You are not logged in.

#1 2012-04-25 18:44:52

zacariaz
Member
Registered: 2012-01-18
Posts: 475
Website

arch / debian performance differences

Over the past few months I've been experimenting with various Linux distributions and let me make it clear from the start; Arch is very high on my list.

Anyway, I've noticed significant performance, or rather responsiveness differences between arch and Debian based setups. Basically Arch wins every time, and I've been trying to figure out exactly why. I mean they're both binary distributions and even with very similar configurations, the difference is very noticeable.

If the case was that I was running 32 bit x86, one could start arguing about the differences between i386 and i686, but the difference I experience is great enough that I don't believe that is the whole story. besides, I usually keep to x86_64.

Well, it may not be important, but I am puzzled and would be grateful for some answers. If nothing else, to achieve a greater understanding.


Best regards.

Offline

#2 2012-04-25 18:51:34

GERGE
Member
From: Turkey
Registered: 2008-09-29
Posts: 157
Website

Re: arch / debian performance differences

I think only if you have a system on the slower side there will be difference since Debian starts some services automatically while Arch does not. But if you build them with the same everything, there ought not be any difference.

Last edited by GERGE (2012-04-25 18:53:24)

Offline

#3 2012-04-25 18:55:55

roentgen
Member
Registered: 2011-03-15
Posts: 91

Re: arch / debian performance differences

What tests were made to prove this?

Offline

#4 2012-04-25 19:12:14

zacariaz
Member
Registered: 2012-01-18
Posts: 475
Website

Re: arch / debian performance differences

I haven't done any testing as such, but execution of various software is slower on debian, as is boot an so no and so forth.

I suppose it could be that I'm mistaken, but the difference for me has been so significant that I simply made the assumption.

I should mention that I've been testing on a low powered netbook, so it may have been more obvious to me than to many others on more powerful machines.

Offline

#5 2012-04-25 19:23:25

Gcool
Member
Registered: 2011-08-16
Posts: 1,456

Re: arch / debian performance differences

In general, the Arch binaries are "simpler" (build to be as light as possible as per the Archlinux KISS principle). Debian tends to include more patches/build options in it's binaries to increase stability.

This shouldn't make huge differences in overall speed though.


Burninate!

Offline

#6 2012-04-25 19:30:31

masteryod
Member
Registered: 2010-05-19
Posts: 433

Re: arch / debian performance differences

Are we talking about net-install and tweaked Debian Unstable to match more or less your Arch setup? Other than that is like apples and oranges.  There are many differences between default Debian Stable installation (which by definition is not based on bleeding edge packages) and Arch setup (which by definition is customized and build from bottom up). For instance Debian Stable can run about ~25 daemons by default if just plugged and installed. I don't think your Arch is running as much of them, right? And that’s just tip of the iceberg.

So without proper testing talking is just talking wink

Last edited by masteryod (2012-04-25 19:38:58)

Offline

#7 2012-04-26 01:40:29

bolshevik
Member
Registered: 2011-04-24
Posts: 47

Re: arch / debian performance differences

I used Debian for quite a while before moving to Arch. At one point (about two years ago) my main every-day OS was a debian core install with Debian Testing that I had built from the ground up and customized to my taste, much like an arch install. I remember that at the time I was impressed with how fast it was compared to Ubuntu, which I had used before moving to Debian. Out of curiosity and willingness to try something else, I eventually moved to Arch and do not remember noticing a significant speed increase (on the same crappy Compaq CQ50 laptop). What I did notice was that arch had better documentation, which made customization of the system from the ground up much easier. Other than that, I believe debian is just as good a distro (if you do only the core install, like masteryod said, because installing it with the DE's gets you a bunch of crap). And it's not that it had particularly bad documentation either, only that the arch wiki is... better.

Last edited by bolshevik (2012-04-26 01:41:53)

Offline

#8 2012-04-26 03:06:33

brebs
Member
Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 3,470

Re: arch / debian performance differences

zacariaz wrote:

responsiveness differences

Could be something as simple as HZ=300 vs HZ=1000 in the kernel.

$ zgrep HZ= /proc/config.gz

Edit: You could try Debian with the Liquorix kernel.

Last edited by brebs (2012-04-26 04:30:37)

Offline

#9 2012-04-26 05:23:20

zacariaz
Member
Registered: 2012-01-18
Posts: 475
Website

Re: arch / debian performance differences

Thank you for the answers.

Would like to mention that it was just a matter of interest, not a problem as such. If I were that concerned with performance I'd probably go with gentoo anyway.

However, to keep the question simple, try to consider archbang vs crunchbang. Both very simple, yet I still experience the rather large difference in performance.

Offline

#10 2012-04-26 14:25:55

blackout23
Member
Registered: 2011-11-16
Posts: 780

Re: arch / debian performance differences

brebs wrote:
zacariaz wrote:

responsiveness differences

Could be something as simple as HZ=300 vs HZ=1000 in the kernel.

$ zgrep HZ= /proc/config.gz

Edit: You could try Debian with the Liquorix kernel.

Would you mind explaining what the HZ Parameter does?
Also what patches are applied to the LQX Kernel? There is zero information
about that on the lqx kernel homepage.

An enormous speed increase was the first thing I noticed after moving from Ubuntu to Arch.
Best and easiest comparison was just to open up a terminal. In arch linux it simply appears
almost instantly. With ubuntu you can see it gradually build up.

Last edited by blackout23 (2012-04-26 14:29:45)

Offline

#11 2012-04-26 16:18:09

sitquietly
Member
From: Moscow, Tennessee
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 216

Re: arch / debian performance differences

zacariaz wrote:

Over the past few months I've been experimenting with various Linux distributions and let me make it clear from the start; Arch is very high on my list.

Mine too.  It is my platform of choice.  Just remember that like all distros, "Arch sucks!" I choose it anyway because it is malleable and, heck I'm used to it and can figure out how to get anything done.

zacariaz wrote:

Anyway, I've noticed significant performance, or rather responsiveness differences between arch and Debian based setups. Basically Arch wins every time, and I've been trying to figure out exactly why. I mean they're both binary distributions and even with very similar configurations, the difference is very noticeable.

My arch install is quite optimized, entirely built from source code for the corei7-avx architecture and using the linux-lqx "liquorix" kernel (also built for the corei7).  But when I tested the 12.04 release of Ubuntu, which I ran for all of my daily work for two weeks, the only comment I found that I had about it's speed was "hell this is fast!"  Sorry no benchmarks, but my impression was very favorable toward Ubuntu.  And why should it be any different?  We're all running the same software.  For benchmarks (old but still important to note) see Is Arch Linux Really Faster Than Ubuntu http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=a … ster&num=1 where the conclusion was:

While we often hear "Arch is faster than Ubuntu" and similar statements in our forums and via email comments, this really is not the case. At least when both Arch and Ubuntu are put in as much a stock configuration as possible to reflect the "out of the box" experience encountered by most users, the numbers shown on this Intel Core 2 Duo notebook show the performance to be about the same. The only time there were major swings in performance is when one distribution is using a compositing manager during the OpenGL testing and in some of the disk tests with the EXT4 file-system where its performance is known to sway a great deal between Linux kernel releases due to various changes talked about in other Phoronix articles. Of course, if you think differently or are using very different hardware, you can see for yourself in a reproducible way using the Phoronix Test Suite.

zacariaz wrote:

Well, it may not be important, but I am puzzled and would be grateful for some answers. If nothing else, to achieve a greater understanding.

I think that any distro can be made, rather easily, to be as fast as any other.  My own suggestion is to stop comparing distros.  Pick one on the basis of package availability, or package manager, or installer, or development model, or dev team size and quality, or testing policies, or release model, and figure out how to control and optimize it.  e.g. Debian and Ubuntu have more packages in their collections than Archlinux does, but by golly Archlinux has a few things in its AUR that they don't have and that are important to me: e.g. firefox-kde-opensuse and the takeoff launcher for kde.  Debian/Ubuntu have a huge developer team with great qualifications, but the Archlinux team is expert at rolling in updated packages into a pre-existing system with minimal breakage.  The other guys don't even try that.  So I see huge differences in the development teams and the development models but I don't see why there should be any real difference in performance of the final system.

Offline

#12 2012-04-26 16:56:34

.:B:.
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: arch / debian performance differences

Gcool wrote:

In general, the Arch binaries are "simpler" (build to be as light as possible as per the Archlinux KISS principle).

No they're not. Compare a given set of Arch and Debian builds of packages, you'll notice Arch includes as many dependencies as Debian.

It is a myth that Arch has a lighter footprint than Debian, or any other distro. Compare a basic Arch and Debian installation, Debian will win hands down space-wise. RAM usage will be nearly identical. The main difference is Arch doesn't turn any services on by default, while Debian does (or did).

Last edited by .:B:. (2012-04-26 16:58:33)


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

Offline

#13 2012-04-26 17:12:18

Gusar
Member
Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,501

Re: arch / debian performance differences

I would say the main difference is Debian splits stuff into -dev packages, Arch doesn't. That's the reason for Arch's larger on-disk footprint.

Offline

#14 2012-04-26 17:29:17

el mariachi
Member
Registered: 2007-11-30
Posts: 591

Re: arch / debian performance differences

blackout23 wrote:

Would you mind explaining what the HZ Parameter does?
Also what patches are applied to the LQX Kernel? There is zero information
about that on the lqx kernel homepage.
.

The Liquorix dev is also a zen-kernel dev and LQX uses the zen as it's base (correct me if I'm wrong). But the difference between zen and lqx is something I too would like to know.

Offline

#15 2012-04-26 17:32:57

.:B:.
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: arch / debian performance differences

Gusar wrote:

I would say the main difference is Debian splits stuff into -dev packages, Arch doesn't. That's the reason for Arch's larger on-disk footprint.

And libs. That 'lightweight' myth surrounding Arch is like the resurrection. Sh*t gots to go smile.


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

Offline

#16 2012-04-26 23:52:21

mhertz
Member
From: Denmark
Registered: 2010-06-19
Posts: 664

Re: arch / debian performance differences

.:B:. wrote:

[...] That 'lightweight' myth surrounding Arch is like the resurrection. Sh*t gots to go smile.

I see your point about the static deps, but still saying that arch's lightweightness is a myth, is going a bit too far imho smile

I would say that arch is a lightweight distro, in that it is base-only(you only get what you wan't), dosen't add patches which adds functionality, dosen't enable services(resource-wise) and only add dynamic deps for non-optional stuff(e.g. I love that the vbox package dosen't depend upon the qt framework)

Offline

#17 2012-04-27 02:30:37

Anonymo
Member
Registered: 2005-04-07
Posts: 421
Website

Re: arch / debian performance differences

el mariachi wrote:

The Liquorix dev is also a zen-kernel dev and LQX uses the zen as it's base (correct me if I'm wrong). But the difference between zen and lqx is something I too would like to know.

http://techpatterns.com/forums/about1534.html

Last edited by Anonymo (2012-04-27 02:30:55)

Offline

#18 2012-04-27 02:37:12

hadrons123
Member
From: chennai
Registered: 2011-10-07
Posts: 1,249

Re: arch / debian performance differences

.:B:. wrote:
Gcool wrote:

In general, the Arch binaries are "simpler" (build to be as light as possible as per the Archlinux KISS principle).

No they're not. Compare a given set of Arch and Debian builds of packages, you'll notice Arch includes as many dependencies as Debian.

It is a myth that Arch has a lighter footprint than Debian, or any other distro. Compare a basic Arch and Debian installation, Debian will win hands down space-wise. RAM usage will be nearly identical. The main difference is Arch doesn't turn any services on by default, while Debian does (or did).

So true. I always try to find the build config for various software and both distros are almost identical.
I practically find no difference between Arch and debian (unstable + Testing).
booting and applications startup  are identical too.
In Arch you add services you need and debian you have to stop some if you dont want to. Not really a big difference.
Package quality is almost the same when you take official arch repos. But AUR is definitely not upto the debian quality.
Other than that, I can't find any difference.
Debian wiki is bit cluttered, but sure you can find the info somehow or somewhere.
Arch forum is definitely way better than any linux forums I have ever seen. That's a big plus.

Last edited by hadrons123 (2012-04-27 02:41:33)


LENOVO Y 580 IVYBRIDGE 660M NVIDIA
Unix is user-friendly. It just isn't promiscuous about which users it's friendly with. - Steven King

Offline

#19 2012-12-26 17:21:42

franconassis
Member
Registered: 2012-12-26
Posts: 1

Re: arch / debian performance differences

Hello to all
I've been using an Arch distro with the rt patched kernel for audio processing.
Recently I put the Debian Wheezy (testing) with their rt-patched kernel to do some benchmarking and, to my surprise, the Debian box was processing the same LV2 plugins in half the time.
I used Drobilla's lv2bench - http://drobilla.net/2012/08/22/benchmar … 2-plugins/
I tried using the Debian kernel on the Arch distro but it just got me a bit more performance, still below Debian.
Anybody have an idea?
Kind regards
Gian

Offline

#20 2012-12-26 17:54:09

brebs
Member
Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 3,470

Re: arch / debian performance differences

franconassis wrote:

still below Debian

I reckon Debian push --as-needed more than Arch - maybe it helps e.g. startup time, if your test runs executables repeatedly.

Offline

#21 2012-12-26 19:42:33

Leonid.I
Member
From: Aethyr
Registered: 2009-03-22
Posts: 973

Re: arch / debian performance differences

$ gr as-needed /etc/makepkg.conf 
LDFLAGS="-Wl,-O1,--sort-common,--as-needed,-z,relro"
$ pacman -Qii pacman | gr makepkg\.conf
UNMODIFIED	/etc/makepkg.conf

what do you mean?


Arch Linux is more than just GNU/Linux -- it's an adventure

Offline

#22 2012-12-26 21:35:54

brebs
Member
Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 3,470

Re: arch / debian performance differences

Oops, I hadn't checked makepkg hmm

Could still be due to per-package CFLAGS and LDFLAGS tweaks, or glibc vs eglibc.

Offline

#23 2012-12-26 23:21:50

freek
Member
From: the Netherlands
Registered: 2008-07-21
Posts: 60
Website

Re: arch / debian performance differences

franconassis wrote:

Hello to all
I've been using an Arch distro with the rt patched kernel for audio processing.
Recently I put the Debian Wheezy (testing) with their rt-patched kernel to do some benchmarking and, to my surprise, the Debian box was processing the same LV2 plugins in half the time.
I used Drobilla's lv2bench - http://drobilla.net/2012/08/22/benchmar … 2-plugins/
I tried using the Debian kernel on the Arch distro but it just got me a bit more performance, still below Debian.
Anybody have an idea?
Kind regards
Gian

Idea ? .. eh .. use Debian ! .. wink .. (lulz .. Debian fan)


there's no business like .. your own business

Offline

#24 2013-02-01 04:26:01

carebearboy
Member
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 56

Re: arch / debian performance differences

I've done my own tests as well comparing Arch to debian and Gentoo. I did a minimal install with xorg, drivers, and e17. Shared the exact same kernel between Arch and Gentoo. I mean the kernel (vanilla 3.7.5) was actually shared, so a fair test to be sure! I hope its okay that I mention Gentoo. I thought some people might be interested in hearing this...

Here's my findings:

Ram used when fully booted into e17:

Debian: 37 mb
Arch: 36 mb
Gentoo 39 mb

Arch seemed to have the lowest CPU idle, followed by Genoo, then Debian, but my Gentoo does seem to have a bug with the acpi connecting and disconnecting and so that may play a part.

htop idle cpu:

Arch - 0.7 - 1.3
Gentoo - 1.3 - 1.7
Debian - 1.3 - 2.0

I found Arch to be superior in compiling speed, though my tests were extremely minimal but this is a pattern I've seen nonetheless. Please note I've yet to compare Debian's compiling speed:

Compiling Nano:

Gentoo - 1:25
Arch - 1:01

Compiling Lxterminal:

Gentoo  - 0:36
Arch - 0:31

As for as packaging options goes Gentoo wins by far. You can compile whatever you want with any package and Gentoo makes it very easy to do.

Anyways, its not easy to compare these apples and oranges as was mentioned. I like Arch for what Arch is good at, and that is alot! I think Arch just might be the fastest package manager out there but options-wise, you cant even compare it to Gentoo. So I guess it just comes down to a matter of taste. smile

Offline

#25 2013-02-01 04:41:11

the sad clown
Member
From: 192.168.0.X
Registered: 2011-03-20
Posts: 833

Re: arch / debian performance differences

I don't know the ease of use argument, but I do know you can compile whatever you want with any package using the ABS and makepkg.


I laugh, yet the joke is on me

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB