Re: Dumb question.....
From: Robert Heller (heller_at_deepsoft.com)
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 19:40:25 +0200
Jean-David Beyer <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
In a message on Sat, 10 Jul 2004 08:59:35 -0400, wrote :
JB> WertmanTheMad wrote (in part):
JB> > I've fallen into sort of a rut, if you will for the last 7 years I've
JB> > run nothing but RH (Except 2 debian installs on PPC about a year ago)
JB> > It works well for my production server enviroment and with the
JB> > exception of 5.0 and 8.0 has never let me down.
JB> > BUT Thats always been on hardware with some horsepower, even my laptop
JB> > has a gig of ram , 60 gig drive and is 2.0 Ghz and it nearly a year
JB> > and a half old.
JB> > The last time I ran linux on a workstation was when 7.1 was released,
JB> > it ran well on a GHZ box with 512 ram, very well actually, I tried
JB> > RHEL 3 on the same machine and its a slug.
JB> Do you know what the bottlenecks are? Is it memory limited? IO limited?
JB> compute limited? You will have to measure that to find out what to do
JB> about it.
JB> I have run only Red Hat distributions. Presently I run Red Hat Linux 7.3
JB> on a dual 550MHz Pentium III box with two 10,000RPM Ultra 2 LVD SCSI hard
JB> drives and 512Megabytes RAM, and it runs well with lotsa stuff
JB> (GNOME/Sawfish), Mozilla, etc. I am going to have to dual boot this
JB> machine and put Windows XP on it. At that point, I will probably put RHL 9
JB> on there instead of 7.3.
JB> I am running Red Hat Linux 9 on an older P166 machine with IDE drives and
JB> 256 Megabytes RAM. GNOME and whateveritis (blutooth?). It is so slow it
JB> drives me crazy. It ran Red Hat Linux 6 just fine. It runs Windows 95
JB> lousy too. This box originally had 64 Meg RAM and it ran RHL6.0 OK on it,
JB> but when I put RHL7.3 on it it swapped way to much. I ordered two 128Meg
JB> memory modules and they came in one at a time. Putting in the one 128Meg
JB> module pretty much stopped the swapping and made a big improvement. When I
JB> added the other module, it did not make much difference. But with Red Hat
JB> 9, it swaps some. But the big problem is that no matter what I do, the CPU
JB> useage jumps up to 100% (or nearly) and I just have to wait. I do not know
JB> what all the computing is about. I suppose it has to do with the windowing
JB> stuff, since I normally run X, Gnome, etc. But in what I normally have
JB> open is just an xterm or two (and all the desktop stuff). But it did that
JB> with RHL7.3 as well and was not such a dawg. So something about RHL9... .
Wondering aloud: installation configuration problem? Check to see if
DMA is enabled for the disks (hdparm). At UMass, I have PPro 200 with
3x4gig W/F SCSI disks, 128meg of RAM running RH9. Runs just fine,
except when I over push the RAM it pages and things grind a bit --
generally if I open a pile of Mozilla windows and then open up my
(generally iconized) exmh to check my mail -- CPU usage jumps *briefly*
(5-10 seconds) to 100% and the (paging) disk chatters (for 20-40
seconds). I *DON'T* use GNome or KDE (never have, never will). I have
heard *bad things* about the resource requirements for the version of
GNome shipped with RH9. Kernel version is 2.4.20-8. Note: except for
seriously old ISA ones, all SCSI controllers ALWAYS use DMA transfers.
Also SCSI controllers are all 'smart' devices -- they have enough
local (on board) processing power to cause all SCSI I/O operations to
use a trivial amount of host processor cycles. IDE is *exactly* the
opposite. Unless you turn on DMA and your kernel supports the specific
motherboard logic, IDE disk I/O is *very* host-cpu bound. This is
seriously bad news for Linux. Modern versions of Linux kernels do
support most (but not all) motherboard IDE controller logic, but not
all installers turn on DMA support. *Some* disk drives also don't
support DMA and/or have other issues WRT default configuration.
JB> I am running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 ES on this machine which is pretty
JB> fast: dual hyperthreaded 3.06GHz XEON, four 10,000rpm Ultra/320 SCSI hard
JB> drives and two 7200rpm EIDE hard drives, 4096 Megabyte RAM. I run the
JB> GNOME/whateveritis and Mozilla on this, too.
JB> > I have 2 boxes I would like to run that are 1gh machines with 256 meg
JB> > ram, I would like for my son to be able to play RTCW and Wolfenstein
JB> > ET on it, it works now pretty good under windows, but for a couple of
JB> > reasons I would like to switch to Linux.
JB> Until I see the measurements, if forced to guess, you will probably want
JB> more memory in there: say 512 or 1024 Meg total. Check the paging rate. If
JB> you are paging only a page or two a second, you may be OK already, but
JB> near the edge. If paging more than that, you are probably already in trouble.
JB> > Different distro's fall in and out of favor and I never much card , to
JB> > me RH is like my Solaris,, it really dosent change much and I know
JB> > where everything is and should be, BUT for a non dev or production box
JB> > I really dont care. What distro is best suited to the minimal hardware
JB> > I mentioned at the moment ?
JB> I have not used any other distros than Red Hat ones, but it is my opinion
JB> that from a performance standpoint, it probably does not matter much which
JB> you use. The trick is to install only those parts you need. That will save
JB> on hard drive space (if that is a problem). And run only what you need: if
JB> you do not need a web server, do not run apache. If you do not need an
JB> MTA, do not run sendmail. And so on.
JB> If you are really compute-limited and you do not need a windowing system,
JB> do not run X, GNOME/whateveritis, or KDE. But that will not fit in with
JB> running most games. Ever consider running only nethack? Years behind in
JB> graphics. I think it will run on a plain terminal.
JB> .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
JB> /V\ Registered Machine 241939.
JB> /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey http://counter.li.org
JB> ^^-^^ 08:30:00 up 7 days, 21:26, 3 users, load average: 4.24, 4.18, 4.16