Why is FreeBSD so SLOW?

Miguel Mendez flynn at energyhq.homeip.net
Wed Apr 23 04:23:20 PDT 2003

On Wed, 23 Apr 2003 13:04:08 +0200
Jalle <defacto at home.se> wrote:


> First of all, I just want to say that this mail is not meant to offend
> anyone, and that it is a technical oriented mail, only with a tint of 
> "computer theology". I don't wish to start another one of those "holy 
> wars"-threads (FreeBSD vs Linux vs Windows kinda), I just want to
> sort some stuff out.

Well, you're message sounds like a blatant troll, but I'll answer it
anyway :)

> Now, everyone says that FreeBSD is supposed to be so fast and
> reliable. Reliable, I fully agree! But fast? No, it's actually much
> slower on my machine than any Windows distro ever was! Sure, only

You're comparing apples and oranges here.

> running in text mode is fast as hell, but no good for everyday use.
> I've tried several WMs and Desktop Suites, like Enlightenment (e16 and
> e17), Blackbox, Gnome2, KDE3 etc. They're great n' all, but as soon as
> I switch to graphical UI everything slows down to a snail's pace! Even
> a simple terminal is slow.

Have you tried other lighter DE/WMs? XFCE and Icewm come to mind. KDE3
and Gnome2 and not exactly speed demons.

> I've played around with Linux a couple of times, and with several
> flavors (Mandrake, Debian, RedHat, Gentoo), and they where all MUCH
> faster using a graphical interface than FreeBSD!
> I have a Pentium III 450 MHz with 320 MB RAM, a SoundBlaster AWE 64
> Gold and a Matrox G400 MAX video card. I know, this is not
> top-of-the-line hardware, but that doesn't mean that it should run
> three or four (or more) times faster under Linux, right?

Your ask for technical answers, but you didn't provide anything to
backup your claims. You don't mention if you're running a Linux kernel
with low-latency patches, which make desktop experience feel faster. I
have a really really hard time believing there's a 4x difference in
performance, specially considering that X is the same on both systems.
Maybe your system is poorly configured. Care to try x11perf on both
systems and paste the results?

> yeah, BTW, is there really NO WAY of getting simultaneous sounds in
> FreeBSD?!? I think that's kinda crappy. I mean MS did it, why can't
> we?

Take your time to google around, you can do it.

> Finally the QUESTION: Why is my FreeBSD box so slow? I figure, if
> FreeBSD in general was so slow, then noone would really use it. Are
> there any "standard tricks" in the book that speeds up a slow X server
> or WM, or just FreeBSD in general?

The only thing I can say is: Where are your patches?

        Miguel Mendez - flynn at energyhq.homeip.net
        GPG Public Key :: http://energyhq.homeip.net/files/pubkey.txt
        EnergyHQ :: http://www.energyhq.tk
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