The Linux Mint development team plans to launch the next version of the popular Linux distribution Linux Mint in the coming months.
Linux Mint 19 will be offered in multiple flavors including MATE, Xfce and Cinnamon. If you have used Linux Mint Cinnamon in the past or plan to take it for a test drive in the future, you may benefit from application loading improvements in the upcoming version of Linux Mint.
A new blog post on the official Linux Mint blog offers some insight. It all began with a perceived feeling; team members noticed that app loading “felt” faster on MATE or Xfce versions of Linux Mint and slower on Cinnamon versions.
It was unclear at that time if Cinnamon had performance issues or if the differences could be explained in other ways.
At the time, we didn’t know if it was just down to perception (animations, composition), or a feature (registering new apps with the session for instance), or a performance issue.
The development team decided to investigate the issue. The team created a script to measure the performance of 200 windows being opened on the desktop environment and ran the script on multiple systems for comparison.
The script confirmed that Cinnamon’s performance was worse than the performance of other versions. The window build and recovery time of Cinnamon was about 26 seconds in total, while it was just 7 seconds for Metacity.
The confirmation was all the Linux Mint team needed to investigate and fix the performance issue in Linux Mint Cinnamon. The team discovered quickly that Cinnamon and the window manager library Muffin used by Cinnamon had performance issues and that these needed to be addressed.
The developers identified four bottlenecks in “the window list and the panel launchers” and worked on them to resolve them. The changes brought the window opening performance of Linux Mint Cinnamon to the very same level that Metacity had from the beginning.
Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon includes improvements to window animations on top of that which improve the performance perception without impacting actual performance.
Interested users can check out the official bug report on GitHub for technical details.
Performance improvements are always welcome, especially if they are noticeable by users and not just measurable by benchmarks in situations that don’t translate well to real-world scenarios.
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