Is Arch really faster than Ubuntu

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by linuxforall, May 19, 2010.

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  1. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ubuntu_arch_faster&num=1

    While we often hear "Arch is faster than Ubuntu" and similar statements in our forums and via email comments, this really is not the case. At least when both Arch and Ubuntu are put in as much a stock configuration as possible to reflect the "out of the box" experience encountered by most users, the numbers shown on this Intel Core 2 Duo notebook show the performance to be about the same.

    Myth busted once for all, at ubuntu and other linux distro forums, Arch users are the biggest nuisance. Their belief is that since they went through all the hassle of installing Arch, its gotta be faster than Ubuntu, this definitive tests proves that wrong once for all. The Arch fanboyz go around peddling it as a panacea to anyone facing issues with their current distro of choice, they will rant it, try Arch, what for may I ask?
     
  2. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Why do you feel the need to post this?
     
  3. NoIos

    NoIos Registered Member

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    1. Actually this review says nothing. A review that takes the opposite direction could be interesting for me.
    2. I'm really laughing when they review distributions and forget that in reallity they are reviewing the same OS and the same applications. So I wonder why do they expect huge differences?
     
  4. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    Sorry for asking a noob question, but aren't all distros basically the same, and the only difference is in the default packages?

    Speed testing between different distros would seem rather redundant if that was the case.
     
  5. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Well if you have ever been to Ubuntu or other forums, you will see Arch boys telling all how fast it is because its compiled differently for speed etc. All distros aren't same really, they use different package manager, compiling etc. There is difference between Red Hat, Debian and Gentoo.
     
  6. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Why not? Its about breaking a myth which seems to be propagated by Arch users all around. No harm in benchmarking and coming out with the truth really.
     
  7. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Look at what i quoted. It's not the testing.
     
  8. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Yep, its self explanatory, thats why I posted. This will stop the who is better/faster/bloated debate once for all. At least for a while I hope.
     
  9. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    Rhetorical question. It's pretty obvious, isn't it.
     
  10. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    I do feel that the major distros are very similar.
    they may use different package management systems and use slightly different gui's for certain settings but they do the same thing.

    I have tryed arch and i do feel that it isnt much faster. I did like the idea of starting with a base and adding what i wanted but somethings with it are just a pain. with Ubuntu you can easily uninstall what you dont want.
     
  11. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    I just checked, and it seems like it's actually possible to install yum in Mint.

    Given time and effort, I have this nagging suspicion that it's actually possible to more or less transform any distro into any other one.
     
  12. Arch isn't faster than the Ubuntu *base system*. Depending on how you set it up, it may be faster or slower than a full Ubuntu desktop. As of the current version it definitely boots slower than Ubuntu, though the boot system is IMO simpler and better.

    IMHO the main benefits of Arch are these:

    - Simple package management system, which makes it easy to package all kinds of software
    - Header files are shipped by default so you can easily compile stuff
    - System configuration is very simple and easy to manually edit

    Basically it's a distro for geeks by geeks, and occupies a completely different niche than Ubuntu - it's more for Linux hobbyists.

    As for stability, I've had similar experiences on Ubuntu and on Arch, though I *personally* find that Ubuntu offers fewer and more nasty bugs while Arch offers larger numbers of small annoyances. Both of them are pretty buggy compared to e.g. CentOS or Debian Stable.

    Also:

    - Arch is rolling release; that alone has its own advantages and disadvantages.
    - Arch tends to be more up to date than Ubuntu, therefore it may support newer hardware at times (and be more popular with hardware geeks).

    Both of these attributes make Arch more appropriate for desktop and hobby use than for servers and production environments.

    Keep in mind, I've been an Arch user for a while. But do I recommend Arch over Ubuntu? In a word... no. It depends on what you're doing with it.

    If you're a geek/hobbyist who wants to use Linux on cutting edge hardware, knows how to fix occasional breakage, and doesn't want to do a reinstall six months down the line... Arch might be better.

    If you're a developer and have to compile tons of stuff all the time, then Arch is very likely the better choice.

    If you're a novice who wants a stable desktop that just works, and don't have to compile software, Ubuntu is better. (Personally I'd emphasize that Ubuntu LTS should be used, because I've had very bad and buggy experiences with non-LTS releases, but that may just be me.)

    And if you're setting up corporate workstations, well, then you don't really have much of a choice.

    So no, I don't go around recommending Arch as a panacea, and don't think others should. However, I can't say I've ever seen anyone do that, and to be honest the OP smacks of trolling, which I also disapprove of.
     
  13. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

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    I agree. All things being equal, all distros running a given desktop manager are pretty much the same, at least from my experience.

    Later...
     
  14. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    think about it this way.
    debian.ubuntu,rhel,suse and others use the following:
    linux kernel (obvisally)
    network manager
    add printer dialog
    default desktop environment:Gnome
    empathy as default messing client
    evolution as default mail client
    firefox as default web browser
    Pulse audio
    openoffice
    grub for bootloader
    Xorg
    Plymouth (Fedora,ubuntu etc)

    the list can go on and on.
    they all seem to change the default programs at the same time for example ubuntu 10.04 now uses simple scan as default instead of xsane and so does fedora 13.

    kubuntu and fedora both use packagekit for KDE

    so the gui's for certain things maybe slightly different and commands different for package management but overall they are the same.
    the file locations are slightly different to.

    When I first tried Ubuntu i had a problem with wireless so i tryed fedora but it had the same problem because it uses the same kernel and same network manager version.

    because the major linux distros are the same you can see why ubuntu is so popular its slightly easier to setup.

    so what the is the point in having so many linux distros?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  15. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    That's not really true. A lot of the speed differences depend on how the toolchain as well as the apps were compiled. This is what makes Gentoo faster than most other distros -- the compiler flags can be tweaked for individual architectures.

    A standard Arch install is compiled just about the same way Ubuntu is -- to accommodate as many CPU's as possible. Therefore, I agree there isn't much reason to expect Arch to perform better (even though an Arch install is likely to be lighter on memory).
     
  16. In theory anyway. In practice the difference may not be that noticable unless you do really CPU-intensive stuff.

    Re Arch's optimization, last I checked everything (except probably the kernel) is compiled -O2 -march=i686. (On x86 of course, not sure about x86-64.) march=i686 probably doesn't do much. -O2 supposedly increases performance, but it also bloats up binary size, which means binaries take longer to read from the hard drive and uncached apps launch more slowly.
     
  17. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Unless you're running a movie animation studio, a protein-folding data center or something alike, any compilation super-optimization will render negligible results in most cases. It's a tremendous waste of effort. It's like tweaking Windows and disabling this and that. In the long run, bad. In the short run, pure psychology effect.

    Having a fast disk and lots of ram will make 10x more than change than any cpu tweaks, as memory is slower than cpu and disk is much slower than memory.

    And you never know what you're going to be break.

    Stock kernel, default configurations, pure and simple.

    Cheers,
    Mrk
     
  18. NoIos

    NoIos Registered Member

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    I have posted thinking of a default installation without any user tweaking (like making specific performance selections during installation, boot options etc ) and mainly when an average guy will install a distro. If that is the case I have to say that what you've said is not true. A default install of any of the big and major distributions will result to a system with almost similar performance. There are differences but I have never been impressed by the performance differences of a distribution.

    In any case, even if you do all the things you say, the applications will respond and run almost the same way ( for general desktop usage ). So telling me that I'm not saying the truth...it's a bit hard.
     
  19. CogitoTesting

    CogitoTesting Registered Member

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    I did not know it was possible. Could you show me how? o_O

    Thanks.
     
  20. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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  21. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Its quite obvious that you haven't been to the Ubuntu forums or other linux forum where Arch users haunt like demons. Every and any post there with issues and the Arch user would take a cheap jibe at Ubuntu being bloat, use Arch line. So I debunk that and become a troll in your book and earn the wraith of your disapproval.

    By the way having used Debian stable, ran it as a stand alone desktop and server and to claim that Ubuntu LTS or other distros are very buggy compared to Debian stable amounts to nothing but good old anti Ubuntu FUD and this is exactly what Arch users do as well, no use really, all get debunked eventually.
     
  22. You'd be right, I haven't spent much time on the Ubuntu forums. Sue me. ;)

    Mind rereading what I wrote? I said I recommended LTS because my experience with NON-LTS releases had been buggy. And boy, has it been buggy.

    (Sorry if I come across as on a short fuse BTW, I'm fresh off a discussion on another forum where I'm being lambasted for things I never said. 'Tis a bad night to be me, I guess. :p )
     
  23. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Then don't open your trap, spend some time and you will see the POV of my post or you are simply trolling here with your reply.

    Well, comparing a six month release schedule distro to a long term stable release is totally futile unless the intent is to spread good old FUD as usual, and as for buggy,thats a personal issue, just because its buggy in your case don't mean rest of us suffered from the same bugs or are you now trying to dictate that as well. I have regularly upgraded to every latest issue of Ubuntu and apart from Intrepid, rarely have suffered any bugs in my machine or the myriads of machines I installed it in.

    Methinks a Arch nerve has been touched there somewhere ;)
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  24. andb

    andb Registered Member

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    Well i am an archlinux user since a couple of years ago, i actually switched from ubuntu to arch.

    IMHO i think ubuntu is bloated. So how can you measure bloat? Well i don't know a unified system, i can only measure bloat for my personal sake and it goes like this: Ubuntu has 80% of things installed i don't want.

    Solution? Install ubuntu minimal and build it how you want, you get basically the same as arch. Thats what i did on one of my laptops anyway since i could never run a "normal" ubuntu install.
     
  25. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Those 80% things that may seen bloat to some also comes as a lifesaver to a new Linux user who wouldn't have the foggiest on how to install a package to run his/her bluetooth, mobile phone etc. Thats the price Ubuntu pays but then as we can see, bloat or not, it hasn't really exerted much on its true performance. As for hdd space, in todays age of 1 and 2TB drivers, 2GB default install of Ubuntu hardly ever matters.

    Yes a Ubuntu minimal distro install would be same as an Arch but I would personally think Arch would be even more tweakable and configurable.
     
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