My views on software, programming, Linux, the Internet, government, taxation, working, and life.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Get Swiftfox on Ubuntu and Speed Up Your Web Browsing Tremendously!

Man, I have great news.

After reading about this in a forum, I installed Swiftfox on Ubuntu to replace Firefox (and still leave the old Firefox icon). I think you have to be on the 686 kernel, though, to run it -- not certain of that.

Anyway, to get it, you go to:

(Info is here: )

When you download and expand the file to a folder, it's ready to go -- no compilation necessary. You just launch swiftfox. I found that after two runs of it, it "stole" a copy of all my old Firefox bookmarks and plugins -- isn't that cute?

I found I could still run the old Firefox if I wanted, as well.

I then changed my icon to point to Swiftfox.


I found what seems like a 2x speed improvement in using Swiftfox rather than Firefox!!! Woo hoo!!! It makes my Internet zippy fast. I can now honestly say that my web browsing experience is way, way faster than Internet Explorer on this same hardware.

My website project that I've been working on now races by me on the screen. Click, bam. Click, bam. Unbelievable!


BTW, Ubuntu, by default, uses a 386 kernel which is fairly slow. It does this to fit the largest variety of processor types. If you want to get the 686 kernel for Ubuntu to speed it up, do this:

  1. # sudo apt-get install linux-686

  2. Reboot into the new kernel.

  3. Open Synaptic Package Manager and search on 386. If it has the word "kernel" on the line, rightclick and choose Remove All. When prompted for other stuff immediately in the GUI when doing this selection, choose Yes. When you click Apply, it first prompts you what it's going to do. Ensure it only lists kernel stuff in there, not removal of Ubuntu desktop, GNOME, etc. Then, click the button to apply the changes. BUT WAIT!!! Click "Show Terminal" and you'll see you might be prompted something. Click "n" for No. Now reboot when done.

  4. Repeat step 3 until you no longer have kernel stuff, rebooting as necessary, repeating step 3 as necessary, until all 386 stuff is gone. By removing all 386 stuff, you won't get prompted for Kernel 386 package release stuff and will only be prompted in the future for Kernel 686 package releases.


  • At Mon Jul 24, 11:34:00 PM MST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Any pointers to deciding whether or not switching to 686 is a good idea or not?



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