Saturday, May 3, 2014
After a year and a half of running Mac OS X Snow Leopard things have become extraordinarily slow on my MacBook Pro. After a quick googling on the subject of how to speed up Mac OS X Leopard I have decided to write my own brief tutorial on a handful of things you can do to effectively increase the performance of OS X. This is meant as a programmer’s quick reference guide so if you are not technically savvy you may want to google “performance tune mac os x” for more verbose explanations.
13 Mac Performance Tuning Applications and Tips
- Run the Mac OS X disk repair utility location in Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility and then run repair disk permissions. See this article on the repair functions of the disk utility.
- Download and run Monolingual to remove all the additional languages that are built into OS X by default and you are likely to never use. I removed everything except English, Spanish, German and French since those are core languages on websites I sometimes frequent.
- Download and run XSlimmer to remove all unnecessary PPC (PowerPC) code from Universal Binaries. Only use this if you are using an Intel based Mac. Additionally it is worthwhile noting that I had problems with Photoshop after slimming the application, so perhaps avoid using XSlimmer on CS3 or CS4.
- Download and run OnyX.Run the daily, weekly and monthly scripts. Clear out all log files.
- Removing unnecessary login items by going to System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items. Note that in order to actually remove a login item you need to select the item and then hit the minus button at the bottom of the preferences screen.
- Even though Mac OS X has a journaled filesystem that should automatically handle defragmentation on the fly, it doesn’t do a great job of keeping the drive from becoming fragmented. iDefrag.solves these problems and more, by defragmenting and optimizing your Mac’s filesystem at boot time. All you have to do is restart your computer, run the iDefrag boot DVD and it will defragment the entire hard-drive. I noticed a substantial performance boost (I would say up to around 20%) after using this.
- Minimize by using the scale effect by going to System Preferences > Dock and changing the default from the Genie effect to the Scale effect. Also you can uncheck “animate opening applications” to boost performance.
- Ensure you have a minimum of 10% disk space available so that OS X can run effectively. If you don’t have this much space free try using GrandPerspective to determine what is using space on your hard drive and what you might be able to delete.
- Remove fonts that you don’t use. You can do this by going to the finder and removing fonts from your home folder > library > fonts.
- Turn off Universal Access by navigating to System Preferences > Universal Access and turn off anything you’re not using.
- Turn off Bluetooth by navigating to to System Preferences > Bluetooth.
- Turn off Internet Sharing by navigating to to System Preferences > Sharing > Internet.
- Check the Activity Monitor located in Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor to see if there is anything running that is consuming processing or memory resources. This should go without saying.
Command Line Performance Tuning Tips
- You can speed up TCP connections by opening the terminal.app and typing pico /etc/sysctl.conf and adding the following lines to the file:
- You can speed up SSH connections by opening the terminal.app and typing pico ~/.ssh_config and adding the following lines to the file:
It should be noted here that this may cause some glitches as I have run into some odd controlmaster errors after implementing this command. You can always try it and remove the code if it gives you problems.
- Disable dashboard by opening up the terminal.app and running the command:
defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES
and then run
killall dockto restart the dock.
- To optimize firefox’s tab/bookmarks/cache databases on OSX, close firefox, open terminal.app and run
#cd ~/Library/Caches/Firefox/Profiles; for i in */*.sqlite; do sqlite3 $i VACUUM;done; cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Firefox/Profiles; for i in */*.sqlite; do sqlite3 $i VACUUM;done;