Python on FreeBSD is slower than on Linux

Baptiste Daroussin bapt at
Fri Nov 13 08:02:03 UTC 2015

On Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 12:36:29PM +1100, Kubilay Kocak wrote:
> On 13/11/2015 6:26 AM, Vladimir Bogrecov wrote:
> > Hello,
> > 
> > I'm developing a little project on Python 3.5. The server's operating
> > system is FreeBSD 10.2. Today I decided to do a little test "just for fun"
> > and the result has confused me. I ran the following code
> > 
> > import random
> > import time
> > 
> > 
> > def test_sort(size):
> >     sequence = [i for i in range(0, size)]
> >     random.shuffle(sequence)
> >     start = time.time()
> >     ordered_sequence = sorted(sequence)
> >     print(time.time() - start)
> > 
> > 
> > if __name__ == '__main__':
> >     test_sort(1000000)
> > 
> > on FreeBSD 10.2 x64 and on Debian 8 x64. Both computers was the smallest
> > (5$ per month) virtual machines on the Digital Ocean (
> > The average result on the FreeBSD was 1.5
> > sec, on the Debian 1.0 sec. Both machines was created specially for test
> > and had not any customization. Could you help me to understand why python
> > is so slower on FreeBSD and may be there are some steps I can perform to
> > speed up the python to work not slower than on Debian.
> > 
> > I have found in Google the similar question:
> > so
> > it has an interest not only for me.
> > 
> > P.S. I really like FreeBSD and I would be happy to solve this issue. If you
> > will have an interest to this issue I can provide SSH access for both
> > machines :)
> > 
> > Thank You!
> From FreeBSD Python's (team) point of view, I can't think of anything
> obvious off the top of my head that might cause a ~30% performance issue
> for that workload.
> Let's get a trace (truss, strace, dtrace) of what's going during the run
> so we can figure out exactly what's happening and in what context.
> With respect to the testing environment, certain VPS providers throttle
> bursts of CPU pretty heavily, so you'll want to account for/isolate that
> as a potential contributor. Yes both OS's are being run on the same
> provider, but as Alfred said, one OS may be mitigating/working around
> certain virtualisation 'issues'.
> A full trace of what the test case is doing is definitely the next best
> step I can think of, even before profiling in python, which is probably
> going to provide insight as well.
> Personally, I'd love to hear about anything that might result in FreeBSD
> always topping the charts for Python performance.
Well the python devs are aware by themselves of potential performances issues on
FreeBSD (and non linux in general) for example subprocess will try to close fds,
on linux by getting the list of fd from /proc/fd and only close the one they do
not want among the existing ones. on freebsd they do the same if /dev/fd is
mounted meaning without /dev/fd, perfs will suck. They do not use closefrom(2)
here because on linux it is not async-signal-safe. one could make them use
closefrom(2) on non linux for example or even more efficiently but freebsd only
modify the code to use kinfo_getfile(3).

Another area is the AIO iirc (needs to be double checked) the python uses linux
only things for aio which makes this way slower on FreeBSD.

I'm kind of surprised given the number of pythonic people we have that no one
has had a look at how python perform on FreeBSD and how things are implemented
in the python VM to help them.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 181 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the freebsd-virtualization mailing list