the last tab. It will show the amount that has been used.


  1. May 2, 2009 at 8:30 am

    I do indeed find after upgrading that Ubuntu 9.04 is extremely slow and I haven’t yet been able to figure out why. system diagnosis shows only marginal use of RAM (300 MB of 4.6 GB), CPU (4 core) is only at 2.6 to 19% capacity – and it still does take ages to open sites in Firefox (6000 DSL line, speed test successful at http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/). So I don’t see hat could cause it?

  1. April 26, 2009 at 11:46 am
  2. April 26, 2009 at 9:23 pm

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