Hi all, I’ve been playing around with a few different distributions over the past few weeks. I tried out Ubuntu 9.04, Fedora 11, openSUSE 11.1 and Arch Linux. To me, Ubuntu and Fedora ran with about the same speed. Arch Linux was super fast while openSUSE was dreadfully slow. And by slow, I mean general response time, boot time, and opening apps. openSUSE took about twice the time that Ubuntu and Fedora took and five times the time that Arch took. So I was wondering… all Linux distros are the same when it comes down to the bottom, right? So why is openSUSE so slow? I obviously got rid of beagle, but it still runs slow with GNOME. My hardware is pretty old (1 Ghz Pentium 3, 256MB RAM), but it’s good enough to run Fedora and Ubuntu (GNOME) without thrashing my hard drive. Any thoughts on how I can get openSUSE to run about the same speed as the other distros? I seriously want to switch over to openSUSE because it’s a great distro, but the performance on my laptop is the only thing that’s bothering me. Thanks.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
There are quite a few threads in the various forums that address slowness
and how to overcome it. With network stuff, disable IPv6. With general
purpose desktop stuff, disable/remove Beagle. Otherwise, it depends on
what you are trying to do specifically. Some things can probably be
cleaned during startup, or removed from the system entirely to cut back on
the amount of stuff to seek through on the hard drive. For example,
Ubuntu does not have KDE, but OpenSUSE does. If you installed (like I do)
Gnome and KDE then you easily added a gigabyte of stuff to your hard
drive, perhaps for no reason.
> Hi all, I’ve been playing around with a few different distributions over
> the past few weeks. I tried out Ubuntu 9.04, Fedora 11, openSUSE 11.1
> and Arch Linux. To me, Ubuntu and Fedora ran with about the same speed.
> Arch Linux was super fast while openSUSE was dreadfully slow. And by
> slow, I mean general response time, boot time, and opening apps.
> openSUSE took about twice the time that Ubuntu and Fedora took and five
> times the time that Arch took. So I was wondering… all Linux distros
> are the same when it comes down to the bottom, right? So why is openSUSE
> so slow? I obviously got rid of beagle, but it still runs slow with
> GNOME. My hardware is pretty old (1 Ghz Pentium 3, 256MB RAM), but it’s
> good enough to run Fedora and Ubuntu (GNOME) without thrashing my hard
> drive. Any thoughts on how I can get openSUSE to run about the same
> speed as the other distros? I seriously want to switch over to openSUSE
> because it’s a great distro, but the performance on my laptop is the
> only thing that’s bothering me. Thanks.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v2.0.9 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
did you use the same windows manager and display environment on all?
the same kernel modules? same services started and running? same
security provided by the default firewall? etc etc etc.
Hi, thanks for your replies… yes, i configured my opensuse installation the same way that i configured my fedora and ubuntu installations. overall, the entire distro feels heavy and sluggish. i know that it’s not a graphics driver problem because i get the same fps rate with glxgears as fedora and ubuntu. i’ve disabled the firewall, disabled unwanted services, etc. is there anything else that i can do to speed up my computer? thx again.
Hi, it’s all linux underneath, but I guess suse in general by default is not preconfigured for max performance, but on the other hand offers more “quality” in graphics, ease to use… and with an older hardware you have to balance between these two. However there are is a lot of tunning you can try and then measure the results
How To Speed Up Opensuse Boot Time And Manage Memory Better - openSUSE Forums
- increase swap if necessary
- consider using gnome instead of kde
- from konsole run top command and see which processes eat up your RAM,CPU and consider removing them if you don’t need them
- disable desktop effects
openSUSE Tweak : Increase openSUSE Speed & Performance | Spirit of Change
I agree with a number of the posters on this thread, that there are ways to speed up openSUSE if one wishes to take the time. Things like disable ipv6 and remove beagle are likely on the top of the list. But there are other things one can do. Simply do a search on google for “opensuse wiki speed” and one will get a number of “hits” with good ideas. For example: File System and disk speed issues - openSUSE
As for openSUSE being slower than other distro’s, IMHO that is highly subjective. For example, a recent questionable review by Phoronix of openSUSE, Ubuntu, Mandriva and Fedora comes up with a different assessment: [Phoronix] OpenSuSE, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva Benchmarks](http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=distro_four_way&num=1) In that questionable study, while openSUSE is not the fastest, it is also not the slowest. Anyway, I definitely challenge the global statement “What makes openSUSE slower than other distro’s”. Perhaps more accurate would be: “What makes openSUSE slower than some other distro’s”.
I’ve also played with Fedora, and I don’t find it faster. Like the above questionable Phoronix study, I found it slower than openSUSE.
But IMHO its simply questionable statistics and questionable subjectivity.
If it is speed you are looking for in a distribution, then don’t waste your time on the top distributions (such as Ubuntu, openSUSE, fedora, nor Mandriva). Rather investigate the many light weight distributions. They simply “fly” and some of them also give good idea candy, and can be “scaled up” with the occasional “heavy” application (such as “firefox”, which is a relatively “heavy” application).
If it is speed you are looking for in a distribution, then don’t waste your time on the top distributions (such as Ubuntu, openSUSE, fedora, nor Mandriva). Rather investigate the many light weight distributions.
I second this statement. Consider trying ArchLinux (as you did already) or Zenwalk Linux for a machine with these specs.
My opinion (not based on extensive directly comparable perf testing, but some on earlier versions of suse and some casual observation) is that a better question would be ‘What makes openSUSE slower than other distros at default settings?’
On an older laptop, where I was really, really desperate for any bit of speed I could find, I used to use reiserfs in ‘fairly unsafe’ mode, back when reiser was SuSE’s default, and that made an appreciable difference compared with ext3 in pretty conservative mode.
The memory footprint of your apps, and specifically of the user interface, makes a big difference once it goes far enough to push you into swapping. At that point, the GUI that you use, and given that GUIs have tended to get more bloated over the years, the version of the GUI, make a big difference.
Startup time on openSuSE has been a bit of an issue for a while. IIRC, 10.0 was a bit of an improvement in boot time, but, my impression is that things have gone backwards a bit since then. In any case, if you want to hand-tune your start up time with, eg, bootchart, you can probably make real progress. Its not worth it for me as I rarely boot computers these days.
I think this is more evidence of the ‘conservatism’ of the debvelopers -not wanting to take the risk of breaking stuff, by over-optimising the boot process- rather than anything else. I’m guessing that this makes sense for SLES/SLED and they don’t want to do a separate development just for OpenSuSE (& redoing it for every new release).
@oldcpu: yes, i guess you’re right. it all depends on how you feel about the distro and whether you like it or not.
I have one more question. I read in online reviews that openSUSE 11.0 (GNOME) was much faster than openSUSE 11.1 (GNOME). Is this true? Do you think that it’ll be worth downgrading to 11.0 and trying it out? I know that my computer is capable of running GNOME, considering my expectations, which is why I’m sticking with the DE. thanks again.
> Do you think that it’ll be worth downgrading to 11.0 and trying it
how much time to you find yourself WAITING on 11.1 to complete a task?
i ask because if you (say) are now wasting an hour a day waiting, then
it would be easy to install and adequately test 11.0 in the amount of
time you now waste each week…and, WELL worth the effort…
BUT, if you are only having to blink once and THEN get to work then
you would have to be able to install and test 11.0 VERY VERY VERY
quickly to make it make sense to see if 11.0 is quicker, or not…
i’d guess that a comprehensive search on how to make 11.1 ‘faster’
would yield as high a time saving payoff as you might expect to get
from backing into 11.0 (if that article you read is true)
I’m not a Gnome user, but I would be surprised if that is the case.
From my perspective as a KDE user, openSUSE-11.1 boots faster on a PC than 11.0 on the same PC. KDE-3.5.10 (on 11.1) is the about same speed as KDE-3.5.9 (on 11.0) and about the same speed as KDE-3.5.7 (on 10.3). If I was forced to say which was faster (10.3 vs 11.0 vs 11.1 with KDE-3) I would definitely say 11.1. (However we are talking marginally thin subjective speed impressions).
My subjective view is KDE-4 may be slightly slower than KDE-3 on an older PC.
As noted, I can’t comment on Gnome, other than to say I would be surprised if there is a big difference between 11.0 and 11.1 implementations.
In truth, I don’t pay much attention to speed on openSUSE.
However when it comes to SPEED, IF I am helping a friend setup Linuxa PC where speed is a criteria, openSUSE is NOT the Linux (and I am a BIG openSUSE fan) that will go on that PC. Neither is Ubuntu nor Fedora nor Mandriva. My current favourite “fast” light weight distribution is “Elive”, albeit there are faster more light weight distributions. In addition to its speed (on an older PC), I just like Elive’s eye candy, and its easy package installation/update path with debian repositories being available for it.
i installed openSUSE 11.0 last night and i’ve got to admit… it was a nightmare. it wouldn’t detect my i815 graphics card, so i was constantly dumped to the terminal… guess i’ll be sticking with 11.1 for now. i’m going to compile a vanilla kernel and remove all the extra fat and trim it down to my hardware… that always helped in fedora. thanks for all your suggestions, everyone.