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Old 21st July 2010
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Default Does anyone know why Gnome is so slow on BSD?

This is kind of a "WTF realisation" kind of thread, if you pardon my American .


I just converted my laptop from FreeBSD RELENG_8 to Ubuntu 10.04, the principal reasons being DropBox, GFire, and not enough time to be shoe horning the suckers into working on FreeBSD. Being able to use google-chrome instead of a resource hogging mozilla firefox is also a huge plus... hehe.


Before the conversion, I had been using Gnome 2 and FVWM 2.5 Devel compiled from Ports. The former for a heavy-weight desktop session and the latter for when working off battery (when a vtty isn't good enough), or as a thin client. Gnome was rigged to run with visual effects turned off instead of the normal (the difference on Ubuntu seems to be none=metacity; normal=compiz stuff). To speed up the startup, I also had turned off unneeded startup apps, like the update checker and what not.

FreeBSD -> about 25-30 seconds from login to when my panels loaded.


I noticed something startling when I booted Ubuntu -> Gnome runs at ludicrous speed! The kind of difference is so big, that when I used it on FreeBSD: Gnome on this laptop reminded me of KDE 3.4 on a 500Mhz/384MB P3 box - yeah man. Now that it's running Ubuntu, Gnome is so fast that I can't even believe I'm still using the same 2.0Ghz/1GB Sempron... it's like jaw dropping.


Ubuntu -> Snap of the fingers from the login to the panels loaded.


I assume that it would be equal or slower on OpenBSD and NetBSD, but this much difference is just freaking insane. Does anyone know what causes it? I can only think of two possibilities: moving more of gnome into the startup sequence, or there is something that Gnome depends on, that FreeBSDs equaliv to is just insanely slow.

*scratches head*
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Old 21st July 2010
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Hi TerryP,

all I can is to confirm that this is truth. I used to run NetBSD-current. Now I run Arch Linux (not b/c of Gnome but Java and other things). Anyway the Evolution I used under NetBDS was just sloooooow- under Arch Linux Evolution starts like a rocket and the e-mail checking/retriving is also faster (I use Gmail so imap).

I don't know the reason- maybe some "linuxism" behind Gnome?

Piotr.
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Old 22nd July 2010
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Have you tried Xfce? If Wikipedia is correct, Xfce is 12x smaller than GNOME and 14x smaller than KDE. I'd like to verify that, but I've used GNOME on OpenBSD and it worked fine but downloading with all 12 pkg_add commands took a while.
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Old 22nd July 2010
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I'm curious to the point that I'm going to try installing FreeBSD + GNOME on a laptop. I'll tell you how the performance goes for me.
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Old 22nd July 2010
klanger klanger is offline
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I've tried FBSD-8.1-rc with gnome-lite.

Time between startx and working DE was about 15sec.
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Old 22nd July 2010
Mr-Biscuit Mr-Biscuit is offline
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Chrome works on FreeBSD.
http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread...ghlight=chrome

Other options if dropbox doesn't work, there are other options. There is also finding what requirements it needs.
Xfire/gfire will work.
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Old 22nd July 2010
klanger klanger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr-Biscuit View Post
if dropbox doesn't work, there are other options.
?
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Old 22nd July 2010
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DriveHQ
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Old 22nd July 2010
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@Pjoter

Doesn't surprise me. Unless somewhere in the heart of Gnome, there's a wicked #ifndef linux do_it_slow_as_snails #endif group in the code, my best guess is it's in a core dependency.

Maybe sth it needs from ports/pkgsrc is just utterly terrible at doing it's business on BSD. From stuff I googled a few weeks ago, it seems that at least at some point, Gnome 2 startup was mostly I/O bound. I'm still using the same slow hard drive though :-/.


@rpindy

I used Xfce for several months after deciding it was about time to actually try the thing, but left it after getting annoyed with my session crashing back to XDM. Seemed to have something to do with the themeing. Ended up going back to FVWM for ages. Still I think Xfce is one of the best desktop environments for unix systems though . Deffo would use it again in the future though.

Xfce 4 was very fast when I used it, nothing like how Gnome 2 and KDE 4 ran. But Gnome 2 on Ubuntu is running even faster than Xfce 4 had on FreeBSD. That is nuts!


@Mr-Biscuit

I'm very interested to know how it works out. There's got to be some sense to Gnomes performance...

Between FreeBSD 6.x and 8.x, I've never had any complaints about performance with the OS.


@ side lines

There's a bit of a difference between Chrome, Chromium, and Windows, Linux, and Native builds of each one - particularly without the port being in wide spread usage. The only reason my laptop followed stable instead of releases, fwiw is a level of trust I have in the project. Stability and maintenance are very important to me, to an extent where a www/linux-f10-google-chrome or equaliv. port is most ideal. In particular one that is widely tested and regularly updated. I've also found Google builds of google-chrome itself much more stable on linux than chromium, which makes me even more leerly of testing a grand experiment.


To get modern versions of GFire working, it needs to be patched because of glibc specifics missing from libc. I'm to busy to be doing this sort of thing every few releases. XFire under Windows sucks enough without throwing WINE at it (didn't work when I tried it under FreeBSD 6.x). My opinions of WINEs usefulness on FreeBSD are still not very high, even if it's gotten 'better'. Every time I try using WINE for something on BSD, it generally falls flat on it's face.


Rather than dropbox, the solution that would likely fit my needs *best* is one centred around rdiff but version incompatibilities between what's available on my different systems, creates a bit of a problem :-P. DriveHQs available info doesn't rub me as gently as Dropbox seems to.


So far I've got about 25MB in chat logs under dropboxes control, out of several GB of $HOME. It's been an exceptional improvement over my rs-vars, rs-touch, rs-pull, rs-push, and rs-mgr wrapper scripts: which were used for automating the question of which machine needs to rsync to the other before/after a session. Once I have things sorted, dropbox will likely be used for variable data sets and more static content will get rsync'd to the file server every few weeks.

Once the inotfy support comes along in the linuxator, dropbox should work fine on BSD. When working hours have settled off in the future, I'll be re-evaluating what can be done there and what I can do to help. For now though, I just need the computer to turn it's head and cough about accessing my data.


All of that however is a side line, compared to this topics interest in Gnomes performance
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Old 23rd July 2010
Mr-Biscuit Mr-Biscuit is offline
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Import tetex-texmf and tetex-src- both 3.0.tar.gz from the freebsd.org distfiles in teTex into the local distfiles. There's a Gentoo version of tetex that seems to be missing something with ncurses.

Still building. This seems to be the only trouble so far.
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Old 25th July 2010
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Having used Ubuntu+gnome and FreeBSD+gnome, I just don't see it. Whatever speed difference there is is negligible to me.
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Old 27th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klanger View Post
Time between startx and working DE was about 15sec.
yo flying man! me on gnome-lite like 3minutes!!
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