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Old 07-26-2019, 05:23 AM   #1
Exaga
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Question Slackware ARM -current - updates & performance - post-June 2019


I've been working with Slackware ARM -current for a number of years and during that time I have very much become accustomed to, and familiar with, the way it generally works and runs. I run the OS on several ARM devices and I'm seeing a very noticeable speed increase 'across the board'. [forgive the pun] :>

With the latest updates [post-June 2019] something has fundamentally changed. For sure, it's the same wonderful Slackware ARM that we all know and love, but it's like MoZes has turbocharged the code, or strapped a rocket-booster to the build farm, or something. Is anyone else finding that Slackware ARM -current seems to want to run the commands before you finish typing them? When processes are initiated are they faster to complete? Everything on the system just seems to happen "super-allegro fashion" with added Va-va-voom!

I'm finding the output from simple tasks like 'ls' and 'stat' used to happen in the blink of an eye but now it appears the INSTANT you hit the return key. Compiling is quicker too. I have a test-build bash script which takes 17-18 minutes to complete on the Raspberry Pi 4 under Slackware ARM -current. Or should I say it used to take that long. Now, when I run that same script it completes within 12-13 minutes. The hardware and configuration is the same. The only thing that's changed is the Slackware ARM updates and the RPi firmware. It's not the firmware because the Orange Pi and Hummingboard doesn't use RPi closed-source firmware and they exhibit the same [similar] speed increase too when running Slackware ARM -current.

Let's face it, Slackware ARM has never been slow or sluggish on any device [unless the device was struggling and under-powered by design] but I find that now, compared to before June 2019, it is A LOT quicker than what I'm used to. Is it just me or does anybody else think/feel the same?

I have consumed quite a large amount of Jaffa cakes recently. Perhaps that has something to do with it. Hmmm.

Last edited by Exaga; 07-26-2019 at 06:23 AM. Reason: tpyos & sytop
 
Old 07-26-2019, 03:48 PM   #2
glorsplitz
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Any kind of something like stress we can run and compare notes on?
 
Old 07-28-2019, 09:43 AM   #3
drmozes
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exaga View Post
I'm finding the output from simple tasks like 'ls' and 'stat' used to happen in the blink of an eye but now it appears the INSTANT you hit the return key.
It's just the UK heatwave. The electrons are moving around faster, so it all speeds up......
 
Old 07-28-2019, 02:02 PM   #4
Exaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glorsplitz View Post
Any kind of something like stress we can run and compare notes on?
OK. Let's play a game of 'bash'.

Code:
#!/bin/bash

# Halt build process on error
set -eo pipefail

# Script variables
IFS=$'\n\t'
$CWD=$(pwd)
BUILDDIR='/tmp/_build-dir/'

# Create temporary BUILDDIR and change-directory ['cd'] to it
mkdir -p $BUILDDIR
cd $BUILDDIR

# Download aarch64 gcc cross-compiler file, rename and chmod it
wget http://sarpi64.fatdog.eu/files/extra/SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc.txt
cp SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc.txt SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc.sh
chmod u+x SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc.sh

## Run this script with: 'time ./tmp/build_dir/SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc.sh'

# Done!
exit 0

#eof<*>
Or

Code:
mkdir -p /tmp/_build-dir && cd /tmp/_build-dir && wget -nc http://sarpi64.fatdog.eu/files/extra/SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc.txt \
-O SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc.sh && chmod u+x,g=x,o-x SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc.sh && \
dd of="-e Slackware -N def" conv=fsync <<< "-e ARM -N def"
My results:
Code:
 ############################################
 ## SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc-cc
 ## Build: gcc-9.1.0  Kernel rpi-4.19.y
 ## Timestamp: 2019-07-28 17:19:56
 ## SARPi Project [Slackware AARCH64]
 ############################################

2019-07-28 17:19:56 : SARPi.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc build complete ...

real    153m42.971s
user    176m45.604s
sys     26m45.963s
root@torq:/tmp/_build-dir#
It's your turn...

Last edited by Exaga; 07-28-2019 at 02:24 PM. Reason: added unecessary alternative as OTT lengthy alternative alternative
 
Old 07-28-2019, 02:04 PM   #5
Exaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
It's just the UK heatwave. The electrons are moving around faster, so it all speeds up......
If you can't explain it nobody can.
 
Old 07-30-2019, 06:50 AM   #6
Exaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glorsplitz View Post
Any kind of something like stress we can run and compare notes on?
** Breaking news! Very recently the RPi engineers increased the RAM limit on ARM64 mode from 1GB to 3GB. Update/upgrade to the latest firmware to take advantage of this feature. **

glorsplitz, you are NOT going to believe this. I swear to you something is going on, and MoZes is NOT saying what it is/was/might be.

This is what happened this morning...

I installed a brand new fresh version of Slackware ARM -current on the Raspberry Pi 4 for testing. It was much much much much quicker than usual. I did not make a note of the exact time but I'd say it was approx. 1 hour for a full installation. It was unusual but not really noteworthy. Just unexpectedly quick. I installed all the available updates via slackpkg from slackware.uk repo.

However, I got around to the main purpose which was to test some revisions to the SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc.sh. So, I ran the script and fully expected it to take about 2.5 hours to complete, which would be considered "normal amount of time" for this process over the past month or so.

Code:
 ############################################
 ## SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc
 ## Build: gcc-9.1.0  Kernel rpi-4.19.y
 ## Timestamp: 2019-07-30 12:25:11
 ## SARPi64 Project [sarpi64.fatdog.eu]
 ############################################

2019-07-30 12:25:11 : SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc build complete ...

real    69m34.293s
user    180m36.477s
sys     25m34.208s
root@torq:/tmp/_build-dir#
I had to look twice, three times myself. 69 minutes this time - compared to 153 minutes last time - on the same RPi4 device, using the same hardware, running the same OS, on the same sd card, with the same power supply, and same cables. Only difference this time was, I updated Slackware ARM -current before I ran the gcc build script.

MoZes is [or has been] up to a lot of something! I am not imagining this. Hand on my heart, I swear, to all that is pure and Holy, the above is the unequivocal truth and facts. Try it for yourself!!!

Last edited by Exaga; 07-30-2019 at 06:53 AM. Reason: grammar
 
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Old 07-31-2019, 07:31 PM   #7
glorsplitz
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Exaga, yes 69 compared to 153 minutes is definitely something's going on noticeable difference.

Kind of have busy work schedule weekly, hoping to try something this weekend.
 
Old 08-01-2019, 01:53 PM   #8
Exaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glorsplitz View Post
Exaga, yes 69 compared to 153 minutes is definitely something's going on noticeable difference.

Kind of have busy work schedule weekly, hoping to try something this weekend.
Ja, no rush at all. I'm seriously loving Slackware ARM -current right now. The new found speed and vibrance of the operating system is simply AWESOME! Perhaps, a glimpse into how Slackware 15 will be.
 
Old 08-02-2019, 10:07 AM   #9
glorsplitz
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From Which Pi have I got?

Code:
cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep 'Revision' | awk '{print $3}' | sed 's/^1000//'
Quote:
a22082 Q1 2016 3 Model B 1.2 1 GB (Mfg by Embest)
Following output from my first rpi3, other rpi3 I have is running now.
Quote:
############################################
## SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc
## Build: gcc-9.1.0 Kernel rpi-4.19.y
## Timestamp: 2019-08-02 02:39:26
## SARPi64 Project [sarpi64.fatdog.eu]
############################################

2019-08-02 02:39:26 : SARPi64.SlackBuild-aarch64-cc build complete ...

real 191m30.866s
user 358m52.944s
sys 36m35.153s

Isn't the better performance because the RPi4 devices are just better faster stronger?
 
Old 08-03-2019, 07:58 AM   #10
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It looks like you are including download time in your timing, that's gonna change a lot. Download first, then time only the compile, and I'll bet you get more consistent times.
 
Old 08-03-2019, 02:34 PM   #11
Exaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codeguy View Post
It looks like you are including download time in your timing, that's gonna change a lot. Download first, then time only the compile, and I'll bet you get more consistent times.
No, I'll get more relative times. When I'm compiling just over half the source I've compiled previously, obviously it's not going to take as much time to compile.
 
Old 08-08-2019, 01:06 AM   #12
drmozes
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I ran a script that usually takes several hours to complete, and it's completed in under 30 mins.
I don't know what's changed to facilitate that though - I suspect the Kernel.
 
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:33 PM   #13
Exaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
I ran a script that usually takes several hours to complete, and it's completed in under 30 mins.
I don't know what's changed to facilitate that though - I suspect the Kernel.
The kernel... which you built?

Which device was this on MoZes?
 
Old 08-10-2019, 08:55 AM   #14
Exaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
I ran a script that usually takes several hours to complete, and it's completed in under 30 mins.
I don't know what's changed to facilitate that though - I suspect the Kernel.
OK. So, I found some time to do some REAL comparative testing. This time around there can be no doubts what-so-ever in my mind that I am not entering an alternate reality while using Slackware ARM -current. Nor can I blame myself for contributing towards any changes in the speed or dynamics of Slackware on my ARM devices. But hmm... I'm not sure about the kernel in all of this. Why do you suspect the kernel? What do you think, or did you find, after learning that your own build process(es) are quicker? I'm still quite clueless about the reason/cause.

Anyway, in this test the same; Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, 32Gb microSD card, [as near as dammit] kernel .config, cables, power supply, was used on Slackware ARM 14.2 and -current. Both systems were installed, with an exact set of packages, on the same SD card and updated with the latest everything available. Bearing in mind Slackware ARM 14.2 uses gcc 5.4.x and -current uses gcc 9.1.x which is one exception and major difference here. I used the 'SARPi3 - Slackware ARM installer disk image' build process [bash script] as a test-subject. Identical in every detail by way of execution - the only difference in these two build processes is the version of minirootfs downloaded from your archive. Everything in the kernel/modules/etc. was pre-compiled in order to carry out this test on a quick-turnaround basis. The purpose of this bash script is to pull everything together and fashion a disk image that can be written to a SD card, which will then boot into the Slackware ARM installer on a Raspberry Pi 3/3B+. It's not a long process but involves a lot of data moving about the system in very quick succession. I thought it would be perfect candidate for this test.

The results:

Slackware ARM 14.2:
Code:
SARPi3.SlackBuild sarpi3-installer_slack14.2_10Aug19_sp1.img ... Done

 #########################################
 ## SARPi3.SlackBuild rel.10Aug19
 ## Build: Slackware ARM 14.2 Linux 4.19.65
 ## Complete: 2019-08-10 08:50:11
 #########################################


real    48m13.146s
user    61m37.440s
sys     9m52.536s
root@jook:/tmp/_SARPi3.SlackBuild-4.19.x#
Slackware ARM -current:
Code:
SARPi3hf.SlackBuild sarpi3-installer_slackcurrent_10Aug19_sp1.img ... Done

 #########################################
 ## SARPi3hf.SlackBuild rel.10Aug19
 ## Build: Slackware ARM current Linux 4.19.65
 ## Complete: 2019-08-10 13:51:53
 #########################################


real    35m49.872s
user    34m12.710s
sys     5m27.155s
root@jook:/tmp/_SARPi3hf.SlackBuild-4.19.x#
As you can see, Slackware ARM -current out-performs 14.2 significantly. Could it be that memory management or more efficient I/O routines are the reason(s)?

Whatever the reasons or causes may be, I think this is GREAT!

Thanks a lot MoZes, and thanks to the Slackware team as well.
 
Old 08-10-2019, 09:21 AM   #15
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I'll bet its GCC adding new support and new optimizations for ARM. Lots of differences between GCC 5 and 9. And it would affect everything, kernel, apps, drivers. Everything.

If you were really curious, you could try to install different versions of GCC, and recompile something (like zip/bzip/gzip) and see if that made a difference.
 
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