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Clear Linux Offering Performance Advantages Even With Low-Power IoT/Edge Hardware

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  • #11
    Wish they would do a more idiot friendly version of Clear Linux. This definitely seems like something I'd consider for my wife's laptop (N3450 and 4GB of RAM). Anybody know how much of their optimization finds its way on Solus. I've it installed on my desktop, but I'm guessing I'd see more gain on a low powered system.

    Edit: Just to clarify, when I say "idiot", I refer to myself, not my wife
    Last edited by mao_dze_dun; 08-31-2019, 06:10 AM.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by mao_dze_dun View Post
      Wish they would do a more idiot friendly version of Clear Linux. This definitely seems like something I'd consider for my wife's laptop (N3450 and 4GB of RAM). Anybody know how much of their optimization finds its way on Solus. I've it installed on my desktop, but I'm guessing I'd see more gain on a low powered system.

      Edit: Just to clarify, when I say "idiot", I refer to myself, not my wife
      Aye, that was also my impression from my testing. Solus was a great start but their team is too small and the burden to keep the distro up-to-date seems to be a bit too high for them (at least at the time when their lead developer left the project). As you and others already pointed out Clear Linux needs way more polish and commonly used software to become a great desktop distro. But I very much welcome their philosophy to bring a performance-optimized distro to the market.

      By the way, I hope your wife did not read the unedited post.

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      • #13
        I was not aware there were SFF PCs built on Celeron chips. I assume that from the picture of it they are not the same form factor as raspberry pie. That's what Intel really should focus on. It can be hard to find cases and accessories for proprietary devices. I would love to get my hands on one of those devices. Install a skeleton Windows install and you suddenly have a great little SFF PC.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by ms178 View Post
          But I very much welcome their philosophy to bring a performance-optimized distro to the market.
          After that shitstorm over Fedora maybe requiring AVX2, I've come around to the position that what we really need is a framework for natively optimizing software for the host. I wish Intel would invest their time and resources into a framework for doing that, rather than playing in their own little Intel-exclusive sandbox.

          However, I see the main benefit of what they're doing as being the patches and optimizations they're publishing to various upstream projects. So, the community certainly still benefits.

          BTW, I never used gentoo, but my sense is their idea isn't completely off. I'd make it a lot more automated and demand-driven, however - compiling & optimizing on-demand. Also, it could involve some amount of profile-driver re-optimization.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by betam4x View Post
            I was not aware there were SFF PCs built on Celeron chips. I assume that from the picture of it they are not the same form factor as raspberry pie. That's what Intel really should focus on. It can be hard to find cases and accessories for proprietary devices. I would love to get my hands on one of those devices. Install a skeleton Windows install and you suddenly have a great little SFF PC.
            For general usage, you really want a SATA SSD. So, I'd steer in the direction of a proper mini-PC, like one of these:

            https://www.asrock.com/nettop/
            https://www.anandtech.com/show/13734...cff-pcs-review

            There are some cases for the ODROID-H2, but they're kind of industrial-looking:

            https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-h2-case-1/
            https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-h2-case-3/
            https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-h2-case-4/

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            • #16
              Originally posted by coder View Post
              After that shitstorm over Fedora maybe requiring AVX2, I've come around to the position that what we really need is a framework for natively optimizing software for the host. I wish Intel would invest their time and resources into a framework for doing that, rather than playing in their own little Intel-exclusive sandbox.

              However, I see the main benefit of what they're doing as being the patches and optimizations they're publishing to various upstream projects. So, the community certainly still benefits.

              BTW, I never used gentoo, but my sense is their idea isn't completely off. I'd make it a lot more automated and demand-driven, however - compiling & optimizing on-demand. Also, it could involve some amount of profile-driver re-optimization.
              You might remember my day dreaming some time ago on this topic in another thread to squeeze every bit of performance out of the underlying technology in a way that does not discriminate against less-capable hardware. And Raja just stressed the importance of software optimizations himself to get the hardware to its limits. Fingers crossed that they come up with something more clever than the status quo, just as you said.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by coder View Post
                Ugh. My first reply is awaiting moderation, but anyway consider:



                The "discriminating" one will only run optimized code on Genuine Intel CPUs. This needs to be patched, for AMD hardware to have a fair shot on Clear Linux. Or to run MKL on it, anywhere.

                Source: https://www.agner.org/optimize/blog/read.php?i=979&v=t
                fwiw clear linux does not contain or use MKL

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                • #18
                  "After that shitstorm over Fedora maybe requiring AVX2, I've come around to the position that what we really need is a framework for natively optimizing software for the host. I wish Intel would invest their time and resources into a framework for doing that, rather than playing in their own little Intel-exclusive sandbox."

                  I think Debian has some in-built hoo-hah (maybe multilib related?) that lets it load different variants of a binary based on CPU capabilities; the original intended use was for ARM. Apparently with the armel port (version for ARMs older than ARMv7), they are now using this so binaries support both "hard float" and "soft float".

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by arjan_intel View Post
                    fwiw clear linux does not contain or use MKL
                    Thanks.

                    Can you make any more general statement about "Genuine Intel" CPU checks, either in Clear Linux or individual software packages maintained by Intel?

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by coder View Post
                      Thanks.

                      Can you make any more general statement about "Genuine Intel" CPU checks, either in Clear Linux or individual software packages maintained by Intel?
                      I can only speak for Clear Linux, I don't have enough visibility in "everything" the many software parts of Intel do.
                      Clear Linux does not have any special Genuine Intel checks as you imply.
                      I know the Linux kernel (upstream) has a few, mostly for cosmetics (printing model numbers etc) and for "on Intel cpus this is how you load microcode" kind of things and maybe some other upstream projects might as well, but we don't add any on top of this in the distro.
                      We do use cpuid for things like "is avx2 supported, then use the avx2 version of this", which is vendor independent and is about supported instructions.

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