Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back > Blogs > caieng
User Name


  1. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    I wasn't able to replicate the issue on this laptop. It went from ~3-4 seconds to perhaps 5 seconds at worst case.

    If you do figure out what's going on, let me know. =)
    Posted 10-26-2011 at 11:30 AM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  2. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    Thanks for your comment, and your inquiry, both very welcome.

    Posted 10-26-2011 at 10:13 AM by caieng caieng is offline
  3. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    I tested the QoS issue on my laptop at work.

    It's a 1.5 GHz Pentium M with 1 GB RAM. QoS on or off, didn't matter, as VLC started playing within 3-4 seconds for those radio stations. Interesting.

    During the test, I watched iftop on my OpenBSD workstation. The XP tests looked to give ~6x more bandwidth to the download than the radio station, so I doubt QoS on/off will show much difference on Linux (unless QoS off shows the bandwidth well outside that ratio? I dunno...I'll have to test).

    I'm really interested to see what's going on here. This machine is a bit more powerful than yours, so it may mask some bottlenecks, but I'm going to check anyways.
    Posted 10-26-2011 at 09:50 AM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  4. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    QoS is "Quality of Service", and there is a QoS Packet Scheduler built-in to Windows XP. It's turned off on my laptop at work, but that might have been my doing since it's daisy-chained behind my OpenBSD workstation (which serves as a firewall for the XP laptop).

    Control Panel -> Network Connections -> Right-Click your connection -> Properties -> Look for QoS Packet Scheduler in the list and see if it's checked on.
    Posted 10-24-2011 at 03:59 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  5. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    Thanks, rocket 357.
    No, no QoS, whatever that may be. It is a plain vanilla installation, fresh, performed last week, with no extra software, for example, no antivirus precautions, and so on...

    It could well be that Linux, as you write, is at a significant speed disadvantage, compared with XP, because of the sector location of the OS.

    That, observation, if true, nevertheless has no bearing, in my opinion, on the significant finding presented here:

    namely, that without an additional task, (downloading the 32 bit DVD from Debian's web site), Linux and XP require THE SAME AMOUNT of time, to receive the twelve stations (where "same" is defined as +/- 5 seconds out of 120 seconds.)

    Of course, with a more modern cpu, and more memory, and so on, this distinction would blurr.

    But, with older hardware, it is an amazing discrepancy, once the user begins downloading the DVD from Debian.

    XP shoulders this extra burden without blinking an eye: the time needed to tune in the 12 stations remains the same, with or without, the burden of concurrently downloading the DVD.

    Linux, on the other hand, slows to a crawl, in order to bring home that DVD as quickly as possible, with a very discernible difference in the time needed to tune in the 12 radio stations. Whereas each station typically required 2-3, or perhaps 4 seconds to commence, upon clicking the icon, prior to invoking the download task, once the DVD download begins, that time changes dramatically to 8-10-12 seconds/station, under Linux, but remains the same, for XP.

    Concluding the 12 station time measurement, the amount of material received under XP, is only about 20% of that received by Linux.

    Quite remarkable, especially, when one considers that for almost twelve months, I wrongly concluded that xp was faster than Linux, when, in fact, xp is not faster; Linux simply has a more zealous attitude, than XP, towards finishing the secondary, downloading chore, as quickly as possible, thus monopolizing the cpu!!!! That the user should be inconvenienced, obliged to wait an additional ten seconds, to receive his/her radio station,(the primary task) is not Linux' problem!!!! haha...

    Posted 10-24-2011 at 01:51 PM by caieng caieng is offline
  6. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    If you always used that alignment, you've always put Linux at a hard drive speed disadvantage. I'm not saying that's the cause of your observation, I'm just saying that it's true that Linux will see slower hard drive times, especially for write-heavy workloads.

    It's an interesting observation, however. Do you have any kind of QoS turned on for Windows? (not sure if XP has QoS turned on by default in SP2). I have a stock WinXP machine at home that I can check tonight, and my daughter's Xubuntu machine might be available to do a few simple tests.
    Posted 10-24-2011 at 12:32 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  7. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    Hi Rocket357!

    Thanks for your question.

    No. No, they were not on the same partition.

    However, this study used four different hard drives, two SATA, and two IDE.

    All four partitions, on all four drives, were always PRIMARY, not extended, therefore, I doubt that the time measurements observed fluctuated as a consequence of the location of the operating system on a particular partition. I always used the same alignment for the partitions:

    1: XP (sometimes NTFS, sometimes FAT 32, made no difference in the times recorded) generally about 30 GB in size.
    2. FAT 32 (storage)
    3. SWAP small, double the size of the RAM, i.e. 1 GB.
    4. Linux Ext 4, depending on the drive, anywhere from 5-100 GB.

    Moreover, the huge differences that are observed here, have nothing to do with the hard drive, as can be seen by the repeated testing, and retesting, showing, over and over again, that WITHOUT concurrent downloading of the large 4 GB file from Debian, the times recorded to receive the 12 radio stations are IDENTICAL, whether one uses Linux or XP, and whether one uses IDE or SATA. It is not the geometry of the hard drive that explains these very distinctive time differences.

    The genuinely amazing observation here, is that there is a HUGE difference, easily measured, by anyone, without requirement for any special gear, or experience, or testing talent, or expertise, or equipment: possession of just an ordinary clock, and a desktop computer, and one can then observe an absolutely reproducible distinction between Linux, any flavor, any kernel, any distro, and XP. The distinction is reproducible, and easily observed, at least on a sufficiently slow computer, i.e. ~1GHz, 32 bit, with half a gigabyte of RAM.

    The distinction is remarkable, noteworthy, and enigmatic. I had no idea, a year ago, when I started this investigation, that there would emerge such a huge difference between the two operating systems. To me, the distinction is just simply counter-intuitive. Why should there exist such a huge disparity between XP, and Linux? Someone, somewhere, must have decided that downloading a single file was of such critical importance, under Linux, that this task should monopolize the cpu, compared with execution of other tasks, by a factor of nearly five to one.

    I wonder why XP has no difficulty handling, albeit more slowly, this secondary task, downloading a very large file, while concurrently receiving, WITH EQUAL alacrity (as if not downloading the same file), the reception of the radio station's signals? Someone, somewhere, determined that the task of downloading a large file, under XP, ought not monopolize the cpu time.... I wonder why? All I can write, today, is that, given the choice, any user, if ignorant of which OS he/she were using, would choose XP, upon hearing the radio stations so much faster under that OS, compared with Linux, while concurrently downloading the large file from Debian.

    Posted 10-24-2011 at 11:50 AM by caieng caieng is offline
  8. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    Are your installations of XP and Linux on the same disk partition? (silly question, I know heh). There is a dramatic speed difference between "zones" on any given hard drive. SSD's not so much, but conventional drive, yes. The "tail" of a hard drive is typically much slower than the "head" of the drive. If you put WinXP first (on an earlier partition), it would have access to much faster portions of the hard drive and would be able to put *less* cpu time towards activities that take disk time, whereas Linux wouldn't have that edge.
    Posted 10-24-2011 at 10:08 AM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  9. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    Thank you once more, dsc, however, this is not correct. It is not a desire to "limit the download speed", that I seek, as offered with that link to a Ubuntu web site (thanks for that!!)

    I seek to learn why the default, unadjusted, out of the box version of any Linux flavor, places much more cpu emphasis on the task of downloading, concurrently minimizing cpu activities for other tasks, including tasks related to use of the SAME internet reception capability, compared with Win XP SPII.

    Over the past three days, I have repeated my measurements with this computer, using CrunchBang, compared with a fresh installation of XP, and the results are just dramatic:

    Either CrunchBang or XP demands exactly the same amount of time, using the same browser for both, when NO OTHER TASK is running.

    The difference, quite amazing, really, is that when a task is imposed, and here, the task chosen demands use of another instance of the same browser (I used Chromium this weekend) to download from the Debian web site, the 4 GB DVD representing disk one of the 32 bit OS.

    With Windows XP, after the time needed to measure reception of all 12 radio stations, i.e. first of three trials over three days, the OS had downloaded only 100-200 Megabytes of the 4.3 GB disk. Crunchbang had downloaded 500-600 Megabytes, during the same process.

    XP with, or without the task of retrieving this large file, required, per 12 measurements, about 40 seconds of time. (total for three trials over three different days, is ~120 +/- 5 seconds.)

    CrunchBang, also required, for the same 36 measurements, performed immediately after or right before, the XP measurements, about 120 seconds, again, +/- five seconds...

    But, when adding the second task, i.e. download of the large file, Crunchbang required 400-500 seconds for the 36 measurements. In exchange for this greatly delayed reception of the radio signals, one procured much more of the downloaded disk, compared with XP.

    It is really bizarre, to my way of thinking, that the default setting for Linux, but not XP, would apportion so much of the cpu activity to the task of receiving the downloaded disk, (a sideline activity), mutilating the primary task, by requiring the user to wait, and wait, and wait, on changing the channel, to recieve the radio station of interest.

    To some degree, one observes a similar obtuseness about Linux, with regard to booting up, and shutting down.

    XP requires 9 seconds to terminate, upon signalling a desire to shut down. Linux requires anywhere from 10-30 seconds on this computer, depending on the version of Linux used.

    Booting up, is even more telling.
    XP needs 50 seconds.
    Linux anywhere from 60-90 seconds.

    I am sure there must be some method to speed things up, and also some easy method to instruct Linux to apportion cpu time more even handedly, but it is strange, I think, that the default setting of Linux is exactly the opposite of what I would have expected.... My thinking must be at variance with the norm, at least, among Linux users....

    Posted 10-24-2011 at 09:03 AM by caieng caieng is offline
  10. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    You're welcome. That's interesting, that difference in downloading speeds. I had heard about it once, something along the lines that windows has better performance when navigating on the web (and graphics in general), but linux was faster downloading. I was a bit surprised and somewhat skeptical, I though that downloads would be too much of a "low level" thing to have a difference, that it would depend much more (well, it probably still does) on the speed of the connection itself, rather than having anything to do with processing. Perhaps NTFS is to blame a bit? I know that FAT is faster, but I have no idea really, if that influences.

    And there are indeed daemons (or maybe not daemons) to manage bandwidth for different applications, "trickle" and "wondershaper".
    Posted 10-23-2011 at 06:39 PM by the dsc the dsc is offline
  11. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    Thank you dsc. "run the test many times to get some decent average numbers."

    Yup, my test does that: Three days at different times of the day (morning, evening, afternoon) with 12 different measurements each trial.

    I think the results from a single session are dubious, but, when you look at the data repeated over and over and over again, things start to look convincing....

    Thanks for the suggestion on "and" and "cpulimit".

    Posted 10-22-2011 at 04:02 PM by caieng caieng is offline
  12. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    And when what we're trying to measure has to do with the internet, I think it has the added complexity of the "natural" variation on internet speed. At very least, we need to run the same test many times to get some decent average numbers. I guess.

    By the way, there may be daemons similar to those I've mentioned that would restrict the band for specific internet applications. I think that something along these lines would be more right on the spot than trying to tune something related with the CPU demand for downloading.
    Posted 10-21-2011 at 04:29 PM by the dsc the dsc is offline
    Updated 10-21-2011 at 04:33 PM by the dsc
  13. Old Comment

    sharing the cpu

    I'm not an expert in this sort of thing by any means, but take a look at things such as:

    and (auto nice daemon)

    and on /etc/sysctl.conf, these two settings specifically (albeit they'd apply to the behavior of the whole system, not task-specifically):


    But be careful with this sort of thing. I had the impression that maximizing for performance on swappiness and cache pressure had the effect of demanding much more CPU. Among other collateral effects of using less hard-disk swap of course. You can change these settings on the fly though, by echoing to the right place (you'll eventually find it via google, I don't remember right now).

    Besides that, I always have some quarrels with benchmarks in broad terms such as "linux versus windows". Not only some things may change considerably from distro to distro, but even within a single distro perhaps you could have significant effects caused by different partition formats or mounting options (like noatime on ext#). I'm not suggesting that linux would somehow manage to always be able to beat windows if we find the right settings though.
    Posted 10-21-2011 at 04:25 PM by the dsc the dsc is offline
  14. Old Comment

    LXDE: four distributions compared

    Thank you Lumak.

    No, I have not tried Slackware, in quite a few years, now. Last time was probably 04 or thereaabouts.

    One problem, for me, with several of these distributions, including Slackware, Fedora, Suse, and others, is that they REQUIRE users to behave in a fashion which was quite understandable, FIFTY years ago, but, today, when each person can have his or her own computer, there is no need to DEMAND that the user name is more than one character.

    Passwords/logins is another problem, for me. When I turned on a radio, back in the 1950's, I did not require a password.....Why should I need one now?

    Fluxbox: no experience.

    PIII with tiny memory:
    a. jettison, else
    b. upgrade the memory.

    I remember when I purchased my first RAM, 128 locations, wow. What excitement. So many flipflops eliminated with one tiny chip, the size of my thumb. Amazing.

    But today, that same tiny chip holds a gigabyte.

    My PIII's work fine, BUT, the motherboards are not very reliable any more. I still have a couple that work, but, the newer boards accommodate the Celeron 450 which is just 35 watts, not too far from the 25 watts put out by my ancient PIII.

    Thanks again for your comment....

    Posted 09-04-2011 at 07:59 PM by caieng caieng is offline
  15. Old Comment

    LXDE: four distributions compared

    Have you ever tried Slackware with fluxbox and all services turned off? Additionally, I find that my 128MB ram laptop with Pentium III can only run Midori as the browser.
    Posted 09-04-2011 at 01:21 AM by lumak lumak is offline
  16. Old Comment


    Here is the normalized data for PCLOS LXDE from June 2011 compared with December 2010:


    December 2010: (2.4 + 0.8)/132 * 100 = 2.4
    June 2011: (2.4 + 0.8)/121 * 100 = 2.6

    The newest version of PCLOS LXDE executes the streaming audio reception task about 7-8% faster than the December 2010 version.

    Details of the testing method (three trials over a three day period) are elaborated in an earlier BLOG....

    Posted 07-08-2011 at 04:49 AM by caieng caieng is offline
  17. Old Comment


    Follow up: tested the newest version of LXDE, and found that it is slightly faster than the version from December 2010, however, it retains the same bug in the Mandrake Control Center (no capability to "test" the video card resolution selected) as described above for the KDE release.

    For both distributions, i.e. December 2010, and June 2011, I used synaptic to download and install the newest version of Opera and VLC. The times recorded:
    PCLOS LXDE 2010 December:... 132 seconds
    PCLOS LXDE 2011 June: ...... 121 seconds

    The computer used for this study was a 1 GHz PIII with Intel 815 chipset, FSB = 133 MHz, BIOS from 2001, video Matrox G450, memory 0.5 GB SDRAM, hard drive SATA 150 40 GB;
    GIPS 2.4
    GFLOPS 1.3
    Memory 0.8 GB/sec

    The details of the testing algorithm are posted in an earlier blog.

    Posted 07-08-2011 at 04:29 AM by caieng caieng is offline
  18. Old Comment


    Well, I did receive a reply to my request for a copy of my message, but the moderator at the PCLOS forum denied my request to return a copy of my message.

    Evidently, the PCLOS group prefers to keep my criticism secret.....

    Posted 07-03-2011 at 05:07 PM by caieng caieng is offline
  19. Old Comment


    Today, I was permitted again to access the PCLOS forum (my ISP address had been blocked), and when I logged in, I found this message from one of the forum moderators:

    I deleted your reply to the above thread, for excessive rudeness. If you have specific real problems, post them in the appropriate sections of the forum, and keep it civil.

    State the actual problem, what you have tried to alleviate the problem, and the results of your actions. Also post the specs of your particular machine so readers have a clue what they will be dealing with when offering suggestions.

    If you post in a similar manner to the reply that was removed, the new post will also be removed, for the same reason.
    Unfortunately, the moderator did not include a copy of my "excessively rude" submission, so I still don't know what it is that I wrote that was excessively rude.

    I am waiting now, for a reply to my response to his message. I have asked him to please forward a copy of my comment, so that I could modify the rudeness, and resubmit it.

    I will post it here if he sends it to me.

    Posted 07-03-2011 at 05:32 AM by caieng caieng is offline
  20. Old Comment


    Thanks, lumak, always enjoy reading your comments on this forum, and especially on threads from my blog.

    Yes, I agree with you, that PCLOS should be free to do as they please, including blacklisting me or anyone else. The question is not whether or not they have the POWER to exclude users they dislike, or the ABILITY to censor anyone who disputes the supreme leaders, the question is whether that behaviour is compatible with Linux.... I claim it is not. It is compatible with M$.

    Slackware was my first distro, and I like it for sentimental reasons. Further, whenever given the choice, I always prefer Patrick Volkerding's Lilo to Grub.

    But, Slackware seems to abhor the mouse, and love the keyboard, and I find that attitude thirty years obsolete. As you will learn, upon attaining elderly status, the fingers are not so nimble anymore, nor the cerebrum either.

    With regards to bugs, the newest KDE of PCLOS has some bugs in the installer, but what is so surprising to me, is that the previous edition did not have these imperfections. Someone at PCLOS ville, forgot to complete their testing homework....

    VLC for me, must be effortlessly invoked by the user. None of this "configuration" nonsense. It works right out of the box with SOME distributions, therefore, it COULD work out of the box with other distros. Why does it not work, effortlessly, with some Linux distros? Perhaps the answer has to do with your notion, incorrect, in my opinion, that "playing mp3 could have been a legal issue."

    I remind you of the legal battles waged by m$, a company which I detest, and which has done everything in its power to prevent the spread of Linux. Where is the legal issue with mp3? I regard this as an internet old wives' tale. It is a myth, unless you can produce some instance, just one will suffice, of litigation brought against the user of Linux who employed VLC to receive a live audio stream using mp3, as I am doing right now, while writing this reply.

    To be pertinant to the answer to this question, of course, the user must be someone who lacks written authorization from whichever authority issues such permission, and the government in question must be at least nominally "democratic". In other words, if a regime rounds up people, lines them up at the wall, and shoots them in the head, for failure to stop at a red light, then, such a government does not deserve designation as working within a legal framework, and hence, their prohibition against using mp3 without written authorization, would not be viewed, at least by me, as evidence that VLC should not be enabled on a Linux distro by default.

    But, if you have a case, from Europe, or North America, or Asia, or most South American countries, where an individual (or family) (but not a corporation) was prosecuted for having installed, without government sanction, VLC, and operated it, to receive mp3 based streaming audio, then, I am willing to acknowledge the idea that mp3 capability ought not be installed by default. Absent such a case, even one will suffice, then, I am persuaded that this issue is utterly bogus.

    More to the point: VLC does work correctly, with the LXDE version of the PCLOS release from December 2010. I installed it yesterday, after reformatting the hard drive. I used the PCLOS synaptic program to update all the files, so, for example, I am playing music right now, using the current opera browser, 11.50. The updated version of VLC, 1.10 is installed as well. It is strictly the newest release of PCLOS, that does not function as it should.

    Posted 06-29-2011 at 04:16 PM by caieng caieng is offline


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:17 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration