The Ubuntu team has been working to improve the performance of the Unity 7 desktop environment. Unity uses visual effects which cause the desktop to perform sluggishly on low-end video cards and in virtual machines. "Unity 7 has had a low graphics mode for a long time now but recently we’ve decided to improve it because it was reported to be slow in very old GPUs and machines that use software rendering like VMs in the cloud. That slow performance was kind of expected. Most visual effects that are widely used in the modern desktop environments due to the performance of the modern high end GPUs, can slow down the desktop to the point that it becomes unusable in software rendering." Improvements to Unity's low graphics mode have greatly improved the desktop's performance and Ubuntu users will soon be able to toggle low graphics mode on/off through the desktop's setting's panel. This blog post explains how to enable the low graphics mode and features a video showing the feature in action.