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    Debian with Gentoo features
    Submitted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 – 20:24
    Recently there has been alot of talk about Gentoo Linux and the distribution’s advantages over Debian. The main featuresis that Gentoo has a package system similar to *BSDs’ ports collection. Gentoo users are able to produce binaries optimized for their platform (e.g. Athlonl/P4 optimizations on i686). This is a great advantage and I would like to see something similar in Debian.
    Apt-get source does not really compare and is not very useful when dealing with many packages. Of course the binaries must remain, but the choice to compile and install many packages with their dependencies would be useful.
    rob: See this article and this one and this thread, and this thread.

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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Thursday, 2002/02/07 – 08:21
    I tried Gentoo to see what all the talk about. I have a 350mhz pentium 2 and could not tell the difference really even with xfs. Actually Debian seems to run better in most cases. Of course this might be because Gentoo is still pretty unstable. Debian just runs smooth. I am not going back if I can help it although xfs would be a very nice addition to Debian. Well maybe if I get a faster computer to play around with. It is my second choice. I like apt better because I just have to know the name of the package I want to install not where the ebuild is located in the portage directory. I can also install Debian in an hour over an internet connection. Try doing that with Gentoo on even the fastest processer. And debian is really easy to install despite the views of others. Just my two sense. Something probably could be done to implement something similar though. I dont know I am not much of a programmer.
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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Thursday, 2002/02/07 – 13:48
    Yes, you could not tell the difference really, but you have a 350mhz pentium 2…
    i586 optimized glibc (like in early sid) made a HUDGE difference on my dual i586.
    On a friend PIII 800, Mozilla is fast as a rocket, on my computer, Galeon is just useable…
    Don’t forget, if I my computer was a Quad PIII, I wouldn’t care if all is compiled for i386 without any optimisation because I’ll never notice the difference.
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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Tuesday, 2002/02/12 – 16:17
    Run 2 mozillas at the same time in that machine, for example 2 persons using the same machine with 2 monitors, keyboards & mouses. Then u will probably notice the diference. Try to do more things at the same time… and u will notice. Optimization makes a diference, more or less. And there’s no reason not to implement that into apt-get
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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Thursday, 2002/02/07 – 00:31
    It’s true. BSD users are very happy with their ports, and apt-get makes me feel down. GCC isn’t the best code-optimize, but comparing, for example, a mozilla built for 386 and a mozilla built for Athlon, it can be a big difference.
    Yes! In some packages the difference maybe not really big, but system-wide talking, it’s a big difference. I love Debian and i don’t want such Gentoo impures to sing “hahaha, u’re running a 386 OS” at me, and i believe gcc will optimize more and more in the future. The thing is that apt-get MUST have that feature, and I invite every Debian developer (we are all developers, more or less) that is capable to code that, to do so. If that is done… it will be a massive otherdistros -> Debian migration for sure ;).
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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: Stef
    Date: Friday, 2002/02/08 – 00:41
    It would be great is apt had a configuration file in /etc/apt that would define a few build options for downloading and compiling source debs. Apt would simply build packages for the system default architecture unless otherwise specified.

    That way we can keep the i386 base for development and end-users can download source debs and tweak them as they wish. From the command line it would be like

    apt-get -b –compile –k7 mozilla.deb

    Would it be that hard to implement?

    Stef

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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: Stef
    Date: Friday, 2002/02/08 – 00:44
    I meant, apt-get source –compile –k7 mozilla.deb, sorry 🙂

    Stef

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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Saturday, 2002/02/09 – 17:34
    Uhm, there is already apt-get –compile source mozilla

    The problem is that people want their whole system build with optimizations, almost automatically.. like “make world” in FreeBSD.

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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Sunday, 2002/02/10 – 04:03
    That’s why we should have that in apt to make freebsd people shut up.
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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: mgiammarco
    Date: Thursday, 2002/02/07 – 00:04
    I am trying to geentoize my debian too!
    It seems also to me that debian is missing something. After all if we want to say that apt is the best, apt has to be the best.
    I am recompiling xfree debian. I had to dig thru code to find where I can change -o2 to -o3 -march=pentiumpro etc. I hope there is an esasier way! Is there an howto? Dbuild is really useful? Let’s open a thread!
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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Thursday, 2002/02/07 – 13:58
    Don’t know if it’s relevant here (if you look in the old debianplanet news you will find something too), but there is a package (pentium-builder) that can divert the default gcc build options…

    Andrea

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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: mgiammarco
    Date: Thursday, 2002/02/07 – 23:08
    Thank you but I need more…
    not only compiled for 586 but -O3 and other optimizations too 🙂
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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: esteve
    Date: Saturday, 2002/02/09 – 18:16
    You can. Install pentium-builder and modify /usr/bin/gcc (yes, cause when pentium-builder is installed, it diverts original /usr/bin/gcc to /usr/bin/gcc.real).

    Don’t forget to setenv (or export, whatever your shell is) DEBIAN_BUILDARCH to [pentium, pentiumpro] or in case your are running gcc-3.0 you can add [athlon, k6]

    If I were you, I would just set -mprocessor, not any of -O flag, as you may experience trouble.

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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: zayamut
    Date: Thursday, 2002/02/07 – 06:40
    Just create a file called host.def and use C defines to change some of the constants. Then put the file in xc/config/cf.

    Moreover edit xc/config/cf/linux.cfg and put a YES on some places Debian-specific to make shure that you get a dynamic libXdmGreet and dynamic libFont… etc. and turn on the building of html-manpages and building the spec-docs.

    I attached my host.def for G400 so…
    I just used the same CC-flags for all possible #define I could find to be sure that it doesn’t produce debug-code in someway
    I tried this only with my local anoncvs-copy of cvs.xfree86.org which is basically X11R6.6, that is since Xfree86-4.2.0.
    The only problem is that I don’t create .deb’s just compile it and install it to /usr/X11R6.6
    I have /usr/X11R6.deb too and link that everytime debian needs to update some packages I needed to install X-apps like xlibs and xfree-base etc to /usr/X11R6 and change the link back to /usr/X11R6.6 after apt-get has finished
    Example host.def:

    #define HaveMatroxHal YES
    #define UseMatroxHal YES
    #define LinuxDistribution LinuxDebian

    #define DefaultGcc2i386Opt -O6 -fforce-mem -fforce-addr -finline-functions -fkeep-inline-functions -ffast-math -fstrength-reduce -fthread-jumps -fcse-follow-jumps -fcse-skip-blocks -frerun-cse-after-loop -frerun-loop-opt -fexpensive-optimizations -fschedule-insns2 -fcaller-saves -funroll-loops -fmove-all-movables -fomit-frame-pointer -mpentiumpro -mcpu=pentiumpro -march=pentiumpro -malign-loops=2 -malign-jumps=2 -malign-functions=2
    #define LibraryCDebugFlags -O6 -fforce-mem -fforce-addr -finline-functions -fkeep-inline-functions -ffast-math -fstrength-reduce -fthread-jumps -fcse-follow-jumps -fcse-skip-blocks -frerun-cse-after-loop -frerun-loop-opt -fexpensive-optimizations -fschedule-insns2 -fcaller-saves -funroll-loops -fmove-all-movables -fomit-frame-pointer -mpentiumpro -mcpu=pentiumpro -march=pentiumpro -malign-loops=2 -malign-jumps=2 -malign-functions=2

    #define DefaultCDebugFlags -O6 -fforce-mem -fforce-addr -finline-functions -fkeep-inline-functions -ffast-math -fstrength-reduce -fthread-jumps -fcse-follow-jumps -fcse-skip-blocks -frerun-cse-after-loop -frerun-loop-opt -fexpensive-optimizations -fschedule-insns2 -fcaller-saves -funroll-loops -fmove-all-movables -fomit-frame-pointer -mpentiumpro -mcpu=pentiumpro -march=pentiumpro -malign-loops=2 -malign-jumps=2 -malign-functions=2
    #define OptimizedCDebugFlags -O6 -fforce-mem -fforce-addr -finline-functions -fkeep-inline-functions -ffast-math -fstrength-reduce -fthread-jumps -fcse-follow-jumps -fcse-skip-blocks -frerun-cse-after-loop -frerun-loop-opt -fexpensive-optimizations -fschedule-insns2 -fcaller-saves -funroll-loops -fmove-all-movables -fomit-frame-pointer -mpentiumpro -mcpu=pentiumpro -march=pentiumpro -malign-loops=2 -malign-jumps=2 -malign-functions=2

    #define ProjectRoot /usr/X11R6.6

    #define GccWarningOptions

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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: mgiammarco
    Date: Thursday, 2002/02/07 – 22:55
    Thank you for your gcc -o3 etc. command line!
    My parameters made compiler segmentation fault.

    I did this:

    apt-get source xfree86

    changed parameteres in xfree86.cf if I remember well.

    debian/rules binary

    et voila! all xfree86 .deb ready!

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    Subject: Re: Debian with Gentoo features
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/02/06 – 22:54
    Optimizing for a new platform provides basically _no_ performance gain, and anyone who claims otherwise is either smoking crack, or not using GCC.

    The only time it matters is when compiling something with processor specific assembler such as mplayer, where such processor enabled packages are already provided.

    (this is a bad example due to its licensing, too bad)

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    Subject: Wet blankets
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Friday, 2002/02/08 – 17:50
    I just want to ask: where are the objective benchmarks that prove that cpu optimization (in gcc) is worth thousands of man hours of work making a distribution based on CPU-based optimizing?

    Really, where? I don’t want to be a craphead, but if you took all these people pissing around, making new distributions that aren’t that revolutionary, and put them to work optimizing processor independent code, issues like this wouldn’t need attention.

    But I am more than willing to put away my pride if shown substantial _objective_ gcc benchmarks with regards to this issue.

    And don’t get me wrong. I am all for choice and all that bullshit, but the differences between a majority of the “minor” distributions is like the difference between bubblegum ice cream and ice cream with bubble gum. 🙂

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    Subject: Re: Wet blankets
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Monday, 2002/02/11 – 14:07
    No one suggested thousands of hours making a new distro. He suggested that a (relatively) simple addition such as:

    apt-get –include-dependancies source

    might be the icing on the cake for an already great distro. I’m sure just about everyone these days is away that algorithms rather than cpu optimisations are the main cause of performance increases.

    The poster made a helpful suggestion (the kind developers invite, remember?), and in fact one that would to most people seem quite simple and profitable. I can only assume that your reaction is out of fear of the extra workload or something, whether you actually work on Debian, or are reacting by proxy. At least, I hope that is the case. The alternative is that you are simply trying to cause a flamewar on something you know nothing about. And again, I say that whether or not you are involved in Debian development.

    In short, the poster is not being a menace. He’s being helpful. Try to treat that with some respect, if you can’t manage actual grace.

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    Subject: Im not smoking crack thank you very much
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Thursday, 2002/02/07 – 02:15
    Why dont you go preech on the GCC mailing list. Im sure they will want to know that their optimisations make basically no difference.

    If it makes it even slightly faster then there is nothing to loose except a few idle CPU cycles recompiling.

    Thanks for your insight though though Mr Wet Blanket.

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    Subject: From Debian’s point of view, it makes no difference
    Author: Crag
    Date: Friday, 2002/02/08 – 17:46
    The point of a distribution, and Debian in particular, is to take the common work out of putting together unix-like binaries. Debian is DFSG free, and closely tied to the LSB. It is not a high-performance or even slightly-better performance distrobution.

    *BSD don’t do on-machine compiles for speed, they do it so they don’t have to post binaries on their servers and so that some of the library hassles don’t have to be handled as gracefully. All the packages on a *BSD system were built with whatever libraries were installed, ergo less segfaults and packager worries.

    GCC may provide as much as a 15% speed boost in some hardware and software settings by compiling for the target CPU, but that 15% is not cummulative from program to program. Quite the opposite. It is lost in all the sea of cases where it didn’t make any difference.

    Furthermore, anyone truely concerned with speed has the talents and time needed to compile their own packages. It’s not that hard, I’ve done it. Most of the bottlnecks these days aren’t in the CPUs anyway, and when they are it’s cheaper (when figuring the developer’s time in) to just buy a new motherboard, ram and CPU. If a Dual K7 1900 w/ 2gig ram isn’t fast enough for you, THEN go ahead and optimize your code by hand.

    If you just want to squeeze a few more frames out of quake so you can get over the 300fps mark, then buy a GeForce4.

    If you just think your machine isn’t responsive enough, try some of the low-latency kernel patches.

    Use the right tool for the job, and know the job before you look for the tool.

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    Subject: Re: From Debian’s point of view, it makes no difference
    Author: mgiammarco
    Date: Saturday, 2002/02/09 – 11:29
    Sorry but a source recompile is free, a new geoforce4 costs a lot of money!!!

    BTW when I recompiled the kernel I added also low-latency patch.

    They are not mutually exclusive: you can patch kernel AND recompile your software

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    Subject: Re: Im not smoking crack thank you very much
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Thursday, 2002/02/07 – 21:30
    I’m pretty sure he _wasn’t_ putting gcc down.
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