Why is my Linux so slow? - Hardware

This is a discussion on Why is my Linux so slow? - Hardware ; Actually, Win2000 doesn't do any better so we can't blame Gnome or the video drivers. This system never performs better than sluggish. Debian etch Supermicro P6DGE, Intel 440GX chipset Dual P3 600 Katmai 3*256M PC100, regular latency, unbuffered, non-ECC, non-parity ...

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Thread: Why is my Linux so slow?

  1. Why is my Linux so slow?

    Actually, Win2000 doesn't do any better so we can't blame Gnome or the
    video drivers. This system never performs better than sluggish.

    Debian etch
    Supermicro P6DGE, Intel 440GX chipset
    Dual P3 600 Katmai
    3*256M PC100, regular latency, unbuffered, non-ECC, non-parity
    Compaq branded GeForce3 Ti500 AGP, free drivers
    generic Sil3112 PATA+SATA card
    WD 120G 7200rpm PATA 8M buffer
    Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card
    SMC 1211TX 10/100 NIC
    CompUSA branded VIA 6202 USB 2.0 PCI card
    /dev/hda = Sony DVD-ROM + CD-RW drive
    /dev/hdb = Sony CD-RW drive
    /dev/hdc,hdd=nothing
    Mouse and kbd are PS/2
    Only ISA card is a POST code card
    UPS is the only USB device always present

  2. Re: Why is my Linux so slow?

    Kaitlyn Luna writes:

    > Actually, Win2000 doesn't do any better so we can't blame Gnome or the
    > video drivers. This system never performs better than sluggish.
    >
    > Dual P3 600 Katmai
    > 3*256M PC100, regular latency, unbuffered, non-ECC, non-parity


    Is this a joke? That hardware will appear sluggish compared to
    anything sold in the last 3 or 4 years, at least.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mans@mansr.com

  3. Re: Why is my Linux so slow?

    Kaitlyn Luna writes:
    >Actually, Win2000 doesn't do any better so we can't blame Gnome or the
    >video drivers. This system never performs better than sluggish.

    ....
    >Dual P3 600 Katmai


    In its day the 600Mhz Katmai was known for running relatively hot,
    with the overheating protection activating occasionally in regular
    use, resulting in slowdowns. If your heatsinks have collected dust,
    maybe the overheating protection is active most of the time.

    >generic Sil3112 PATA+SATA card
    >WD 120G 7200rpm PATA 8M buffer

    ....
    >/dev/hda = Sony DVD-ROM + CD-RW drive
    >/dev/hdb = Sony CD-RW drive
    >/dev/hdc,hdd=nothing


    Why not use the hard disk on the built-in PATA ports? Is the hard
    disk accessed using DMA?

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  4. Re: Why is my Linux so slow?

    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Anton Ertl) wrote in
    news:2008Jan27.200817@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at:

    > Why not use the hard disk on the built-in PATA ports? Is the hard
    > disk accessed using DMA?


    The motherboard's PATA support is limited to 8.4G.

    I can't tell for sure if DMA is being used.
    ata2: SATA link up 1.5 Gbps (SStatus 113 SControl 310)
    ata2.00: ATA-6: WDC WD1200JB-00DUA0, 65.13G65, max UDMA/100
    ata2.00: 234441648 sectors, multi 16: LBA48
    ata2.00: applying bridge limits
    ata2.00: configured for UDMA/100
    scsi 1:0:0:0: Direct-Access ATA WDC WD1200JB-00D 65.1 PQ: 0
    ANSI: 5

    cat /proc/dma
    2: floppy
    4: cascade

  5. Re: Why is my Linux so slow?

    Kaitlyn Luna writes:

    > anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Anton Ertl) wrote in
    > news:2008Jan27.200817@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at:
    >
    >> Why not use the hard disk on the built-in PATA ports? Is the hard
    >> disk accessed using DMA?

    >
    > The motherboard's PATA support is limited to 8.4G.
    >
    > I can't tell for sure if DMA is being used.
    > [...]
    > ata2.00: configured for UDMA/100


    This line says it's using DMA.

    Seriously though, why are you using such antiquated hardware? You
    could probably get something better for free if you asked around a
    bit.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mans@mansr.com

  6. Re: Why is my Linux so slow?

    In Måns Rullgård:

    [Snip..]

    > Is this a joke?


    Maybe, but IMO the answer is still "man top" (just for starters, and also
    to begin weeding out possible trolls).

    --
    Regards, Weird (Harold Stevens) * IMPORTANT EMAIL INFO FOLLOWS *
    Pardon any bogus email addresses (wookie) in place for spambots.
    Really, it's (wyrd) at airmail, dotted with net. DO NOT SPAM IT.
    Kids jumping ship? Looking to hire an old-school type? Email me.

  7. Re: Why is my Linux so slow?

    > Seriously though, why are you using such antiquated hardware? You
    > could probably get something better for free if you asked around a
    > bit.


    It's not that antiquated. The best machine I had as an IT developer was a
    PII 300MHz. And I volunteer some of my time setting up old free/used
    computers for the elderly on limited incomes. It's certainly better than
    some of the 100MHz boxes I've setup. At least it meets the 166MHz minimum
    system requirement for a win-modem.

    But the topic is a bit ambiguous. What exactly is slow? X? The boot
    process? Launching apps? Browsing the web? File I/O?

    X? - you're probably not configured with DRI for your video cards chipset.

    boot process - you probably have too much loading at boot, you really
    don't need that many things and you can reduce/limit things to increase
    your boot speed. Along with a custom kernel.

    Launching apps - You probably shouldn't be using KDE on a machine like
    that. Try using IceWM, or some other lighter and less bloated window
    manager.

    Browsing the web - You should optimize your network. Which might just be
    changing your MTU size. 1500 default, 1492 for cable, 576 for dialup.
    Varies to some degree depending on the ISP. But can make a difference
    between 2K/s to 5K/s on dialup. 400K/s to 800K/s on cable. Other things
    like listing the most responsive DNS server first in /etc/resolv.conf. So
    it doesn't have to timeout before checking a DNS server that actually
    works. Plus other stuff.

    File Input/Output - Make sure your bus speed is at your bus speed and not
    defaulting to lower one. idebus=66 (or whatever applies). Make sure DMA
    is enabled. cat /proc/ide/hda/settings

    So if you want help correcting the issue, then you probably need to be
    more specific. And otherwise appear to have a higher IQ than a windows
    marketing exec trying to muddy the waters.

    There's many ways to optimize a system, that probably isn't
    setup/configured by default. Which also applies to windows. You need the
    latest or best graphics driver, network driver. Optimize your filesystem,
    boot process, and run versions of apps best suited for your chipset.
    Optimizing the kernel, graphics and media players can make a world of
    difference in how fast or slow your machine feels. Running nine million
    apps is obviously a lot slower than running just one. Especially if one
    of them is stuck in a loop and hogging all of your cpu resources. (java
    applets are pretty darn good at that)

    At a minimum "man top".

    HTH

  8. Re: Why is my Linux so slow?

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    Kaitlyn Luna wrote:
    > Actually, Win2000 doesn't do any better so we can't blame Gnome or
    > the video drivers. This system never performs better than sluggish.
    >
    > Debian etch Supermicro P6DGE, Intel 440GX chipset Dual P3 600 Katmai
    > 3*256M PC100, regular latency, unbuffered, non-ECC, non-parity Compaq
    > branded GeForce3 Ti500 AGP, free drivers generic Sil3112 PATA+SATA
    > card WD 120G 7200rpm PATA 8M buffer Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound
    > card SMC 1211TX 10/100 NIC CompUSA branded VIA 6202 USB 2.0 PCI card
    > /dev/hda = Sony DVD-ROM + CD-RW drive /dev/hdb = Sony CD-RW drive
    > /dev/hdc,hdd=nothing Mouse and kbd are PS/2 Only ISA card is a POST
    > code card UPS is the only USB device always present


    Hi,

    Firstly, install the package 'preload' and forget about it; it will
    learn your habits and get stuff in memory that you're likely to use.

    Secondly, if you don't leave this machine on then install the anacron
    package to better manage system tasks.

    Finally, install the prelink package. You will need to follow the
    instructions at http://www.tyrfing.org/comp/debian-etch.php in order to
    enable the prelink package once you've installed it though.

    You mention 'free drivers' (presumably the NV driver for xorg?) for your
    graphics card. If you're getting an unresponsive GUI feeling from GNOME
    using the free (NV) driver then I suggest you go to www.nvidia.com and
    download NVIDIA's official drivers. Yes they are non-free however there
    is no doubt about it they are much faster than ANY alternative in the
    open source world. I highly suspect this is the cause of much of your
    problems.

    If you can't live with the moral depravity of using NVIDIA's binary
    drivers then consider not using GNOME and using XFCE instead. You have
    a machine that is very old and GNOME does like system resources

    Oh, and finally where possible use the STOCK Debian SMP kernel. You
    your system is dual processor, you are using an SMP aware kernel aren't
    you? The package htop will tell you what cores are being used if you're
    not sure.

    If you follow these tips then things will improve (hopefully!)

    - --
    Regards,
    Sheridan Hutchinson
    Sheridan@Shezza.org
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  9. Re: Why is my Linux so slow?

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    One more thing, install HDPARM if you have no already done so.

    You will need to edit the /etc/hdparm.conf file once you have installed
    the package.

    There are plenty of resources on the web regarding how to tune your hard
    disks for best performance using hdparm.

    If you just want the best values first time (with all best performance
    and DMA) then edit the file with the following settings (one entry per disk)

    command_line {
    hdparm -d1 -u1 -m16 -c3 -W1 /dev/hda
    }

    In place of /dev/hda you need to change that to whatever your hard disk
    reference on your system is. From what you've posted it appears you
    might be using SATA emulation or something like that because I would
    have expected your hard disk to be hda by default in etch. If you are
    using some kind of SATA hack then hdparm won't be able to help you.

    - --
    Regards,
    Sheridan Hutchinson
    Sheridan@Shezza.org
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