Modify Ubuntu Swappiness for performance

Sometimes, it is possible to improve the performance of Ubuntu on older hardware by modifying the disk swapping behavior.

Check your current setting:

cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

To modify the behavior, just change the value and reboot. Most documentation recommends trying a value of 10.

sudo vi /etc/sysctl.conf

Add (or change):

# Decrease swappiness value (default:60)


Remove Landscape on Ubuntu

The Canonical/Ubuntu Landscape service has been around for as long as I can remember using Ubuntu. A free trial period is enabled (re-enabled?) when a new installation occurs, that allows for a server administrator to see performance metrics and uptime information for any hardware that is running the client. After the trial ends, it is still a quick means of visually observing some key statistics in the terminal MOTD at login. I’d also noticed that it was still doing DNS lookups to “” on a regular basis, and while I did not look for it, I assume that some information was still being collected and reported upon.

As there are MANY other ways to get server performance information, I decided that it was time to be rid of landscape itself.

Removal is easy, as only one line is required… I chose to “purge” all references, though you can “remove” if you feel inclined to leave any configuration for possible later re-installation.

sudo apt-get purge landscape-client landscape-client-ui landscape-client-ui-install landscape-common


MSIE6 javascript memory leaks

Argh…. yet again, this crappy product has another bug that developers must work around!

It seems that Microsoft doesn’t release memory to javascript objects from memory when created on a page… even when the page is unloaded.

Let’s think about this one for a second, why would you want to keep a javascript variable or DOM reference in memory after the user has navigated away from that page? This violates the stateless paradigm that web applications generally work with, besides… how would a developer be able to get that information (memory) back on the next page anyways? Perhaps, it was some genious that tried to keep state in javascript when the ‘BACK’ button was pressed… we’ll probably never know.

There’s a great quote I found while researching this…

“IE has an issue where it leaks memory when a circular reference is created between a COM object and a javascript object. In IE, the DOM is implemented via COM ….. This memory is not reclaimed until the browser closes. The simplest solution is to pretend there is no garbage collector for objects and make sure you always clean-up after yourself.”


Microsoft ‘chimes in’:

Tools to help: