[Solved] Apps opening too slow in Ubuntu 20.04

After reading all the praise in early reviews about how “fast” the new GNOME 3.36 was, I can’t believe how wrong everyone was. Apps take forever, tens of seconds to appear after clicking on them. Was bad in 19.10 with GNOME 3.34 and thought was sorted out in 3.36.

No so it seems.


Gnome based 20.04 takes 1.5 GB RAM with no programs running. It was 1.2 GB in 18.04.

With help from a teammate in investigating the common problem with our apps, he discovered a cure by installing the deprecated gtk2 library module. Available in the 20.04 distro.

All you need to do is to run this command:

sudo apt install appmenu-gtk2-module

and then rebooting. You need to reboot to get the new library working.

This allows older applications based on the older menu API to function normally. Solved the issue with Boinc Manager and GKrellm config menu.

Ref: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/bionic/+package/appmenu-gtk2-module


Any particular example of such an app? I guess you have installed the Snap version of these applications and snaps are known to have longer start time.

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cannot confirm! using “Bless is a Hex Editor for Gtk#” is still egregiously slow on root-ZFS fossa.

Yes I gave you two examples. BOINC Manager and GKrellm Monitor. Neither are snaps. They plain don’t open for over twenty seconds when clicked. If you execute then as root in a terminal, they open instantly. Problem is with GTK in Ubuntu 20.04.

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The list of affected apps keeps getting longer.
VLC,keepassX,filezilla, etc. This all started back in 19.10. You would have thought by 20.04 it would have been long resolved.

That’s interesting, Keith.

I don’t have appmenu-gtk2-module installed and yet VLC, Filezilla open quickly.

Since you have already fixed the problem, let’s close it as an unsolved mystery.


Wow. The gtk2 module really did the trick. Firefox went from spinning wheel - 20+ seconds on first launch to <1 second. Way to go Keith. Kudos. Many thanks.

I had the same issue with very slow performance with Ubuntu 20.04. The recommended command has worked wonders for me. Thank you!!

I would hope this gets resolved. That deprecated library won’t be available forever. It’s missing in 21.04 now.

The problem is that it’s the older applications that have the problem. Either they fix their applications to not need the library or the new distros have to accommodate the older applications better. And since the popularity of the older applications naturally diminish over time, I don’t think the devs will make the effort to fix the issue.

I had the same problem in 21.04. what seemed to work for me was

sudo apt install appmenu-gtk2-module

and also adding the line


to ~/.profile and then rebooting. (link to info on second step)