OS Performance (was OT: New low for Microsoft!)

Tom 'Needs A Hat' Mitchell mitch48 at sbcglobal.net
Wed May 5 23:25:39 UTC 2004

On Wed, May 05, 2004 at 07:10:09AM -0500, Gabriel M. Beddingfield wrote:
> >It's at times like these, that I am greatly relieved I'm not a Windows
> >user:
> >
> >http://www.genesis-x.nildram.co.uk/news/article00005.html
> This brings up a question I have about Fedora.  I recently installed FC1 
> on an 800 MHz Celeron with 128MB RAM....
> The first thing I notice in Linux (running GNOME) is that it *seems* 
> more sluggish than Windows.  Menus take longer to pop up.  Standard 
> dialogs take longer to pop up.  All sorts of things. 


The single largest pile of stuff to clean up is the way the X window
system is used.  Now, before the X folk put a contract out on me it is
important to note that the X window system is vastly different in
design and function than the W thing that MS delivers.  The comparison
is not fair except that they both paint stuff on the display.

The first big speedup you can do is to make sure that
localhost.localdomain (i.e. $DISPLAY) is resolved QUICKLY.  If you use
DNS make sure that the start of authority for localhost.localdomain is
on your box or cached.  In my experience 99% of the sluggishness in
X-windows is host name resolution (forward and reverse lookup).
Remember that localhost.localdomain line in /etc/hosts that MUST be there....

The next big step is sort of our of the end users hands and much more
difficult.  X application programmers and X toolkit developers should
run all their work via a slow link (1200 baud SLIP).   One of the things
that will be apparent is how often X will do the same thing over and over.

At the roots X is just fine.  Then add all the skin stuff, all the decorations,
all the mouse action all the look and feel good stuff layer on top of layer
and things get sluggish.

SUMMARY: speed up the DNS resolution of $DISPLAY first.

	T o m  M i t c h e l l 
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