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this should be an easy one: when I use yum on my fedora 3 based emachines athlon laptop, all the updates come down as i386 versions - except the kernel, which I saw was a i686. Shouldn't I be able to set my machine to request i686 based rpms? and, if I downloaded src rpms, and used rpmbuild with --target=athlon, shouldn't I be able to compile some of the more important rpms on the machine so that they utilize the faster chip features of the athlon or atleast the i686 - hey, or even i586 architecture improvements the way the java sdks are shipped? or does the i386 mean I'm somehow already doing that? or should I use a differnent distro? or I need to recompile the kernel? (which I want to avoid at present) just wondering...thanks for any clues!
you can compile any software to work with an i686 optimization. You will get some slight speed and stability boosts. Most distros are compiled for i386 as that is kind of a universal PC chipset (most machines are compatible wit that). Arch (the distro) is i686 optimized all the way, you can compile gentoo to your chip through the USE flags. FC should Be able to do it as well, but if you are happy with your kernel I wouldn't bother to change anything.
thanks - I figured that the kernel was compiled for i686 (I saw that when yum updated it) so that must be faster, but I wondered if I could download the src rpms for the most commonly used apps and get those up to i686 from i386. I tried firefox, but it said it couldn't compile to i686 - maybe it already does it. are you sure that the speed differences between i386 and i686 are minimal? is it that the person writing the code would have to accomodate for the different architectures in their code, or does the gcc say: since I'm on this arch, I'm going to interpret this routine this way when I create the compiled machine code? anyway I'll look into that distribution you mentioned but I wish I could get onto a faster arch than i386....
are you sure that the speed differences between i386 and i686 are minimal?
Yes, but they are slightly noticable.. When you do compile something for a specific chip (like i686) it is designed for that arch. I do beleive it is gcc compiling it for the arch (saying since I'm on this arch I'm going to interpert this routine this way).
The speed difference is minimal, but noticable. Personally, if speed really is very important to you (and configurability), I would really recommend looking into the distros Arch or Gentoo. Arch, as I said, is i686 optimized (not generically i586 like most others), but you also have to set up everything yourself. Gentoo is compliled by you (think Linux From Scratch, but with a package management system).
There are some Fedora/Redhat based distros optimised for i686. Take a look at distrowatch for more more info. Most distributions build packages for i386 because they will work okay on a lot more systems than just optimising for i686. With current cpu speeds, I think its a good trade off. Even after recompiling something for i686 from source rpms, the speed difference may not be drastic.
Thanks for that link, I can see that Arch linux is probably what I'm looking for - but I'd have to try it out to see if it makes that much difference. there is something to the idea that you're on a distribution that has a lot of momentum (which arch seems to) - with fedora thinks seem to get better with each yum update I have to say. one interesting distro there was freepia too, for EPIA boards from Via - very cool stuff.
Fedora is a good distro, but the selling point on Arch for me, honestly, is the fact that a.) I get to set up everything myself.. so I don't have things running that I don't need... and b.) you never really have to install when new "versions" come out, as they're just snapshots of latest packages.... It's a meta-distrobution, so... once you install.. all you have to do is pacman -Su and it upgrades your system (kinda like a dist-upgrade.. i think... in debian), and a lot like yum (but pacman seems simpiler to me)
Arch is getting better and better, considering it's only at .7 now, it's really stable, only have had it crash once, and it's because it's a bit <i>too</i> bleeding edge sometimes and you get packages that can be unstable sometimes.
I use Arch Linux on a P4 with HT and I can tell you that it feels quicker than my previous Gentoo installation that was compiled with pentium4 optimisations. Certainly quicker than Mandrake 9 and Fedora Core 1 that I used first
that sounds cool! I was wondering if you considered it to be as full featured as Fedora - can you use yum to upgrade to the most recent versions, and I see that it has the 2.6 kernel but will the latest Gnome be out the same time (or close thereafter) as it is on Ubuntu and Fedora? I'm definitely still a newbie although I've spent a lot of time trying to compile kernels in the past with little success and don't really plan on doing it again, if I can avoid it...
Completely full featured. You have to do some of it yourself, but if there isn't a package in the pacman repositories (pacman is Arch's yum), you can make one quite easily.
In all hoesty, Arch released KDE 3.4 to the public before anyone else, and I'm pretty sure Gnome is the same way... they're released to us when they get em! (which means that can be slightly unstable, so you can always just wait a few days to upgrade)..
The stock kernel is very good, and the only reason I recompiled was to add cpu scaling support (for laptop).
arch is great! pacman is great, and if you are as interested as you sound, you'll love it.
Keep in mind, the iso has very little on it, just basics. So you'll spend some timw downloading software, but it's worth it to me
Yes you will get the latest GNOME, Arch had GNOME 2.10 before it was released on GNOME as well. Arch tends to have package maintainers that are generally interested in the software they are maintaining. For example with GNOME, the maintainer was following CVS commits on gnome.org and saw that nothing else was due t be added before release so he packages it up and uploaded it into the repositories.
And you can geta base ISO with packages on it but it's best to do a FTP install anyway so you can get the most up-to-date stuff
Update from kde 3.3 to kde 3.4:
due to a pacman bug please deinstall kde 3.3 first before you install kde 3.4,
else you may get strange side effects, like missing menu entries and missing stuff.
'pacman -Rd kde' and then run again 'pacman -S kde'.