Lubuntu 18.04 Sluggish, Crash on 2GB RAM

Give us some background info.


I wasn’t able to figure out how to add description there in my query.

I infact typed and submitted a detail… somehow it didn’t appear on it there. I have once again tried to add a reply also.

My issue is this:

Got a 12yr old Vostro up with Lubuntu & PPM OS. It has 2G RAM 667MHz DDR2&DuoProc400Mhz clock speed,AmpleHDD. Still running too slow/crashing. Any suggestions to improve the situation? Will adding 2moreGB help? Thanks in adv. Spec details n photo can be found here.


I would recommend increasing the amount of memory, 2GB is too little in my opinion and definitely will be slow or experience crashes like in your case, hell, you can even run Windows 10 on 2GB but it will be painfully slow, Linux might be a little ‘better’ but still.

Thank you for the imput.

Could pls advise : what is the best upgrade ( in this case) I can go for. Vostro 1400 model.

  1. should I go for 64 bit version of OS to benefit from RAM upgrade? Somewhere I read 32bit can utilise only jpto 3GBMAX.

  2. This is the RAM I have in system now. Attached photo. What do you suggest. a) Go for one full 4GBRAM or this + same config 2MORE GB RAM?;
    Is there anynpossibility of going for any other little upgrade this time…means a better clock speed etc. so that along with the money for upgrade J can add another 10-20%more money n buy insstead of upgrade later.
    b) Or is this system’s max.capability is for addition of 2GB of same type RAM only?

C) I do not know what does the 2RX16 and 2Rx8 mean? Is 512MBof2Rx16 and 2GBof2Rx8 same? Is there anything in spec such as 2GBof2Rx16 so that it will be 4times more capable than the 512MB mentioend here.!

Is there anything else more I can try for a little more investment economically.?

D) Lubuntu/Peppermint OS site says they can work on 512MB itself and 1GB for online browsing…then why even 2GB is sluggish. Or am I missing something here?


  1. surprisingly I did not face this much of an issue/sluggish ness/crash when I used this same system with Ubuntu 14.04LTS or the windows in those periods.
    Infact the system was with 1GB Of RAM (2 nos of 512 shown in pic here) only and moreover the internet was also from a 2G mobile phone only.
    Thats why it is very surprising for me…now the net speed increased to 4G and the OS is a lightest one and the RAM is 2 times more powerful now from those days. Yet the System is slow.

  2. Could you specify the best possible RAM type/spec in this situation.

A 32-bit processor with PAE (Physical Address Extension) means it uses 64-bit memory addressing, thus can utilize the same memory as a 64-bit intel/amd processor. The ~3GB limit applies only to versions of windows which didn’t utilize PAE (due to bugs, microsoft claimed to have it fixed prior XP SP2, then SP3, then SP4 then said use 64-bit windows)

I have a lenovo sl510 (c2d-t6570) that has 2gb of RAM, and I don’t experience crashes with it. But I cannot really respond as to your OS issues as you’ve provided no real details (what programs?, when?, what does PPM OS mean?)

FYI: I tested Lubuntu 18.04, 18.10 & 19.04 using 1GB laptops, and whilst I only did one thing at a time (eg. stream youtube in firefox alone, nothing else running) I didn’t having crashes. I in fact still use a thinkpad t43 that runs Lubuntu 18.04 LTS and it has only 1gb of RAM, however I’m careful what applications I run, and how I use it (utilizing apps in a way that won’t overburden the poor 1gb ram, ie. only using apps that share libraries with each other at the same time). In my experience a limited machine (eg. my thinkpad with single-core pentium M & 1gb ram) will slow down, but not crash - why I’d check out your hardware first.

Myself I’d actually test the box using a ‘live’ system, especially memory testing, possibly consider opening it up and doing a scan of the motherboard (swollen caps; where I look for random crashes where no clues exist in logs & I can re-create crashes on ‘live’ systems - ie. hardware). I would prove your system is good before upgrading memory.

1 Like

Thank you for a detailed explanation. I ll try those fixes though some are I need to understand further-I am not having any expertise on prog/code side.

//(what programs?, when?, what does PPM OS mean?)//

I meant Peppermint OS.
Version I have live USB and Installed is this : [Download the Peppermint 10 Respin (32 bit) ISO Image via Torrent](https:// github . com/peppermintos/Peppermint-10/releases/download/10_20191210/Peppermint-10-20191210-i386.iso.torrent)

From :
https:// peppermintos . com/guide/downloading/

But the issue was even with Live USB boot and trying to open only (default) Firfox browser single tab itself was sluggish. This was the case with Lubuntu also.
I then installed both on HDD to check if any improvement. And even downloaded some other livht wt browsers Midori and Falkan etc. And tried to check for improvement. But I still face the sluggish/hang. Or the fan start working non stop like a blower after 5 mimutes once I open browser.

I have used Lubuntu installation frommhere:


Could pls advise also If I need to upgrade this RAM what is the best optimal thing to do? What spec I should look for buying the new RAM?

I don’t know much about Peppermint OS, and as it’s not Lubuntu I consider it off-topic on this site, and I’d suggest you try a Peppermint forum for help with any Peppermint question.

The Lubuntu web site is , the .net site you mention is neither a Ubuntu site, nor a Lubuntu one. If you’re unsure of which site is official, I’d suggest not asking a search engine (ie. don’t ask google), but seek detail from, or specifically as it’ll send you to the correct web site for each Ubuntu flavor. is under Canonical control, so will always be correct (for Ubuntu things, Canonical being the company behind Ubuntu).

1 Like

Yee. I remember downloading from Lubuntu . me site with that horse shoe symbol download option. I am attaching a screenshot of the page where i downloaded the iso.

I have this sluggishness issue with this install of 32bit. I have also verified the integrity and SHA file etc. an ld found Ok. Used UUI to prepare USB bootable stick.!


The RAM requirements I read there are as below pic

That wiki page reports at the top

This wiki should be considered unmaintained and deprecated , though some information may still be relevant. Please instead refer to

and a quick look down the bottom shows I was the person who added it, with date of my edit. I only tested the change on a desktop browser (not a phone browser) so if you didn’t see the deprecated warning, please tell me, as I’ll probably should change a few pages…

The memory details on that page don’t apply to Lubuntu 18.04 LTS; the page refers to “Trusty” (14.04) & 12.04.

I was loathe to delete the page or have it automatically re-direct to (as was suggested to me) because some information I feel is still useful (eg. I still use a IBM Thinkpad r50p that requires the --force-pae options because of intel bugs on the pentium M cpu even with Lubuntu 18.04 LTS). My initial thinking was to remove/re-direct pages like that when Lubuntu 18.04 reaches EOL April-2021.

As for your issue, I’ve already stated I’d boot a ‘live’ system & perform memory tests,. If it fails memtest you have your problem, if it passes I’ve test a ‘live’ system anyway, maybe even a non-Ubuntu based system to see if that performs well. My thinking is hardware issues as already stated… so currently I’d be testing the hardware before I trusted it.

Crashes shouldn’t occur because of limited memory, you get disk thrashing as it pages memory out to disk constantly because ram is full; though I’d check on 2GB ram you have a swapfile in use, or swap partition set… To check I’d probably use the free command to display some memory stats. I’d see evidence of crashes in dmesg or other logs, even crash reports in /var/crash/, as without those I’d be suspicious of hardware issues as I currently am

I ran a mem test with a live bootable USB with Lubuntu 20.4 and it said memory test passed and press esc to exit.

I did. Then I selected Lubuntu on grub. I eneded up with
[End kernel panic - not syncing : no working init found. Try passing init = option to kernel. See Linux documentation.

Here’s some more info on your Dell Vostro 1400:

You might want to follow the instructions and see if yours matches the one shown.
Also I’m a little confussed about how you installed Lubuntu. Did you download the 18.04 LTS version and installed from DVD or USB flash? Any errors when installing?


What is sluggish? What do you use the laptop for?

Memory sticks

  • I heard that mixing a ram stick with fast clock speed and another ram stick with slow clock speed would make all ram sticks use the slower clock speed.
  • Mixing ram sticks of different brands with different voltages/clockspeed can cause other problems. The motherboard might not support the ram stick. See and makeuseof(.com)/tag/myths-misconceptions-about-ram/
  • Did you run a memory test on the ram sticks? unix.stackexchange (.com)/questions/75059/how-to-blacklist-a-correct-bad-ram-sector-according-to-memtest86-error-indicati

Use light weight software

  • Get things done in terminal emulator or console if possible. The graphical environment uses much more resources than the console. Use w3m or lynx to browse the web & check email if you don’t need javascript and pictures. Connect to wifi with nmtui, ceni or wpa_supplicant without using the graphical environment. Nano, vim, or emacs instead of leafpad. Alsamixer instead of volume control applet. midnight commander instead of pcman-fm.
  • Use abiword when you don’t need libreoffice.
  • systemctl command would show the services that lubuntu is running. get rid of anything that you don’t need. get rid of snapd, cups, bluetooth etc if you don’t use them.
  • jwm and icewm use less memory than openbox. see
  • urxvt instead of qterminal or lxterminal. xclip instead of qlipper.
  • compile a few software to squeeze out last bit of performance… No security update in this case though. I don’t do that for anything that touches the web or open documents from the web or other people. Maybe use apt-build instead of apt-get.

Performance tweak

  • Enable zram or zswap en.wikipedia(.org)/wiki/Zram askubuntu(.com)/questions/471912/zram-vs-zswap-vs-zcache-ultimate-guide-when-to-use-which-one
  • wiki.archlinux(.org)/index.php/Improving_performance


  • Cpu slow down to cool down when the laptop is hot. Get rid of dust near the fan. If you take the laptop apart, you might need to buy and replace the thermal paste near the cpu.
  • install lm-sensor package to check the temperature. if it can detect the fan, try fancontrol.
  • thermald and cpupower to control heat.

Broken Keyboard

  • dumpkeys and loadkeys in console. xmodmap in graphical environment.


  • update the software regularly
  • install microcode update for intel cpu, fire wall (ufw), apparmor profiles, clam-av, rkhunter, firefox, firejail + xephyr and other packages to have some defense against virus and rootkits.
  • if you are paranoid or run a webserver or ssh server, cisecurity(.org)/benchmark/debian_linux/


  • The hard drive of an old laptop is also old.

Linux distros

  • If you are quite familiar with Linux, you can install a minimal debian (or ubuntu) system and then choose lightweight packages from the software repository. But you probably need to know how to set up wifi, and x-windows system from command line etc. It can be time-consuming and you need to download those packages online. Check common vulnerability and exposure (cve) before choosing a software package.
  • try the popularity page at distrowatch
  • New distros with very few developer/package maintainers might have security oversight: reddit (.com)/r/linux/comments/bqtrdw/if_youre_on_void_be_aware_of_their_security/
  • I haven’t tried antix linux yet. Its package maintainers compile firefox to avoid using pulse audio to use less resources. But that might mean the maintainers would need more time to roll out security updates. It also get rid of apparmor/selinux to use less resource … I hand-picked the software packages and use debian in the end for a 10 years old laptop. The laptop boots to the console instead of x window to get rid of lightdm or sddm.

Thank you and thanks a ton. You have put so much effort in explaining and pointing me to the relevant resource pages. Each one is a valid observation. Though some of the solutions are still a little overload for me. I ll learn.

Here is what I did now:

As you said, the RAM mix up seems to be one of the major culprit. I now removed that 512MB and tried with only the 2GB. I saw a marked improvement.
So, I have now ordered an additional 2GB of same make n.model so that once installed it ll be 4GB TOTAL. Waiting for it to be delivered. Mostly this mid week.

I have also went for a SSD 240GB now. More than anything now the HDD noise is not there. (Pls tell me if have to remove swap memory now it is being SSD).
It wont go waste in future as I may also use it on new system. - I have added those small nylon rope to make pulling out easy in future. Else it is very diff to take out. - you can’t help this…after all I am a Mechanical Engineer!!!

I have also ordered for Heatsink paste. I ll receive it in this week. Once received i ll also re assemble the CPU, heatsink area to improve cooling.

And in the process i have also come to know about Zorin OS Education* version. I found lot of learning feature for students in it.

I have installed it also in parallel. So it can be used by kids…the upgrade wont go waste.

Now on top of it I ll add Lubuntu 20 LTS. Expecting a Vroom Lubuntu SPEED.!


Unfortunately I still have Microphone voice capture issue now. I have tried all the remedies in different forums no luck.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.