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Are source compiled packages really faster?

Jan 11, 2010, 16:33 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Locutus)

"It is often a question of debate. Are packages compiled from source really faster than pre-digested ones? In other words will your Linux distribution run faster with apt or rpm packages compared to having everything compiled from source on your machine? Most people will say that compiling from source will make your machine run faster. There is a caveat to that which I will explain. Most binary distributions, due to having to cater to a multitude of different hardware configurations, compile their packages to suit the lowest common denominator. As a binary distribution (a distribution type with pre-compiled packages ie. Ubuntu) also has no way of determining how it is going to be used then the packages are compiled with all options enabled. This means that, depending on your chosen binary distribution, the available packages may not be optimised for your particular hardware architecture and individual packages may have dependencies which you do not want nor will you use. The end result is a Linux distribution which does not run optimally for your particular situation."

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