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Gergan Penkov
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

artworcs wrote:
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.

Well that's why there exists the --as-needed flag, the second thing, which I use is different partitions for /var/tmp /use/portage and /usr/portage/distfiles to minimize the fragmentation, although I use ext3 (reiserfs is pure overkill for gentoo - it fragments too fast for such a distro). On my very old athlon xp 2000+ 1gb RAM - openoffice coldstarts in 4 seconds, most of the other applications are mostly instantly popping up, so I do not see how ubuntu could make it faster - it starts a lot longer than gentoo, it starts much more services by default. Using prelinking could only have worse effect if one does not use --as-needed and so on.
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charlieg
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This comes down to, basically, one thing: the user.

You an uber-geek who is dedicated to his/her machine? Gentoo runs faster.

You somebody who simply wants to use his/her computer rather than maintain it? Ubuntu runs faster.

Gentoo is not for everyone but if it's for you then you can make it work very, very smoothly. (It's not for me.)
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

charlieg wrote:
You an uber-geek who is dedicated to his/her machine? Gentoo runs faster.

You somebody who simply wants to use his/her computer rather than maintain it? Ubuntu runs faster.
I'm somewhere in between. I like a project, and I see two computers running Gentoo as a fun project :) But I want it to also Just Work (tm), so I stick with stable. When I took my laptop to ~x86, it was just too much work with all the updates and stuff and all hell broke loose.
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skyfolly
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

two words

kde sucks.
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brazzmonkey
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@skyfolly
come on, this is neither a gentoo vs ubuntu troll, nor kde vs gnome !
we try to have a _constructive_ discussion, so opinions like yours are useless.
*edit* i just noticed you signature. suits you...

@others
i'm no übergeek, but i spend (far) too much time optimizing my gentoo. still, i use conservative flags and indeed i could tweak my system much more, so that i'll improve performance a wee bit. that's no exactly the point.

i'm only trying to understand how a binary distro can be so efficient with respect to some specific stuff. many interesting points have been mentioned so far. especially this --as-needed thing.
i already build a few packages using this ldflag, but some of them didn't work correctly so i put this option in standby. i may try it again, though.

slightly out of topic, i wish preload and initng hit portage one of these days...
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skyfolly
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brazzmonkey wrote:
@skyfolly.


/me thinks discussions are useless when i do not what the heck is being talked about.

i just rant.

:lol:

a troll, to be precise.
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

skyfolly wrote:
/me thinks discussions are useless when i do not what the heck is being talked about.


fair enough. and you're the great guy who makes them useful by sharing his enlightened point of view. thank you for that. please carry on this way, your comments and ideas are valuable.
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artworcs
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The power of gentoo is that you can mix a lot of packages/versions in almost any way you want, but that makes it very hard to stabilize. Take --as-needed for example. A lot of packages don't build or don't function very well, but the start-up speed gain is very nice. But then again, i don't have time to use --as-needed. I update my system a lot and i like things to build. Sure, there are ways, but its just too much of a PITA for me. But a binary distro can use --as-needed first because there is no one man who build the distro and they aren't constrained by time as much as an individual user is. What i mean is that i don't have time to chech the effect of --as-needed for all the 500 packages i have installed. And that goes for all the other hacks that break some packages, but speed up others.
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started out with Ubuntu for a few months, then felt up to the challenge of Gentoo. I installed Gentoo 2006 on a separate HD and it took me a few weeks to get everything configured the way I wanted and most of the software compiled that I needed. I learned a lot about Linux and I think that is the only real benefit with Gentoo IMHO. I never got 3D acceleration to work for my graphics card and I got tired of following endless How-to docs only to fail in the end. I also got tired of compiling every last application (which can take FOREVER on my 800 MHz/768MB RAM machine) only to find that they didn't run any faster than on my Ubuntu instance on the same machine. I can now take the knowledge I've gleaned from tinkering with Gentoo and use it on a distribution that works 99% (Ubuntu). Sorry for the rant, but I just feel like saying that for me, Gentoo is advanced in many ways that don't matter in the end, while Ubuntu is advanced in ways that do matter in the end.
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H-Dragon
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i run a fully optimized gentoo on my x41 thinkpad and i can tell you the "speed increase" is well beyond the acknowledged 5% that debian users or others grant us.

having said that it is true that i have used gentoo for a couple of years now -exclusivly. i know how it works and what i can do to speed things up or cut down on size.

the "hours spent compiling" is something i do in the background and with ccache it would mostly just be one hour or less. that's about 1/100 of the time i would spend waiting for updates of packages on other distros or the days and weeks spent recovering from "rtfm's" and the boredom of waiting just as long for answers from forums there.

ubuntu uses linker-flags which is equivalent (~) to prelinking in gentoo.
and prelinking gives a speed increase (especially when starting for the first time) of up to 50%!

Gentoo rules! Unforunatelly it is up to the Users to make it so. :P
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manny15
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard prelinking works quite well. I tried it once, but I couldn't get it to work. I don't mind trying again, but I'm curious as to how efficient it would be using prelink when looking at it from a larger perspective. First, you have to compile/install applications, which of course, is part of the normal Gentoo administration. But, in addition, you need to execute prelink. Notice, the value I'm analyzing here is time. If applications are installed/updated on a weekly basis, when adding prelink, is there really a benifit since you only get to "experience" prelink for a week? In a nutshell, is prelink work the time and effort it takes to complete?
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

manny15 wrote:
I've heard prelinking works quite well. I tried it once, but I couldn't get it to work. I don't mind trying again, but I'm curious as to how efficient it would be using prelink when looking at it from a larger perspective. First, you have to compile/install applications, which of course, is part of the normal Gentoo administration. But, in addition, you need to execute prelink. Notice, the value I'm analyzing here is time. If applications are installed/updated on a weekly basis, when adding prelink, is there really a benifit since you only get to "experience" prelink for a week? In a nutshell, is prelink work the time and effort it takes to complete?

Um.... what?

When you update your application after a week, it is possible to prelink it again (I remember hearing that Portage may do it for you if you set FEATURES="prelink" or some such). So you can "experience" prelink for more than a week.
And it doesn't exactly take a lot of effort - you run prelink, leave it for a couple of minutes and it's done. Hardly a big deal (assuming it works).
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes portage has a feature to automatically prelink any new software that is being added. i've almost always used prelink ; but i don't know if it is worth or not. i'm not sure i've ever had any speed up with prelink.

i don't care having long compile times for updates, as long as i can use everything i need in the meantime... compile times can become problematic when installing new software : i remember me waiting hours for mplayer and all its dependencies to compile (i intended to watch a movie that night, but finally gave up and went to bed... ). but hey, that's the gentoo way !

i do *feel like* i learn a lot using gentoo docs, but i'm aware this is not really learning, because i only get used to very basic command line stuff which. that's enough for me, i'm not a coder (i casually use php, mysql, and html, but that's totally different...). i like gentoo docs, but there are still many things i need to set up get a fully working personal workstation. amongst these, i'd need to control my pc from a remote mac or windows and never achieved to get this one properly working. i also need to emulate windows properly because i (will) have to use software that has no linux equivalent (the one i set up so far is slow and not fully functional). i once tried archlinux, and must admit that in many ways i've been convinced (speed, binaries' ease of use), safe for the quality of the docs. hence i came back to gentoo.

any refinement i tried (prelink, --as-needed ldflag on some binaries, readahead-list, preload), i never felt any improvements in terms of speed or system response. those now sound like myths to me...
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artworcs
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest i was i little disappointed with gentoo after using it a long time. I felt it getting slow. But all that changed when i didn't have my pc with me and was forced to use suse. And i recently tried netbsd. If there is one operating system that isn't bloated, then i'd vote for netbsd. But it didn't seem that fast to me.

While i have no problem waiting those extra 2 sec for firefox to load, i expect perfect sound & video in mplayer when i'm doing large compiles and in that respect nothing compares to gentoo.
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes i must say gentoo is good at multitasking (once an app is loaded...)

i used suse (9.x i believe) some time ago. it was good-looking, but man it was so slow ! never tried this bsd stuff (except live cds). too marginal for me...
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if the hassle of typing in
Code:
prelink -afmR
every few weeks or days is too much for you,
simply put LDFLAGS in your make.conf.
:P
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Archangel1 wrote:
I remember hearing that Portage may do it for you if you set FEATURES="prelink" or some such


Gentoo Prelink Guide wrote:
You do not need to set FEATURES="prelink" in your make.conf file; Portage will automatically support prelink if it can find the prelink binary.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also feel my optimized Gentoo is slow in comparision with other distro's. I put my findings here:
https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-470433-highlight-.html
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Dakaru
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My gentoo installation runs alot smoother over all than my ubuntu.

My ubuntu installation seemed jerky and jittery if you get what I mean by that.
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mannygentoo
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, some nice reading here, so i'll try to add to it :wink: . If you'd like to try a fast binary minimalist distro check slackware, i've used many linux distros and here's my very personal experience (if you care)
slackware: fastest overall (-mcpu=i686 optimization)
gentoo: 2nd close to slackware
arch: very close to gentoo
I haven't tried crux yet, i mostly run freebsd nowadays (feels a bit slow because i'm used to my fast linux distros, uber stable however). All on the same hd/hardware custom kernels, blah blah
I noticed my favorite linux distros (slackware & gentoo) are bsd inspired.
I wouldn't like to go back to suse, debian, fedora, mandriva, and i'm surprised to hear ubuntu is fast nowadays, when i tried it (hoary, breezy), it just felt like debian (slow). However i'm not putting any distro down since they're all ok depending on what you're after and helpfull when you're starting out and i'm really gratefull to have used and learn from them.
I'm really enjoying my time with gentoo, it's a really high quality distro plus great docs and community
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