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Is Ubuntu Getting Slower?

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the slow-like-a-fox dept.

Debian 544

An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix has a new article where they provide Ubuntu 7.04, 7.10, 8.04, and 8.10 benchmarks and had ran many tests. In that article, when using an Intel notebook they witness major slowdowns in different areas and ask the question, Is Ubuntu getting slower? From the article: 'A number of significant kernel changes had went on between these Ubuntu Linux releases including the Completely Fair Scheduler, the SLUB allocator, tickless kernel support, etc. We had also repeated many of these tests to confirm we were not experiencing a performance fluke or other issue (even though the Phoronix Test Suite carries out each test in a completely automated and repeatable fashion) but nothing had changed. Ubuntu 7.04 was certainly the Feisty Fawn for performance, but based upon these results perhaps it would be better to call Ubuntu 7.10 the Gooey Gibbon, 8.04 the Hungover Heron, and 8.10 the Idling Ibex.'"

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544 comments

Performance isn't its raison detre (-1, Flamebait)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525435)

It shouldn't be getting slower, but then again, performance isn't the reason Ubuntu exists.

If you really want performance, run FreeDOS. Otherwise, shut up and get used to progress.

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525459)

Let's see how that statement works in this situation:

It shouldn't be getting slower, but then again, performance isn't the reason Vista exists.

If you really want performance, run FreeDOS. Otherwise, shut up and get used to progress.

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525477)

Ohhh! BURN!

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525485)

Wow, you sound like a microsoftie. Except you're talking about a unix...

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (5, Funny)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525505)

See, there's this thing called an analogy. It's kinda like a car...

Re:Cars! (5, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525661)

Analogies are like matchbox cars full of chocolates... you never know how much spillover chinese paint you're going to get.

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525837)

The funny thing is that the OP name is BadAnalogyGuy...

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525633)

No, he's talking about linux. Linux Is Not UNix, remember? Stop confusing the two.

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (5, Insightful)

Linegod (9952) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525493)

It's nice to see that the Ubuntu fanboys have moved so quickly to 'shut up and like it'.

It took Windows fanboys a decade to get there...

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525583)

Windows fanboys eh? That must be a lonely corner you're sitting in. Probably why you have to write ego-stroking, masturbatory comments like you just did, eh pasnak@warpedsystems.sk.ca

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525959)

As a Windows fanboy, .NET consultant I make more then 700 USD/day :)
I drive a nice car, decline sex to desperate women who compliment me endlessly each weekend, while I'm up egostroking and renewing my knowledge and try to make more monnies instead.

I used to be a Linux fanboy, I watched porn, had long hair and boy, I was hot on the internet. I would be up all night *trying* to get the damn thing running, without getting paid.

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525517)

Complete and utter crap.

Most likely the performance decrease is to do with some unoptimized kernel feature. That kernel feature should be identified and optimized. Linux actually has a nice history of maintaining status quo or getting faster between releases. Atleast when you track it over say 10 releases.

I don't understand this, quite frankly, Windows user mentality of just accepting the state of things.

I would love to see Phoronix do a retest with some of the major patchsets removed and see if they can find the one or ones that cause performance decreases.

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (2, Interesting)

pipatron (966506) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525603)

It's more likely the Ubuntu/GNOME moving all apps to run in mono. I doubt the kernel have anything to do with this.

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (5, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525615)

Well, whatever it is, it shows why tests like this are important. Because the perceived slowdown is what users see and is what they will complain about. Sure, it's got more features and is still a lot faster than Vista, but you've got to be really careful not to cross the line into bloated and slow without realizing it.

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (5, Interesting)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525885)

A project gets late one day at a time. There's probably a similar proverb for this too.

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525921)

"all apps" being F-Spot and Tomboy, neither of which are running by default?

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (1)

doti (966971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525761)

I don't understand this, quite frankly, Windows user mentality of just accepting the state of things.

That's the effect of having a Linux distro to be used by Windows-minded users.

Re:Performance isn't its raison detre (2, Funny)

kv9 (697238) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525527)

that's OK, I'm sure the next version, Moronic Monicker, is going to be a LOT faster.

Had went on? (0, Troll)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525445)

Why should I read this FA if the author apparently didn't finish high school?

Re:Had went on? (3, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525483)

He would have been able to finish, had Ubuntu not been so slow that he was never able to finish his papers and turn them in on time.

Re:Had went on? (5, Insightful)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525495)

Why should I read this FA if the author apparently didn't finish high school?

The anonymous submitter and CmdrTaco's grammar skills have little to do with performance in Ubuntu. RTFA; it makes a good point and I for one hope that this observation is accepted by the Ubuntu developer's and something is done about it.

Re:Had went on? (4, Insightful)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525547)

Why should I read this FA if the author apparently didn't finish high school?

Because intelligence and wisdom have nothing to do with "finishing high school"? I've got nothing past GCSE [wikipedia.org]s. Luckily for me, employers in the UK see past that.

A Wizard Did It (1)

picard2600 (1163565) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525863)

Why should I read this FA if the author apparently didn't finish high school?

Because intelligence and wisdom have nothing to do with "finishing high school"? I've got nothing past GCSE [wikipedia.org]s. Luckily for me, employers in the UK see past that.

Well, I've got nothing past OWL [wikipedia.org], but fortunately employers in the US see past that.

Re:Had went on? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525657)

Reasons include:
1. Determining if the error is in the article or in the summary.
2. Determining if the article is riddled with errors or if the summary highlights an uncommon occurrence.
3. Determining if the article's substance is good despite presentation and communication problems.
4. Not having a knee-jerk impulse to ignorantly flame strangers on the internet.

The article could be written by a dyslexic, Sumatran orangutan, yet full of useful data. You'll never know.

Ubuntu isn't getting slower, no. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525475)

Your laptop IS, on the other hand, getting OLDER, and while your hardware might not be changing the requirements put upon hardware are.

Complete bullshit article, doesn't offer any useful information beyond a completely obvious conclusion -- the more features that are added to a given piece of software, the higher the demands on your PC. The only reason they've turned this into an "Ubuntu is getting slower" argument is precisely so that they can start debates like these and drag more people onto their ad laden site.

Not a lot different from the tactics that Slashdot has been using for years, really.

Re:Ubuntu isn't getting slower, no. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525529)

RTFA jackass. The laptop they used had a fucking core duo. It was a Lenovo T60 [notebookreview.com].

Re:Ubuntu isn't getting slower, no. (5, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525579)

Complete bullshit article, doesn't offer any useful information beyond a completely obvious conclusion -- the more features that are added to a given piece of software, the higher the demands on your PC.

I would think that those increased demands should be mostly in the form of slightly (a few MB) higher memory requirements to store the extra code for those features. Adding new functionality should not impact existing functionality. Haven't you heard of the zero-cost principle (idea from C++ and apparently Perl, "you don't pay for (as in take a performance hit from) what you don't use")?

Re:Ubuntu isn't getting slower, no. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525665)

Funny, replace "Ubuntu" with "Windows" in your statement, and it would closely resemble a crowd that has been chased out of the house.

Re:Ubuntu isn't getting slower, no. (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525835)

It's not quite that simple. Performance in Java and media encoding was almost halved in the two newest versus the older versions of the OS. It's hard to imagine why that would be the case unless "more features" in Heron and Ibex are using up half the CPU time (and based on the other benchmarks, they ain't). I'd suspect test methodology rather than some oddity of OS performance but it's still something that needs to be addressed.

Re:Ubuntu isn't getting slower, no. (4, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525875)

Insightful? Seriously?

They ran the tests on a modern laptop, and noticed a perceived slowdown. It would be idiotic to ignore that just because new features were added.

What hardware? (5, Insightful)

el_chupanegre (1052384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525481)

Were they testing each distribution on exactly the same hardware?

If so, that sounds completely fair to me that it would be slower. Go and (try to) install Vista on a machine that originally came with XP (pre-SP1) and see how much slower it is. Is that a fair test either? I think not.

As software gets more useful (and Ubuntu has, Vista not so much) it gets bigger and thus gets slower on the same hardware. Hardware advances at the same time though, so in real terms they keep about equal. When you test new software on old hardware of course it's going to be slower though.

Re:What hardware? (1, Interesting)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525507)

Mod parent up. This article is flamebait.

For once I agree with a Gentoo/Slackware zealot who posted "This is what happens when you put out pre-compiled kernels, it makes it too easy for stupid people." And this is how questions like this arise. If you want performance, compile your own kernel with only your optimizations, then come back to us.

Re:What hardware? (2, Insightful)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525915)

I hope there's a middle-ground somewhere in your new world order for users who want stable performance from release to release without having to compile a kernel.

Re:What hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525523)

WRONG!

Just because you add features it should NOT have to run slower.

People who think this are either not programmers, or real lazy programmers.

Re:What hardware? (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525613)

Indeed, it is common knowledge amoungst Real Programmers that you can run an arbitrarily large number of instructions per clock, allowing you to introduce entirely new functionality with zero performance hit. You just need to write everything in asssembler and have the right enchanted oils to annoint the heat sinks. By such a scheme CowboyNeal famously calculated the highest possible prime and now lives forever in a magic castle full of unicorns which shit rainbows.

(Hey, he used an absolute, I'm entitled to extrapolate it to its logical implications.)

Re:What hardware? (1)

Drakonik (1193977) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525893)

But here you have the problem of the conversation of mass and energy. If you add functionality, the energy put into performing this new function must come from somewhere. Either you must subtract a small portion of energy from other functions or add a bit of load to the CPU. Either way, you can't create a new feature that magically consumes no resources.

Re:What hardware? (4, Insightful)

lolocaust (871165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525571)

Read the article, please. The exact same releases of software (such as the LAME encoder) shouldn't have a 2-3x decrease in performance.

Re:What hardware? (2, Insightful)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525871)

That would be true if software was given 100% CPU devotion. But software doesn't operate in a bubble like that and hence other needs are given CPU time, in turn slowing things like the LAME encoder down.

It's something worth noting though, it's a real performance hit and perhaps something can be done about it in future releases.

Re:What hardware? (2)

nfarrell (127850) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525637)

Completely true. For example, the Ibex has much better support for various hardware, and comes with the software and drivers to suit. By default, beryl etc. is enabled for many graphics cards. Gnome's network manager is there too, to support the GSM connections, etc. etc.

Apart from the fact the LTS releases mean you get security updates for years for certain older versions, there are a host of flavours explicitly aimed at low-end hardware, such as xubuntu.

Re:What hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525645)

I suppose the guys at phoronix would have made sure they did not have unwanted services (at least those that show up on 'top') running during benchmarks.

This means that the active task would consume 95-99% cpu. So bloatware in new OSes have a max 5% impact. But still, according to the benchmarks, _compilation_ and MP3 encoding tasks were taking more that 20% longer.

Maybe I have to test this myself, but I hope the tests were incorrect. If it is indeed true, what is more worrying is that Phoronix noticed this before the Ubuntu team/community. Community includes myself.

Re:What hardware? (5, Informative)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525689)

When you test new software on old hardware of course it's going to be slower though.

That's hardly a given, lots of software gets better as it ages - new features are added, but also performance tweaks get added.

The problem is that software should be getting quicker on the same hardware, the alternative is bloaty apps that no-one wants to use. See Vista for the ultimate conclusion to that. You don;t want Ubuntu to end up the same, so its good that someone is pointing out performance issues. Hopefully the next release will have a few of these issues looked at and improved.

Re:What hardware? (4, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525739)

I heard this argument a wee too often. Maybe software should be more useful while at the same time NOT getting slower? Maybe that would be a good thing, as it would then run well on netbooks as well, what do you think?

Re:What hardware? (5, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525751)

You make it sound like it is inevitable and acceptable that newer software is slower than older software. I disagree. For one thing, one way to improve software is to make it faster. This is actually done sometimes. Secondly, even if you add features to software (which is another way to improve software), that doesn't have to make the software slower. In some cases, this may be inevitable, but in many cases it is not.

I personally see computers, and software, as tools for making life more efficient. When software becomes slower, efficiency is actually lost. When this isn't offset by providing me with a more efficient work flow, I lose efficiency. Since efficiency is the main reason I use computers in the first place, this is a big deal.

Re:What hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525759)

Who the fuck is talking about Vista? Are you so insecure and pathetic that you had to throw in a quick Windows bash to make yourself feel better about your operating system as it slows down? Get the fucking dick out of your ass and get a life.

Re:What hardware? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525783)

CPU intensive tasks like LAME should be affected that much by the OS. It's all CPU driven. So it's obvious there are architectural differences that actually hinder regular application performance. I don't consider that an improvement in any way.

"fair"? (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525803)

No, Ubuntu. Just because Microsoft's parents let them do something naughty it doesn't mean you can get away with it yourself, young man. We expect better of you.

Neither Vista nor Ubuntu have improved sufficiently over their previous versions to justify the decreased performance. Ubuntu's focus is on user-friendliness, and it so it isn't exactly counting calories. Vista doesn't really have any excuses.

Ubuntu was the distro that completely replaced Windows for me a bit over two years ago. Since then my desktop has just gotten faster and faster and left more and more RAM and disk space for the applications as I've found more bloated things I can take out of Ubuntu. It seems pretty evident to me that Ubuntu could keep its weight down if the developers put some focus there. Ubuntu's target audience is largely Windows users who are used to the bloat so Ubuntu can get away with it, but that doesn't make it right.

Re:What hardware? (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525905)

When I installed Leopard on my Mac, if performence didn't improve, it certainly stayed the same.

Re:What hardware? (1)

andy19 (1250844) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525909)

Go and (try to) install Vista on a machine that originally came with XP (pre-SP1) and see how much slower it is. Is that a fair test either? I think not.

Go and (try to) install Vista on a machine that originally came with Vista. Fair test? I think not.

Maybe (1, Insightful)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525513)

Because Ubuntu uses generic kernel builds and starts up unneeded shit at boot time. You also have frontend apps for a lot of apps that don't really need it - that can explain the reason the memory is being eaten up. Suggestions? Learn how to compile a kernel, or use a distribution that doesn't have a list of memory eating apps specific to itself, like Slackware for example. I've never had issues with it, and I've gotten the kernel to finish booting in 6-7 seconds with only the device support and services i only need.

Yeah I know - all these new Linux users don't like Slackware. It's so.. Linux like, and not Windows like. Perhaps Ubuntu can work on optimization and take care of the problem.

Re:Maybe (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525569)

fyi to compare specs i reach the kdm login screen with wireless ip address found in 6-7 seconds with a dell latitude d420 (1.2ghz core 1 duo, 1 gig of memory).

Re:Maybe (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525789)

Bullshit. It might resume from standby that fast, but I have a D420 here and it takes that long just to post up and hit the bootloader.

"That's quick" (1, Informative)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525515)

"That's quick" was the phrase my girlfriend after an update of Debian Sid to include KDE 4.1 and OpenOffice.org 3.0 from Experimental. "Wish my slow machine at work was this quick".

You don't have to guess what OS she is using there...

Anyhow, once you replace 3.5.x with KDE 4.1 you will notice a difference. At least I did. (No, I didn't read the article first... Bad boy.)

Re:"That's quick" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525557)

"That's quick" was also the phrase your girlfriend used last night in bed. You really should practice more to make her happy.

Else she may go and find someone else to satisfy her needs.

Re:"That's quick" (4, Funny)

iworm (132527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525559)

How many geeks have heard such phrases: " "That's quick" was the phrase my girlfriend after..."

Alas.

You're vastly overestimating the situation (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525711)

Hell, how many geeks can say such phrases: "...was the phrase my girlfriend..."

baby steps man... baby steps.

Re:"That's quick" (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525639)

Agreed, from my gut level appraisal I thought KDE4.1 was a lot faster - but I returned to 3.5 because it seemed more polished, completed and well rounded. Little things like how items were implemented, widgets all seemed to lack some finesse.

Having said that in another few months I will definitely make the switch - because I really liked what I saw and the direction it was heading in.

You expect more functionality to run slightly slower - that is if you assume the original implementation was part way optimal, but I guess it depends on what kind of functionality has been added.

How significant? (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525531)

As we add complexity and layers of abstraction things tend to slow down in general. If hardware keeps up, and actual human productivity increases, do we have an issue?

I'm all for lean and mean, but it's quite possible to optimize a distro for speed as well. Ubuntu getting slower is not a good thing, but slower is better than harder to use. Netbook distros can be optimized for the hardware in question, after all...

It would be interesting to see how these tests perform across distros, or with a kernel optimized for certain tasks. (Ubuntu Studio for example has a RT-optimized kernel to keep audio from skipping. In theory at least...)

Re:How significant? (1)

siride (974284) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525743)

They haven't added any layers of abstraction over the past few releases. That isn't the problem anyways. I run Gentoo with the same bits of software, but it's not slow at all. And I'm not just talking about boot time. I mean, the UI is actually snappy and programs start up quickly. I don't know what Ubuntu does to make it so shitty, but they have done a really good job of it. Fedora on our workstations at work also seems to have suffered some severe performance regressions over the past few releases. Fedora 7 was pretty fast when we put it on. Now, at Fedora 9, the UI is painfully laggy and program startup is slow.

Re:How significant? (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525753)

I'm glad someone made the point. It really is irrelevant how fast the OS performs microbenchmarks. What matters is how fast the user gets things done. If you spend all day encoding MP3s so be it. But for a lot of people, a kernel that's half as fast but makes some complex things simple is the way to go.

Anyway, that's Apple's philosophy, and why you see Apple not caring so much about kernel benchmarks. That being said, every version of MacOS X has been faster than the last one the same hardware despite adding new functionality. One can argue that that just shows how Godawful slow 10.0 was, but all the releases have been very usable and made the user very productive.

Re:How significant? (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525785)

``As we add complexity and layers of abstraction things tend to slow down in general. If hardware keeps up, and actual human productivity increases, do we have an issue?''

You have that exactly right. Software getting slower is bad, but it's ok if it is offset by other changes, such as faster hardware or new, more efficient ways to perform tasks. In the end, it's our productivity that counts. Now the real question is, how do we measure that, how has it developed over time, and what changes have had the greatest impact (both positive and negative) on it?

xubuntu (3, Insightful)

kisak (524062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525535)

Would have been interesting to have the same benchmarks for Xubuntu, since that is the distribution that is targeted for computers where performens increase/decrease is very noticable.

Re:xubuntu (5, Informative)

Mr.Ned (79679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525823)

Xubuntu's performance targeting appears limited to choice of desktop environment, which was a small component of what these benchmarks tested. The big performance increases the article talks about were in databases, compilers, encryption, memory access, and audio/video encoding/decoding, none of which really have much to do with the desktop environment.

Real men (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525551)

Real men don't upgrade their OS for exactly this reason. In fact, we don't even use OSes. To get maximum performance we write all operations directly to RAM in machine code, while the machine is running, using a needle and a car battery.

software versions? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525565)

Some of theses tests such as the SQLite test I am wondering if they used SQLite within ubuntu or they build and run it on the system they were testing.

This matters because Ubuntu comes with different versions of SQLite.

However if there is a problem then I hope they report it on launchpad. I have noticed any slowness myself.

Re:software versions? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525701)

They were using the Phoronix Test Suite. By saying they ran 1.4.0 Beta 1 it can be found all of the versions they were using. The Phoronix Test Suite syncs to specific versions and builds them from source no matter the OS.

Security Patching? (4, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525585)

Ok, the article completely ignores this (as do most of the above posters it appears). Each version of Ubuntu tested seemed to have different kernel builds. How much of the slowdown is due to the kernel being patched for security and bugs and how much is due to the software that has been added?

Re:Security Patching? (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525763)

Why would they bring it up? They did a test that shows newer Ubuntu releases are slower than old ones. Does the reason matter?

Slower? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525589)

I'm running the 8.10RC on my laptop and i feel the new kernel is much more responsive than previous versions. Gnome is becoming more robust, but thats the natural order of things.

Look carefully at the power management (5, Interesting)

Peter Desnoyers (11115) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525597)

If you look closely you'll notice that (a) the benchmarks were run on a Thinkpad T60 laptop, and (b) there were significant differences on some benchmarks like RAM bandwidth that should have little or no OS components.

This sounds to me like the power management was dialing down the CPU on the later releases...

Re:Look carefully at the power management (5, Interesting)

trumplestone (820102) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525829)

Mod parent up.

Many of the benchmarks (such as the lame, Java and RAM bandwidth benchmarks) are CPU-bound, and will run the majority of time in userspace. As the kernel should only be invoked for timer ticks, interrupts, TLB misses, etc (which would probably account for less than 1% of the CPU time), and change to the kernel should have minimal impact on the benchmarks.

The parent's comment that power settings have been misconfigured sounds spot-on.

Ubuntu? No way. (3, Funny)

Scholasticus (567646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525611)

"Ubuntu" -- an African word, meaning "Slackware is too hard for me".

Re:Ubuntu? No way. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525717)

"Slackware" -- an African word, meaning "Gentoo is too hard for me".

Re:Ubuntu? No way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525729)

ROFLMFAOOMGBBQ

Re:Ubuntu? No way. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525737)

"Gentoo" -- an African word, meaning "let's just fuck with compiler settings we don't understand at all".

Re:Ubuntu? No way. (2, Funny)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525851)

No - it's Yoruba for "Come back after the rainy season - it'll probably have compiled by then, but if not, there'll be plenty of dried wilderbeest to snack on."

Slackware? No easy way. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525757)

Doesn't "Slackware" mean "I am too lazy to make it easy to install." ?

Re:Ubuntu? No way. (5, Insightful)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525857)

"Ubuntu" -- an African word, meaning "I'm sick of fucking with Linux in order to get it to do what I want but I really don't like the alternatives."

Yeah, I rocked Gentoo for a couple of years. I just want something that is fast, easy to use and gives me as little of a headache as possible. Linux is Linux and most of the knowledge learned in one distro will carry-over to another.

Re:Ubuntu? No way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525879)

rofl!!

I'm not convinced they know what they're doing (4, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525617)

Some of the benchmarks were hardware testing, and those showed variation. They should not, unless the compiler changed the algorithms used to compile the code between distros.

Benchmarking a multi-tasking system like Linux is a tough thing to quantify. The Linux kernel recently had a big scheduler change, this alone could account for shifting benhmark numbers. It may not actually "slowing down," but running multiple programs more evenly. The effective work is the same or better, which would mean "faster," but an almost useless benchmark would look slower.

Considering I got Hardy running with 256mb RAM (1)

AlbinoClock (1185993) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525631)

I'd say it's doing ok in terms of performance. So maybe it won't run on a toaster anymore. Oh no.

Snap Son! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525655)

Canonical just got told!

There's no spoon. (1)

draxredd (661953) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525671)

The problem is not speed or benchmark scores.
The problem is usefulness and usability.

we tend to focus on the former because it is "objective" while the later is highly subjective.

I see what you did there.... (2, Interesting)

paultag (1284116) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525673)

I may be a bit biased here. Full disclosure: I am an Ubuntu Member, User, Abuser. I think that Ubuntu is one hell of a Distro, and GNU/Linux is one hell of an OS. Ubuntu, however is not geared for the market where we squeeze every CPU cycle we can. For that you have to do a _LOT_ of cleaning, replace your kernel to something a bit more fit for a server environment. Ubuntu is, and will always be a distro that is Easy to use first, even if that comes at the expense of some kruft. Each distro is becoming more bloated, but one great feature in Ibex ( 8.10 ) is the "System Cleaner" ( for all you GNOME users, Applications --> System Tools --> System Cleaner ) that checks for unused packages. This may not be a whole lot, but before bashing speed, or claiming its fat, take a hard look at the distro really.

wut about 6.06 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525685)

is 6 any good anymore? or should I just toss it.

Yes, absolutely! (1, Informative)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525695)

Yes, Ubuntu is getting slower, absolutely, without question on my part.

My single biggest complaint against 8.04 was that it could not get out of its own way to play an MP3 on my somewhat modest hardware (Via MII-12000). It runs fine on my wife's machine, however (AMD Sempron on Via MoBo).

Now, it is possible that the slowdown is only with 32-bit versions. My wife's machine is running the 64-bit version, and seems to run pretty well. In the mean time, I have reverted to Slackware, which has always been my refuge.

OpenGL / Gaming (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525719)

What is important to note is that the gaming performance hadn't dropped with the newer releases.

Mystery solved. My games will run just about the same.

ha! (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525779)

Don't tell me Ubuntu is getting slower. On my eee PC with a stock hardware configuration, I go from a cold boot to the desktop in around 40 seconds whereas with XP it was taking about 3 minutes on average. Granted the sub-distro (if you would call it that) that I am using is optimized for my setup.

Power management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525781)

One thing I have noticed for a long time now is that the power management CPU scaling in Linux really sucks when you have more than one CPU/core. The problem seems to be caused by the kernel moving processes around to different cores. What this does is cause the various core to constantly speed and slow down, since the trigger for increasing speed is not instantaneous then you end up with crappy performance.

Note that this is when there is just one process sucking up a lot of CPU. If you have multiple processes using a lot of CPU then everything is OK because all the cores get bumped up in speed and stay there.

Stats? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525795)

A few minor quibbles: there are no error bars (at just 3-5 runs for "most" benchmarks and 1 for the remainder, I have to wonder how significant the results are), the beta benchmark app was used for some reason, and the benchmark application automatically downloads any needed dependencies for each test, so I have to wonder if the methodology became inconsistent somewhere. On that last point, the most striking and inexplicable performance hits were for Java and media encoding, so I'd be more satisfied with the results if they could reassure me that they'd used a comparable virtual machine and encoder on each OS.

GCC is getting slower (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525805)

From those benchmarks the one thing that stuck out was that GCC is getting slower. This could be down to the Ubuntu default compilation parameters changing to use more optimisation, for example, which takes longer.

In addition the media portion of Ubuntu or Gnome has become incredibly slow compared to 7.04. Encoding is far far slower, and that's simply embarrassing.

Next up for review: How fast is Kubuntu (Linux + KDE), how fast is FreeBSD (+Gnome and +KDE), and how does it compare to Linux + Gnome.

Performance Problems AREN'T Where You Think... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525841)

... they are.

Seriously.

I can see several problems with the testing methodology as is:

    * The test suite itself: The Phoronix test suite runs on PHP. That in itself is a problem-- the slowdowns measured could most likely be *because* of differences in the distributed PHP runtimes. You can't just say "hey, version Y of distro X is slower than version Z! LOLZ" because, WTF. You're pretty much also running different versions of the *test suite* itself (since you have to consider the runtime as part of the test suite). Unless you remove that dependency, then sorry, you can't measure things reliably. Which brings me to my second point...

    * What exactly are they testing? The whole distro? The compiler (since most of the whole of each distro version is compiled with different versions of GCC)? The kernel? If they're testing the released kernel, then they should run static binaries that *test* the above, comparing kernel differences. If they're testing the compiler, then they should build the *same* compiled code on each version and run said compiled code (which is pretty much what I gather they're doing). If they're testing the utilities and apps that came with the distro, then they should have shell scripts and other tools (which run on a single runtime, not depending on the runtime(s) that came with the distro version). Because if you don't, you have no fucking clue what you're testing.

Honestly, I was unimpressed by the benchmarks. I happen to do performance benchmarking as part of my job, and I can tell you, you have to eliminate all the variables first -- isolate things to be able to say "X is slow". If you rely on a PHP runtime, use *exactly* the same PHP runtime for all your testing; otherwise, you'll get misleading results.

Ricers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525877)

Ubuntu needs ricing...They should be targeting performance instead!

Is ubuntu getting slower? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25525931)

I dunno? I use Arch & Gentoo. LOL!

Arch Ubuntu (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525955)

That's the end point if you think about it.
Linux is one of those OSs' that should be built around the hardware.
Arch Linux forces you to do that and consequently is much faster than a vanilla install of Ubuntu.
Not having to use resource hogs like KDE/Gnome etc helps as well.
You don't need overbuilt gui to work a good desktop.
But Ubuntu is for everyone and Arch linux is for real geeks.

Don't be that guy (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25525971)

Hey let's run valgrind on it and if a random number thingy is slowing it down we can remove it. DOH! A desktop machine does not need to scream. If you want speed use another distro like Arch if you don't want CPU cycles wasted on pretty visual cues.
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