Tuning FreBSD with specific applications
Vittorio De Martino
vdm.fbsd at virgilio.it
Thu Jun 2 20:17:35 GMT 2005
First of all:
I DO NOT WANT TO START A FLAME!!!!!!!!!
On my laptop I've being using linux for some years now and "landed" at last to
the gentoo distribution which I tuned for working with the statistical
software R and the bunch of TeX programs such as latex, pdflatex, context and
the likes (this absorb 95% of my activity on the linux box).
The main action I took with gentoo was to compile everything from scratch for
my pc hardware, limiting the use of X & kde using all the above mentioned
software prevailingly in a simple console.
Now in a partition of the same laptop I installed freebsd 5.4, set
softupdates, dma=1, and the same pieces of software as those I had installed
under linux using the ports, therefore, compiling everything for my pc
hardware, but, owing to my poor knowledge of Freebsd I'm experiencing some
In a nutshell I prepared the following test files:
1) a ConTeXt file full of long (useless) chapters and pictures to run with
2) An R program which reads a long text file, puts the data in dataframes,
then loops to accomplish many repetitive mathematical calculations.
Now running the test files in a console linux turns out to be roughly 20-25%
faster than freebsd. Particulary slow results the loop phase of the R source
code that while running slows down and seems to clog in the end. The slowing
down is also perceptible under linux but not at the same level.
Admiring the "ordered and unitary layout" of freebsd, the logical way of
setting it up, the richness of applications, I would like to line the
freebsd installation up to the linux one, improving its performance at most,
not necessarily making it faster than linux.
How could I obtain those improvements? What could I do to speed those programs
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