KDE is slow – for dummies
On forums, IRC, mailing lists etc. you get a lot of people complaining that “KDE is slow”. I finally got fed up trying to answer the same question over and over, hence I’m writing this blog post, to explain how most people can solve their problem in a few very simple steps.
Step 1: Check System Activity
If you think your KDE is slow, first check if some process is hogging the CPU.
Press Ctrl+Esc to bring up the System Activity window
if something is hogging the CPU, fix this situation before proceeding.
Step 2: Disable Oxygen Animations
Most of the time perceived slowness of KDE is caused by graphics cards/drivers and various animations not getting a long very well. Additionally some people might perceive all the Oxygen Widget Style and Oxygen Window Decoration animations as slowness – even when they perform as intended.
To turn off the Oxygen Widget Style animations press Alt+F2 and type oxygen-settings go to the Animations tab and disable animations. (This method is only valid for KDE SC 4.5 or later, in earlier versions use systemsettings => Appearance => Style => Configure)
Now go to the Window Decoration section of oxygen-settings and disable animations here too. (This method is only valid for KDE SC 4.5 or later, in earlier versions use systemsettings => Appearance => Window Decoration)
Step 3: Disable KWin Desktop Effects
Like the Oxygen Animations the KWin Desktop Effects might be slow depending on your graphics card/driver – and for some people they might feel slow even when performing as expected. So either turn off effects completely – or figure out which specific effects don’t perform well with your specific combination of graphics card and driver, and disable only those specific effects.
Go to systemsettings => Desktop Effects (in KDE SC 4.4 and older, use systemsettings => Desktop => Desktop Effects)
Step 4: Disable Strigi
Strigi is the file indexer, indexing your files to make “Desktop Search” possible. It can also be a resource hog depending on various things. On some distros it’ll be disabled by default.
If you don’t use Desktop Search, make sure it’s disabled in systemsettings => Desktop Search (in KDE SC 4.4 and older, use systemsettings => Advanced => Desktop Search)
KDE is still slow?!?
Naturally there are a lot more little tweaks you can do to improve performance a bit. But if you’re running KDE on a relatively contemporary computer, and you still think it’s unbearably slow after going through the above steps, you should probably consider just switching to IceWM, FVWM or another lightweight window manager.