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Thread: Is Gentoo a faster-running distro than SuSE?

  1. #1

    Default Is Gentoo a faster-running distro than SuSE?

    A friend of mine wants me to install Gentoo on a separate hard drive. He says that since I have an AMD x2 processor, that Gentoo would fly on my computer if I used the Gentoo AMD64 CD. He says it would be an installation customized to my CPU's architecture. However, I'm thinking that with today's modern hardware, the performance increase would be insignificant. What do you all think? On a computer with a dual-core 2 GHz CPU and 4 GB of ram, will I notice any difference in speed?

    I realize this is probably a question for the Gentoo forum, but I already asked there, and the responses I got were very short and didn't make much sense. I politely re-phrased my question but still didn't get a reply that I could understand. I didn't want to be rude or exasperate anyone, though. I thought I'd ask here. I love SuSE, but I thought I'd take Gentoo for a drive on another hard drive I have lying around, just to see what it's like.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is Gentoo a faster-running distro than SuSE?

    It all depends on how aggressively you optimized your Gentoo build.

    Some packages are very math intensive, and with certain flags turned on, can see some noticeable improvements.

    However, Gentoo takes extra time to maintain. I found Gentoo to be a great learning experience, and I enjoy tinkering. The extra time maintaining and compiling easily outweighs the performance benefit in my opinion.

    However, the great advantage of Gentoo is USE flags. If I want ldap support in, I can add it with a USE flag. I don't want the "bloat" of unwanted features, I can turn them off with USE flags.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is Gentoo a faster-running distro than SuSE?

    It makes more sense now that you explained it. For me, I don't know if it would be worth the time it takes to install it. I watched my friend install it on his machine, and it took several hours just to get the base system running. That wasn't even with fluxbox or KDE installed yet. I think you're right about the time that it takes to maintain it outweighing the speed increase.

    There's an analogy I thought of, in which a guy wants to go get an ice cream cone from the store down the street. Does he take a week to put together a car from scratch, then go drive it down there, or does he hop into a car that's already built, and get it in minutes? The analogy isn't perfect, but that's how I look at it. I probably won't install Gentoo. I'll just stick with good ole' SuSE.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is Gentoo a faster-running distro than SuSE?

    I in agreement with enderandrew. I loved Gentoo for it's configurability; you can essentially make it into whatever you want, but the time investment in keeping a system current is enormous. And while the ricers will insist that every tweak has some measurable performance increase, I never found much difference performance wise between a well maintained binary load and my Gentoo installs.
    Keith Kastorff

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is Gentoo a faster-running distro than SuSE?

    Instead of installing Gentoo, it would probably be better for someone who is new to Linux to install it on a fast hard drive. 10,000 or 15,000 rpm hard drives, or SCSI drives, could be used for the operating system, and additional storage drives could be ordinary PATA or SATA drives. That would give the system a performance increase regardless of what Linux distro is employed.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is Gentoo a faster-running distro than SuSE?

    Due to the updater problems (and general performance issues with openSUSE 10.0 --> 10.2) I did a bit of distro-hopping, eventually running Gentoo. I've came back to openSUSE 11, so I thought I would share my thoughts on your question.

    The short answer, in my experience, is "yes", Gentoo is faster (in some situations, and on some systems, MUCH faster) than SuSE. *BUT* (and this is key), there is a flip side to running Gentoo in that the installation, maintenance, and time you'll spend getting everything up and running takes days / weeks, if not more. Prepare to use google and their forums quite a bit, as well as their wiki site, to set things up such as networkmanager, printing, scanning, wireless, and multimedia --- just to name a few. Plus, if your computer isn't the fastest thing around, compiling things like Xorg and KDE take a l-o-n-g time.

    If you want to learn quite a few things about Linux, by diving in deep to config files and learning how it works, then run Gentoo (I personally think that it's a good idea to check out the distro, you'll learn a lot). If you want to *use* your computer (vs tweek it all the time) then run something else like openSUSE.

    Just my 2 cents worth .. not trying to troll on Gentoo but fanboy-ism aside, there are pros and cons to running it besides "it's faster" and "less bloat". I mean, if you custom-compile your kernel, then attach some new device to your machine, chances are openSUSE will recognize it out of the box, whereas Gentoo you may not have the driver installed, and might have to hunt down for quite some time what you need to do to get it working.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Kevin Nathan NNTP User

    Default Re: Is Gentoo a faster-running distro than SuSE?

    On Mon, 21 Jul 2008 20:46:04 GMT
    katanacb <katanacb@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:

    >If you want to learn quite a few things about Linux, by diving in deep
    >to config files and learning how it works, then run Gentoo (I
    >personally think that it's a good idea to check out the distro, you'll
    >learn a lot). If you want to *use* your computer (vs tweek it all the
    >time) then run something else like openSUSE.
    >


    I agree with this. At work, all of our servers run Gentoo and the admin
    loves it. They are all compiled, initially, for the exact configuration
    and backup copies are kept for quickly adding a new server. When the
    hardware changes, he compiles a new system from scratch and makes a
    backup copy of that.

    For a while, I tried using Gentoo on my development workstation, but
    when it took an entire weekend to compile the latest KDE (several years
    ago), plus most of Monday getting all the odds and ends upgraded, I
    went back to SUSE and will be upgrading to 11 in the next few weeks.
    It's just far too inefficient (work-wise) to run Gentoo on a
    workstation when time is money . . . :-)


    --
    Kevin Nathan (Arizona, USA)
    Linux is not a destination, it's a journey -- enjoy the trip!

    Linux 2.6.25.9-0.2-pae
    10:32pm up 2:10, 15 users, load average: 0.25, 0.22, 0.34


  8. #8
    Manoloudis NNTP User

    Default Re: Is Gentoo a faster-running distro than SuSE?

    From which SUSE in particular?
    In my system, Windows XP was faster than openSUSE 10.3
    But now that I have upgraded to openSUSE 11, my Linux box works like a speeding bullet!
    If I were you I would try both gentoo and openSUSE 11 and decide.
    Do you have any particular interest or requirements for high performance on some particular applications?
    Please state for which intent do you plan to use your linux box?
    In terms of performance, for some applications the choice of a linux distro can mean very little compared to the proper choice of hardware and application configuration.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is Gentoo a faster-running distro than SuSE?

    Compiling KDE takes me hours, not days. Modern systems make Gentoo much more feasible by cutting down on compile time significantly.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is Gentoo a faster-running distro than SuSE?

    Yes, that's true on the hours vs days part ... unless you get your USE flags wrong (or leave something out, or want to add another USE flag later when you want another feature, or forgot one when you did your initial compile), and you have to re-compile everything. I'll admit this is more a problem when setting up the system than when you use it day to day, but it still is a huge drawback to gentoo in my experience / opinion.

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