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Old 11-12-2009, 03:54 AM
Javier Vasquez
 
Default Old machine bsd vs. linux

Hi,

Sorry to ask specially through this list...

I've been a linux user for around 10 years now, however lately some
800MHz Coppermine machines are not performing as well as they used to.

What I've read in this same list in the past, is that for the purpose
of still not letting them die, using openBSD, or perhaps freeBSD, is
the way to go.

However I was looking for benchmarks, or some data that would support
that idea. The only benchmarks based on data I found, are pretty old,
and pretty much based on networkin/servers, such as:

http://bulk.fefe.de/scalability

I don't use a desktop manager, but still use X with window manager
(fluxbox has been my choice for all these years).

If any one could share pointers to more up to date benchmarks, which
are as well oriented not just to networking and servers, it'd be
great. The idea is to find data supporting the initial idea of
freeBSD or openBSD providing better performance for old machines...
Well, that might be a wrong assumption to start with, but that's what
I've read...

Thanks,

--
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:25 PM
Celejar
 
Default Old machine bsd vs. linux

On Wed, 11 Nov 2009 22:54:08 -0600
Javier Vasquez <j.e.vasquez.v@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Sorry to ask specially through this list...
>
> I've been a linux user for around 10 years now, however lately some
> 800MHz Coppermine machines are not performing as well as they used to.
>
> What I've read in this same list in the past, is that for the purpose
> of still not letting them die, using openBSD, or perhaps freeBSD, is
> the way to go.

...

> If any one could share pointers to more up to date benchmarks, which
> are as well oriented not just to networking and servers, it'd be
> great. The idea is to find data supporting the initial idea of
> freeBSD or openBSD providing better performance for old machines...
> Well, that might be a wrong assumption to start with, but that's what
> I've read...

I don't have any actual information, but you'll want to get in touch
with Douglas A. Tutty. I don't know if he's currently reading the list
(he used to be a frequent contributor - search the archives for his
email address), but he was an avid fan of running some flavor of BSD on
ancient hardware, who used to always insist that they were much more
suitable for old HW than (modern) linux, and he has lots of experience
running his BSD. I don't know if he has actual benchmarks, but he can
definitely speak with the voice of experience.

Celejar
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:36 PM
Miles Fidelman
 
Default Old machine bsd vs. linux

On Wed, 11 Nov 2009 22:54:08 -0600
Javier Vasquez <j.e.vasquez.v@gmail.com> wrote:



Hi,

Sorry to ask specially through this list...

I've been a linux user for around 10 years now, however lately some
800MHz Coppermine machines are not performing as well as they used to.

What I've read in this same list in the past, is that for the purpose
of still not letting them die, using openBSD, or perhaps freeBSD, is
the way to go.

If any one could share pointers to more up to date benchmarks, which

are as well oriented not just to networking and servers, it'd be
great. The idea is to find data supporting the initial idea of
freeBSD or openBSD providing better performance for old machines...
Well, that might be a wrong assumption to start with, but that's what
I've read...

NetBSD is the distribution most focused on portability across lots of
(older) platforms.


Can't help re. banchmarks, other than to note that googling on -
benchmarks linux bsd - seems to yield LOTS of seemingly useful results
(e.g., http://bulk.fefe.de/scalability/).


Miles Fidelman

--
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is. .... Yogi Berra



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Old 11-12-2009, 02:41 PM
Stan Hoeppner
 
Default Old machine bsd vs. linux

Javier Vasquez put forth on 11/11/2009 10:54 PM:

> If any one could share pointers to more up to date benchmarks, which
> are as well oriented not just to networking and servers, it'd be
> great. The idea is to find data supporting the initial idea of
> freeBSD or openBSD providing better performance for old machines...
> Well, that might be a wrong assumption to start with, but that's what
> I've read...

Here's a novel idea: Grab one of those 800MHz machines and take *BSD
for a test drive. Run your own benchmarks against your current Linux
setup and publish the results.

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Old 11-14-2009, 07:24 PM
Tzafrir Cohen
 
Default Old machine bsd vs. linux

On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 09:36:03AM -0500, Miles Fidelman wrote:
>
>> On Wed, 11 Nov 2009 22:54:08 -0600
>> Javier Vasquez <j.e.vasquez.v@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> Sorry to ask specially through this list...
>>>
>>> I've been a linux user for around 10 years now, however lately some
>>> 800MHz Coppermine machines are not performing as well as they used to.
>>>
>>> What I've read in this same list in the past, is that for the purpose
>>> of still not letting them die, using openBSD, or perhaps freeBSD, is
>>> the way to go.
>>> If any one could share pointers to more up to date benchmarks,
>>> which
>>> are as well oriented not just to networking and servers, it'd be
>>> great. The idea is to find data supporting the initial idea of
>>> freeBSD or openBSD providing better performance for old machines...
>>> Well, that might be a wrong assumption to start with, but that's what
>>> I've read...
>>>
> NetBSD is the distribution most focused on portability across lots of
> (older) platforms.

Though the system in case is not such an "ancient" platform. i386 is
alive and well. Even FreeBSD supports it. Linux surely does.

>
> Can't help re. banchmarks, other than to note that googling on -
> benchmarks linux bsd - seems to yield LOTS of seemingly useful results
> (e.g., http://bulk.fefe.de/scalability/).

Hmm... benchmarks of 2003. Both Linux and FreeBSD have radically changed
since. Furthermore, those tests are intended to test scalability, which
is not exactly what you care if you want to run a simple, low-end
desktop.

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Old 11-14-2009, 07:31 PM
Nuno Magalh„es
 
Default Old machine bsd vs. linux

Why not using a minimal linux distro? Or LFS?


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Old 11-14-2009, 08:10 PM
Tzafrir Cohen
 
Default Old machine bsd vs. linux

On Sat, Nov 14, 2009 at 08:31:09PM +0000, Nuno Magalh„es wrote:
> Why not using a minimal linux distro? Or LFS?

Why would you want to use LFS?

What's wrong with running Debian on it?

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Old 11-14-2009, 10:51 PM
Chris Jones
 
Default Old machine bsd vs. linux

On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 11:54:08PM EST, Javier Vasquez wrote:
> Hi,
>
> Sorry to ask specially through this list...
>
> I've been a linux user for around 10 years now, however lately some
> 800MHz Coppermine machines are not performing as well as they used to.

650 MHz Coppermine + 386M RAM.

How much RAM do you have installed?

> What I've read in this same list in the past, is that for the purpose
> of still not letting them die, using openBSD, or perhaps freeBSD, is
> the way to go.

Or maybe turn them into servers, and optionally install one of the BSDs?

> However I was looking for benchmarks, or some data that would support
> that idea. The only benchmarks based on data I found, are pretty old,
> and pretty much based on networking/servers, such as:
>
> http://bulk.fefe.de/scalability

> I don't use a desktop manager, but still use X with window manager
> (fluxbox has been my choice for all these years).

At first glance, the above benchmark attempts to compare the performance
of the respective kernels, apparently focusing on aspects that would
affect the throughput of an Internet server. If that's what you have in
mind, I'm not sure to what degree switching to one of the BSDs would
have any relevance to the performance of an interactive user-oriented
local system and make any difference to the user's perception of the
responsiveness of a full-fledged 'modern' desktop running the usual CPU
hogs.

Taking an artificial example to illustrate, if for instance you are
running an instance of Firefox with a few tabs open, and something like
90-95% of the total CPU time is spent executing JS and a few instances
of the flash plugin under the covers, slightly optimizing the 5-10
remaining percent is not going to make much difference.

Even if you switched to a kernel that's globally twice as 'fast' (!)
so-to-speak, you would only see a performance improvement of 5% at most,
which is hardly noticeable.

> If any one could share pointers to more up to date benchmarks, which
> are as well oriented not just to networking and servers, it'd be
> great. The idea is to find data supporting the initial idea of
> freeBSD or openBSD providing better performance for old machines...
> Well, that might be a wrong assumption to start with, but that's what
> I've read...

I have a ubuntu 9.10 partition on the side that features the default
gnome desktop and it takes less than a minute to go from power-up to a
working desktop. If I start text-mode applications on top of xterm +
gnu/screen, the system is quite responsive. If, on the other hand, I run
FF or Seamonkey, things tend to be a little sluggish, but all in all it
is still quite usable. If anything, recent versions of both debian and
ubuntu and large GUI apps such as FF are faster to start and have an
altogether crisper feel to them than their counterparts of 2-3 years
ago.

Since my CPU is about 25% slower, and since you use the word 'lately' to
qualify the slowdown, what I'm thinking is that something else may be
hogging your CPU, or you have a memory leak somewhere that eventually
causes your system to spend most of its time paging.

Does performance degrade over time?

If you implement one of the slimmer desktops and turn off unnecessary
bells and whistles in your applications, I can't see any good reason why
a recent version of debian/linux could not provide a decent interactive
experience on your hardware.


CJ


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Old 11-18-2009, 12:37 PM
"S. Fishpaste"
 
Default Old machine bsd vs. linux

On Sat, 14 Nov 2009 18:51:04 -0500, Chris Jones in gmane.linux.debian.user wrote:

<snip>
> Does performance degrade over time?
>
> If you implement one of the slimmer desktops and turn off unnecessary
> bells and whistles in your applications, I can't see any good reason why
> a recent version of debian/linux could not provide a decent interactive
> experience on your hardware.

Agreed. I'm using Sid on a Toshiba P3 550 Coppermine, with xfce as the GUI
and 300+ Ram. Runs fine even with Firefox 3.5.x, which admittedly is a
little slow to start; but once running, browsing is fine. Chrome starts up
much faster.


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Old 11-18-2009, 09:55 PM
Allen
 
Default Old machine bsd vs. linux

On Wednesday 18 November 2009 08:37:26 am S. Fishpaste wrote:

> Agreed. I'm using Sid on a Toshiba P3 550 Coppermine, with xfce as the GUI
> and 300+ Ram. Runs fine even with Firefox 3.5.x, which admittedly is a
> little slow to start; but once running, browsing is fine. Chrome starts up
> much faster.

I have a Pentium 3 733 MHZ with 384 MBs RAM running Slackware 12 as my FTP
server, and I have a 433 MHz Celeron with 192 MBs of RAM whih has a small
Windows 98 SE partition for Magic: The Gathering, because the version I have
won't work on NT based stuff (The original one only worked on 9X) and I have
the rest for FreeBSD and Slackware and it works fine.

I generally use Window Maker on that, but FVWM works fine too, and on
Slackware 13.0 I had KDE4 working on it. It lagged a little but not as much
as I thought it would.

Enlightenment E17 even works fine on it.


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