[ILUG] Favourite flavours
singer at redbrick.dcu.ie
Mon Jul 12 13:52:31 IST 2004
On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 in lists.ilug you wrote:
> Debian is hardly noobie friendly
Cue Rick with his list of installers!
> I've never benchmarked it, and I accept that it is therefore possible (but,
> extremely unlikely) that a glibc/kernel/java runtime/httpserver compiled for an
> i586 would be as fast or faster, then say such a system compiled specifically
> for a P4 for arguments sake. Possible, but, I hope you'd agree, probably unlikely.
I'll make up a figure of, say, 5%. You get a 5% performance gain out of
compiling everything for your architecture - big deal. You can do this
if you want in other distros, gentoo hasn't got the monopoly on easily
compiling packages with gcc options, and certainly debian has the tools
to automate such things (debuild and apt-build spring to mind).
Processor-specific optimisations add very little to the majority of programs.
> However, it's probably worth noting that, if there was no performance gain to
> be had, distros like Gentoo, probably wouldn't exist. Maybe they would,
> probably they wouldn't.
There's a negligible performance gain - people are interested in
building all their own packages customised for their system - it sounds
like good fun. I wouldn't consider it relevant in a production
environment or for a Linux newbie to be considering.
> Even still, if you aren't using something like blackdown (can that be used in
> this context, I don't know), you'd still *probably* be able to get a gain... in
> performance, how much of a gain is debateable.
I'm saying it's negligible and not worth considering as a factor when
trying to decide what distro to use.
> Portage is *excellent*, at least, I like it.
Do you run it on production servers, i.e. you like your production
servers to be compiling stuff?
>> ...you'll find that most production servers don't spend their time in "load
> That *seriously* depends on the Server and the applications it's running.
> A DB server for example, on a busy website can spend quite a bit of time in a
> high load situation.
Eh, no "load time", what the benchmarking document on the gentoo site
was talking about, has nothing to do with the "load" on the server -
they only looked at how long it takes an application to typically start
running (i.e. they timed mozilla to get up and running etc.). This is
essentially reporting the results of certain optimisations that the -O3
flag to gcc
A DB server spends very little time loading programs and most of the
time in I/O (and certainly not executing potentially optimised
programs), I don't see the inherent need to optimise (say) a mysql
database server for your processor type.
> Somehow, I'm going to have difficutly believing a sizeable server application
> will not run any quicker compiled with -O3 -march=pentium4, then it would with
Of course it will, but not by much, and that gentoo can do this by
default is no reason to choose it as a distro in a production
environment or as a newbie to linux. Debian's packagers would be a very
strong reason to go with Debian in a production environment, and the
sheer numbers of Fedora users,books and ease of the default install
would make it a good choice for a newbie (I know I started on
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