Is Lubuntu Faster Than Windows XP And Frankly Who Cares?

Last week I wrote an article about a video I watched on Youtube which showed how to crash Linux Mint just by using the mouse.

In the article I mentioned that the title is fairly midleading because it seems to suggest that you can crash Linux Mint fairly easily. In truth the video shows a guy clicking on a floppy disk icon hundreds of times and ignoring the messages that pop up, just leaving them on the screen.

Guess what? This week there have been more videos added by the same guy. To be honest the videos are just pure nonsense but I feel like that because so many people are watching them that there needs to be some sort of rebuttal.

The first video is as follows:

Which is faster Lubuntu 15.10 or Windows XP Professional?

In the video the guy shows that Windows XP Professional out performs Lubuntu on almost all the categories that he attempts.

In the comments below the video many users point out that the tests are flawed. Windows XP when you first install it runs fairly well but through continual use it the performance degrades.

This led to the second video:


Does Windows slow down over time

In the second video the guy attempts to show that Windows does not degrade over time.

The process is flawed and in this blog post I aim to show why the two videos are simply silly.

Let us address the first issue on my mind. This is 2015. Windows XP is dead. It is out of support. If you want to get nasty malware on an unsupported, non-improving system then go ahead and use it.

Really this test should be at least is Lubuntu faster than Windows Vista? I think we all know the answer to that one and because this is 2015 the lowest common denominator should be Windows 7.

If Lubuntu is slower than Windows 7 I would be incredibly surprised. That is not to knock Windows 7 because both operating systems are designed for completely different systems.

Lubuntu is great for computers with low processing power.

Now I want to address the Windows slowing down thing. Again what I am going to say here is largely irrelevant because the problem was solved in Windows 7 onwards.

In the video the guy takes on board viewers comments that Windows degrades over time and through continual use.

To test the theory a laptop from 2006 is dusted down and it clearly shows other files and folders than wouldn’t be on a vanilla system.

The tests performed include boot up, logging in, running a browser and shutting down.

After getting the timings from the dusty old system which has been used he restores it to factory settings and performs the timings again.

The timings are by and large the same across the board and so he concludes from this that Windows does not slow down over time.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scientifically there is a reason Windows XP slows down over time and it is due to the file allocation table and the fragmentation of the hard drive.

When you start with a freshly installed system all the files are at the start of the disk. As files are added and deleted they space out over the disk, leaving gaps.

A recommended performance improvement for Windows XP is to defragment the hard drive.

All of those Windows engineers couldn’t have been wrong for all those years could they?

No they weren’t.

The flaw with the test is as follows. Yes the computer that he used contained files on it but he failed to show how fragmented the drive was.

It was a computer from 2006 indeed, but how often was it used. He might have put the files on there on the first day and barely used that machine in the mean time. The disk might only have been 1 or 2% fragmented.

For a real test the computer should have been used continuously with software installed, uninstalled, files added, moved around and deleted.

It would be interesting to see what the boot times were for a computer that is 60 to 70% fragmented compared to a fresh install. In addition there should be tests showing other tasks such as copying files around, web browsing, watching videos etc.

In addition, over time, more programs get added to the startup programs within Windows and there is no telling whether there is antivirus software on the computer that was used. Everybody knows that antivirus software is a big draw on a system.

From Windows 7 onwards the system defragments itself and so you will never see fragmentation of more than say 5%.

Out of interest I did my own test this evening. I tested the boot up sequence of Windows 10, Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

Windows 10 definitely booted faster and it shuts down faster but that is because I don’t think it really shuts down fully. I think it is left in a dormant state which it can easily recover from.

I was more interested in the CPU usage and the memory usage. CPU usage in Ubuntu was tiny at 0.3% whereas Windows never dropped below 5%. Ubuntu also used less memory than Windows 10. Windows 10 idled at about 1.5 gigabytes, Ubuntu was half that.

The main cause of Windows CPU and memory usage was the built in security and anti-malware tools.


Therein lies the problem with Windows and it is the one defining feature for almost 20 years. Windows would be great if you didn’t need a resource stealing application protecting you from nasties such as viruses and malware.

Personally I don’t think there is much difference performance wise between Windows 10 and Ubuntu. They are much of a muchness.

Users just need to decide which one they want to use and get on with it.

Is Lubuntu faster than Windows 10? I bet it is. I don’t think we will see a video proving this point any time soon though.



  1. I clearly stated in the video that I defragmented the hard drive prior to running the tests. What is your proof that in real world use, a Windows NTFS partition gets "60 to 70 percent fragmented"? And the whole "Windows XP is obsolete" argument is rendered moot by the fact that Windows XP still has more users than Windows 10, and significantly more users than Mac OS and Linux *combined*:

  2. Something being used doesn't mean that it's not obsolete. My grandpa uses hand drill built in 1956 and swears it's better than all the electricity powered ones he used. Malware still exists and there is no support for Win XP, so you'd have to have better anti-virus and anti-malware suite than you would've on Windows 7 (or any other supported system) and that would increase the memory usage of XP significantly, thus slowing it. I use Arch with i3wm and have cold boot usage of about 100mbs with couple of autostart programs (firewall, some bash scripts, terminals and atom-editor) and as a programmer I cannot imagine myself reverting to any of the Windows operating systems, but that is just my opinion and it's based on my needs and mobility issues (notebook). If I were to game I'd choose Windows 10, but for everyday use on old machines, Linux with a simple DE is more than enough and, frankly a better choice than Win XP. Not to mention that your everyday user is, well, an idiot, and clicks on a lot of adds and picks up malware that you and I couldn't get even if we were looking for it

    • Hi, i've actually tested XP and Lubuntu side by side i have to say Lubuntu is quite nice. Uses 60-80mb of ram on idle and when using a side by side comparison its almost always using 50mb less ram doing the same task as XP i tested this on a virtual machine as well as on native hardware.

      I'm NOT a fan of linux typically i'd never make the jump and i'm not on my I7 and 1080 i also game BUT on older hardware Lubuntu does a LOT. Basically fully secured desktop that can be used with PC's as little as 512mb of ram. Heck at times on the same site XP was using twice as much memory almost making it terribly slow with a swap file vs Lubuntu.

      I also tried peppermint 7 and its almost as nice to me but a little bit more demanding on ram usage plus i found lubuntu to be a little easier to use and it just seemed better to me.

  3. Every Windows OS are good and fast. Since they are defragmentated and disconnected, of course.
    The first time you connect with Linux, you note the difference in terms of speed and security, and difference increasing in time.
    After two years, i use Windows just for old games and some portable apps, surely NOT for surfing and download.

  4. I have officially had enough of people holding on to XP, in so doing contributing to the spread of malware and other viruses throughout the net.

    It is this simple: Lubuntu is better for the simple reason that Lubuntu is still being patched and XP is not. That's it. Nothing else matters.

    There is a world out there bigger than yourself. Stop being a selfish jerk and let XP go.

    • I would be inclined to agree with you when it comes to devices connected to the internet. I have a friend who still uses Windows 98 on a computer because it works well with stage lighting software that he wrote. It is never online and the software works well. No need for him to change and no harm done to anybody else.

    • Gary, you got the point. Today'windows 10 (but 7,8 and 8.1 too, with unwanted upgrades) it's an heavy, telemetry and fly-by-wire OS.
      It's easiest and faster install Linux, expecially Debian-based.

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