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the comparism is fair. They compared the latest stable ubuntu with the latest stable gentoo.
If you don't like the results, it coule be redone with unstable ubuntu and unstable gentoo.
It wouldn't change the overall result.
Me, I enjoy the fact that when I log into my desktop, no stupid gnome stuff is started, no mono taking away precious ram that could be used for caching files. I enjoy the fact that a lot of stuff is never installed. That I have the choice.
Local mail? Hm.. postfix!
I need a ftp server. Hm, that flag looks interessting, that feature too - and that one I will never use...
Optimization flags are always used. In Ubuntu and every other distro too. They don't use --march though, since the apps needs to run on many types of CPU. Compiling with --march=core2, would result in the distro not being able to run on anything older than an Intel Core 2.
However, that is not the reason why Gentoo was faster in this test. It's just that Gentoo doesn't include a lot of bloat by default.
@mits: 32 bit binary distros such as Debian and Ubuntu use CFLAGS="-O2 -march=i486 -mtune=i686" because they have to run on older hardware too. (So no MMX/3DNow!/SSE for them). Other distros such as Arch and Fedora use -march=i686 which makes them look better in benchmarks at the expense of that compatibility.
64 bit binary distros can use MMX/SSE/SSE2 for optimization, because all existing x86_64 CPUs support these instruction sets.
I see... (I thought flags like -O2 were not used for some reason)
so, a comparison between different -march settings would be nice...
and if the performance gains are worth it, it would be meaningful to have a "kinda-new" architecture in linux distros, in which only the last x generations of cpus are supported...
(I guess amd64 fits that role currently)
Wouldn't it be nice to have an extra architecture in ubuntu that's fully optimized?
I don't know if it would be nice, but it wouldn't be fair. Ubuntu is a distribution that is targeted at the general public, as is Debian or OpenSuse. They are binary distributions that aim to make sure that everything is easy on the user side. Users are not expected to compile their own kernels or their own packages. They can do it, sure, but they are not expected to; and if they do, they are on their own. On the other hand, the very nature of Gentoo--if I understand it correctly--is that the user takes a more active part on what (and how) is installed. I would assume that at a minimum, every Gentoo user especifically compiles her packages for the relevant target architecture plus some light optimisation flags. Since this is the default, it makes sense to do this if you want to benchmark Gentoo. However, it does not make sense to take Ubuntu, change everything about it, and read the results as if they had any meaning.
You can apt-build world to recompile all the packages with your own optimisation flags in Debian/Ubuntu too. Would the benchmark results reflect what this distributions really are? Think about boot times benchmarks (extremelly pointless, I know); would it make sense to benchmark the boot time on a machine with tweaked runlevels and then claim that it reflects what distribution X is up to? If you think that it makes sense, you may as well accept the opposite, i.e. that it would make sense to benchmark it with all the possible daemons running from the beginning, mounting a dozen network drives, connecting to a hand of printers, starting a couple of mail servers and doing fsck on the local drives for good measure.
Originally posted by RealNC
that is not the reason why Gentoo was faster in this test. It's just that Gentoo doesn't include a lot of bloat by default.
What bloat do you refer to that it would affect the numbers like that? It's not that Ubuntu runs random crappy applications for the sake of it--or that's what I hope.
well, it runs gnome for the sake of it. It doesn't get any crappier.
Apart from that, a release for everycpu out there (k8, amdfam10, core2, core, pentium4, pentiumm, centrino, blabla) would mean these thing:
immense load for the mirrors
immense pile of work for the packagers
immense confusion for the users (which iso to download? I have a pentium4+64bit)
exploding maintenance overhead.