Unity 7 has had a low graphics mode for a long time now but recently we’ve decided to improve it because it was reported to be slow in very old GPUs and machines that use software rendering like VMs in the cloud.
That slow performance was kind of expected. Most visual effects that are widely used in the modern desktop environments due to the performance of the modern high end GPUs, can slow down the desktop to the point that it becomes unusable in software rendering.
Improving the performance was challenging because we didn’t want to sacrifice the user experience by disabling popular and broadly used effects just because they were slow.
But as you can see in the videos above and below we’ve made it 🙂
The new low graphics mode will soon be available in 16.04.1, 16.10.
How to enable the Low Gfx if it’s not automatically enabled (Xenial):
First make sure that you have this file in your system: /etc/compizconfig/unity-lowgfx.ini
if it’s not there you might enable the old low gfx mode that lacks the new features.
Method 1 (“permanent”):
Edit this file: ~/.config/upstart/lowgfx.conf to contain these lines:
start on starting unity7
initctl set-env -g UNITY_LOW_GFX_MODE=1
Log out and log in. (If you want to stop using it just comment out the lines (with: #)
Method 2 (“temporal”):
On a terminal run:
UNITY_LOW_GFX_MODE=1 unity --replace ccp&
Open the CCSM (compizconfig-settings-manager), go to the Profiles
section and choose the unity-lowgfx profile or check the Low Graphics Mode checkbox in “Unity Desktop Plugin” section.