[OpenIndiana-discuss] About the Gnome "slowdowns"
gregory at youngblood.me
Wed Jun 22 16:41:41 UTC 2011
On Jun 22, 2011, at 8:43 AM, Sriram Narayanan wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 9:00 PM, Ken Gunderson <kgunders at teamcool.net> wrote:
>> On Wed, 2011-06-22 at 19:24 +0530, Sriram Narayanan wrote:
>>> Hi everyone:
>>> I've been using openindiana as my primary desktop environment while I
>>> work on Belenix related development (illumos kernel, rpm, etc).
>>> I've not felt a single slow down ever in my use of OI. I've used both
>>> build 147 as well as 148. IPS sucks for me given the low bandwidth and
>>> the calculations it does each time. But Gnome itself it fine.
>>> However, I've seen these recent threads (one on branding, and one test
>>> drive) where Gnome was mentioned as being slow.
>>> Has anyone else also experienced this ? Are there any known reasons ?
>> Pretty much everything seems to run slower on "Slowaris" on the desktop
>> front. If in doubt, buy another hd, same as you're using now, and make
>> a native install Linux poison of choice, e.g. Fedora 15, Debian-6, etc.
>> (i.e. not virtualized) and the difference is quite noticeable.
> "Slowlaris" was a term used only for the TCP/IP stack of Solaris 9.
> The entire TCP/IP stack was changed with the FireEngine project which
> improved things a lot. Crossbow built on top of that and brought about
> even further improvements.
> Solaris 10 and above are not "slow".
Slowaris or slowalrus predates Solaris 9 I'm afriad. I remember that term being toss about back in 2.4-2.6 days. That's where I learned about it. :)
As for speed "feel", put a mostly idle linux system next to a mostly idle solaris system and linux will "feel" faster interactively. Load the two systems down and my experience has been 90%+ of the time the solaris system will now feel like it has slowed down but linux interactivity becomes a series of jerks and sudden starts and stops. Changes to linux schedulers and various distro tweaks have improved desktop "feel" on the interactive front, but at the expense (again, IMO) in predictable behavior of back end processes (like you'd expect to be running on servers).
>> Solaris derivatives like OI have their attractions. But speed isn't one
>> of them. At least this is my experience, since you asked. Let the flame
>> fest begin...
> I have asked if others have seen a slow Gnome desktop with OI, and if
> they know the reasons for this.
When I mentioned gnome being "slow", I was mainly referring to gnome in solaris 10. Later OpenSolaris and now OpenIndiana gnome performance "feels" faster than Solaris 10, but Linux typically "feels" faster. I put "feels" in quotes because it's a purely subjective evaluation. There are no hard numbers. If I were to hazard a guess, end to end time to accomplish a task on Solaris 10, OpenIndiana, and various Linux distros would probably be very close to each other. But little things like opening or expanding a menu, opening an app or window, is where perception often comes into play. I don't think the actual raw performance is very far off between the systems, just perceived performance.
Plus, again IME, Solaris maintains performance "feel" and interactivity even when the system is heavily loaded, while Linux tends to get sluggish under load.
It's like choosing between a truck that can go 50 miles an hour getting 20 miles per gallon, all day long, empty or while pulling a 10,000 pound trailer, or a truck that goes 52 miles an hour getting 21 mpg empty and 40 miles an hour at 10 mpg when pulling a 10,000 pound trailer. If you never pull a trailer, the second truck looks like a better vehicle than the first, but when you actually need to do some real work, the value of the first truck becomes obvious.
.. snip ..
> Here's another set of numbers:
> P4 2.2 Ghz with 2.72 TB RAIDZ and 8 GB RAM running Solaris 10 update 8
> used for serving iSCSI content off ZFS filesystems -> I have a
> specific requirement where I've snapshotted a 600 GB ZFS filesystem
> containing 9 VMs, and have then cloned this 20 times. This is for a
> test setup. After the cloning and regular use, I see that an overall
> diskspace of 800 GB has been used.
I had a system at an employer running multiple instances of replicating mysql databases using SATA drives. I ended up having to disable ZIL (risky I know, but there was no budget for SSD drives, they were supposed to be added later but never were to my knowledge) to get performance back up so the database replication could keep up with the data coming in. Linux, on similar hardware and similar drive configuration didn't have that problem (XFS file system if anyone is interested), but of course you couldn't do snapshots and other things while everything was running. The system stayed OpenSolaris due to the advantages zones and zfs brought to the table, but it wasn't as much of a slam dunk as I would have liked.
I was never knocking the performance, merely sharing the observations that came with being the only Solaris guy in a Linux shop for several years.
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