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Clear Linux Ending Out 2018 With Even More Performance Optimizations

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  • Clear Linux Ending Out 2018 With Even More Performance Optimizations

    Phoronix: Clear Linux Ending Out 2018 With Even More Performance Optimizations

    With the Windows Server 2019 vs. Linux benchmarks this week on a dual socket Intel Xeon Scalable server and testing six different Linux distributions and three Windows Server configurations, Intel's open-source Clear Linux was the winner in nearly half of the dozens of benchmarks carried out across these Linux and Windows operating system tests. But the results did yield some areas they could improve upon for better performance and as a result have already landed some more performance optimizations.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=27343

  • #2
    At this point this site should be renamed from "Phoronix" to "We Constantly Write About Clear Linux."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by RealNC View Post
      At this point this site should be renamed from "Phoronix" to "We Constantly Write About Clear Linux."
      To be fair, Clear is interesting. And the more attention it gets, the more likely its performance enhancements may be pushed into other distros.

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      • #4
        Phoronix has always written on and emphasized performance. If Ubuntu or Arch were pushing the performance envelope as aggressively as Clear Linux was, I am quite sure they would be getting more column inches dedicated to that fact.

        If a mainline distro says they have extracted all the performance the CPU can provide and then someone like Clear comes along and shows otherwise, I would say that is newsworthy to this audience.

        I would still like Clear Linux to improve on their VP9 and AV1 performance and be able run a stump install in a semi normal manner (it is improving). I still get mixed results on a smattering of various hardware and VM's. Containers is a different matter.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RealNC View Post
          At this point this site should be renamed from "Phoronix" to "We Constantly Write About Clear Linux."
          Well, that's pretty silly. It's a genuinely interesting product, and as is the way of Linux and free software, competition (and the access to the code it provides) improves the entire breed.

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          • #6
            While comparing clear-linux-config-4.19 and fedora-config-4.19.10-300.fc29.x86_64 to see exactly what differences there are I discovered the SHOCKING TRUTH about Clear Linux:
            # CONFIG_NUMA_BALANCING is not set
            # CONFIG_AMD_NUMA is not set

            They are intentionally (or "accidentally") hampering AMD ThreadRipper performance. Why would they do this? Nobody seems to want to comment or even acknowledge this pure evil behavior and Phoronix is early silent about it.

            For the curious, Clear Linux patches are at https://github.com/clearlinux-pkgs/linux and the configuration they use is at https://github.com/clearlinux-pkgs/l.../master/config

            There's quite a few patches applied to their kernel so it's not just a question of standard kernel configuration options that make a difference.
            Last edited by xiando; 12-29-2018, 09:54 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by xiando View Post
              While comparing clear-linux-config-4.19 and fedora-config-4.19.10-300.fc29.x86_64 to see exactly what differences there are I discovered the SHOCKING TRUTH about Clear Linux:
              # CONFIG_NUMA_BALANCING is not set
              # CONFIG_AMD_NUMA is not set

              They are intentionally (or "accidentally") hampering AMD ThreadRipper performance. Why would they do this? Nobody seems to want to comment or even acknowledge this pure evil behavior and Phoronix is early silent about it.
              config AMD_NUMA
              def_bool y
              prompt "Old style AMD Opteron NUMA detection"
              depends on X86_64 && NUMA && PCI
              ---help---
              Enable AMD NUMA node topology detection. You should say Y here if
              you have a multi processor AMD system. This uses an old method to
              read the NUMA configuration directly from the builtin Northbridge
              of Opteron. It is recommended to use X86_64_ACPI_NUMA instead,
              which also takes priority if both are compiled in.



              AMD_NUMA is for old old old AMD, older than the OS can run. ACPI NUMA is what people use the last decade.


              Automatic NUMA balancing is off for everyone since it has both up and downsides

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by arjan_intel View Post
                AMD_NUMA is for old old old AMD, older than the OS can run. ACPI NUMA is what people use the last decade.
                Makes sense. Thank you for clarifying.

                Originally posted by arjan_intel View Post
                Automatic NUMA balancing is off for everyone since it has both up and downsides
                Seem reasonable depending on what those up and downsides are. RedHat story is that it "improves performance".
                https://access.redhat.com/documentat...numa_balancing
                They don't mention downsides but there may be some for all I know. I am not a kernel scientist.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Heavy optimization breaks stuff and if your distro is used by big businesses, is your main income source and you provide support and testing for thousands of packages you would be an idiot to turn it on. Correct me if I am wrong but how many packages are officially supported by Clear linux ?
                  I think you are limited only to appimages/flatpak stuff + what you are able put together by yourself. Which means '0' and Clear linux does not guarantee your XY application won't break under those optimizations. Plus your are limited only to intel processors.

                  So, yes Clear linux is fast.... so is any other linux distro if you tinker with it the same way. The question is what can it be used for ? Will it run your business? Can you use it as a Desktop? Can you use it for XYZ ?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BaumKuchen View Post
                    Heavy optimization breaks stuff
                    Not always. In a lot of cases, the only thing the Clear devs are doing is tapping into unused CPU instructions. In general, a well-made program will fallback to "simpler" code if the hardware instructions don't exist. That way everybody wins - full compatibility as well as full enhanced performance where available.
                    I think you are limited only to appimages/flatpak stuff + what you are able put together by yourself. Which means '0' and Clear linux does not guarantee your XY application won't break under those optimizations.
                    Isn't the primary goal of Flatpak to ensure compatibility regardless of your system configuration? Assuming you can install stuff like deb or rpm packages in Clear (I'm not sure if you can or can't), I could see how you might encounter some functionality issues due to the changes Clear makes, but Flatpak should be immune.
                    Plus your are limited only to intel processors.
                    Actually no, you're not. Have you not seen the Phoronix articles where AMD is tested? Not only does it work, but it also benefits from the enhancements.
                    So, yes Clear linux is fast.... so is any other linux distro if you tinker with it the same way. The question is what can it be used for ? Will it run your business? Can you use it as a Desktop? Can you use it for XYZ ?
                    Did you not already answer your question? The point is to maximize performance without tinkering. Gentoo is great and all but I'm not wasting my time configuring my OS to use every last transistor in my CPU.
                    Granted, I personally never have and [probably] never will use Clear, because I don't like how it handles packages, and, I don't really benefit from it. Sure, maybe my laptop's battery life will extend a little longer (since it can calculate things more efficiently) but otherwise everything I use either runs smoothly, or, I'm not in any rush as I wait for something to process. But, if for example I regularly made videos, having a dedicated render/encoding PC running Clear would be a very smart and appealing decision.
                    Last edited by schmidtbag; 12-30-2018, 02:38 PM.

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