I recently got a used DL360 g6 server on my hands.

It has 2 5670 CPUs with 12 cores and 24 threads, and came with 80GB of RAM.

Windows OS runs pretty fast on it, but linux distros are terribly laggy on it. for example, clicking on menu to open terminal takes almost 1 to 10 minutes on different Linux Distros, the slowest is CentOS which I need to install. No problem without GUI at all and everything works smoothly without GUI.

I realized the hardware doesn't support higher resolution than 1024x768 but my linux distros all run in 1920x1080 @ 60hz. I tried to reduce resolution (it took almost 1 hour open display settings to reduce resolution!), I noticed speed boost compared to default settings, but still unusable at all.

What should I do to use GUI without lags? How can I fix the problem?


Edit: lspci show following VGA controller which is onboard:

VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] ES1000 (rev 02)

Note that GUI on installation process doesn't lag at all.

  • What type of graphics card does it have (use lspci to find out)? What desktop environment are you trying to use? What are you trying to do with a server that requires the GUI?
    – bk2204
    Mar 28 '20 at 0:52
  • @bk2204 It's onboard graphics. The command shows: VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] ES1000 (rev 02)
    – antwon
    Mar 28 '20 at 1:08
  • @bk2204 It's gnome desktop which comes with latest versions of Ubuntu and CentOS by default.
    – antwon
    Mar 28 '20 at 1:08
  • Also the graphics card has 32mb of ram according to specs.
    – antwon
    Mar 28 '20 at 1:09
  • Also, GUI in installation process doesn't lag at all.
    – antwon
    Mar 28 '20 at 1:15

Your problem is that you're trying to use a modern desktop environment with an ancient video card that cannot support it. In general, servers come with relatively poor video cards because nobody uses them. You're not helped in this regard by the fact that your GPU is from 2007 and has what would now be considered a tiny amount of video memory.

GNOME, by default, uses GNOME Shell, which requires 3D acceleration. Because your card doesn't support that, the CPU must do all the rendering work, which it, as you noticed, does quite slowly. You don't see this during the installation because typically installations use a DirectFB-style rendering which requires only 2D framebuffer support. Virtually any VESA-compatible card can do that.

You have some choices:

  • Avoid using the GUI and just use your server without a GUI.
  • Put a more powerful graphics card in your server and use that.
  • Run your GUI on another machine and run only the programs you want to run over an SSH session with X11 forwarding.
  • Switch to a GUI that doesn't require 3D support, like GNOME Flashback or MATE. If you choose this option, you should search the documentation (or Google) to determine how to disable 3D or OpenGL support for that desktop environment.
  • A "DL360 g6" is a HP Proliant rack-mount server, not a desktop. These are designed for operation without a physical display attached most of the time: once the OS has been installed and initially configured, it is expected that the server is operated using whatever remote access method the OS supports (e.g. RDP for Windows, SSH, VNC or whatever for Linux). The on-board graphics is basically just for initial installation and local troubleshooting; there is usually a iLO remote console feature that will allow remote access to the display/keyboard/mouse no matter what the state of the OS is.
    – telcoM
    Mar 28 '20 at 11:26
  • I'm aware that it's a server. You should read “modern desktop” as “modern desktop environment,” not as “modern desktop computer.”
    – bk2204
    Mar 28 '20 at 16:59
  • 1
    Sorry, I did not mean to imply that you didn't know that, just to emphasise to the OP and any other readers the different design goals on servers. Although this DL360 g6 has a respectable amount of CPU cores and RAM even compared to current desktops, it is definitely not a computer to play a graphically-intensive First-Person Shooter with. Since this is a 1U "pizza-box" server, adding a high-power GPU card will probably be impossible, not only because of physical size but because of the limited availability of power & cooling capacity within the chassis.
    – telcoM
    Mar 28 '20 at 18:09
  • @bk2204, Thank you. I decided to use it without a GUI. It's amazing that Windows works fine on this system and gnome is so unbelievably laggy. I remember I ran GTA:SA on a much older system with 256mb ram and Celeron CPU with 32mb onboard Graphics, it it had much better frame rates than gnome. At least it was playable :D Good old days :'(
    – antwon
    Mar 29 '20 at 21:01

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