Theme speed

The speed Metacity renders decorations depends on the theme in use. If you want to time all the themes installed and view them, use:

  • for G in $(locate metacity-theme-1|grep /usr/share/themes|cut -d/ -f5); do metacity-theme-viewer $G; done

Mean client-side times on my system to draw each frame, in ascending order of speed:

  • Prelude (the theme given in the previous post): 1.3ms
  • Bright: 1.9ms
  • Atlanta: 2.0ms
  • Mist: 2.1ms
  • AgingGorilla: 2.2ms
  • Metabox: 2.2ms
  • Simple: 2.3ms
  • Esco: 2.4ms
  • Glider: 3.7ms
  • Crux: 3.8ms
  • DarkRoom: 3.9ms
  • ClearlooksClassic: 4.3ms
  • Glossy: 4.5ms
  • Clearlooks: 4.6ms
  • Inverted: 4.6ms
  • Human: 6.0ms


  1. Sam Thursfield
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    So Ubuntu’s default theme is also the slowest of all the common themes?

  2. Posted December 30, 2008 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    Yes, interestingly. I think it’s because it involves printing text several times over, and text is an inherently expensive operation. This is somewhere SVG would really score, because of how it allows text to be styled with effects like “outline” and “shadow”.