How to speed up Ubuntu 18

Illustration: Bionic Beaver is slow
Illustration: Bionic Beaver is slow

TL;DR: A list of tweaks and settings that can improve your Ubuntu 18x’s speed A LOT.

Reading time: around 40 minutes, so if you don’t have that much time on your hand, you can go read something else.

If you’re one of the people who have noticed a significant change in booting speed, shutdown speed, and generally, operating speed of your computer after upgrading or installing Ubuntu 18.x, then read on, this article is for you.

I have an older model Lenovo T410 (4×2.4Ghz i5, 4GB RAM), that was working absolutely flawlessly with Ubuntu before the 18.04 version, and even with flavors of Ubuntu like Linux Mint Cinnamon based on Ubuntu 17, but after 18x came along, things started moving slower and slower.

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How to regenerate icon cache on linux ?

A GTK configuration screen complaining about a missing icon cache file on Peppermint Linux
A GTK configuration screen complaining about a missing icon cache file on Peppermint Linux

If you see some widget or configuration dialog in Linux,  complaining about the fact that your icon cache files are missing, here’s how you can easily fix it.

Using the manual method, or folder-by-folder method that is displayed in the small tooltip on the image, is cumbersome, and if you have a lot of icons that have missing cache files, it can take up a lot of time and would force you to do a lot of unnecessary typing.

*see update at the end*

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There aren’t enough SSD / NAND flash drives

SSD - solid state drives - the supply can't meet the demand, in 2017
SSD – solid state drives – the supply can’t meet the demand, in 2017

According to some online sources, the current year (2017) is a year of shortages in the solid state drive industry (more commonly known as SSD drives or NAND flash drives).

The huge demand for this microelectronic device has surpassed the production capacity of the factories that produce it, and the exponential growth of devices that use these components for their storage, is not likely to subside overnight.

Newer personal computers, laptops, notebook computers, netbooks, iPhones, iPads, all sorts of smartphones and GPS and navigation devices, and the ever increasing number of hosting providers to accomodate the enormous number of hosting needs of cloud computing and ever more apps being built, has simply pushed the industry to a point where it can no longer accomodate the needs, and the demand is larger then the supply.

Specialists in the industry have forecasted that the turning point from where on the supply will meet the demand, will be around mid-2017, but in truth, that has yet to happen. Other voices in the industry consider the second quarter of next year (2018) could be the point where at least part of the supply chain will move up to the speed of the demand.

Idea for this blogpost is from HERE

Goodbye, miss Mayer and Yahoo, looking forward to Altaba ?!

Yahoo will be no longer. Goodbye Yahoo, welcome Altaba
Yahoo will be no longer. Goodbye Yahoo, welcome Altaba

According to several online news sources, the Yahoo-Verizon deal is a closed one, and Yahoo is no longer a standalone company, but part of the much larger Verizon family.

Former CEO Marissa Mayer, who’s poor judgement and lack of actual understanding of technology brought Yahoo close to annihilation, has also stepped down from her leadership position, leaving with a hefty benefits package of roughly 700 million dollars.

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Free diff / text comparison utility

TL;DR: FREE diff utility. An online tool that helps you more easily recognise the differences between two similar texts.Or any two texts for that matter

Free online diff utility - quickly assess differences between texts
Free online diff utility – quickly assess differences between texts

Here’s a neat “diff” utility for making quick assessments of where two texts differ.

How is this useful ? Well, for starters, if you are an affiliate, or use paypal, or moneybookers, or amazon… oh, wait, ANY online service, the providers might send you notifications from time to time, in which they show you LENGTHY paragraphs with already complex, legal expressions and terms, that make understanding the terms and conditions even harder. And if you receive just a few of those in the same day… your eyes will hurt if you have to go through a bunch of e-mails just to see what has changed in which provider’s terms.

If you’re an affiliate, the notifications about changed terms and conditions every advertiser, or the networks themselves will send out from time to time, again, will be time consuming to check for differences without a tool like this. So this tool will save you tons of time, and make your life a lot easier.

Simply copy the two texts and paste them into boxes 1 and 2 respectively, and click on “Check differences”.

The differences will be shown almost instantly, with intelligently colored boxes, red being the color of the paragraphs that have been present in the first text, but are no longer there in the second one (or they have been changed), green will be the color of the paragraphs that are new in the text (haven’t been included in the first text, but they are present in the second one), and black on white remains the color of the boxes that have text parts that have not been changed.

You don’t need to reload the page to clear the boxes and do another checking, just click on “Clear the boxes” button instead.

Give this little tool a try, and if you like it, do share this post with your friends. Let me know if you have anything to say about it, in the comments on this post.



How to install Prestashop on mysql 5.7 or newer

TL;DR version: here’s how you can solve the Prestashop installation error “SQL error on query Invalid default value for ‘last_connection_date'”.

A part of the Prestahop 1.6 Installation Assistant
A part of the Prestahop 1.6 Installation Assistant

If you are installing a Prestashop CMS for your e-commerce needs on a server that is configured with a mysql backend with version numbers 5.7, or any of its newer versions, you might get stuck at 12% of the installation screen, and get an error message that says something like “SQL error on query Invalid default value for ‘last_connection_date'” . This error simply means that the version of Prestashop that you are trying to install, used to handle some database management tasks differently, then the current mysql server expects it.

Most importantly, in the newer versions of the mysql server, beginning with version 5.6, some stricter data validation and field validation defaults have been implemented. And because of those “new rules”, some older php/mysql based software, and some CMS-es like Prestashop, will fail to install.

To circumvent these defaults, you can either temporarily, or permanently modify the way the mysql server loads on your system (if you have access to the “my.cnf” on Linux, usually located at /etc/mysql/my.cnf, or “my.ini” on Windows systems).

Open a simple text-editor in terminal (on Linux) or notepad if you are on Windows, and open your “my.cnf” or “my.ini” file. Add the configuration directive that will REMOVE the strict defaults enforcement.


If you already have blocks/sections in your config file, sections like [mysql] or  [mysqld], add it to [mysqld].

If your file is the default one, it will probably be almost empty, and end with 2 lines beginning with



Add these two lines then, before the !includedir directives:



Save the file. Restart your mysql server. (service mysql restart from a terminal, if you are on a Linux box, and the Restart Mysql button if you are on a Wamp server on Windows).

Retry the installation by clicking on the “click here to restart” link in the Prestashop installation screen.

Has this how-to helped you ? Please share the blog with your friends on your preferred social media. Still can’t install it ? Leave a comment in the commentbox, with the error message you’ve received, and I’ll do my best to help you.