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Originally posted by flying-tuxman maybe we should start a pool to see how many people would be interested in a pure debian-based distro fully optimized for i686 processor and which features would be preferred.
The distro Im working on (Ursa), that was the original plan, but apt-build is still a very experimental piece of software. Though it would give us the convenience of Debian, it wont give us the stability wed want.
Without a whole LOT of people working on it, by the time the i686 Debian is up and running stable and regularly updated most people will be moving to 64bit already.
Id love it, but its a lost cause. Get an i686 kernel, install libc6-i686, and prelink. Thats what Ive done with Ursa.
Originally posted by m_yates speed difference between an i386 distro and a i686 distro?
Last year I recompiled OpenOffice.org with optimizer flags and it was faster, but the effect wears off as it wasn't that much faster. Last week I recompiled the kernel with flags and some processes are a few percent faster, but not all. It didn't seem interesting enough to investigate further. Having a kernel optimized for a processor the normal way (in the config) makes a difference, compiling it doesn't do much. I highly doubt Gentoo is much faster than Debian. Even using libc6-i686 has an effect that wears off fast. It doesn't get you to be more productive in any way.
It's a ghost in a bottle, like the craving for Xorg. Yes, I have it but it performs pretty much like the old Xfree86. As long as Composite and glx don't work together it doesn't make a difference yet.
Basically, don't spend to much time searching for optimized distro's. The lack of them proves a point already.
in practical terms I agree with you Moloko.
Im writing this post from a gento stage 3 freshly installed on the same pentium4 box together with a pretty standard debian with kernel 2.6 and the difference in not much in terms of speed.
as a matter of fact, debian keeps being my main distro as far as working is concerned.
yet, as linux is all about choice and curiosity killed the cat, the distro junkie syndrome is far from being healed.
Something I never had to suffer Debian was the first serious distro and I never looked at other distro's again. I think I'm married to it...:~ I only mix all versions of Debian onto one system and throw in some exotic software to keep it sexy.
my first encounters with linux were redhat and slax, I liked both but neither would have sold me to linux the way my first clean and painless HD install of knoppix did.
with a small amount of tweaking, debian+fluxbox can make a pretty sexy combination.
Originally posted by m_yates Has anyone actually tested the speed difference between an i386 distro and a i686 distro? People often say this is "fast" because it is optimized for a certain processor. However, in my experience, I find no difference between say a 686 kernel or a 386 kernel, or mplayer-686 versus mplayer-386. Is it microseconds of speed difference we are referring to? If so, you will never be able to re-coup the time spent compiling "optimized" packages.
I do notice a difference. Using arch linux for example, when i use the gnome file selector(click and drag) form one corner of the desktop to another really fast, it is perfectly smooth. But under debian it skips around.
Try it if you are using gnome. It is a minor problem, but that just shows that when using an optimized distro that does not happen.