How to Speed Up Linux from the Command Line


Linux is a powerful and versatile operating system, but it can sometimes suffer from performance issues. If you’ve ever experienced sluggishness or unresponsiveness, it’s time to speed things up.

In this post, we’ll show you how to speed up Linux from the command line using various tools and techniques. So, buckle up and get ready to give your Linux machine a performance boost!

1. Update Your System

The first step to improve your Linux performance is keeping your system up-to-date. Newer versions of software often come with optimizations that can significantly speed up Linux. To update your system, simply run:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

2. Disable Unnecessary Services

Some background services can consume valuable system resources, slowing down your machine. Disabling unnecessary services can free up resources and help your Linux system run faster. To list all active services, run:

systemctl list-unit-files --state=enabled

Once you’ve identified a service you want to disable, use the following command:

sudo systemctl disable {service-name}

Remember to replace {service-name} with the actual name of the service.


3. Optimize System Swappiness

Swappiness is a measure of how aggressively the Linux kernel swaps memory pages between RAM and swap space. A higher swappiness value can cause the system to swap more frequently, which can degrade performance. To speed up Linux, you can adjust the swappiness value by editing the /etc/sysctl.conf file.

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First, check the current swappiness value:

cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

Next, open the /etc/sysctl.conf file with a text editor:

sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf

Add or modify the following line at the end of the file:

vm.swappiness = 10

Save and close the file, then reboot your system for the changes to take effect.

4. Monitor and Manage System Processes

Monitoring your system processes is essential for identifying resource hogs that may be slowing down your machine. To monitor processes in real-time, you can use the htop command. If you don’t have htop installed, run:

sudo apt install htop

To start monitoring processes, simply run:


If you identify a process consuming excessive resources, you can terminate it using the kill command:

sudo kill {process-id}

Replace {process-id} with the actual process ID.

5. Tweak Filesystem Performance

Filesystem performance can significantly impact your Linux system’s speed. One way to optimize filesystem performance is by using the noatime mount option. This option disables access time updates on files, reducing disk writes and speeding up file operations. To enable noatime, edit the /etc/fstab file:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Find the line corresponding to your root partition and add noatime to the mount options:

UUID={your-partition-UUID} / ext4 defaults,noatime 0 1


Linux is a very powerful OS that can seem intimidated to the uninitiated. While many packaged versions from Ubuntu, Centos, Redhat, etc. does make using the OS easier their times when it like other systems slows down.

However, unlike other OSes where the code is locked down or inaccessible for tweaking, Linux is open source. Hence you are free to tinker with its source code and make virtually any changes you’d like.

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Just be careful, with great power, comes great responsibility.