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Linux Performance: Different Distributions, Very Different Results

Mar 10, 2009, 13:31 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Caitlyn Martin)

"The performance results of different distributions, even ones running the same kernel version, the same core libraries, and the same filesystem can be very, very different.

"I see this issue debated on countless Linux forums often without a lot of facts. "It's faster for me" won't convince anyone and rightly so. In a discussion on LXer.com a user named herzeleid asked exactly the right question: "I wonder why that is?" This little article grew out of my response.

"Different distributions are better suited to different hardware. The most obvious example of this, both on the home desktop and in the corporate server room, are differences in processor architecture. For most desktop users this boils down to whether you are running a 32-bit CPU or a 64-bit CPU. (Dual and quad core machines are generally multiple 64-bit CPUs nowadays.) Yes, a 32-bit distribution will run just fine on a 64-bit machine and for most ordinary tasks there really won't be much if any difference in performance. For CPU intensive tasks that take full advantage of a 64-bit processor a 32-bit OS will not perform well."

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