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Old 08-02-2014, 03:32 AM   #1
batonoff
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what is the fastest linux distro


Dear friends,

I need linux distro without X. It will run only one specific small application (ccminer) but needs to do it at lightning speed. All information I had googled regards X desktop speed and lightweight but it is not important for me. Dedicated hardware is an old Intel2Core with nvidia gtx 750ti and 2GB RAM. What do you suggest ?

Thanks in advance. Your help is very appreciated.

Last edited by batonoff; 08-02-2014 at 05:14 AM.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 04:46 AM   #2
business_kid
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X is not essential to linux. You can boot to console level and ignore X.

I doubt your hardware is the fastest to run ccminer. So your question is academic, really. Pick a distro that is optimised as much as your cpu will take, start as few services as possible and go. There will be little difference. You may need to cook your own kernel.

Depending on your available memory you may get an increase in speed by using a ramdisk, copying stuff into that, putting /tmp there. Have fun.
 
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:43 AM   #3
jpollard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
X is not essential to linux. You can boot to console level and ignore X.

I doubt your hardware is the fastest to run ccminer. So your question is academic, really. Pick a distro that is optimised as much as your cpu will take, start as few services as possible and go. There will be little difference. You may need to cook your own kernel.
I would suggest using a distribution you are familiar with. If you want the absolute minimum, go through LFS and "build your own". You can also look at small distributions, such as those aimed at routers.
Quote:

Depending on your available memory you may get an increase in speed by using a ramdisk, copying stuff into that, putting /tmp there. Have fun.
Don't bother putting /tmp in a ramdisk - it wastes space, many distributions are now using tmpfs for /tmp, with several advantages over a ramdisk.
1. it uses the system cache for storage. Any space not needed for data can still be used for other cache functions.
2. it is faster - no need to copy from ramdisk to cache for use...
 
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:54 AM   #4
Shadow_7
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All the linuxes...

They all run basically the same software. You could install any of them. And then compile the bits you actually use optimized for your architecture and get roughly equal results. The shorter your ps output the more RAM and cpu cycles you have for other things. And other tricks to get single digit %'s better performance.

Choosing one distro over another isn't going to get you double the speed or anything. So you're better off doubling your hardware than optimizing on that front. Baring special use cases where you're tight for RAM, or have hundreds of machines, then the choice matters more than usual. Or if the distro you choose ignores the hardware that you have, i.e. GPU, floating point, and other things.
 
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:35 AM   #5
wpeckham
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Fastest

Normally I would agree with many of the earlier answers, and they are basically correct. Speed is not the version of Linux, speed is the combination of software without speed flaws on fast iron.

That said, you want something running a very new kernel. There are some significant speed advances after 3.10 that you can take advantage of. I am running vsido (kernel 3.15) on AMD 64-bit multicore with 4G ram and I am happy with it, but I am not doing with it what you plan. For the best speed you will want SSD storage, more and faster cores, with more than enough ram. You want speed, run with the best and latest and eliminate known bottlenecks, then test pefrormance factors to death.

Best of luck,
 
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:00 AM   #6
batonoff
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Thanks everyone for your answers. Very helpful.

So if there is not much difference between distributions maybe I can gain some speed with compilation tricks ? I need to download ccminer from github and compile it. I use compiler options like this:
-march=native -mfpmath=both -pipe -O3
Maybe I can do more ? What is your opinion ?

ccminer @win is ca 10% faster than compiled @linux. Why ?

Thanks.

Last edited by batonoff; 08-02-2014 at 11:03 AM.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 11:44 AM   #7
btmiller
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It looks like ccminer is a CUDA-based crypto mining app. Your speed is going to depend a lot more on your GPU hardware and CUDA software stack than it will on the operating system. Make sure you're using the latest drivers and CUDA releases on modern GPU hardware (not a card from 2 or 3 years back). I don't do cryptocurrency, but I do scientific number crunching (high performance computing), and a lot of that is moving onto GPUs. They're been some fairly major hardware and software speed-ups in the last year or so.
 
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Old 08-02-2014, 12:15 PM   #8
batonoff
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btmiller: you are absolutely right. But ccminer performs better by ca 10% @win than @linux. I wonder what can I do to speed up ccminer by that 10%. Is it OS ? Is it nvidia driver better performing @win ? Who knows ?
 
Old 08-07-2014, 01:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batonoff View Post
btmiller: you are absolutely right. But ccminer performs better by ca 10% @win than @linux. I wonder what can I do to speed up ccminer by that 10%. Is it OS ? Is it nvidia driver better performing @win ? Who knows ?
A lot of distros default to pulseaudio these days. And on my systems (quite old at this point) pulseaudio tends to reduce my performance by about 10%. Something to consider. Every running program uses CPU and RAM, some more than others.
 
Old 08-07-2014, 01:39 PM   #10
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Q
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post
A lot of distros default to pulseaudio these days. And on my systems (quite old at this point) pulseaudio tends to reduce my performance by about 10%. Something to consider. Every running program uses CPU and RAM, some more than others.
I hate to chip in with a "me too" post but, yes, pulseaudio seems to use more of my CPU cycles than almost anything else. However, I'm not sure whether command-line only Debian has it, for example?
Edit: I just logged into my Pi (which has LXDE running through VLC) and there are no "pulse" processes running, so it does not seem to be that.
I assume the NVIDIA drivers being used are the latest from the NVIDIA website and not the ones from the repository?

Last edited by 273; 08-07-2014 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Just checked something.
 
Old 08-07-2014, 02:25 PM   #11
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antiX has a "core" version that is cli-only out of the box. Its basically debian with some added firmware for older hardware and a cli-networking app called ceni that may be helpful to you. there are kernels availabe up to 3.15 I beleive.

Its pretty minimal, as I believe the core version doesn't even have alsa by default.
 
Old 08-07-2014, 04:03 PM   #12
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ARgggHHHH!

Last edited by jefro; 08-07-2014 at 04:04 PM.
 
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:18 PM   #13
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Not that it's your issue. But the user also has to be in the video group to make use of the video card extras. Or the perms set so that all have access. It's not always about having the latest stuff, there is some configuration involved. And then there's other quirks like needing glibc >= 2.14 for oracles java to have opengl perks. Where debian wheezy is on 2.13.
 
Old 08-07-2014, 10:47 PM   #14
Rava
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by batonoff View Post
ccminer @win is ca 10% faster than compiled @linux. Why ?
Win is known to have a very quick program launcher...
No Linux ever is able to beat any Wind performance (from XP onwards, since older versions are even more security nightmares than the recent ones...) with the first run / start-up of a Wind. program.

But to be precise: that's partly due to Wind. being optimized in that, but also because they ignored some mayor security rules here.
This is one of the main issues why even with the most recent Wind, there is still an working way to get full control of that OS by a crack/blackhat hack.

I don't want to get too technical on that issue here: It's some stuff about usually separating user RAM and CPU "space"/ areas from the protected kernel & other critical OS stuff RAM and CPU "space", Wind. doesn't do that as rules state about how such stuff should be handles, and by doing so gains speed and performance, but also got a security flaw that most probably could never be undone...



TL;DR: Wind has a faster program launcher than any Linux or other NIX on the same architecture, and is fast/er) in some other issues as well, but the downside is a major security issue win all known WIND OS...

Since nowadays more games get ported to Linux, I read that most games result roughly spoken in the same speed. Some Wind game versions might be a little bit quicker, while most are of the same speed...

Now years ago I decided for myself that I want more control over my OS, and I want it more secure than Wind... *shrug*

(This post is not meant to start yet another Wind bashing, I just want to state some facts. My apologies for being too lazy (and having not enough free time) to not add any quotes, URLs or such to back up my above points... But it gets a bit off topic anyway, so I better stop now. )

Last edited by Rava; 08-07-2014 at 10:51 PM.
 
Old 09-10-2014, 08:08 AM   #15
wpeckham
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Faster

That may be true, but does not match my experience or initial testing. (I have only tested a short range of common applications, not extensively.)

Most of the applications I tested either started faster under Linux (vdiso) or took almost exactly the same load time on the same hardware, with a second startup always taking less time than the first load that session. Exceptions are those things that can be loaded on startup or logon under Windows, those came up very quickly because the core of the application was pre-loaded. While that looks neat for that application, that means you have that much less memory to use for other applications when NOT starting that program. I am willing to wait for the load time to get that memory back, but not all will agree.

My results may be atypical, as I run an unusual and somewhat eclectic blend of applications.
 
  


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