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Ubuntu 8.04 Very Slow
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Adam Alexander
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:06 pm    Post subject: Ubuntu 8.04 Very Slow Reply with quote

Last night I switched a Dell XPS 1330 from Vista to Ubuntu 8.04 64bit. Under windows it could crunch SHA work units in <40 minutes. I let it run overnight with Ubuntu and was surprised to see that the time went to about 1:40 minutes per work unit. On top of that, I got a compute error for every work unit of Intelligence Realm. Any thoughts on what might be causing this?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am playing with ubuntu and it does sha units slower in comparison to an identical box running gentoo. Ubuntu uses a very generic kernel, with lots of extra software loaded. Kind of a pain. Not sure about intelligence realm though. Did you look on their site at the WUs in question and see what error they gave?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yankton wrote:
I am playing with ubuntu and it does sha units slower in comparison to an identical box running gentoo. Ubuntu uses a very generic kernel, with lots of extra software loaded. Kind of a pain. Not sure about intelligence realm though. Did you look on their site at the WUs in question and see what error they gave?


The results all show client detached, but no error message. For now, I'm back to running Windows until I get this figured out. It's a little irritating. My wireless worked at install with 8.04 so I'd really like to use it, but not if it's going to mess up my BOINC.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would recommend Fedora. Very nice clean distro. I am biased though, I'm not big on micro$oft.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yankton wrote:
I would recommend Fedora. Very nice clean distro. I am biased though, I'm not big on micro$oft.


I'll give it a shot. Thanks!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you'd get a 150% increase in shrubbing time per WU just because the kernel is less optimized. A few percent maybe, but not that much.

Are you also running the 64-bit version of Windows, or the 32-bit?

There could be a difference in WU size for different architectures. Was it only the time per WU that went up, or did you also get a lower RAC?

I suppose it could be a case of lazy programming, e.g. perhaps they haven't botherd with SSE or other optimizations on the Linux client, but then it wouldn't matter which distro you run.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ubuntu 8.04 comes with the powernowd (the power/speed governor) set to "power saving" and since Boinc does not show up a a "foreground" task the CPU goes to 1/2 speed. Just set powernowd to "Performance".
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mildew wrote:
I don't think you'd get a 150% increase in shrubbing time per WU just because the kernel is less optimized. A few percent maybe, but not that much.

Are you also running the 64-bit version of Windows, or the 32-bit?

There could be a difference in WU size for different architectures. Was it only the time per WU that went up, or did you also get a lower RAC?

I suppose it could be a case of lazy programming, e.g. perhaps they haven't botherd with SSE or other optimizations on the Linux client, but then it wouldn't matter which distro you run.


I'm running 32 bit Windows and 64 bit Ubuntu. I only ran it overnight, so there wasn't much of a hit on the RAC side.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ohiomike wrote:
Ubuntu 8.04 comes with the powernowd (the power/speed governor) set to "power saving" and since Boinc does not show up a a "foreground" task the CPU goes to 1/2 speed. Just set powernowd to "Performance".


Thanks for the suggestion.
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Yankton
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot about the powernowd. It is one of the first things I uninstalled. Thing is though, it's only sha-1 (out of the projects I shrub for now) that has a unusually high completion time on this box. Other projects end up with equal or very close shrub times. Confused

Fedora 9 didn't like my box, now that 10 is out I'll have to take a day and sit down to install it.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yankton wrote:
I forgot about the powernowd. It is one of the first things I uninstalled. Thing is though, it's only sha-1 (out of the projects I shrub for now) that has a unusually high completion time on this box. Other projects end up with equal or very close shrub times. Confused

Fedora 9 didn't like my box, now that 10 is out I'll have to take a day and sit down to install it.


I think it's a Linux issue with SHA-1. This time around I tried Ubuntu 8.04 32 bit (after trying a Fedora istall that didn't like the box) and it still ran incredibly slow even though the processors were running at 100%. Another interesting thing is that I have a P4 2.4 GHz running 8.10 that finishes them up in a little over an hour. That's about the same performance I got from the same machine running XP Pro.

One thing I noticed is that SHA-1 is processor intensive, but wasn't using much RAM. That's something I'd never paid attention to before...is BOINC generally not RAM intensive, or could it be something with how SHA-1 is processed in Linux?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure. One of my gentoo systems is on an identical box and crucnhes sha in about 60% of the time the ubuntu box does. Both running 64 bit editions. If Fedora 10 doesn't like this box either I'll have to sit down and go all gentoo again.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yankton wrote:
I'm not sure. One of my gentoo systems is on an identical box and crucnhes sha in about 60% of the time the ubuntu box does. Both running 64 bit editions. If Fedora 10 doesn't like this box either I'll have to sit down and go all gentoo again.


That's interesting. I might have to try another distro or just do my crunching on Windows.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam Alexander wrote:

<snip>
That's interesting. I might have to try another distro or just do my crunching on Windows.


Just as a "heads up" on Fedora 10- It is as bad as Windoze with unwanted tasks. I generally set up a box to run @ run level 3, with the option to start up X-Windows if I choose (X takes a LOT of resources). F10 starts about 20 or 30 tasks I don't want (hal,fam,network manager, nfslock and all it's friends,rsync,0-discovery,etc,etc...). Then to add insult to injury, they went Ubuntu on us and won't let you log in as root.
I looked at that mess for an hour or two and went back to ARCH Linux.
As a side note- they did screw up KDE with v4, you now need to run hal to have your keyboard and mouse work.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see. Gentoo it is. If you don't install it intentionally, it doesn't run #ni-1
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ohiomike wrote:
Adam Alexander wrote:

<snip>
That's interesting. I might have to try another distro or just do my crunching on Windows.


Just as a "heads up" on Fedora 10- It is as bad as Windoze with unwanted tasks. I generally set up a box to run @ run level 3, with the option to start up X-Windows if I choose (X takes a LOT of resources). F10 starts about 20 or 30 tasks I don't want (hal,fam,network manager, nfslock and all it's friends,rsync,0-discovery,etc,etc...). Then to add insult to injury, they went Ubuntu on us and won't let you log in as root.
I looked at that mess for an hour or two and went back to ARCH Linux.
As a side note- they did screw up KDE with v4, you now need to run hal to have your keyboard and mouse work.


Thanks for the advice. I'll probably experiment a bit on one box until I get things figured out before I try Linux on anything else.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ohiomike wrote:
Ubuntu 8.04 comes with the powernowd (the power/speed governor) set to "power saving" and since Boinc does not show up a a "foreground" task the CPU goes to 1/2 speed. Just set powernowd to "Performance".


Running Ubuntu 8.10 on two desktops. One of the desktops is an Intel Q6600, the other an AMD Phenom X4 9650, both quad-cores. powernowd is running on the AMD system but not the Intel system, which I think is weird.

Anyway, my question is: being as both are desktops and not laptops, is it really even needed? Can I safely 'apt-get remove powernowd' on both and just be rid of it?

nu!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're willing to learn linux and take the time to compile your OS I strongly suggest Gentoo, my gentoo boxes shrub like mad!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard of Gentoo but not as familiar with it. I noticed there are Live and install CDs available. Does that mean I'd still need to manually compile the OS? Also, how difficult is it to get boinc-client and boinccmd running? Will I need to download the source and compile it on the box?

Sorry for all the questions. It's been YEARS since I've dug really deep into *nix.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you'd still need to compile everything for your system, the CD just gets the source code for a lot of the basic stuff right in front of you, but the current live CD is old enough that you would have a lot of downloading to do when you did the first update.

Boinc is not difficult to run and compile, or you have the option of downloading the binaries from the boinc site if you want. Boinc itself doesn't need to be superfast as it doesn't do much, but if your OS is streamlined everything will be faster. Be prepared to sit for quite a while working if you go this route though. It's best if you have a second computer with the install documents sitting in front of you and can research any blocks you come across. First time you do it, you will learn a LOT.

And if you only have dial up you may want to skip it for now. I've been playing with Ubuntu recently and I'm not overly happy with it, installs way too much junk.

If you have a 32 bit processor, Arch linux is a lovely low-calorie choice.

If you have an ancient computer, Vector linux may be the one for you.

Fedora is usually the middle ground but their new live dvd also has a lot of junk.

Debian is the most solid OS on the planet, if you don't care if you have the latest bling but want safe and secure, this is an excellent choice.

If it's just gonna shrub and nothing else, check out damn small linux if you don't want to mess with gentoo.

You have many choices, it really depends on how much effort you want to put into customizing it and what you want the end product to do.

Shrubbing for PGGBs,

Yankton
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