Marc's Public Blog - Linux Hacking

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This page has a few of my blog entries about linux, but my main linux page is here
Picture of Linus

Here is a list of older linux event reports I made before my blog was started, then the rest are below
1996/11/18-21:Linux Pavillion Comdex Fall 1996 (photos only). I've been going since then to help at the linux pavillion.
1997/11/18-21: Linux Pavillion Comdex Fall 1997 (photos only)
1998/05/28-30: Linuxexpo 1998 (photos only)
1998/11/16-20: Linux Pavillion Comdex Fall 1998 (full report)
1998/11/11: Silicon Valley Tea Party (report with pictures)
1999/02/15: Windows Refund Day (report with pictures)
1999/03/20: SVLUG KTEH night (photos only)
1999/03/01-04: LinuxWorld Expo Winter 99 (complete report with many pictures)
1999/03/31: Mozilla Party one year anniversary (photos only)
1999/05/18-22: Linuxexpo 1999 (complete report with many pictures)
1999/06/07: June 99 Balug meeting with Linus
1999/08/09-12: LinuxWorld Expo Summer 99 (complete report with many pictures)
1999/11/15-19: Linux Business Show at Comdex Fall 1999 (full report with pictures)
2000/08/14-17: LinuxWorld Expo Summer 2000 (complete report with many pictures)
2001/01/17-20: 2001 (complete report with pictures)
2001/07/25-28: OLS 2001 (photos only)
2001/08/25: Linux 10th Anniversary (report with pictures)
2001/09/27-30: LinuxWorld Expo Summer 2001 report with pictures)
2001/11/05-10: ALS 2001 (photos only)
2002/06/26-29: OLS 2002 (photos only)
2003/01/20-25: LCA 2003 (photos only)
2003/07/23-26: OLS 2003 (photos only)
2004/01/12-17: LCA 2004 (photos only)
2004/07/21-24: OLS 2004 (photos only)
2005/04/18-23: LCA 2005 (photos only)
2006/01/24-28: LCA 2006 (photos only)
2007/01/17-21: LCA 2007 (photos only)

Here is a list of all the talks I've given:

And below are my blog posts:

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2007/08/08 New Computers & OS
π 2007-08-08 11:39 by Merlin in Linux

After many years with an old desktop machine (AMD K7 900Mhz engineering sample), I had to admit that my workstation needed an upgrade.
Similarly, my old trusty T42p laptop has not liked travelling too much and the last time I got it fixed at work, I was told it was the last time :)
Since I had just upgraded my ancient original Pentium2 Dual Xeon 450Mhz server (gargamel) last year to a more acceptable Dual P4 Xeon 2.4GHz Hyperthreading, it was time to do my workstation and laptop this time.

For the workstation, I pieced up and built a brand new up to date machine: Dual Core Duo E6850 3GHz with Asus board, and giant tower with 11U, and 12-14 drives.

For the laptop, I got a Thinkpad Z61p: Dual Core Duo T7200 2Ghz with 1920x1200 resolution. The LCD is unfortunately a bit smaller than my T42p, but the pixels are still quite readable for me.

As for the OS, I'm currently switching from an almost 10 year old hand configured/upgraded debian distribution (with a fair amount of upgrade cruft and bugglets) to Ubuntu Fiesty. I'm currently forcing myself to use the default gnome, at least long enough to see what I've been missing, if anything, and whether I can put up with it (the lack of edge scrolling, and pitiful iconbox compared to enlightenment is already annoying me). But eh, it's a learning experience and lets me start from a clean system. Once every 10 years isn't too bad compared to windows (which I had to re-install after being unable to migrate it from my older desktop)

For comparison purposes, here are performance comparison numbers between my old and new new server, laptop, and workstation (doing a kernel build with multiple levels of parallelization (-j))
The new server is almost 20 times faster than my 10 year old server:
Saroumane: Old Server/AMD K6 350Mhz
make -j2
real    488m54.485s
user    431m33.470s
sys     47m49.770s
gargamel: New Server/Dual P4 Xeon 2.4GHz Hyperthreading
make -j4
real    32m31.021s
user    87m58.847s
sys     9m22.060s
make -j2
real    39m36.286s
user    71m30.346s
sys     7m59.697s
no make -j
real    55m19.415s
user    51m24.697s
sys     6m23.695s

The new laptop is 2.5 times faster than the old one, although it'll be a lot more responsive than the old one with the second CPU core:
gandalfthewhite: Old Laptop/Thinkpad T42p/Pentium M 1.80GHz
make -j4
real    38m28.071s
user    33m58.057s
sys     2m34.672s
no make -j
real    38m24.379s
user    33m52.404s
sys     2m32.313s
gandalf: New Laptop/Thinkpad Z61p/Dual Core Duo T7200 2Ghz
make -j4
real    15m54.407s
user    27m49.496s
sys     3m2.067s
make -j2
real    16m11.416s
user    27m26.711s
sys     2m39.974s
no make -j
real    29m9.874s
user    27m16.194s
sys     2m36.370s

That said, the winner is my new workstation, top of the line of current CPU and memory speed (800Mhz DDR2, ok, DDR3 was 3 times the price, which is a bit much). What's nice is that it actually beats gargamel, my 2.4Ghz dual CPU server by a factor of 3. Impressive!
Of course, the best part is that least 15 times faster than my old workstation. I guess the old was, was old :)
moremagic: New Workstation/Dual Core Duo E6850 3GHz
make -j4
real    10m20.318s
user    18m23.385s
sys     1m35.437s
make -j2
real    10m17.382s
user    18m4.710s
sys     1m31.256s
poltron: Old Workstation/AMD K7 900Mhz
make -j2
real    155m13.288s
user    134m36.377s
sys     18m47.572s

The rest is a benchmark of two SATA boards (Silicon Image 3124 vs 3132) through a port multiplier on the faster workstation (moremagic) vs the server (gargamel). Reading speed is 150MB/s and writing speed 120MB/s in raid5 configuration in the fastest setup. Not to shabby :) (it would likely be faster without the port multipliers, but eh, who has 14 sata ports in his workstation? :) )
Setup: 10 drives on 2 5 port PMPs
3.0 Gbps to PMP, 1.5 Gbps to drives
Theory: 375MB/s per PMP/5 drives, or 750MB/s for 2 PMPs/10 drives
Sil 3132:
moremagic:/mnt/mnt# time dd if=/dev/zero of=zero bs=1M count=10240
10737418240 bytes (11 GB) copied, 89.1388 seconds, 120 MB/s
moremagic:/mnt/mnt# time dd if=zero of=/dev/null bs=1M count=10240
10737418240 bytes (11 GB) copied, 71.5164 seconds, 150 MB/s
Version  1.03       ------Sequential Output------ --Sequential Input- --Random-
                    -Per Chr- --Block-- -Rewrite- -Per Chr- --Block-- --Seeks--
Machine        Size K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP  /sec %CP 4G 68699  95 116140  28 65026  14 72305  91 145511  17 503.0   0
                    ------Sequential Create------ --------Random Create--------
                    -Create-- --Read--- -Delete-- -Create-- --Read--- -Delete--
              files  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP
                 16  5704  94 +++++ +++ +++++ +++  6342  99 +++++ +++ 21178 100
Sil 3124:
moremagic:/mnt/mnt# time dd of=zero if=/dev/zero bs=1M count=10240
10737418240 bytes (11 GB) copied, 147.033 seconds, 73.0 MB/s
moremagic:/mnt/mnt# time dd if=zero of=/dev/null bs=1M count=10240
10737418240 bytes (11 GB) copied, 102.07 seconds, 105 MB/s
Version  1.03       ------Sequential Output------ --Sequential Input- --Random-
                    -Per Chr- --Block-- -Rewrite- -Per Chr- --Block-- --Seeks--
Machine        Size K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP  /sec %CP 4G 65831  93 72588  18 42041   9 74446  93 102407  12 485.8   0
                    ------Sequential Create------ --------Random Create--------
                    -Create-- --Read--- -Delete-- -Create-- --Read--- -Delete--
              files  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP
                 16  5508  90 +++++ +++ +++++ +++  6319  99 +++++ +++ 21339 100
Sil 3124 on a Dual P4 Xeon 2.4GHz w/Hyperthreading and just 5 drives on one PMP
gargamel:/mnt/dshelf2# time dd of=zero if=/dev/zero bs=1M count=10240
10737418240 bytes (11 GB) copied, 121.61 seconds, 88.3 MB/s
gargamel:/mnt/dshelf2# time dd if=zero of=/dev/null bs=1M count=10240
10737418240 bytes (11 GB) copied, 126.053 seconds, 85.2 MB/s
Version  1.03       ------Sequential Output------ --Sequential Input- --Random-
                    -Per Chr- --Block-- -Rewrite- -Per Chr- --Block-- --Seeks--
Machine        Size K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP K/sec %CP  /sec %CP
gargamel.svh.mer 2G 28435  98 90672  78 31061  23 29877  85 94750  31 365.5   2
                    ------Sequential Create------ --------Random Create--------
                    -Create-- --Read--- -Delete-- -Create-- --Read--- -Delete--
              files  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP  /sec %CP
                 16 29058  90 +++++ +++ 32252  99 32538 100 +++++ +++ 27919  87

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