HOWTO: Speeding up Debian

Share your own howto's etc. Not for support questions!

Postby m0rphex » 2007-11-29 17:38

I didn't notice any differece with prelink on my old box. I read somewhere that it could slow down older computers... is that true?
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Postby rickh » 2007-12-06 14:00

Here's a project that might interest some of you speedburners.

LXDE - Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment home page.

... and a Bruce Byfield review.
Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64
Desktop: Generic Core 2 Duo, EVGA 680i, Nvidia
Laptop: Generic Intel SIS/AC97
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Postby klhrevolutionist » 2008-04-23 23:21

Looking at my xorg.conf it would seem I could comment out most of it and just keep this section ? Would you mind posting your xorg.xonf so I can get a visual ?

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Default Layout"
Screen "Default Screen"
InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"
InputDevice "Configured Mouse"
Option "StandbyTime" "3" # Turn off screen in 3 minutes (DPMS)
Option "SuspendTime" "8" # Full hibernation in 8 minutes (DPMS)
Option "OffTime" "15" # Turn off DPMS monitor (DPMS)

As for uninstalling discover1, I would by /etc/modules file has one module listed: loop Why are the modules for my system not listed ??

I use file-rc, I might switch back just so i can run rcconf and disable some of these uneeded's that I previously thought were needed. then switch back.
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Postby Bulkley » 2008-04-24 00:04

I don't know whether it has already been mentioned, but think 64 bit is faster than 32.
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Re: HOWTO: Speeding up Debian

Postby texas.chef94 » 2009-08-26 01:05

Wow the detail and specifics are absolutely amazing and will keep this old man busy for a weel :lol:

78 yr old hooked on Debian
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Re: HOWTO: Speeding up Debian

Postby Bruce Bathurst » 2009-10-13 20:08

There is another, more recent HOWTO, that emphasizes tuning more. If you're going to change an initialization file, be sure you know what implications the changes you're making might have (and keep the original). BSD Unix was extremely successful because of its brilliant modifications, which can even now be tuned to your specific needs; and all its means of communicating. Debian Linux is even more flexible.

The suggestions in the HOWTOs are of two kinds: tuning the computer in ways anticipated by its designers, such as replacing one desktop with another; and deleting parts of X or the OS that offer abilities you don't think you need. This wasn't anticipated and should be carefully considered.

I like to keep my computers at least as flexible as what they were bought for. A laptop won't be a server & might benefit from a smaller desktop; but should I become interested in translating books, using it as a telephone, browsing the web in a café, I might suddenly appreciate those OS services I might have removed.

So, this note is just to mention that I run Debian Linux because of its unrivaled flexibility. Tuning the computer is something professionals always do. Removing some of its flexibility for a faster boot time, let's say, is another matter - one that requires careful thought.
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Re: HOWTO: Speeding up Debian

Postby Telemachus » 2009-10-13 20:15

@Bruce: Huh? Care to share the other, more recent HOWTO? Beyond that, I have no idea what your post has to do with this thread.
"We have not been faced with the need to satisfy someone else's requirements, and for this freedom we are grateful."
Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson, The UNIX Time-Sharing System
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Re: HOWTO: Speeding up Debian

Postby Bruce Bathurst » 2009-12-29 07:25

Telemachus wrote:@Bruce: Huh? Care to share the other, more recent HOWTO?

I'm a newbie to Debian, and my memory is poor. However, a more recent 'HOWTO' on 'Speeding Debian' that emphasizes tuning first could have been 'Alternative Performance Kernel for Debian', in which the kernel is not just recompiled for one's computer, but tuned for desktop use as well; or the one on 'Install X Window System and a Desktop Environment', which is is very useful, but doesn't discuss merits; or even 'Make a Choppy Desktop feel Smooooth', which simply introduces nicing up when needed (to be used sparingly). Several people here gave references to articles in the 'Linux Journal' on tuning one's operating system. These are changes that both programmers and new administrators anticipate.

Telemachus wrote: Beyond that, I have no idea what your post has to do with this thread.

My apology for being unclear. The above tuning techniques don't surprise new administrators, as using /etc/hosts to filter ad-ware might. (Clever hacking, though!) Speed at the loss of flexibility is something to think carefully about. The most common speed bottleneck today (with fast processors) is likely paging, though I saw no discussion of disk partitioning. Someone mentioned creating a 'swap' partition early, to lie on the rim of heads. (They should also be un-journaled or actually unformatted, so others OSes can share a single swap partition.)

Long ago, I reduced the boot time of OS/2 Warp from 2 minutes to 20 seconds simply by placing files on the disk in order of their use. Today I partition twice: first with one big partition, a little swap partition, and a third, contiguous partition for a file /swap. By measuring the growth & shrinkage of important files, until the system doesn't change, I can give each 'important' file the appropriately sized partition, to help minimize head movement and inode chasing. Less fragmentation frees more real memory, as well. (Location, I'm fuzzy about.) However, I may run out of disk space during testing. So, saving 5 seconds of boot time at the loss of the ability to boot into single-user mode is not for me.

My 'Newbie' advice might be to tune first, then hack; and (1) avoid modifications that will surprise administrators or application programmers, and (2) weigh the value of modifications that remove Debian's flexibility, which you may someday need. (Removing Locales is good with me, if only I need use the computer.) Hope that's clearer.

I'm not opposed to hacking, if one isn't learning GNU/Linux; as I'm not opposed to over-clocking one's own computer. Just thought one should draw a distinction between OS tuning and hacking. My own computer is being 'tuned' as a scientific workstation, then modified for flexibility (which, like speed or space, is another goal). The poor thing's off-hour jobs will include answering the phone. :-)

PS. Edited to clarify a sentence.
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