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Hello I am running Slackware 9.0 and it's not as fast as I want it to be so I was wondering what are some things that I can do to make it run faster.
Obviously I can run lighter programs, eg Blackbox instead of KDE, or Abiword instead of KOffice, or Dillo instead of Mozilla, but I would rather not have to do that since I like my full-featured programs, even if they are heavy on the reasources. What else can I do to speed up linux?
The first thing that comes to mind is to recompile everything for i686 but that would take too long so I don't wanna do that.
I already recompiled the kernel and include what I need as modules instead of in the kernel, except for those things I need the most.
According to the website of the Yoper distribution, some of the things they did to make Yoper fast was:
-Keep everything only dependent to what it really needs not what the ./configure happens to find.
-Hdparm on install
What do these things mean and can someone point me to a website which explains how to do this?
stripping - running the strip command against programs removes nonessential data such as comments and other junk that would not be missed. without this the file is smaller and so loads faster. this is something generally done by default though, you should have no reason to manually strip files already installed on your system... but then you never do know...
dependencies - a great example of this is MPlayer. When yo compile MPlayer from source it will check your system to see what it can use. thing is though, MPlayer can handle a VAST selection of inputs, outputs, filters etc... and so by the system knowing that it has all these wonderful libraries to use if needed, it neds to know each exists when the program loads. now if you hve no intention of play films encoded in XYZ format or watching the output video get printed to a type writer... (i wouldn't be suprised) the time it takes to find these modules is wasted.
-hdparm - DMA basically. read the hdparm manpage or details.
The beauty of linux is that you can strip it down as you want, remove services, change desktops, etc. But it is a big system now and if you need the services then it will cost in performance. I still find linux much better than win at running a whole bunch of apps at once tho...
If you are under 256MB of RAM and using Gnome/KDE it would be a good investment to upgrade to 256MB or 512. It is not overly expensive and generally does make a significant difference.
I found 9.1 to be a little faster than 9.0 for Slackware in general. For KDE, and to a lesser extent Gnome, Slack 10 is faster still. The difference between 9.1 and 10 though is mostly the slimming down of the desktops, the actual release is a hair slower. Not a lot though. It would probably be worth your while to upgrade to 10.
Beyond that the only things I can think of to speed up your system would be to compile your key apps to the specifics of your box.