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Old 03-02-2005, 08:46 AM   #1
Yalla-One
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Slackware performance boost


I keep reading that Slackware is the fastest Linux around because of it's no nonsense approach.

Can anyone please elaborate why Slackware gives such a performance boot over for instance Fedora or SuSE ?
Will a user really notice the difference, given that everything is correctly installed?
 
Old 03-02-2005, 09:18 AM   #2
cb951303
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unlike suse and fedora, slackware installs just what u need and what is necessary.
suse comes with 10 gb of software and fedora is a 4 cd distrubution.
slackware has just 1 cd for everything(except gnome and kde)
and yes for the answer, I used almost 30 distro including Suse and Fedora and I totally noticed a speed boost with slack.
 
Old 03-02-2005, 09:23 AM   #3
Yalla-One
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Thanks much for the insight.

Just one quick follow-up question:

Does this performance come with any significant penalties? I'm happy to live on the command line, but know next to nothing about C and porting, and thus depend on finding pre-compiled applications for my Linux distribution. So I guess what I'm clumsily trying to ask is - as Slackware comes with so few packages, do I have to compile applications like GNUCASH and similar myself, or can I download them and "simply" install in Slackware ?

Thanks again!
 
Old 03-02-2005, 09:25 AM   #4
keefaz
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Look at slackware site to see all official packages that Slackware come with :
http://www.slackware.com/pb/browse.php?q=10.1/slackware

Look at this site for extra packages :
http://www.linuxpackages.net/
 
Old 03-02-2005, 09:40 AM   #5
Yalla-One
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Thanks - this is almost too good to be true... I'm greatly looking forward to seeing the speed improvement from changing from SuSE to Slackware...

So why all the negative hype around Slackware being so incredibly difficult to use with a high learning curve etc etc?
 
Old 03-02-2005, 09:59 AM   #6
gbonvehi
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It's not difficult, but also it's not for lazy or impacient people... you may have to search for some answers (or ask here..)
 
Old 03-02-2005, 10:18 AM   #7
Yalla-One
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Is a recompile of the kernel required for such a speed-bost with Slackware, or will the current kernel delivered with 10.1 work perfectly?

Apart from the general kernel compilation guides found here on LinuxQuestions - are there any performance tweaking guides for kernel compilation in Slackware?
 
Old 03-02-2005, 10:30 AM   #8
gbonvehi
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It's not required, the default kernel is just right if you're not a "tweaks freak" , or of course, you need something compiled that wasn't by default (some module).

Search for any guide of kernel compilating, as Slackware doesn't use patches or something in the kernel, any guide can apply.
 
Old 03-02-2005, 09:15 PM   #9
denning
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i dont think its only the fact that slackware installs just what you need. THere is more to it than that. I have installed Fedora and tried uninstalling stuff i dont need, running a lighter window manager, and stopping unneeded services. It is still way slower than Slackware. THere is something else to it apart from those popularly cited reasons. And the fact that slackware is optimized for i686 is not a reason either. So is Fedora.
 
Old 03-02-2005, 09:46 PM   #10
slakmagik
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Quote:
Originally posted by denning
i dont think its only the fact that slackware installs just what you need. THere is more to it than that. I have installed Fedora and tried uninstalling stuff i dont need, running a lighter window manager, and stopping unneeded services. It is still way slower than Slackware. THere is something else to it apart from those popularly cited reasons. And the fact that slackware is optimized for i686 is not a reason either. So is Fedora.
A big part of it may be the package selection - startup scripts - daemons chosen to run. And so on. A lot of people say Slack isn't patched - well, this is true in essence. There are several patches but they are 99.9% necessary - almost always maintainer patches or patches for things that aren't maintained properly otherwise - not patches to stamp graphical logos all over the place. So it's possible other distros install hogs and load up daemons and goof up patches but, mostly, I think it comes down to Bob and Pat. Slack has special extra-quick zeros and ones while everybody else has ordinary zeros and ones. Only Slack has Slack.
 
Old 03-04-2005, 05:13 PM   #11
gargamel
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I'd really be interested to see some real benchmarks.

In fact there are some things where Slackware *is* faster. One example is installing packages. Especially if you upgrade your system over the years instead of doing a fresh install, you will notice how the performance of RPM database actions degrades considerably.

Of course, it is true, that some bloated distros start a lot of unneeded services. Stopping them helps to make these distros faster, too.

Another point is possibly, that the Slackware default kernel is a bare kernel (and it's honestly named bare.i, in fact), meaning that it will efficiently run on standard hardware. But the downside is that it supports much less hardware than, say, SuSE's default kernel. In practice this means that SuSE will run out of the box on just about everything rather big, while Slackware is running on lean and mean hardware, even very old one, but that it won't support some devices you may have. This is not a big problem, however, as you can compile the drivers you need into your kernel. It just means that there may be an additional step of work required, in order to get everything working on exotic hardware. (On my machines all my hardware *is* supported by either kernel 2.4.29 or 2.6.10).
On the other hand, you can compile your own kernel on SuSE, just as well, and I bet that it will give you a more noticeable speed improvement than in Slack, when you drop all the drivers and modules you don't need, there. Vice versa: Compile a kernel with support for everything in
Slackware and the speed advantage will most likely be lost.

BTW, there have been threads discussing the advantages and disadvantages of source based distributions like Gentoo compared to Slackware. Although one would expect that Gentoo has the edge in speed, as the kernel is always compiled on and for the target system, most users of Gentoo and Slackware report that the speed advantage of Gentoo is hardly noticeable when you just use applications like OpenOffice.org. It may be different, if you run your privat weather simulator, of course.

Search this forum for 'Gentoo', if you want to know more.

Just using applications, I am not sure, if Slackware really *is* faster. It feels that way, however. Hard to explain, and probably impossible to verify by benchmarks. But still a good feeling. ;-)

gargamel
 
Old 03-05-2005, 04:05 PM   #12
-X-
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I'm still running some Red Hat 7.3 servers and don't have any performance problems. I've also checked out FC3 and didn't notice any performance issues either.

One area where you may see some performance difference, is login and bouncing around between apps. Red Hat uses PAM, (and maybe LDAP on some servers) for better security. Going through additional authentication will slow some, not much though. For regular non-user intervention on the computer, I find Red Hat no faster or slower than other distros in FTP, HTTP, and regular usage.

Here are some general testing I do on servers I support. I also have some for FreeBSD.... somewhere.

# copy timings.
FILE=sarge-i386-1.iso
size=676722688
viper=Dell 500/256, Slackware 10.0, non-RAID
camaro=Dell 350/192, Debian Sarge, RAID1 ext3
#
From viper to camaro via smb.
2m58.717s

cp camaro/tmp/sarge* ~/tmp - ext3 to ext3 - RAID1
1m27.960s

cp camaro/tmp/sarge* /data - ext3 to riserfs - RAID1
1m35.533s

-------------------------
cp viper/tmp/sarge* ~/tmp - ext2 to ext2 - non-RAID
58.528s

cp viper/tmp/sarge* /mnt/store - ext2 to ext2 - non-RAID
58.132s

-------------------------

FILE=sarge-i386-1.iso
size=676722688
viper=Dell 500/256, Slackware 10.0, non-RAID
camaro=Dell 350/192, Slackware 10.0, RAID1 ext2
#
From viper to camaro via smb.
2m55.768s

cp camaro/tmp/sarge* /data - ext2 to ext2 - RAID1
1m26.511s

-------------------------
FILE=FC-i386-disc1.iso
size=617mb
viper=Dell 500/256, Slackware 10.1 RAID1, ext3
camaro=Dell 350/192, Red Hat 7.3, RAID1, ext3
#
From viper to camaro via smb
2m39.538s

cp camaro/~ tmp - ext3 to ext3 - RAID1
1m38.606s

cp viper/~ tmp - - ext3 to ext3 - RAID1
1m24.639s
 
  


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