open suse 11.4 the first fast Linux in my life

Hello guys,

I have been Linux user for more than 10 years. All these years every Linux I’ve tried in graphical environment was kind of “slow”. I don’t know how to name it correctly. I’ve been trough this discussion with my friends who are Linux developers, admins etc. and I’ve always heard about how Linux is fast, how good memory administration it has, …

Then call it psychological effect - I don’t know.
No matter was it Mandrake or Red Hat on i586 machine (yeah that was overkill I know), Knoppix on i686 machine many years ago, or SUSE or Ubuntu on my Dual Core 2.4 GHz - it was always some how slower than my respectively Win 98, XP and Win7.

Maybe computing was(is) more efficient under Linux, but when I was opening windows, moving them, starting programs I had always feeling that X-es are some how clumsy. Like a mobile phone with a way too slow micro-controller.

Open SUSEs 10.1 - 11.3 had the same too, even though I had Nvidia drivers and my Dual Core is maybe not the fastest machine on Earth but still descent.

Maybe it was not directly connected to the performance. Maybe it was an effect not proprieate size of fonts, menu and pop-up reaction times, mouse resolution etc. I don’t know.

But the output was I was feeling like I’m dealing with something a bit clumsy.

Until TODAY! I installed Open SUSE 11.4 and is so FAST, so SHARP - WOW! Finally this feeling is gone!


BTW: Have any one of you ever had same observation about Linux GUI speed?

Actually in my case openSUSE is very slow compared to some distributions like Ubuntu and sometimes Mandriva, but this all hangs on hardware.

My observation on GUI speed is that it, for all practical purposes, depends on application; even if the desktop is sluggish - which I don’t find in general - I find some applications - notably OpenOffice - very sluggish compared with alternatives. So I try to use those which are inherently quick in a GUI environment. As I spend most of my time using applications, that is more important to me that the actual speed of the desktop.

I would not install any of the modern major GNU/Linux distributions if speed was a main criteria, as there are light weight GNU/Linux distributions that IMHO run much faster.

I have had a bit more exposure to some other GNU/Linux distributions in chatting with users at our local GNU/Linux User Group (LUG). Recently in comparing Lubuntu (Ubuntu with LXDE desktop) to openSUSE with LXDE desktop, on a PC with 32-bit athlon-1100 CPU and nVidia FX5200 graphic hardware, I found Ubuntu much faster to boot, but once the OS was up and running I found the openSUSE LXDE very very slightly faster to run than the Ubuntu implementation. wrt the KDE4 and Gnome desktops, I don’t know if that is also true (openSUSE being very very very slightly faster after booting). openSUSE in the past used to enable more services than Ubuntu and that would mean openSUSE would run a bit slower. However Canonical is trying to get into the server market, and I suspect that will mean they will enable more services in their Ubuntu versions, and IMHO that will ultimately mean a slow down in Ubuntu performance.

A lot of this sort of assessment is very subjective, and IMHO even many of the supposed objective benchmarks are far away from telling the whole story.

Again, when it comes to speed, none of the major GNU/Linux distributions are particularly fast.

cygi, in your case I note your graphics is a GeForce 8400M. A lot of progress has been made with open source graphic drivers (with them running much much faster today than in the past) and if you have been using open source drivers, then you may have observed a speed improvement in openSUSE associated with upstream improvements in open source graphic driver behaviour making it into openSUSE. (ie the ‘nouveau’ driver may be faster than the older ‘nv’ driver).

Also recently, I think starting with the 2.6.37 kernel in openSUSE-11.4 (and in kernels in other GNU/Linux distros) , there was an upstream improvement to the GNU/Linux kernel resulting in faster GNU/Linux performance.

openSUSE by default still has more services running than Ubuntu but this does not necessarily mean it will run slower.

Canonical Ltd provide 2 flavours of Ubuntu, Desktop and Server. Your prediction is unlikely to apply to Ubuntu’s Desktop version.

openSUSE 11.4 may seem more responsive due to some tweaks in the kernel. Unlike most other major distributions if you are running the -desktop openSUSE kernel it has the timer frequency set to 1000Hz and kernel preemption set to low latency.

Both these tweaks make the kernel / system more responsive.

Do the same to Kubuntu 11.04 and you may feel openSUSE no longer has its edge.

I think you either misread my post or are twisting my words.

Given I noted that I did NOT know if the speed advantage of openSUSE was true for KDE nor Gnome, but rather I noted it WAS true for LXDE, I think you misread my post. Read it again please.

I was comparing LXDE to LXDE, and stated I did not know for KDE nor Gnome. YOU stated I 'my feel no longer openSUSE has an edge". Wrong.

Well openSUSE DOES have an edge in LXDE (after boot) and THAT was my point.

I think I was clear before, and if I was not clear to you before , then I should be hopefully clear now. LXDE on openSUSE is faster than the Ubuntu LXDE variant (called lubuntu) AFTER boot.

And I also noted that if SPEED is a criteria then NO major distribution should be a consideration. THAT was also my point that I think you missed.

Sorry for the confusion oldcpu, my last 3 sentences are not directed at you but the OP

FAO cygi only, not oldcpu

openSUSE 11.4 may seem more responsive due to some tweaks in the kernel. Unlike most other major distributions if you are running the -desktop openSUSE kernel it has the timer frequency set to 1000Hz and kernel preemption set to low latency.

Both these tweaks make the kernel / system more responsive.

Do the same to Kubuntu 11.04 and you may feel openSUSE no longer has its edge.

So being slow is relative, to something else being compared. Perhaps that is Windows, but I am not sure. I can say that with openSUSE 11.4, it is way faster on the same computer when compared to Windows. Now I do know that one issue with Windows is the need to run an Anti-virus application which, depending on the product, does put Windows at a disadvantage. For that I say, I am so sorry for Windows and so happy to be using openSUSE instead. Then there are some things you can’t get Windows to even do, such as playing a Apple iTunes movie trailer in full screen. I have just been unable to convince any copy of Windows to do this, no matter how fast the PC might be. I suppose there is no love lost between Apple and Microsoft. lol! But the real story here is the speed on Linux these days and the included desktops. openSUSE 11.4 just screams speed in my book.

Thank You,

Ahh … then also my apologies for jumping off the handle. …

This brings in several questions though, like why is Kubuntu often faster (for me) then openSUSE KDE, or why Mandriva KDE is faster (for mee) then openSUSE KDE?
There are many factors here:
1: Kernel: Ubuntu’s kernel seems pretty fast on most of the hardware I have tried it on, not just my computer but at least several others.
Ubuntu seems almost universally fast when compared to OpenSUSE and a few other select distros I have tried on my hardware and the hardware of others.
2: Hardware: I have a AMD Athelon II dual core, person B has a Intel Pentium E5800, I have an ATI graphics card, person B has a nvidia card.
Similar specs and processor speed around but person b might boot slower then me (might as the E5800 is a pinch better then my AMD) and graphics cards might come into play (currently my ATI card seems to do well with most of the major Linuxes, but that might change, who knows with ATI support or even nvidia support anymore as thing are always changing)
3: Software, but this is iffy as most of the software on Ubuntu is pre installed with is pretty much the same opensuse aside from default UI and some apps.
Gut I like option 4:
What kind of personality your computer has.
Yes I am serious on that one, I have seen some people with the exact same hardware have different experiences with the same OS rather it be Ubuntu, openSUSE, Windows XP/Vista/7, or even hackentosh.

I have to say I too have found openSUSE faster on my very middling spec than any other distro, no doubt at all. I dunno why that could be. I’m using the 64 bit version, though I used to use the 64 bit version of Ubuntu, and while I can’t say that was especially ‘slow’, there’s a clear improvement with openSUSE for me.

Comparing on same hardware and using same services and software, 11.4 is quite faster than 11.3. However, all other comparations cannot be made properly. It is all based on hardware you have. On one’s machine, ubuntu runs fast, while other runs slow, on other’s machine, vice-versa. So it is all down to subjective perception. For me, openSUSE 11.1 and 11.3 were the worst ever made. 20000 users on this forum will strongly disagree. You get the point…

As Oldcpu said, major distros are not here for speed, they are here for making general purpose usage more confortable.