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Old 09-15-2003, 04:16 PM   #1
coolamit78
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Applications take long time to load


Till yesterday, I was using RedHat 8.0....Today, I upgraded it to RedHat 9 and I am just blown over...I feel RH 9 scores over windows in all senses.....

However, the problem that I have experienced in both RedHat 8 and 9 was the time which the applications take time to load. I have a dual boot with Windows 98 and RedHat 9 and the applications get loaded normally in windows....However, this is not the case in Linux.

My Machine is an AMD K6 400 MHz with 256 MB RAM and 8.4 GB HDD....I have also alloted 259 MB of swap space to linux....But still, there has been no difference in the speed with which applications are loaded. Especially, OpenOffice Writer takes hell of a long time to load, whereas, MS Word 2000 loads faster than that...Even other small applications like terminal, xmms, etc....take longer than what they should ideally take.....

One more thing...While I had RedHat 8.0, I noticed a line which said....

16 Modules of Ram of 4096 K each.....(Does that mean that linux is just detecting 16 x 4 = 64 MB only? ) ...whereas I have 256 MB RAM....How can i find out how much RAM linux is detecting?

If there is no problem with my system then are there any packages available through which applications load faster?
 
Old 09-15-2003, 04:52 PM   #2
bulliver
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To find out how much RAM Linux detects run 'dmesg'. The line is almost right at the top and will look something like:

"256MB LOWMEM available."

You need to keep in mind that you are running relatively cutting edge software (RH 9, only a few months old) on relatively dated hardware...so you can't expect it to fly. The fact that Linux supports old hardware as well as it does is laudable in my opinion.

To demonstrate my point...try to install Win XP on this box. I think after attempting that you will be pleased with how 'fast' Linux runs.
 
Old 09-15-2003, 05:20 PM   #3
coolamit78
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Hi bulliver...

First of all, I was not able to find out any thing related to memory in the output from the dmesg command. Is there any other command which can tell that?

I have been using Linux right from version 6.3 and I have installed different distributions of Linux - RH, MDK, Suse, Caldera....

I have seen that Linux takes more time to boot than Win98. However, I am not even complaining about the boot up speed... As Far as AMD K6 400 MHZ CPU is concerned, it is fast enough to run all the necessary and required applications...although i agree that one needs a P4/Athlon for heavy graphics and gaming. But that is not my concern..

My concern is that once the desktop is loaded, it is expected that the applications load fast enough given the low h/w requirements for Linux.

I have also installed Win XP, Win 2000 and Win ME on my system a number of times.....and i feel Win XP boots faster than linux. Even if we assume that it boots slower than linux, I have seen that applications in XP load equally fast as they load in Win 98.

So then why linux should be slow....?

I am not able to understand why then my system runs slower in Linux....any other ideas?
 
Old 09-15-2003, 05:57 PM   #4
RolledOat
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Well, you have to compare apples and applies. In Windows, you pay for the load time for their applications such as Word, Media Player, MSN, etc. They load at boot time, and unless you are a registry expert, they simply use up memory, don't free it up, and if you never use them, it wastes your resources. Now, OpenOffice does load slow, however, look for AutoStart or something like that in your documentation. Suse 8.2 has this feature where you can tell it to 'preload' the applications you want, and leave them in memory the way MS does. Also, you might not have hdparm settings for optimimal transfer rate from your HD.

Check this link...

http://www.justlinux.com/nhf/Hardwar...for_Linux.html

Post back if the command
hdparm -c /dev/hda

shows this.

/dev/hda:
IO_support = 0 (default 16-bit)

I am not concerned about changing this though because I still get
fantastic throughput and changing to 32 bit didn't help me. It might be
your problem though.

Reference:
hdparm -t /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
Timing buffered disk reads: 64 MB in 1.57 seconds = 40.70 MB/sec

RO
 
Old 09-15-2003, 06:01 PM   #5
RolledOat
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Also, Redhat starts with a lot of uneeded services running that increases your boot time. My boot time with Redhat 8.0 went from ~1 minute to 17 seconds after I disabled all uneeded services. Which ones you don't need, post what you have running, we will tell you. Some are obvious, like ftp, httpd, etc.

RO

System Settings-->Services
 
Old 09-15-2003, 09:18 PM   #6
jon_k
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My expierience is that redhat is slow as hell bulky chulky hobo type of distro.

This is not biased. I tried redhat 9 (years back i tried redhat 6 when i was like 15.... but was too stupid to install without a GUI back then!)

Mandrake 9.1 is faster then redhat 9 in my personal expierience

Now, i'm on a duelboot of a knoppix hdinstall and windows 2k and find myself using windows latley (got tired of the bs of wine for applications i want to use)
 
Old 09-16-2003, 01:36 PM   #7
coolamit78
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Indeed, the first command gives this output!

/dev/hda:
IO_support = 0 (default 16-bit)

and the command

hdparm -t /dev/hda gave this output

/dev/hda:
Timing buffered disk reads: 64 MB in 13.02 seconds = 4.92 MB/sec

I am not sure if changing to 32 bit will help me...and right now I dont want to fiddle around with my hard disk...In fact, the site whose link u have given.....there;s a note frm one guy that says that linux didn't boot when he changed the setting to 32 bit....

Thats why I would first like to try ideas that dont need a re-install or booting from an emergency disk first ) .....lol.....i have already installled Linux around 4-5 times in last 15 days so kindda tired .....

Is there any other idea that i can use to increase the loading speed of applications? (other than the above one that u have mentioned)
 
Old 09-16-2003, 01:46 PM   #8
RolledOat
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Hmm, well, I just executed the command

hdparm -c 1 -d 1 /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
setting 32-bit IO_support flag to 1
setting using_dma to 1 (on)
IO_support = 1 (32-bit)
using_dma = 1 (on)
[root@localhost root]#
[root@localhost root]# hdparm -t /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
Timing buffered disk reads: 64 MB in 1.60 seconds = 40.06 MB/sec

The change is NOT committed (and as you can see, there was no improvement on my machine...I don't know why?), and if it should cause strangeness, it will be gone with a restart. I think this is the best thing to try, because getting the data from the disk is the biggest loading slowdown.

If it works, then you can simply execute the command manually on bootup and, if there are no unforseen side affects, commit the change in a few days/weeks.

RO
 
Old 09-16-2003, 02:00 PM   #9
coolamit78
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hmm...so u mean to say that it wont cause any havoc in my system ...right?

And what about the output of the second command? I dont know if my drive is slow ....do u have any idea if it's slow?

If i enable this 32-bit option, will it show me the results good/bad right now itself? and what about the DMA setting in the BIOS? do i need to enable DMA in the BIOS too??

By the way, there was another option '-k' in the tutorial along with the '-c' and '-d' options that u used in the command.....may be thats why there was no performance change in ur machine....try and use the -k option too....
 
Old 09-16-2003, 02:01 PM   #10
closet geek
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My experience is that KDE is slow compared to Gnome, Gnome loads things just that bit quicker, also might be worth looking at fluxbox/xfce as both cut down resource usage loads leaving more to be used to load your apps

I run a PIII 450Mhz with 192MB SDRAM so I can relate to your situation

cg
 
Old 09-16-2003, 02:20 PM   #11
RolledOat
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The -k is 'keep settings', so you don't want to do this, until you are sure. The commands that I entered, with no ill affect are

hdparm -c 1 -d 1 /dev/hda
then
hdparm -t /dev/hda

I HAVE run this command before, and it was NOT persistant, and reverted to the origional setting.
(-c get/set IDE 32-bit IO setting
-d get/set using_dma flag)

The second one, you can do all day, simply test. I don't think you need to do any bios changes. There are many more options in hdparm that, if my performace was slow, I would play with. All I can say is, reading the man pages, excluding the 'k' option and the tutorial page listed, this SHOULD not cause any side affects, but if it does, again, a restart SHOULD clear. I can't guarantee anything except that I will refund your money.

RO
 
Old 09-16-2003, 02:53 PM   #12
coolamit78
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i gave the command and the following is the output:

hdparm -c 1 -d 1 /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
setting 32-bit IO_support flag to 1
setting using_dma to 1 (on)
IO_support = 1 (32-bit)
using_dma = 1 (on)
[root@amit root]# hdparm -t /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
Timing buffered disk reads: 64 MB in 12.93 seconds = 4.95 MB/sec

I guess there wasnt any performance increase...what do u think?
 
Old 09-16-2003, 03:12 PM   #13
RolledOat
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Hmmm, all that for no performance gain. Post the results of this command.

hdparm -v -i /dev/hda

I think the reason it doesn't help me is that I am already using udma5 as the access speed for the disk, so setting DMA on is probably ignored. I get the line...

UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 *udma5

In the example from http://www.linuxnetmag.com/en/issue7/m7hdparm1.html

their current udma mode is 3, they increase it to 5 to get better performance.

RO
 
Old 09-16-2003, 03:13 PM   #14
RolledOat
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More reading....
http://carleeto.homeip.net/tips/udma.html

RO
 
Old 09-16-2003, 03:23 PM   #15
coolamit78
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here is the output:

hdparm -v -i /dev/hda

/dev/hda:
multcount = 16 (on)
IO_support = 0 (default 16-bit)
unmaskirq = 0 (off)
using_dma = 1 (on)
keepsettings = 0 (off)
readonly = 0 (off)
readahead = 8 (on)
geometry = 1027/255/63, sectors = 16498944, start = 0

Model=ST38421A, FwRev=6.01, SerialNo=5BD01Y7N
Config={ HardSect NotMFM HdSw>15uSec Fixed DTR>10Mbs RotSpdTol>.5% }
RawCHS=16368/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=4
BuffType=unknown, BuffSize=256kB, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=16
CurCHS=16368/16/63, CurSects=16498944, LBA=yes, LBAsects=16498944
IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:240,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
PIO modes: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
DMA modes: mdma0 mdma1 *mdma2
UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 udma2
AdvancedPM=no WriteCache=enabled
Drive conforms to: device does not report version: 1 2 3 4

I will go through the articles tommorow...as its late at night here... Let me know what this all says..because i dont have much h/w knowledge....

Thanx
 
  


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