Skip to main content
Welcome guest. | Register | Login | Post

relative processing efficiency of linux distributions

4 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 2008-01-19

I have an idle 800 MHz P4 system which I'm considering using to point a DV camera under wifi LAN user control, returning the audio-video data. What would be the best distibution to host this application? The machine's processing capacity is probably marginal so I suppose I'm looking for a distribution that optimizes services for http rather than for desktop use. Going by the distro comparisons in polishlinux.org, gentoo and zenwalk look good, but their comparison criteria reflect desktop use. What about tiny distributions ... are they built only for small memory/hd but not small cpus? Thanks for any thoughts on this ... (is this the right forum for the question?)

tbuitenh's picture
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-21
The forum "Free Operating

The forum "Free Operating Systems" would have been a good choice.

Most tiny distributions are suitable for both small memory and slow CPUs.

Although a 800 MHz P4 isn't what I would call a slow CPU, gentoo probably isn't a too great idea for this computer. Gentoo is a sourcecode based distribution, which means software installation is very CPU intensive. It's going to take a while to install... but if you have plenty of time and like watching compiler output flow by, nothing wrong with gentoo.

I think the best choices will be debian and ubuntu server edition. Debian might be a little more difficult to set up, but might also be a little more efficient. On the other hand, I think ubuntu server edition should run just fine.

Offline
Joined: 2008-01-19
processing efficiency

Thanks for the comment. I was wrong about the cpu; it's really a P3. I'm prepared to invest installation effort/time in runtime efficiency. I don't know how accurate the polishlinux.org comparisons are but they suggest that debian and ubuntu don't emphasize optimization as much as gentoo does. Do you think this matters very much?

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
Well since all GNU/Linux

Well since all GNU/Linux distros are based on the same kernel, if you run a server edition or just strip down whatever edition you would run to just the services you need, I think any of them would be good. That said, I agree with tbuitenh, Debian or Ubuntu server edition have the advantage of being easier to set up than something like Gentoo or some others. Zenwalk is good too though, a simple Slackware-like distro with an easier package management (via netpkg) which is also fairly light. I think it wouldn't be a bad choice either.

Btw, you don't need to start a topic again in a proper forum since it was (and usually is) moved by a moderator, so it's fine where and as it is now. Smiling So I deleted your duplicate topic.

Cheers

tbuitenh's picture
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-21
I'm not sure what exactly

I'm not sure what exactly you want to do with the video data. Does it need to be compressed/encoded/otherwise changed before it is sent over the LAN? In that case, you probably want to squeeze every last bit of performance out of the cpu, and gentoo would be a good choice. If not, I don't think you're going to notice the difference between debian and gentoo.

You may also consider using a different source based distribution, for example Source Mage (which I personally think is much better/easier than gentoo), or a well-optimized general purpose binary distribution like Arch Linux (arch does sometimes have issues, because they're distributing too new versions of software, but that usually only harms desktop users).

I do not recommend using a desktop distro, since you will not want a graphical user interface on a server (waste of resources), and removing the gui from a desktop distro can be problematic because it expects you to use gui utilities to configure the system.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.