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MeeGo Netbook Performance: It's Beating Ubuntu & Co

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  • MeeGo Netbook Performance: It's Beating Ubuntu & Co

    Phoronix: MeeGo Netbook Performance: It's Beating Ubuntu & Co

    The last time we ran a performance comparison of different Linux distributions on netbooks was in late November when benchmarking Chromium OS, Moblin, Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu Netbook Remix. The results were interesting, but now we have a new set of Linux distributions out there, so we have carried out a new comparison. In particular, we are looking closely at how the MeeGo distribution -- which marries Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo projects -- is performing now that it has reached version 1.0. Also in the testing mix are Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 LTS, Moblin 2.1, and Fedora 13.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14975

  • #2
    Michael, I wonder how do you install distros for all the tests? Do you do disk images, automated installs, just click through manually, or something else?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by curaga View Post
      Michael, I wonder how do you install distros for all the tests? Do you do disk images, automated installs, just click through manually, or something else?
      Just go through the install process as any normal user would, while selecting all of the default options and doing clean installs that occupy the entire drive each time.
      Michael Larabel
      http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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      • #4
        How many times do you run each test?

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        • #5
          I suppose Meego is optimized for Atom processors and that's why it won in encoding tests, right?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by crispy View Post
            How many times do you run each test?
            Look at the Phoronix Test Suite source. It varies by test and the std variation between runs.
            Michael Larabel
            http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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            • #7
              Very nice article! This comes at a great time since I'm in the process of testing several distros on my Eee PC to see which one works the best for me. 8 seconds boot time is just amazing!

              Anyway, Apopas, moblin was also supposed to be optimized for atom cpus and it's performance is not so great. The guys behind meego are doing something right, that's for sure. This could be the distro that manages to outcast that awful windows 7 starter from netbooks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh, I forgot something.

                My only concern with meego is installing software. I know there is the garage, but I suppose it's software library is not as extensive as ubuntu's. Can we still install software from other sources? What about the package format it uses? I've seen these same questions on the meego forum but no straight answer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What I'd really like to see in a future Phoronix article is a benchmark of the most popular (and new) lightweight linux distros.

                  Distros like Puppy, SliTaz, Zenwalk, TinyMe, Lubuntu and Quirky Linux.

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                  • #10
                    So in MeeGo 1.0 we've worked quite a bit on performance and power optimizations (and it seems it pays off ...):
                    * We are using a gcc with Atom optimizations (backport from gcc 4.5 basically)
                    * We're using SSSE3 for floating point everywhere (-mfpmath=sse); quite some gain on Atom for floating point code
                    * We have an Atom optimized memcpy() in glibc (same for some related functions like memcmp etc)
                    * We've made sure that the environment variables are set so that normal apps that get compiled get the same CFLAGS as system RPMS get; likewise we've tried to make sure configure detects Atom correctly (there is some funky uname stuff in some configure scripts that get confused easily; don't ask)
                    * We've reduced OS overhead from background apps (if background apps take 1% cpu away, this costs both power and 1% performance for foreground apps)
                    * We've done a bunch of work on optimizing Qt (unfortunately, due to the 4.7 release dates, most of this did not make it into the 1.0 release)
                    * closely monitoring disk performance and working with btrfs upstream
                    (this is a balance between data integrity and performance. common sense data integrity wins of course)
                    * ... well many more little things all over the map to help performance


                    As the article says, there's still a bunch of work to be done, the compositor and graphics are clear areas of work for this.

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                    • #11
                      I think using scale widgets to represent boolean options (network config screenshot) is becoming a UI pet hate or mine, up there with MDIs, 12 pixel widget padding, anaemic window management and needlessly fat listviews.

                      Regardless, if it's anything like Moblin (pretty much a foregone conclusion), Meego ought to be a fun little UI.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by arjan_intel View Post
                        So in MeeGo 1.0 we've worked quite a bit on performance and power optimizations (and it seems it pays off ...):
                        * We are using a gcc with Atom optimizations (backport from gcc 4.5 basically)
                        * We're using SSSE3 for floating point everywhere (-mfpmath=sse); quite some gain on Atom for floating point code
                        * We have an Atom optimized memcpy() in glibc (same for some related functions like memcmp etc)
                        * We've made sure that the environment variables are set so that normal apps that get compiled get the same CFLAGS as system RPMS get; likewise we've tried to make sure configure detects Atom correctly (there is some funky uname stuff in some configure scripts that get confused easily; don't ask)
                        * We've reduced OS overhead from background apps (if background apps take 1% cpu away, this costs both power and 1% performance for foreground apps)
                        * We've done a bunch of work on optimizing Qt (unfortunately, due to the 4.7 release dates, most of this did not make it into the 1.0 release)
                        * closely monitoring disk performance and working with btrfs upstream
                        (this is a balance between data integrity and performance. common sense data integrity wins of course)
                        * ... well many more little things all over the map to help performance


                        As the article says, there's still a bunch of work to be done, the compositor and graphics are clear areas of work for this.
                        Sounds like Gentoo optimisations

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          MeeGo's OpenGL performance was actually the worst, which as aforementioned is likely attributed to its window manager. This, however, is bad news for anyone that is looking to use MeeGo on devices to play any accelerated games.
                          This isn't the whole story: the WM compositor is switched off when an app goes full screen, so full screen games should be just fine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tuxdriver View Post
                            What I'd really like to see in a future Phoronix article is a benchmark of the most popular (and new) lightweight linux distros.
                            This would be very insteresting, especially if run on a real old computer (athlon xp and pentium4 are not old). Maybe a 486 or pentium? I know some lightweight distros are supposed to run on 486 hardware, but some don't even include boot floppy images (Deli Linux), so it's not easy to install them on such hardware.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by devius View Post
                              Oh, I forgot something.

                              My only concern with meego is installing software. I know there is the garage, but I suppose it's software library is not as extensive as ubuntu's. Can we still install software from other sources? What about the package format it uses? I've seen these same questions on the meego forum but no straight answer.
                              meego uses RPM. Older moblin was based on Fedora, meego still shares a lot in common with moblin. Basically, you may have *some* luck adding in Fedora repos.

                              Though my honest opinion is that this would be pointless. You would certainly be better off just installing Fedora and killing some services (possibly compiling a more streamlined kernel) and ending up with the same boot time (other performance is virtually identical).

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