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Old 09-20-2006, 09:41 PM   #1
notiones
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Why is Fedora so slow?


I have an AMD Duron 1.2 with 512MB RAM and an S3 Pro Savage vidoe card.

I have been playing around with different distros for several months now and have found Fedora 5 to be slow in comparison to the others. The others being Slackware, FreeBSD, Gentoo, Centos 4, RHEL 4, Suse and Ubuntu. I am the most comfortable in Red Hat, but it is too far behind to be a good desktop without substantial work and since Fedora is basically the same thing updated, that is what I would like to use. The only problem is that it is noticeably slower. So much so that I will not run it until I find out why and can correct it.

I don't know how to really dig into why it is slower, but it is and has been on every piece of hardware I tried it on. I have six different computers by the way and each is significantly different to rule out a specific hardware issue.

I am not expecting any miracle answers, but maybe someone could at least start me down the right road. All I need is a trail head.

Thanks,

Steve
 
Old 09-20-2006, 10:51 PM   #2
ilikejam
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Hi.

Two things to look for:
1) Make sure DMA is enabled on your hard drive(s). (run 'hdparm /dev/hda' to see if hda has DMA enabled)
2) Turn off SELinux. (I think this is in system-config-securitylevel)

Dave
 
Old 09-20-2006, 11:04 PM   #3
notiones
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Great Suggestions

Those are both great suggestions! Good call! Both have been implemented though. As a habit I disable Selinux and all security on my workstations to improve performance. Only after everything is tweaked to my liking do I go back and setup any kind of security at all and then it is iptables.

There has to be something, maybe a kernel module, that is different in Fedora 5 and makes it run a bit slower. I keep asking myself what Fedora might do that no one else would?

Thanks again for the feedback. It is very much appreciated.

Steve
 
Old 09-20-2006, 11:19 PM   #4
iceportal
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What GUI are you using, if any?

Is it KDE?

Because (depending on processor, graphics card) it might be slowing it down.

Gnome is (from my experience) a little faster than KDE, at the cost of less eye candy.

But then again, if you've got a decent graphics card, this shouldn't be an issue...

Also, how many boot-time processes are running?

If you're running a whole lot of behind-the-scenes processes that you aren't using, that could slow the system down as well.

I don't know how to stop them, but that might be a start.
 
Old 09-20-2006, 11:21 PM   #5
ilikejam
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Odd - I find Fedora 5 significantly faster than older Fedora versions. Kernel versions / modules on FC5 I'm not sure about - I've been rolling my own kernels for a while.

Issues with name resolution can cause slowdowns - try running 'route' (as root (that rhymes, or something)). If it doesn't return immediately, then there may be an issue. I've seen this slow hosts down considerably before.

Also, have you tried 'yum update'ing? there was some weirdness with the kernel build that shipped with FC5...

Dave
 
Old 09-20-2006, 11:28 PM   #6
iceportal
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Home-rolled Kernels can do a lot of good.

(And a lot of harm, if you're not careful.)
 
Old 09-21-2006, 02:23 AM   #7
notiones
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Home Rolled Kernels etal

I think Fedora 5 is faster than previous Fedora versions, it's just that it is still more resource intensive than other like distros.

I use a slim Gnome desktop on all of my installations if it is available so I don't think the problem lies there. Also, I'm not trying to run anything fancy that might require some decent graphics memory. Give me a browser, email and a terminal and I am happy.

I don't supposse it is name resolution either. I'm just talking about the time it takes a given program to launch. My DNS server is pretty fast even though it is ancient in computer terms. Besides, I visit the same sites over and over again. The info should be cached and instantly available.

Could I roll my own kernel? sure I could, but I might as well run Gentoo or BSD at that point. Besides, one of the things I have always liked about Red Hat and Fedora products is their stability and ease of administration. Really, could RHEL be any easier to administer? My last server was an old Pentium with 96MB of RAM and it ran two years without a reboot. I finally retired the crazy thing before it caught fire or something.

No, I think the problem, and forgive me for not charcterizing this in a more technicaly precise way, is that Fedora puts things in drawers that are far out of reach. When you call for something it has to dig way down deep to retrieve it thereby making you wait. This also consumes gobs of cpu time. A prime example of this is the way Fedora 4 made you wait such an interminably long time when you clicked on the desktop menu. Thankfully FC5 has made huge improvements in that dept.

I don't want to over simplify the whole matter, but why should opening Firefox in FC5 max out the cpu and take as long as two seconds to load when other distros with the same verion number do not?

Don't get me wrong, I am crazy about Red Hat and even have a RHEL4 server in the basement, but I cannot afford to put it on all of my desktops nor should I. It is a great server O/S, but it just a little behind when it comes to desktops. Of course that is where Fedora comes in, but Fedora has always had this performance issue. So what is a guy to do?

I would probably install Gentoo, but since they dropped Gnome it would just add that much more time get a working desktop with Gnome going and who has that kind of time? I would rather spend what little time I have working on BIND, centralized network authentication, smtp, and other services that will help me get a job and be a better sys admin.
 
Old 09-22-2006, 02:07 PM   #8
christopher5
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The main thing for me is getting the 3D driver up and running; this seems to speed things up in general quite a bit. Thankfully installing the ATI driver on Fedora actually works compared to Ubuntu....
 
Old 09-26-2006, 07:23 AM   #9
cibernetiq
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Wink Kernel 2.6.XY is faster and more optimized

Quote:
Originally Posted by notiones
I think Fedora 5 is faster than previous Fedora versions, it's just that it is still more resource intensive than other like distros.

I use a slim Gnome desktop on all of my installations if it is available so I don't think the problem lies there. Also, I'm not trying to run anything fancy that might require some decent graphics memory. Give me a browser, email and a terminal and I am happy.

I don't supposse it is name resolution either. I'm just talking about the time it takes a given program to launch. My DNS server is pretty fast even though it is ancient in computer terms. Besides, I visit the same sites over and over again. The info should be cached and instantly available.

Could I roll my own kernel? sure I could, but I might as well run Gentoo or BSD at that point. Besides, one of the things I have always liked about Red Hat and Fedora products is their stability and ease of administration. Really, could RHEL be any easier to administer? My last server was an old Pentium with 96MB of RAM and it ran two years without a reboot. I finally retired the crazy thing before it caught fire or something.

No, I think the problem, and forgive me for not charcterizing this in a more technicaly precise way, is that Fedora puts things in drawers that are far out of reach. When you call for something it has to dig way down deep to retrieve it thereby making you wait. This also consumes gobs of cpu time. A prime example of this is the way Fedora 4 made you wait such an interminably long time when you clicked on the desktop menu. Thankfully FC5 has made huge improvements in that dept.

I don't want to over simplify the whole matter, but why should opening Firefox in FC5 max out the cpu and take as long as two seconds to load when other distros with the same verion number do not?

Don't get me wrong, I am crazy about Red Hat and even have a RHEL4 server in the basement, but I cannot afford to put it on all of my desktops nor should I. It is a great server O/S, but it just a little behind when it comes to desktops. Of course that is where Fedora comes in, but Fedora has always had this performance issue. So what is a guy to do?

I would probably install Gentoo, but since they dropped Gnome it would just add that much more time get a working desktop with Gnome going and who has that kind of time? I would rather spend what little time I have working on BIND, centralized network authentication, smtp, and other services that will help me get a job and be a better sys admin.
If you want speed then you have to recompile the kernel and unload
the modules you don't need. I've just recompiled the new kernel from kernel.org (2.6.18) and I've seen speed improvements in Fedora Core 5 I have a PIII 866 MHz (Coppermine) with 256 MB RDRAM (800 MHz DDR). Try and you'll see the difference....
 
Old 09-27-2006, 05:58 AM   #10
nhydra
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You said that fedora is slower than suse? Really?
Probably you have a problem because suse is slower than fedora.... Fedora is faster than suse in many times and suse occupy too ram emmory too.
 
  


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