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brazzmonkey
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: ubuntu faster than gentoo ?? Reply with quote

my girlfriend runs ubuntu on a system that is similar to mine.
i notice some stuff is faster on her computer, while some other stuff is slower. well, that's not big deal but i would be interested in getting a computer that _feels_ faster.

things that are slower on ubuntu :
- boot (many - useless ? - things are loaded, and her HD is slower that mine),
- maybe shutdown,

things that are similar in speed :
- first launch of applications

things that are (much) faster on ubuntu :
- gtk apps (ubuntu is gnome-based, i use kde) : firefox and emule GUIs don't lag, overall responsiveness is good, whereas it quickly becomes annoying on my computer,
- re-launch an app : as i mentionned above, when i first launch an app on both computer, speed is generally similar (read : somewhat slow). but whenever i quit the app and relaunch it, or open a new window of an app that is already running, ubuntu feels much faster.

i'd like to emphasize on the latter : what may be the reason of such behaviour ? is it compilation settings ? some sort of cache ? i'm very interested, because that's something i use to do a lot (closing an app and re-launching it a few minutes later...)

btw i use conservative gcc flags (and -Os). i have stuff like readahead-list (it's in portage), or prelink, but still...

any ideas ?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's normal that gtk apps are slower on kde then on gnome, because gnome uses gtk by default. Starting a qt based app is also faster on kde.
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brazzmonkey
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alright, i'm aware of that, and that's why i mentioned i use kde. nonetheless, this ubuntu thing about being much faster to relaunch an app is not specific to gtk apps : it is also true for kde apps (such as konsole).
so i don't think this behaviour is gnome related (or is it ?)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Other Things Gentoo to Gentoo Chat.
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PaulBredbury
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about KDE, but Gnome 2.14 is noticeably faster than Gnome 2.12 in Gentoo. This thread is probably KDE vs Gnome, rather than Ubuntu vs Gentoo :wink:
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I`ve tried both Ubuntu and Gentoo and havent noticed big difference in "fastness" (maybe the reason is that i used GNOME with both distros). Maybe the biggest difference in speed was the time Ubuntu needed to boot (Gentoo booted in about 26 seconds, Ubuntu in about 45 seconds - this is until i log in GNOME), however once i had booted and launched (and closed) several applications there was not a big difference in speed and responsiveness (at least a noticeable one). I must admit though that since i`m not very familiar with gentoo i may not have configured it properly. Now in Debian i use GNOME 2.14 and it feels noticeably "faster".
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mikegpitt
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other day I was looking at the release notes for the latest beta ubuntu release. It looks pretty impressive.
http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/dapperbeta

One thing that caught my eye is that they claim to have shaved off 10-20 seconds off the boot time. They have a boot chart here:
http://www.ubuntu.com/include/testing/flight2/bootchart-big.png

I love gentoo for my personal systems, but ubuntu may be a good choice for those who aren't technical. I'm personally thinking about putting it on my friends system to see how it all works.

(In the past I put it on another friends system and disliked it, but I think it has come a long way since then.)
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brazzmonkey
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[apologize]
my intention is not to start another kde/gnome or gentoo/ubuntu troll... just trying to understand, though it's not very important i guess...
sorry mods for having posted in the wrong section.
[/apologize]

well i don't know which version of gnome is used in girlfriend's ubuntu
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it was Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy Badger then it was GNOME 2.12, Ubuntu 5.04 Hoary Hedgehog comes with GNOME 2.10.
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brazzmonkey
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so i suppose it is gnome 2.12, since it has been installed on dec. 31st 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I switched from Gentoo to Ubuntu not too long ago, and am pretty happy with it. Another good distro is ArchLinux. ArchLinux is like a cross between Gentoo and Debian. Gentoo as in minimal base system, you configure by hand (they offer nano), then install DE. It is also 686 optimized. The speed increases you get with compiling your own apps, are negligible and not worth the hours spent compiling. Ubuntu is pretty speedy on the desktop as well, especially with beyond-sources running on it.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hm I don't know, using dapper on my girlfriend's laptop - ubuntu needs to restart after every single update, moreover it starts tons of unneeded services, if they have cut ten seconds (I haven't looked at it this last month), they are still well behind even gentoo standard start times...
Now back on the topic, @brazzmonkey how much memory do you have, as if subsequent starts of the same program are slow - it is memory/kernel problem as the caching is done at the kernel level.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gergan Penkov wrote:
Hm I don't know, using dapper on my girlfriend's laptop - ubuntu needs to restart after every single update, moreover it starts tons of unneeded services, if they have cut ten seconds (I haven't looked at it this last month), they are still well behind even gentoo standard start times...
Now back on the topic, @brazzmonkey how much memory do you have, as if subsequent starts of the same program are slow - it is memory/kernel problem as the caching is done at the kernel level.


One thing I did, was change the settings on the update manager, to only update once a week. The restarts aren't really required, they are just kernel or modules updates usually. Things like that should be expected since they are working on stabilizing a release for the public. For the unneeded services 'apt-get install bum', it is a Boot-Up Manager, and will let you disable the unneeded services. http://easylinux.info/wiki/Ubuntu_dapper is a good site to go for, for tweaking Ubuntu for your needs. Also, Ubuntu starts a readahead service, which is probably what is giving the speed ups on starting certain apps, and also what is causing slower boot up times.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Readahead-list is in Gentoo also - wiki, bug.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@vipernicus & Gergan Penkov
i don't remember having to reboot after updating ubuntu. probably it depends on the software you use.

@Gergan Penkov
i have a celeron 1300 with 896 Mb RAM, she has an athlon xp (don't remember how fast it is, but something similar to my cpu). hence my cpu cache is smaller than hers. that's why my program are compiled with -Os...

@PaulBredbury
i've had readahead-list installed for quite some time, but i haven't noticed any speedup. this is totally subjective, though

i may give ck-sources and beyond-sources a shot
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Gergan Penkov
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is because it is dapper, they change API/ABI versions (it is not solely because of the kernel modules changes) and because of this most of the time the pkg-manager recommends restart, it is not as in gentoo :)
Well the second thing is how old is your install, as you have enough memory (I would say that -Os will make things slower, as this arguably matters for the kernel, but most probably will have only negative impact for the user space). Probably defragmenting, also using --as-needed ld-flag could tremendously help to decruft it, if you system is not a new install.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my install is not very old (about 3 months), and up-to-date. my hardware is getting old, though... but more than sufficient for my desktop use...
i use separate partitions for important folders, xfs and reiserfs and ext2. don't know about defragmenting. i haven't tried --as-needed ldflags, because i have read some apps won't compile with this flag. and i don't really want to recompile my whole system. maybe i'll try this flag, though.

btw i use -Os for apps, but -O2 for kernel (which is default for kernel compilation).
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well this is a good read about kernel and user space optimizations, also there is a thread about this.
As to the reiserfs and xfs - I don't know, I use only ext3 now (as reiserfs fragments very bad, and with a distro as gentoo it is even worse) with different partitions for /var/tmp /usr/portage and /usr/portage/distfiles, which are the main culprits for the fast fragmentation of the disks.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used Kubuntu for a year before gentoo, I had it pretty well lean and mean and really liked it. But my computer is much faster feeling on gentoo than it was on Kubuntu, although I know other people with the oposite experiance. It seems like bleeding edge works better on gentoo, things like initng and kde 3.5 were a mess on Kubuntu. Gentoo has more packeges too, and if it is missing one it is easier to add.
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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm running Ubuntu at this moment, only because I'm planning on using it to introduce a friend to Linux. And I have to say, I'm surprised! Boot time was excessively too long using the LiveCD (Slax is better in this department). But Ubuntu even detected my odd Atmel wireless NIC. It didn't connect to the access point automatically though. But I think that's simply because it didn't know the essid. But after using iwconfig to set this up, BAM! Instant Internet access.

Another surprise came from the responsiveness. It feels like Firefox, and other apps (I think most are GTK-based) load faster than on my Gentoo HD install. I'm running Gnome on Ubuntu, while I use XFCE4 on Gentoo. Does Ubuntu use prelink or something?
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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To get a good comparison, it would be adviseable to try Gento and ubuntu on the same machine. Too many differences between the architecture of a Celeron-based system and AthlonXP-based system.
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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

manny15 wrote:
Another surprise came from the responsiveness. It feels like Firefox, and other apps (I think most are GTK-based) load faster than on my Gentoo HD install.


that's exactly what i meant !

thepustule wrote:
To get a good comparison, it would be adviseable to try Gento and ubuntu on the same machine. Too many differences between the architecture of a Celeron-based system and AthlonXP-based system.


shame on me ! i actually meant "duron", not celeron (this is a kind of lapsus problably...)
and except for cache, athlon and duron are not very different... at least not enough to explain such differences on (gtk) apps...
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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

manny15 wrote:
Does Ubuntu use prelink or something?
I believe Ubuntu uses linker flags. You can use these in your gentoo install as well, although some packages don't like them. I used to use these linker flags:
Code:
LDFLAGS="-Wl,-O1"
There are a few threads on the forums that talks about them in more depth.

Does anyone know what compiler/linker optimizations Ubuntu uses?
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a Linux user for a long time now, but only found gentoo a year ago. But since then I've learned a lot and my current gentoo is as fast as it can get on my machine(2500+ AthlonXp, 256MB ram). But that is a result of a lot of hard work and understanding what works best on my machine. A lot of people are saying that CFLAGS don't give much speed over other distros. That is and isn't true. Did anyone benchmark firefox? Or any other program? You'll find that optimizing for your processor gives a little speed. Not much, but it is there. Unfortunately people don't really notice that firefox renders pages 1/10 of a second faster or that mplayer uses 2% less CPU. We notice that an app starts faster, or its a little more responsive. Did you ever notice how big binaries -O3 makes? Sure, that might make you app 5% faster, but it will load slower.

But how many people know all the hacks distros use to get a faster user experience? That fedora/suse use readahead to speed up booting/launching apps, that suse caches openoffice for instant start, that they use custom kernel patches for responsiveness? It is all there, but you don't see it. And did anyone compare how many shared libs apps use on gentoo? How many of you compile things in apps that don't ever know its there? For example i used slack a while ago and was surprised by the small amount of libs being linked in applications.
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thepustule wrote:
To get a good comparison, it would be adviseable to try Gento and ubuntu on the same machine. Too many differences between the architecture of a Celeron-based system and AthlonXP-based system.
I ran Gentoo and Ubuntu in VMware Workstation (on a Gentoo host), and although the boot time of Ubuntu was a lot longer than Gentoo's, Ubuntu logged in quicker and apps seemed to run faster as well. I was impressed. Having said that, my Gentoo virtual machine doesn't have LDFLAGS or prelink.
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