Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Desktops (Apple) Businesses Software Technology (Apple) Apple Hardware Linux Technology

Gentoo is Fast on New G5s 119

Durin_Deathless writes "According to a thread on the Gentoo/PPC forums, some Gentoo users have installed Gentoo on their new G5s without any problems whatsoever. Benchmarks are extraordinary: compiling kde on a G5 running at half speed takes 15 minutes, while it takes one hour on the fastest P4 available. Gentoo/PowerPC lead, Pieter Van den Abeele, reported that the machine currently runs at half speed due to fan controlling hardware not yet supported. The Gentoo team will post benchmarks, and will update installation instructions as soon as possible. There is some question as to what exactly was compiled, as the times seem impossibly fast even on the P4."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Gentoo is Fast on New G5s

Comments Filter:
  • compiling KDE (Score:5, Informative)

    by platipusrc ( 595850 ) <> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:28AM (#6918237) Homepage
    There was a followup post where the originator of the thread stated that he actually only compiled KDEBASE and KDELIBS...not the entire KDE setup. So no, unfortunately the G5s don't bring us 10x the performance just yet :)
  • I can't wait to see (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iendedi ( 687301 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:33AM (#6918278) Journal
    How this thing runs Linux once it has been optimized for it (correct drivers, kernel patches, compiler switches, compiler version, etc..)
  • How teh fuck? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bic2k ( 140221 ) * on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:35AM (#6918290) Homepage
    Do the editors of slashdot even read what they link to? The forum thread was the most useless thread I've ever read. Nothing is proven. Nothing is confirmed. And some guy is claiming he installed suse 64bit for AMD on a G5... tell me there is something more interesting out there!!!
  • Linking to a Forum? (Score:5, Informative)

    by E1ven ( 50485 ) * < minus berry> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:37AM (#6918300) Homepage
    Oh my, the poor site.. If this ever goes to the FP, it's doomed--

    Testing the G5, part 1
    Today at work we were surprised to find a brand new black box sitting at our feet, it was the new G5! First thing I did was rip open the tape, and open the beautiful card board box. Once I got it open I noticed there wasnt much special about the manuals, cables and cds. So I pulled out the huge machine (its alot bigger than I thought AND ALOT Heavier!!) And stuck it on my desk. I quickly hooked it all together, and plugged in the monitor. Before I opened it I took the side of the case off and noticed the clear window inside. Its very attractive but I feel its weird because it doesnt go all the way to the top of the case so the DVD-R and harddrives are not behind the window. So I booted it up with the side on and I couldnt believe how SILENT it was. I had to open it again to make sure the fans were moving. So I was playing with it even more and I noticed that if you take the window off the fans go to full RPM and are LOUD. When the window is on they look like they are going in slow motion, no wonder its quiet. So after I got though the registration wizard apple makes you do, I got to my Macosx Desktop. The first place I headed was system profiler. I dont remember what was there exactly but it showed a Sony DVD-R, 1.6 G5, two 128mb DDR 400 DIMMS in slot 1 and 2 and it was running Macosx 10.2.7. Nothing else was really that surprising. Since I had to do real work I couldnt really play with my new machine, so I have to wait until tomorrow to play with it. The first thing I am going to do is Burn a PPC Live CD and see if it runs, hopefully it does, To bad it has a Nvidia graphics card. So Ill report more to you tomorrow.

    Talk to you later

    Back to top

    Compiling KDE in 15 minutes?

    Did you emerge 'kde' or 'kdebase' or 'kdelibs' ? Does that 15 minute figure also include dependencies?

    I'm away for the weekend on a business trip.. but on Monday, I will post the benchmark tests and everything else for it.

    KDE took about 3 hours to download and compiled in under 15 minutes... my Pentium 4 took roughly an hour to compile KDE...

    I will run some tests on monday and run some kernel tests and such then post my results.

    I used kernel 2.4.22 and kernel 2.6test4
    both of which booted fine.. X only worked so far on 2.4.22

    I've talked to benh (who gets his G5 from YDL in about a week) he told me that there is a remote possibility for the current kernel to work, but it wouldn't have SATA working and would run at half speed (due to the fans - 1ghz powerbooks had the same problem)

    If compiling kde took only 15 minutes, how long is it going to take at full speed? 7 minutes?

    Did you have to make a custom livecd to boot or did the current livecds work perfect?

    I will report back to you on monday with all the information with I get back home

    BTW... I did not use the livecd to bootup
    I will post an install guide monday

    [edit]Forgot to add... for KDE.. I was just talking about the KDEBASE files and KDELIB files.. not all the other stuff like games, and media, etc[/edit]
    • and I couldnt believe how SILENT it was

      I gotta agree with the original poster about the silent part. I was in the Dallas area Apple Store a couple of weeks ago and noticed how quite the place was... except whenever I walked past an MDD G4! Every other Mac model (not just the G5) was wonderfully silent. Steve Jobs may be crazy, but he's a genius.

  • compile time? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sdibb ( 630075 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:38AM (#6918305)
    There is some question as to what exactly was compiled, as the times seem impossibly fast even on the P4.

    No kidding... my Athlon XP 2500 took about 15 hours to compile KDE. You can't even download all the KDE packages in 15 minutes.

    Besides, the actual "kde" ebuild is nothing more than a little flag that says yes indeed, I installed all the other KDE packages: kdebase, kdenetwork, kdemultimedia, kdeaddons, kdeedu, kdegames, kdegraphics, kdeadmin, kdeutils, kdeartwork and kdepim.

    Fortunately, you don't need to install each one if you want to use KDE's basic functions.
  • by ZackSchil ( 560462 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:40AM (#6918320)
    I think Apple likes it very much when someone buys their hardware and runs Linux on it. The large margins on their boxen help cover OS X R&D (which is more expensive than you could possibly fathom, a full modern OS in 4 years, wait, what?!). They even have a reseller that is allowed to sell Macs pre-installed with Linux, unlike MS, who threaten any Wintel PC makers who try to offer Linux on their boxes with expensive licensing.

    Plus, Mac OS X plays very nicely with Linux boxes and they know it. I just hope Apple will help the small Linux on Mac community integrate their software and proprietary hardware for at least full functionality. I have a feeling they will.
    • by ComputerSlicer23 ( 516509 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @02:08AM (#6918771)
      Uhhh, there's a lot more then 4 years into Mac OS X. I was reading Mac OS X runtime docs 4 years ago (they we're the best docs for OpenStep runtime I was using at a job, I quit 3.5 years ago, and I worked there 1.5 years, so I am pretty sure it's got at least 5 years in it at Apple that they've had public documentation). They have a lot of pre-existing software from FreeBSD, and Mach. They also have all of the code and coders that cames from NeXT. It's still no small feat by Apple, but how long was BeOS around? They had pretty good stuff from what I hear, and I'm not sure how long they have been around. QNX 4 was put together pretty quickly. It was a complete re-write of QNX. So was Neutrino.

      Second, Linux could have been written in a lot less time if it had been designed from the beginning to end up what it is (it might not be as good, but it could have been pretty good a lot sooner then it was). The concept that SMP existed. Having somebody who knew what the hell they we're doing at the beginning of it. Linus is a damned genious now, but when he started it, he wasn't a C programmer at all. Which leads me to guess, he wasn't much of a UNIX programmer at the time (let alone an experienced kernel programmer). It wasn't like he designed around the concept of having SMP, or even optimized disk accesses. Scalability wasn't a big deal. Running with more then 8MB of RAM was impossible (he only had 8, so if you had more and wanted to use it, you had to fix it yourself). Second, it's a whole heck of a lot easier to write an OS when the platform is relatively fixed (yeah it needs to work under x86, but if it doesn't, that's not Apple's problem).


      • Linus is a damned genious now, but when he started it, he wasn't a C programmer at all. Which leads me to guess, he wasn't much of a UNIX programmer at the time (let alone an experienced kernel programmer).

        When I first started using Linux, it was at version 0.2 back in 1991/92 or thereabouts. It was blazingly fast on my 486 -- naturally, text mode only but it made MSDOS shit its pants. What I saw back then was certainly not the result of someone who's "not a C programmer at all".
        • I'll point out that's not possible.... :-)

          That problem at that point was that the people who where writting the code you ran under DOS we're stupid. The OS got out of your way. Other then the possibility of the filesystem was slower, DOS should have ran faster. Possibly only mildly faster, but faster.

          Linux could multi-task, which means there is a scheduler. The scheduler is pure overhead in terms of speed. So now you are down to comparing apps to apps. Maybe a little bit of filesystem thrown in fo

      • by ZackSchil ( 560462 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:14PM (#6922671)
        I was more contrasting Apple's development of Mac OS X to that of Windows XP. When Apple took NeXt Step, it was about as far as Windows NT 3 in terms of usability on a modern consumer desktop. Then they banged out an NT 4 equivalent in the public beta back in 1999. They pulled off 10.0 to 10.1 around 2001 to meet Windows 2000. Then came Jaguar in 2002 to meet Windows XP. They kept up with Microsoft and were, in fact, blasting by them. Longhorn has been delayed to 2005. Mac OS X 10.3 comes out late this year! Apple is blasting through with Mac OS X in hyper-development. It's costing a lot put the point is, they have nowhere near the type of resources Microsoft has! Not even close! But they're dong it and Apple fans like myself are footing the bill (quite literally, I'm happy to do it, $120 a year is cool for this speed of OS progression, though others think not)
        • One should point out though that Longhorn will contain features that are not in 10.3. The much anticipated metadata savvy Finder and file system aren't part of Panther, for instance. (Despite expectations which only increased when the BeFS guy joined Apple)
          • Compare vapor to vapor, right?

            What will Apple release in 2005 to match Longhorn?

            All I know is that as an enduser, Apple is very much meeting my expectations. As an enduser, are users of Windows XP and eventually Longhorn having their expectations met?

            How many RPC vulnerabilities a year is that again?
        • by ComputerSlicer23 ( 516509 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @09:42PM (#6927040)
          Uhhh, you better hope an NeXT head never, ever reads that... They make Apple geeks seem like fair weather faithful. :-)

          I was not much of a NeXT user (only used it a handful of times). However, their development kit, especially their AppBuilder stuff was incredible (I used that on other platforms). I've heard about the feature set the OS had in 1991 was pretty impressive. I used to work in a room full of people who talked about the wonders that NeXT was at the time. NeXT was an incredible OS from everyone I've heard from (I know at least 3 independent sources of people I trust who say that). It's largest two failings, were interrelated. It was too expensive, and nobody made third party applications for it. It was right there with Amiga and OS/2 in terms of wonderful OS that nobody used.

          • NeXTStep itself wasn't too expensive, it was the hardware that was overpriced.

            Granted, even the hardware was before it's time. But schools had a hard time purchasing it. When they did, they loved the systems (atleast at Ohio State we did).

            But it was so expensive, especially when someone would question the purchase against a PC or Mac at that time.

            Once NeXTStep for Intel came out, that made things a little easier. But, by then, it was almost too late.
  • The real test. (Score:3, Informative)

    by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:42AM (#6918330) Homepage Journal
    KDE might be nice, but try compiling Mozilla with all options, email/irc/etc... Thats what I'd like to see as a benchmark test.
    • "Thats what I'd like to see as a benchmark test."

      Not to sound cynical, but is that really all that useful of benchmark? You only compile Mozilla once.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        "You only compile Mozilla once."

        You're not a Gentoo user, are you?
        • "You're not a Gentoo user, are you?"

          No, I use Windows. I don't have to deal with having to compile stuff.

          I realize it's useful in the *nix world (even done a bit of that when I tried Linux out) but we're not talking about time critical stuff here unless you're a developer. (Granted, that could be the killer app for this machine, if the number of developers out there was a lot higher.)

          I prefer rendering benchmarks where time really does equate to money, but unfortunately my previous argument about mass
          • by Anonymous Coward
            Don't worry. Your benchmarks are as useless as ours.
          • Re:The real test. (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cbreaker ( 561297 )
            Compiling software involves a lot of CPU heavy computation and drive access. Although you might not compile things on a daily basis, it *is* a decent measure of performance.

            If you can't realize that, well, I can't help you...
      • I dunno, I compile Mozilla about once a week.

        There's Camino, there's Mozilla, and there's Firebird, so there's three different builds to play with on the same source tree. Then there's the fact that new bugs get fixed all the time.

        I used to do it nightly, maybe a year ago, before Camino was developed.
    • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @02:06PM (#6923125)
      Actually, the real test will come when somebody measures how fast this thing can copy a 17 megabyte file from one folder to another.
  • by ArmorFiend ( 151674 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:49AM (#6918370) Homepage Journal
    G5 is lots faster than P4? This is so obvious to even the most clueless home computer user! I mean, come on, how can a P4 possibly compete with a G5? The G5 is clearly 1 ahead!

    Can slashdot please tell us something that's not common knowledge? I mean geez, next the'll be like: Saddam Masterminded 9/11. Well no duh!
  • place your bets (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BortQ ( 468164 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:51AM (#6918383) Homepage Journal
    So how long before IBM starts selling G5 boxes running linux and openoffice?
    • Re:place your bets (Score:2, Interesting)

      by CoolMoDee ( 683437 )
      I remeber hearing talk about an IBM PPC 970 (g5) workstaion. IBM want's more of the community to help with Linux on PowerPC, so making a semi-afordable linux power box would defiently be a way to get that, espically if it runs linux out of the box. I know I would buy would a lot of other linux geeks.
    • If they do, they'll call it a workstation and charge IBM Unix Workstation (RS6000 or Intellistation Power) like pricing... Can we say base pricing "from $8130"

      Buy the Apple.

      • The quality of RS6000 hardware tends to justify the price paid. It's not cheap 'consumer grade' hardware, the market segment that Apple plays in.

        RS6000 boxes are made to last. Apple hardware is made to sell the customer another box in two to three years.
        • I've had my current blue and white macintosh for 4+ years now and it's still going strong. I use it for software development, web, email, and some movie editing.

          Of course it's becoming obsolete and I'm drooling over the G5s, but Apple hardware usually lasts a loooong time. I still have a mac SE in the basement that worked fine the last time I plugged it in.

    • G5 is an Apple whizzy-word. IBM doesn't use that name to describe their Power PC parts. IBM could come out with an equivalent part and put it in a box, but 'G5' is an Apple marketing thing.
    • IBM will never sell a "G5" box, as G5 is an Apple moniker for any Apple box that uses a PPC970 CPU.

      IBM has plans to sell Linux workstations using the PPC970 chip. However, they will never be called "G5".
    • As soon as they pay their linux license fees to SCO.
  • by croddy ( 659025 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:09AM (#6918478)
    a gentoo user is claiming incomprehensible performance boosts due to foo! film at eleven!
  • What he compiled... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lally Singh ( 3427 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:25AM (#6918561) Journal
    kdebase & kdelibs.
    • Four times faster than on his P4.
      • Do you trust that guy to be able to accurately report on what he's done? I certainly don't.

        Anyway, if you want benchmarks, why aren't you looking at
        Oh yeah, because Apple have had a hissy fit and don't submit any results any more.

        • Because Intel used a non-free compiler specifically optimized for the X86 chips with cheating fpu flags to get those scores. Because spec tests and most artificial benchmarks are meaningless and vary each time you run them.
          • SPEC tests aren't articifical benchmarks. This is an official list of the SPEC benchmark programs:

            164.gzip 1400 Data compression utility
            175.vpr 1400 FPGA circuit placement and routing
            176.gcc 1100 C compiler
            181.mcf 1800 Minimum cost network flow solver
            186.crafty 1000 Chess program
            197.parser 1800 Natural language processing
            252.eon 1300 Ray tracing
            253.perlbmk 1800 Perl
   1100 Comput
      • Four times faster than on his P4.

        "P4" covers a *lot* of possible configurations. It's about as helpful as saying it was four times faster than his "G4".

  • by MerlynEmrys67 ( 583469 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @03:26AM (#6919049)
    Long time ago... I learned that the hard disk speed is the most important factor in compile speeds. Once you have LOTS of memory, then get the fastest SCSI hard drive you can get your hands on... forget 7200 RPM IDE drives, think 15K RPM SCSI disks. Every time you have to open a new file for compiling... you have to spin (on average) 1/2 of the disk to get your head positioned... it makes a huge difference
    • by Anonymous Coward
      not only does the disk have to spin on average 1/2 way around to get the head positioned over the file proper, but it needs to do this potentially multiple times beforehand while searching through inodes just to locate the file!
    • Another major factor is the IDE Vs SCSI question. SCSI supports command reordering, so it will resequence a series of requests so that they are executed in the order which requires the least movement of the head. IDE does not do this. Since compiling usually involves accessing a lot of small files, this can make a huge difference, as can having enough cache on the controller to keep the inode tables in cache.

    • on smallish projects I've seen huge increases in compile speed when using a ram disk, even if only for the compiled output.

      with up to 8 gb of ram I wonder if this will be a more common technique on the G5s...
      • This used to be a huge win for me 10 years ago... put all of the temporary files onto a RAM disk - order of magnitude speed up.

        However I have found what makes a much better case today is to just let the ram sit as a disk cache and let the system determine what the best use is.

        It is really fun what you can do with 4 Xeon's and 16 GB memory as well - I loved the compile speeds you got in that system

    • Long time ago... I learned that the hard disk speed is the most important factor in compile speeds. Once you have LOTS of memory, then get the fastest SCSI hard drive you can get your hands on... forget 7200 RPM IDE drives, think 15K RPM SCSI disks. Every time you have to open a new file for compiling... you have to spin (on average) 1/2 of the disk to get your head positioned... it makes a huge difference

      This may have been true once, but not anymore. Processor speed is by far the most important thing af
  • by cubal ( 601223 ) <> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @06:14AM (#6919483) Homepage
    I mean, is that or is that not the vaguest bloody headline you've ever read?

    "Linux is fast on a new fast computer"

    I mean, come on...

  • Anyone remember how fast the G3 and G4 chips were in SETI compared to Intel chips?

    • About twice as fast. (Score:4, Informative)

      by jhesse ( 138516 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @10:34AM (#6921070) Homepage least when running the spiffo graphics. (for some reason, the mac used *much* less cpu for that)

      They were about neck-and-neck without the spiffo graphics, although the mac seemed slightly faster.
      (Hard to tell, since they were different clockspeeds *and*
      datasets.) Averages here...

      This is on P2 and P3 chips. The Celerons were 3-5 times slower because it couldn't keep the data in cache.

      Keep in mind that Seti@Home doesn't use Altivec or MMX.
      • Thank Charlie Fenton for that. He's the programmer that did the Mac port of Seti@Home. And he really, really knows what he's doing, and has been programming on the Mac since before a fair number of Slashdot readers were out of diapers.

    • yeah -- they didn't find aliens either.
  • Bullshit (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This guy is a liar. Look through some of his posting history. He claimed to have downloaded America's Army source, compiled and run it on Linux/PPC.
  • if it was real (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Raleel ( 30913 )
    even if it was real (people at the top said it was only a small subset), I would be skeptical of anything actually running fast on said system. generally, if it compiles fast, it's not very optimized.

    compile times don't impress me any more, although they sometimes do reflect overall (disk i/o included) performance.
    • True. To do a good test, one of the computers would have to be cross-compiling to the other architecture, so that they'd both be running the same code!

  • This reminds me of someone who said that Ant was the bestest greatest build tool, because it built our whole app in like 15 seconds. Of course, make sucks.

    He failed to recognize that it is trival to get make to behave like ant in compiling Java applications by restructuring the rules (pass all the .java files in one command line).

    • > He failed to recognize that it is trival to get make to behave like ant...

      Trivial. What a great word. In this case it means 'if you know exactly how everything should happen, and your make allows arbitrarily long command line expansion (which not all of them do, certainly) and you don't mind something that is, frankly, a hideous hack, then yes, it's... 'trivial.'

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @03:01PM (#6923656)
    Let's analyze this article:

    some Gentoo users have installed Gentoo on their new G5s without any problems whatsoever.

    No. Only one entirely unreliable user made outrageous claims including running Gentoo. Not users but user.

    while it takes one hour on the fastest P4 available.

    The user said "my Pentium 4" without saying anything about what that Pentium 4 was. For all we know it could be an old 1.6Mhz with 128MB.

    Pieter Van den Abeele, reported that the machine currently runs at half speed due to fan controlling hardware not yet supported.

    He says that it may be possible to get the kernel working and if it did then it would run at half-speed. There is no "machine currently" running it to confirm this and it also proves that the other guy is lying.

    The Gentoo team will post benchmarks, and will update installation instructions as soon as possible.

    According to Abeele - "As far as I know, *none* of the Gentoo developers that are working on support for the G5." Now I guess that eventually they will benchmark and update installation instructions but it is obviously not on the radar screen right now.

    The author of this article and pudge should be whipped for putting this awful article up.
  • Gee, just think what if gcc was compiled with xlc! /giddy

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll