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Ubuntu 8.10 vs. Mac OS X 10.5.5 Benchmarks

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the there-can-be-only-one dept.

Unix 328

An anonymous reader writes "As a sequel to their Is Ubuntu Getting Slower? Phoronix now has out an article that compares the performance of Ubuntu 8.10 to Apple's Mac OS X 10.5.5. They tested both the x86 and x86_64 spins of Ubuntu and threw at both operating systems a number of graphics, disk, computational, and Java benchmarks, among others. With the Mac Mini used in some of the comparisons, 'Leopard' was faster, while in others it was a tight battle."

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First post. (-1, Offtopic)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660133)

w00t. First post!

Ubuntu if you want to (-1, Offtopic)

denison (735014) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660137)

The lady's not for buntu'ing

Re:Ubuntu if you want to (2, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660453)

Did anyone expect that Apples OS was going to be beaten on Apple hardware by a generic Linux distribution?

Which is faster on my Gateway box?

Re:Ubuntu if you want to (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660523)

What are the meaningful differences between a Mac and a normal PC that would change performance??? Will a Core2 run faster in a differently shaped box?

Re:Ubuntu if you want to (5, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660865)

Mac OS X doesn't have to accommodate variances in the hardware it is running on in the same way that Linux or Windows has to do. Therefore, it can exploit the hardware better. It's the same principle that applied to game developers targeting the XBox rather than a standard PC. Standard PCs might be more powerful, but the XBox is a non-moving target, so you don't need to write to the lowest common denominator, and can exploit the particular strengths of the hardware better. So, it's unreasonable to expect an OS that is written to work on multiple platforms to compete in this fashion.

Re:Ubuntu if you want to (0, Offtopic)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661349)

Except OSX doesn't do a very good job at it. Please snow leopard, FIX IT!

Re:Ubuntu if you want to (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661031)

Just a few things off the top of my head, but the OS and filesystem. Probably why the article is about comparing Ubuntu with OS X and not a whitebox machine with no OS to a Mac with no OS.

no first posts? (-1, Offtopic)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660145)

can anybody post first please?

We musn't fight each other... (3, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660167)

Surely we should be united against the common enemy.

Re:We musn't fight each other... (5, Insightful)

rvw (755107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660289)

Surely we should be united against the common enemy.

It's not fight, it's play. And when one system wins in terms of speed or usability, both systems win in terms of a weaker common enemy.

Re:We musn't fight each other... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660665)

Don't worry, when Barack gives us the $5000 he promised, we'll simply buy the enemy whole.

Right ? You haven't received it either ? Hmmm ...

Obama picks Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660329)

So much for trying to reconcile with the nearly 50% of the country that rejected him. I guess he owed a favor to the Jews in the media that carried him into office on their shoulders.

Captcha is "Prophecy." How appropriate, when posting about the Messiah.

Re:We musn't fight each other... (5, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660335)

This thread will end up getting moderated flame-bait, but what would that common enemy be? Personally I think Windows is rather ok now, Windows 7 will probably be even better, who knows, maybe even better than snow leopard.

The only thing I see as an enemy is ideas which are pushed down my throat no matter what if I want them or not. I want to use my data and my applications in the way I feel like, not be forced to a single method just because someone else thought it was the best one. But that is true for all operating systems and no special "enemy."

I like many things in OS X and in applications for it because it makes sense and makes using the computer more comfortable, I don't like some other things because they don't let me do the things I want to do.

The huge amount of applications for Windows makes it rather likely that you can find one which fits your purpose, some for the window managers and such in the free unix-like oses.

Re:We musn't fight each other... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660485)

It's not really about Windows, it's about Microsoft. I don't care if Windows is coded by the best programmers in the world, the problem comes from management and their shoddy business tactics.

Re:We musn't fight each other... (2, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660705)

But think about all the good things they have given us!

Such as.. as.. Ballmers monkey dance! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc4MzqBFxZE [youtube.com]

Re:We musn't fight each other... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660591)

THE JUDEAN PEOPLE'S FRONT?

Re:We musn't fight each other... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660891)

Fuck off!

Judean People's Front. We're the People's Front of Judea! Judean People's Front.

Re:We musn't fight each other... (3, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660743)

OK, so who are the following:

Unicron: A giant Steve Balmer head?
Galvatron: OS X?
Hot Rod: Ubuntu?

Re:We musn't fight each other... (1)

ray-auch (454705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660811)

Yes, but who is "we" and what defines the enemy?

If we == "free software" and enemy == proprietary, then Apple = enemy along with MS.

If we == "good software" and enemy = crap, then...

Re:We musn't fight each other... (1, Insightful)

mc900ftjesus (671151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660909)

Apple and MS are two sides of the same coin.

I don't get it really (5, Informative)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660183)

It's a lengthy read, and there isn't much in there to say that Ubuntu has any real work to do. Seems like they were comparing two Ferrari race cars and commenting on the differences in interiors... to use a car analogy.

I've just upgraded 8 systems to 8.10 and am quite happy. I was concerned over real world issues about the upgrade from early reports. The old IBM T22 with 256MB RAM was my test case. Guess what? The upgrade went as fast as my Wireless G card would allow it, after a reboot, and then an update last night, it is working a bit better than with 8.04 from a layman's point of view. Yes, it can drag now and then, but is resource limited severely. After the upgrade I did not have to tweak anything, and any problems I was having prior are now fixed. I appear to have fscked up a setting on the wireless networking, but now it's all good. As far as I am concerned, with two older laptops upgraded, and 3 older desktops upgraded, all with ZERO defects, Ubuntu continues to impress me. I will continue to give out CDs free to anyone that wants to improve their computing life.

Now, if you just have to have the 'perfect' gaming machine... go ahead and worry about little things. As for the rest of the world, 8.10 is rocking awesomeness.

Re:I don't get it really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660311)

Yeah, comparing these does seem overly fickle. We all know M$ Products generally run like a$$ and take up more space than they should, from their office suite to their O/S.

Where Macs seem to always be built to handle heavier image/audio it isn't going to be as fast for other tasks. So it's one of those swings/roundabouts...

Oh wait it's not though, OS X costs.. Ubuntu costs.. and they're almost identical results?
  Good

Re:I don't get it really (5, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660501)

Yeah, I forgot to mention that 8 upgrades cost me nothing but time. One thing that I wish Canonical would do is to set up a donation fund where I could donate say $50 per install and know that all the apps that come with Ubuntu would get a reasonably fair share of that money. Is anyone at Canonical listening?

AS it is now, I have to donate separately to those projects which I feel that I use enough to donate to. Trouble is that some projects which I do use are not readily recognizable as such. The Samba project is one such case. Ubuntu and others more-or-less hide its use from the user so they would be unaware that they are using it. I think this would go a long way toward helping various projects. Even if all Samba got from my $50 was $0.75. That is still a donation. In my case it would be eight times that. Yes, I do contribute to F/OSS projects, EFF, and several other groups who have my best interests at heart... well, our interests coincide.

Another thing that Canonical could do, short of setting up such a fund, is write a small app that lists the apps being used on any installation and allow the user to save the list to disk which would include the designated donation web page for that project. That's not quite as good as a donation fund, but would still help the smaller projects by announcing their use and value.

I like a good value as much as the next guy, and there is something satisfying about paying a very fair price for someone's work when it is valuable to yourself. I just wish it was easier to do.

Re:I don't get it really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660853)

I had one minor problem with the 8.10 upgrade -- on an Asus KV7 (KT600 chipset), under 8.04 the Rhine ethernet would generate "NETDEV WATCHDOG timeout" messages (which indicated a problem I guess but the network wouldn't actually drop off long enough for me to notice). Under 8.10 instead it just drops off the network until I hit a keyboard key, which is annoying because it's not my desktop machine. I'd assume from that that ACPI=off would fix it (machine going to sleep?) but I tried noapic instead (because I like to save power) and it worked. The BIOS is also out of date so that might have fixed it too, but since it works now I'm not going to dick with it.

          I haven't compared but a friend of mine says he noticed about 50MB less memory usage in 8.10. I'm down with that, my systems typically have 512MB.

-------
          As for donations, I think it's a great idea. I bet the problem with this is that Canonical is an actual business, and the taxes and all could get real weird if a bunch of people started donating money straight to this business. If they do want donations I expect they'd take the mozilla route and start like an Ubuntu Foundation as a non-profit.

Re:I don't get it really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660991)

Another thing that Canonical could do, short of setting up such a fund, is write a small app that lists the apps being used on any installation and allow the user to save the list to disk which would include the designated donation web page for that project. That's not quite as good as a donation fund, but would still help the smaller projects by announcing their use and value.

I don't use Ubuntu so I'm not familiar with whatever deb front-end they've got happening, but wouldn't that package manager already contain a list of the installed packages with their respective webpages? It seems a bit redundant to code something just to present donation links specifically... which are almost always on the frontpage anyway.

Re:I don't get it really (2, Interesting)

vigour (846429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661133)

I have to commend you on your honesty and generosity. It's people like you that makes a big difference to the overheads of the F/OSS community. Just like every vote counts (as we saw the other day) every donation counts, and people like me who've contributed neither time nor money benefit greatly from it all.

As you said, it would be nice if there was a centralised portal for donating to the various projects that make up a distro like Ubuntu. The biggest problem is deciding where it goes, and how much would go to each group, essentially deciding how valuable (or valued) a particular project is to the F/OSS community at large.
That's a flamewar waiting to happen, but maybe a worthwhile one.

Re:I don't get it really (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661159)

I'm glad your upgrades went so smoothly. I think that is pretty much what most people are saying.

Offered just as a data point, mine didn't go so smoothly. On this Lenvo X60s, it went from 8.04 working fine to 8.10 with no sound. (Actually, it plays the login sound just fine but no apps can play sound). On my older desktop - a P4 Dell with 1 GB RAM and an nVidia 5500 FX card that was working fine with 8.04, it decided the video wasn't working after the update. I did check first, and this is not one of the cards for which support was removed. It had a "low video" message. Took quite some time fiddling and then it all of a sudden began working again. I'm generally impressed with Ubuntu, but both of my upgrades were a little less than successful.

Re:I don't get it really (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661249)

My 8.04 to 8.10 upgrade (took the upgrade path) did not go smoothly. Well... it was pretty smooth except that it screwed up my X configuration so on the reboot, I got nothing but a text terminal and some errors. I didn't mess with it long, posted some messages, got no answer, and the next day just reformatted / and installed 8.10 from the ISO and it worked fine.

Re:I don't get it really (1)

Haiyadragon (770036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661279)

Your sound problem is probably caused by pulseaudio. Why that alpha quality software is installed by default is beyond me.

Re:I don't get it really (2, Informative)

Walles (99143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661293)

a small app that lists the apps being used on any installation and allow the user to save the list to disk

You mean like this [freshmeat.net] ?

Re:I don't get it really (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661483)

Awesome. Duh (slaps forehead) Google is my friend. Should have Googled before posting that. Thanks for the reminder :)

it's not simply the OS, it's the distro (4, Insightful)

slashnot007 (576103) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660369)

For things like compilations, there's a bunch of file opens, caching the compiler and loader, gobs of Mallocs, and so forth that probably intersect the OS. Then there's the driver and video layer tests that look at frames per second. Leopard had 2 to 4 times faster frames per second. then there's the supporting distro services. Tests of My SQL were 4 times faster on the mac. And then there's things like the optimzation of VMs like JAVA where again Leopard excels. THese are clearly optimization problem and can be improved. the purpose of comparing it against a mac is not simply to say "oh yeah mac is faster than unbuntu", but rather to give a bench that shows how much room for optimization ubuntu has. Conclusion is that in almost every aspect Ubuntu is severely unotimized. Since older Linux seemed to be more optimized it suggests that feature bloat is probably either screwing up the design of linux or no one is paying attention to optimizing those features.

Re:it's not simply the OS, it's the distro (1)

slashnot007 (576103) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660447)

correcting my post above: actually java on ubuntu is noticably faster than mac.

Re:it's not simply the OS, it's the distro (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661021)

Yeah, I think that's down to Apple only shipping Java 5, not Java 6 which has a lot of performance enhancements. Java 6 is available now, so they should have used that.

The SQLite benchmarks are an embarrassment for Ubuntu, or Linux in general. However I do know that Apple have done a lot of work on this, for the iPhone, etc, and I'm sure their enhancements are taking time to filter back into the mainstream repository.

All that really matters for desktop use is the user perceived performance however. My Ubuntu feels fast enough - Compiz helps a lot of course - espectially compared to XP on the same machine.

I've just switched my Ubuntu theme to Dust from ubuntu-art.org and it actually makes the desktop environment pleasant. Maybe the font is a little bit too large, but it's not jarring. I'm not normally a fan of dark themes but this theme is very promising.

One thing the Ubuntu Appearance manager should do is maintain a base theme selection and the changes separately, so if you switch the theme, the same changes apply (e.g., Cleartype, font choices, compiz effects, etc) instead of you having to go through and change them all again.

Re:it's not simply the OS, it's the distro (2, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661019)

Since older Linux seemed to be more optimized

Based on what, exactly?

Oh, yeah, nothing but your own bias that Linux is experiencing "feature bloat".

Re:I don't get it really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661437)

Can I just ask... did you go to RPI? Your test case T22 with 256 megs of ram sounds suspiciously like my own (the mandatory laptop from 2001 at RPI, not that other people didn't buy that configuration or that they weren't sold off to ebay by graduates). Just curious.

Ubuntu is dog slow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660215)

Nothing new, move along. Want a sleek and fast linux ? Slackware's the answer.

Re:Ubuntu is dog slow. (2, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661219)

Want a sleek and fast linux ? Slackware's the answer.

You sound like a recent convert. :-D

I've been a huge fan of Slackware ever since it was Soft Landing Systems, but since my preferred GUI is Gnome rather than KDE, I fairly recently got tired of waiting for updates to the excellent Dropline Gnome distribution for Slackware [droplinegnome.org] while it looked as if it was going nowhere, and tried out Arch Linux [archlinux.org] , and I haven't looked back.

It's optimised for 686 architectures, the package manager, like Slackware's, is nice and simple, but with much more powerful features for retrieving packages plus dependencies online and on-the-fly. And best of all, it has nice BSD-like init scripts with which any Slackware user will feel comfortable. It's less intuitive for the newbie to install than Slack, since there's a certain amount of manual editing of config scripts required, but neither is really designed for the newbie in any case...

Survey of 1 (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660229)

OS X is WAY prettier but gets in the way too much.
Ubuntu is more efficient but the icon style sucks.
Both camps are headed towards half-assed full automation a la MS, they just have better OSes with which do it.
Drooling fanbois of both camps can bite me.

Re:Survey of 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660291)

*chomp*

Re:Survey of 1 (1, Insightful)

galoise (977950) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660693)

oxygen icons are beatiful. Heck, kde4 is frickin' awesomw, actually; and i bet you cant make gnome look even good with little effort.

and the difference between mac osx and windows vs linux, is that this automation you speak about is optional in linux of any flavour. that's a HUGE adventage if you find a problem, or if you ever want to use you machine to do something different to what the manufacturer intended.

More of a summary (5, Informative)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660315)

Apple's Mac OS X 10.5.5 "Leopard" had strong performance leads over Canonical's Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" in the OpenGL performance with the integrated Intel graphics, disk benchmarking, and SQLite database in particular. Ubuntu on the other hand was leading in the compilation and BYTE Unix Benchmark. In the audio/video encoding and PHP XML tests the margins were smaller and no definitive leader had emerged. With the Java environment, Sunflow and Bork were faster in Mac OS X, but the Intrepid Ibex in SciMark 2 attacked the Leopard. These results though were all from an Apple Mac Mini.

Also worth mentioning are the collection of posts from the last thread that convincingly argued various problems with the Phoronix Benchmarks.
Example 1 [slashdot.org]
Example 2 [slashdot.org]
Example 3 [slashdot.org]

Speed tests are good, let's make sure we're doing them right

Re:More of a summary (4, Insightful)

Milyardo (1156377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661309)

Apple's Mac OS X 10.5.5 "Leopard" had strong performance leads over Canonical's Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" in the OpenGL performance with the integrated Intel graphics, disk benchmarking, and SQLite database in particular. Ubuntu on the other hand was leading in the compilation and BYTE Unix Benchmark. In the audio/video encoding and PHP XML tests the margins were smaller and no definitive leader had emerged. With the Java environment, Sunflow and Bork were faster in Mac OS X, but the Intrepid Ibex in SciMark 2 attacked the Leopard. These results though were all from an Apple Mac Mini.

Also worth mentioning are the collection of posts from the last thread that convincingly argued various problems with the Phoronix Benchmarks. Example 1 [slashdot.org] Example 2 [slashdot.org] Example 3 [slashdot.org]

Speed tests are good, let's make sure we're doing them right

Every one of those examples are fail at reasoning weaknesses in the Phoronix Test Suite and this is why:

Example 1 [slashdot.org]

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.

If you look closely you'll notice that (a) the laptop the benchmarks are run on effects in no way, the validity of the benchmark as long as they are run consistently on the same laptop and (b) some benchmarks like RAM bandwidth have theoretical limits that are not effected at all by the Operating System but in actual practice, is entirely limited by the operating system you are using.

Example 2 [slashdot.org]

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.

All of the benchmarks were testing the hardware and should have showed variation. The compilers used on all the benchmarking applications are all the same. But the compilers used to build the Operating Systems are all completely different versions. Therefore the compiler on each distro will compile the same "algorithm" slightly different way. That is assuming there were no changes between implementation of packages between distros (of which there were actually hundreds of thousands of changes in the code itself, build options, and runtime configurations)

Example 3 [slashdot.org]

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.

The Phoronix-Test-Suite Only uses its PHP back-end to aggregate benchmarking information. If a compilation with GCC took 5 seconds, its going to take 5 seconds no matter what version of the PHP runtime is used to to start the sub-shell that GCC runs in. It's take the same amount of time if you invoked GCC from bash, from perl, python, java, tcl, C, or C++. It doesn't matter because GCC is its own process just like every other benchmark.

What exactly are they testing? The whole distro?

Yes.

The kernel?

Yes again, since that is a part of the distro

If they're testing the released kernel, then they should run static binaries that *test* the above, comparing kernel differences.

No, what wouldn't prove anything as most of the binaries with each distro are already static.

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.

Wrong. You isolate it down to one independent variable, its called the scientific process. And there was only one independent variable involved, the distro. Everything else is dependant on that variable.

Summary (5, Insightful)

GauteL (29207) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660347)

... for those that can't be bothered to read this lengthy yet information sparse piece.

1. MacOS X is faster in graphics intensive benchmarks.
2. The other benchmarks are fairly even with Ubuntu coming out on top more often than OS X (one notable exception is SQLite).

This is hardly anything new. OS X has a well optimised graphics system with good drivers for the intel chips (which up until now was used in both Macbooks and Mac Minis).

Also SQLite is AFAIK integral to many features of OS X, and for this reason it makes sense for Apple to have optimised for it.

Overall the benchmarks suggests that Linux (not just Ubuntu) needs some work on the graphics system and the Intel drivers. What a shock.

Re:Summary (2, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660725)

2. The other benchmarks are fairly even with Ubuntu coming out on top more often than OS X (one notable exception is SQLite).

Ah, very interesting. Firefox 3 doesn't work in networked OSX environments because the Mozilla devs don't want to turn on a SQLite feature to make it compatible with AFP for performance reasons. Seems like some testing is in order.

Re:Summary (3, Informative)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660879)

Firefox 3 doesn't work in networked OSX environments...

Firefox 3 is the default browser on Macs at my work (OS X 10.4 and 10.5) and we have about 1500 networked. How is Firefox 3 supposed to not be working?

Their methodology is broken (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661267)

Overall the benchmarks suggests that Linux (not just Ubuntu) needs some work on the graphics system and the Intel drivers.

Since they only tested on a Mac Mini, what the results actually suggest is that an operating system distribution that's been finely tuned for a very small set of hardware beats a generic distribution that's currently running on thousands of different hardware configurations. If they actually wanted to draw some generic conclusions about Ubuntu versus Mac OS X, then they should've installed both on as many different hardware platforms as possible, and then run their benchmarks and aggregated the results.

So what might be happening is that Ubuntu Linux isn't as optimised to run on a Mac Mini as OS X - imagine the surprise.

Another problem with the Phronix methodology is that they've made no effort to identify exactly why they're seeing differences. For example, see page 8 of the results [phoronix.com] . The "Bork file encrypter" should either be limited by CPU and memory bandwidth for the actual encryption, or by the speed of the hard disk if it's reading files, encrypting, and writing them back. Given that the limiting factors here are hardware, there's no way that MacOS X should be 27% faster than Linux on this benchmark. Or on the same page, the Java Scimark v2.0 benchmark shows OSX being 370% faster than Ubuntu x86. Given that the performance of Java code is dominated by the JVM performance, this is indicating a massive regression between java 1.5 (OSX) and 1.6 (Ubuntu). Has Sun really allowed this to happen? Or is the Phronix testing methodology broken? My money's on the latter.

Re:Java 1.6 for OS X - available (1)

drerwk (695572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661427)

I noticed recently that Java 1.6 for OS X is now available on Intel 64 bit.
http://developer.apple.com/java/ [apple.com]
I'm not waiting for it to run on my PPC macs...

SQLite inserts? (3, Interesting)

zoid.com (311775) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660405)

What's up with the SQLite inserts? Is EXT3 really that bad? I would be interested in seeing PostgreSQL benchmarks.

Re:SQLite inserts? (2, Informative)

Zan Lynx (87672) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661009)

I am pretty sure Apple cheats on fsync which SQLite uses a lot. To get a real fsync from OS X you have to use the special secret F_FULLFSYNC fcntl.

"Cheat" may be too strong, but Linux fsync sends a command to disk to flush all disk buffers and OS X does not.

Re:SQLite inserts? (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661333)

Is this because it doesn't do an fsync, or is it vecause it returns from the fsync once the journal is written?

If it's the latter, why is that cheating?

Why is Ubunto so popular? (-1, Flamebait)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660415)

Apparently its easy to set up? Is it? I've read that when things go wrong its a pig to sort out. I've used Suse for years now and wifi aside I've never had any issues getting it to work on desktops or laptops (we won't mention the KDE 4.0 debarcle in 10.3). And as an added bonus it has a half decent colour scheme, grown up name and has a standard system setup (uses nice and simple inittab instead of yet another over complicated replacement called upstart).

Is Ubunto really nothing more than Linux for Dummies or does it have anything extra a power user might want that the other dists don't?

not 10.3 , 11! (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660435)

Duh , that should have read 11, not 10.3.

Why is Fruit of the Loom so popular? (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660507)

Distros are like underwear - everyone has their favorite kind, some have none at all, but odds are you'll dislike someone else's brand because you are used to your own.

Re:Why is Fruit of the Loom so popular? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660983)

I have no problem with people liking Ubunto and saying so , but it seems to have a huge momentum behind it with all and sundry proclaiming it as the greatest dist yet built. From what I've seen however its no better or worse than many others so I'm just wondering what the big deal is.

Re:Why is Fruit of the Loom so popular? (4, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661055)

Distros are like underwear

Gentoo has the nastiest skid marks.

Re:Why is Fruit of the Loom so popular? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661489)

Not so sure of that; more experienced Linux users will recognise strengths (and weaknesses) of most distros, without necessarily insisting that one is mecessarily better than the other.

For instance, while I recognise that the dependency-checking features inherent in package managers like deb or rpm can be valuable or useful, I find that they get in the way of how I like to work. Similarly, I don't expect my mongrel hybrid of self-compiled applications and tgz distro packages to satisfy requirements for someone who doesn't want to ever think about dependencies.

And those of us who mess around with init scripts are even more polarised. I personally shun sysvinit scripts and prefer something more BSD-ish, while others feel the reverse is more elegant. But that's personal preference. Both get the job done.

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (2, Informative)

y86 (111726) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660545)

I've read that when things go wrong its a pig to sort out.

See any other linux distribution. I've run linux since Redhat 4.1 in 1997 and I've slutted around with slackware(which is my fav for simplicity), debian, Suse, Caldera, and many others.

I've never run into a distro that ISN'T a pig when something goes wrong except SLACKWARE. And slackware is only simple since it offers almost no package management and no autoconfiguration.

The easier it is the use, the bigger nightmare it seems to be when it breaks. See windows registry for another great analogy.

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660923)

"'ve never run into a distro that ISN'T a pig when something goes wrong except SLACKWARE. And slackware is only simple since it offers almost no package management and no autoconfiguration"

I'd agree with you, though of course with Slackware a lot of stuff never goes wrong because its not there to start with! Even USB stick automount isn't enabled by default in 12.1

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660553)

The fact that you can't even spell the name properly tells me that you don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about, aside from the fact that you've seen this "Ubunt-thing" mentioned on Slashdot. At least do some basic research on your own before asking other people to help you out: http://www.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com]

Either that or you're trolling. Seriously, "SuSE" is a "grown-up name" and "Ubuntu" isn't? And it "uses nice and simple inittab instead of yet another over complicated replacement called upstart"? I'm laughing, but it's not because you're funny.

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (1)

JJNess (1238668) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660613)

Grown up name? How is Suse (which brings to mind a certain doctoral author of children's books) any more grown up than Ubuntu (a foreign language word representing the philosophy behind the distribution and FOSS as a whole)?

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660855)

I was thinking more of the childish release names - Intrepid Ibex , Hardy Heron etc. Who are they aimed at , 8 year olds?

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661045)

Joe Camel says childish marketing works.

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661095)

Hell Debian proper is named after characters in Toy Story

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (1)

Haiyadragon (770036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661185)

Those are code names. Like Longhorn was for Windows Vista. Officially it's just Ubuntu 8.10, Ubuntu 8.04 etc.

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661377)

Ubuntu (a foreign language word representing the philosophy behind the distribution and FOSS as a whole)?

and i always tought it meant "can't install debian properly".

living and learning...

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (1)

galoise (977950) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660793)

my reasons for ubuntu (not trying to sell it to anyone...)
deb based, debian derivative
huge community with tons of use-cases that help troubleshoot almost anything
huge software repo
nice release cycle and upgrade system
different desktops available without too much hassle

and i had a terrible experience in my n00by years with rpm systems, both in fedora and suse flavours (although that was mainly an ati card being a bitch).

my only gripe is that although they offer a kde version, development is pretty much gtk-centric, and i hate gtk and gnome with its habit of treating the luser as a complete moron. i hear that opensuse is kde based, but i already put my chips on canonicals side, so i'm pretty happy with *buntu.

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661069)

Nice flame, FYI Ubuntu is debian with more up-to-date packages...

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661487)

No, Ubuntu is Debian sid with less up-to-date packages.

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (2, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661225)

I tried to like Suse and opensuse post Novell, but the mono-based auto-update system kept hanging, and I had to write a cron job to force kill the processes and restart the auto-updates. Not to mention that SLED didn't ever get mozilla thunderbird packages because they thought evolution should be good enough for anyone. I switched to a more grown up distro after a year of trying to get Suse to work as Novell intended.

Re:Why is Ubunto so popular? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661461)

nice troll, im sure others have shot down most of your bull, but ill point out that upstart is backwards compatible with sysv, so you can just use a nice simple inittab if you don't want to take advantage of the added features (not that there are many yet)

obama has already been tested (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660425)

and the porch monkey failed.

Give credit where credit is due (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660437)

Ubunu isn't getting slower, Mac OSX is getting faster.

Do any of you recall Mac OSX 10.0?

The day I installed Apple's first "modern" OS, I thought X marked the spot of Apple's demise.

Apple has done an admirable job bringing MacOS into the 21st century, and their future looks promising.

Re:Give credit where credit is due (1)

galoise (977950) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660817)

really true. i haven't played with a newer mac in a long time, but from what i recall, OSX was SLOOOOOOOOW

if they have sped it up a bit, good for them.

Re:Give credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661311)

Except you're wrong. Tiger ran a hell of a lot better on my iBook than Leopard. If I didn't need Leopard to run the iPhone SDK then I would be back to Tiger in a heartbeat.

Ubuntu on the other actually is about the same as it always has been but the CPU scaling and CPU power management stuff totally sucks. This isn't a problem with Ubuntu so much as Linux itself. To see the true performance of Ubuntu you must disable all CPU frequency scaling (see below).

The problem with the CPU scaler on Linux is that it reacts slowly. Typically you're running a bunch of processes and if you have multiple cores/CPU's then the frequency scaler will constantly bounce between the cores and seriously degrade performance. Even a single high CPU task will not run at maximum performance.

System->Administration->Services, click Unlock, scroll to "CPU Frequency Manager" and disable that bitch.

Apple's Moving Aggressively On Performance (5, Insightful)

glennrrr (592457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660475)

Next year, we will be seeing how much the extreme emphasis Apple is placing on performance will affect comparisons like these. Apple has figured out that since they can no longer hope to use differences in the CPU to differentiate themselves with generic Windows boxen, they will be using Microsoft's extreme backwards compatibility needs against them when it comes to fully using all the cores--whether they be in a CPU or a GPU--in a computer, and making full use of the 64-bit instruction set. GPGPU programming can give a huge performance boost to certain algorithms and the cleaner, more register rich, 64-bit instruction set is intrinsically faster in addition to allowing larger data sets.

That's why they stopped selling non 64-bit capable computers a couple years ago, and why the new MacBooks have much improved integrated graphics. That's why they are moving their developers to include 64-bit compiles as part of newly shipped universal binaries. Next year is when all this latent potential gets switched on.

Linux has the opportunity to do the same; perhaps more opportunity as it has less of a legacy binary issue, although Linux has to deal with a multitude of graphics chips, Apple only has to optimize for a handful.

Re:Apple's Moving Aggressively On Performance (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660745)

Leopard has already improved performance in a lot of areas. In particular, mmap performance no longer sucks. I had an interesting experience where I wrote two back ends for some of my code, one with aio and one with mmap. On FreeBSD they were within 5% of each other. On OS X 10.4, the mmap one was an order of magnitude slower (and aio ran slower on the OS X machine, but that's not a very fair test - the OS X machine had a faster CPU but a slower disk). I extended this pathological case to a simple program which mmap'd a 2GB file and then touched one byte in every page in turn, 200 times. On 10.4, this completely killed the machine until it finished running, and didn't finish when I left it overnight. On 10.5, the machine stayed responsive (some slowdown, but not much), and finished in about an hour. Now that it's certified as fully complying with SUS'03, Darwin is a pretty nice OS, although too many parts of it (audio subsystem, for example) are closed for it to really be useful without OS X.

Re:Apple's Moving Aggressively On Performance (5, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661035)

So many people are going to call BS on this, but...

I was in the mac store the other day, and I swear I could tell the difference between the new Mac books with the NVIDIA chips and the ones without. From just looking at the scaling performance of the doc as you mouse over it, it looked so much more solid.

I tend to be very sensitive to visual artifacts. I hated my MythTV box because of the tearing (memory bus issue) and blocking on Comcast (so glad I now have FIOS, which still blocks, but only for static or oceanscapes).

Things like a dock where it feels "solid" (better servicing of repaints) just give a better impression of stability and performance, even if its just a simple scale operation. Having no flicker in position or delay in rendering make an impression on people who may not even be aware of what they are seeing.

Re:Apple's Moving Aggressively On Performance (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661047)

Yup right after they piss off 1/2 their user base by abandoning the G5's and G4 processors.

There are a crapload of G5 and G4 apples still in use daily. I know of at least 30 that still create the TV shows and TV commercials you all watch.

Re:Apple's Moving Aggressively On Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661265)

cry me a motherfucking river. you're whinging about a platform that hasnt been available to buy for over 2 years. furthermore, it's been known it was going to be deprecated for over 4 years. waaaaa! waaa! I'm a sooky fucking baby! waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Stay away from Intel graphics (1)

Tangamandapiano (1087091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660479)

The worst Ubuntu performance in the tests was on the OpenGL benchmarks. There's a lot of improving coming on the Intel drivers (GEM, UXA, etc.), but it's sad to notice that it's taking so long for the performance on Linux being on pair with Windows and Mac OS X systems (in the same hardware). I have a GM965 (Intel X3100 card), which support is even less mature than the Mac Mini's integrated card. Based on my experience, I'd not recommend buying those laptops with this IGP to anyone interested in 3D, even for basic stuff like Google Earth or Celestia - unless if you don't mind waiting some more months (or years) to the drivers improve.

Ubuntu -- Obama Linux Distro (0, Offtopic)

y86 (111726) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660481)

Ubuntu has become the defacto Linux distribution for the common computer user.

It came from nothing to something in a very short period of time.

Kind of like Obama.

I hope Obama performs as well as ubuntu.

Re:Ubuntu -- Obama Linux Distro (4, Insightful)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660517)

It came from nothing to something in a very short period of time.

I wouldn't call Debian "nothing".

Re:Ubuntu -- Obama Linux Distro (2, Funny)

y86 (111726) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660577)

I wouldn't call Debian "nothing".

Good point, it was a slow moving ugly mess not suitable for normal users and not suitable for average users. :-)

Re:Ubuntu -- Obama Linux Distro (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660847)

Remember when Redhat came with the new incompatible version of rpm inside one of its own rpms ? One had to search for the tarball to upgrade rpm. That pretty much killed it for life for me, I've been using Debian based systems ever since. I think the idea was, back then redhat users frequently re-installed from scratch.

Re:Ubuntu -- Obama Linux Distro (1)

Smauler (915644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661269)

not suitable for normal users and not suitable for average users.

Ok, I agree it wasn't suited for average users, but surely it was suitable for normal users. Or was that the other way around?

Re:Ubuntu -- Obama Linux Distro (5, Funny)

tlacuache (768218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661087)

Also, both are brown.

Re:Ubuntu -- Obama Linux Distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661215)

So... Whats your point?

OS X is better in many other ways (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660529)

Even if Ubuntu were faster than OS X, who cares? Audio and video decoding? Is there any decent software available for Linux that does this? What about Photoshop for Ubuntu? All Ubuntu can do is run a server, a web browser, play choppy media with illegal codecs, sport some of the worst font rendering in existence, and consistently fail to recognize my USB 2.0 devices. At least with OS X, I can actually DO something.

Re:OS X is better in many other ways (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660807)

Sadly, I have to agree with this. I'm still running XP on my work laptop and workstation at home. Why? Every damn time I install ubuntu, there is ONE vital thing that just doesn't work for whatever reason. Be it buggy nvidia drivers for my card, not having a certain package I'm using at the moment, any number of show stoppers... Sorry Ubuntu, you haven't won the desktop yet. Side note: I have more than a dozen Debian/Ubuntu/FreeBSD servers at work. And a ubuntu box that controls video playback on Channel 7 of our cable TV feed. =)

Java (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660563)

They used Mac OS X's 1.5 version of Java, while OS 10.5.5 does include Java 1.6 (64-bit only). I wonder how things would have changed had they selected this version as the default for Mac OS.

- Mg

7-zip benchmark? WTF?? (-1, Flamebait)

catmistake (814204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660645)

I ceased RTFA when I saw this. Anyone using this bullsh!t compression is a gullible fool; who cares how fast stupid is?

Re:7-zip benchmark? WTF?? (2, Funny)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660769)

Well .... you _were_ pretty fast to stop reading the article ;)

But apart from that, what's wrong with 7zip?

Re:7-zip benchmark? WTF?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660789)

BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT

You can say "bullshit" on Slashdot. Or any other curse word you want. There's no filter here. If you don't want to use that word, then use a different one; you only make yourself look stupid when you censor yourself like that.

Also, 7-zip is a perfectly good compression algorithm.

Re:7-zip benchmark? WTF?? (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660907)

Bullshit because ?
7-zip offers better ratios for the CPU endowed ?

Is it just me.... (0, Troll)

tsnorquist (1058924) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661163)

Or do you all feel that the Federation (Windows systems) and Klingons (Nix systems) should join forces and fight the Borg (Apple systems). Then we can all take on Species 8472 (Google).

Ubuntu fast enough for me (4, Interesting)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661259)

I have not noticed performance problems from Ubuntu. Sometimes I think these small differences are pretty much unnoticeable to the common user. I would say that while Linux always seems fast and snappy to me, its Windows which has a truly noticeable sluggish feel.

I certainly do not think it is a good trade off in an OS to sacrifice features for an increase in speed which really is not noticeable. In most cases this is not necessary as many parts of a system can be made optional. The schedular and some core kernel systems effect the speed of the whole system, but most other components are optional, like X, like drivers, like Gnome, and so on.

Which also is the nice thing about X: the designers of X decided not to try to build in a bunch of heavy user interface junk into the X server, ironically which many people criticise. Excluding memory leaks in some drivers not related to X itself, the X protocol and server system is actually very efficient by todays standards and does not use much memory. Most memory usage is in caching and in bad drivers full of crappy code. Therefore you can run our own window manager without carrying a bunch of stuff you wont use. But the eye candy is there if you want it. People should choose how many features and memory or how little they wish to use.

Why turn off Compiz? (2, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661417)

Since OS X doesn't have an option to turn off compositing, shouldn't it be comparing Ubuntu with Compiz enabled?

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