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Re: want to speed up laptop

Preston Boyington wrote:
> currently my two biggest bottlenecks are with the networking and the 
> MTA.

Could you explain further how the MTA on your laptop is the
bottleneck.  That seems very strange to me and I can't think of how it
would be a bottleneck.

> i installed "ifplugd" and set a faster timeout for the network and 
> that has helped.

I like ifplugd and also use it on my machine.  But not for any
performance reasons.  It simply provides simple and nice functionality
for the task that it does.

> i don't really "need" a MTA for my laptop and will be 
> looking for some alternative.  have thought about just removing Exim and 
> dealing with whatever dependency issues arise.  i can always just look 
> at the log files for info if i need to.

If you want to remove the MTA all together then instead of doing that
you might consider installing 'nullmailer'.  It "provides"
mail-transport-agent and so all of the dependencies will be
satisfied.  I think that would be better than forcing through the
dependency problems by removing the mta entirely.

Also, if you believe that your mta is causing you problems and are to
the point of removing it then I suggest that you simply stop it first
and see if that is really the issue.

  /etc/init.d/exim stop     # old version 3
  /etc/init.d/exim4 stop    # new version 4

After it is stopped then it is almost as if it were not installed.
That would be a good simulation to test the theory that it is a
bottleneck.  If whatever problems were observed remain then it
probably isn't the mta.  But if that test fixes the problem then it
would be a good indicator that the mta is the issue.  (I doubt that
it is though.)

> >I altered the link from /bin/sh to point to /bin/dash instead of
> >/bin/bash but I'm not sure if I got a big improvement. It seems
> >reasonably fast though. :-)
> i have been using zsh recently and it has worked pretty well so far.

"worked pretty well" is great but unfortunately not something that can
be measured or quantified.  When talking performance it is numbers and
data points that really speak clearly.  If possible anyone who is
trying to do system speedups should measure a data point both before
and after.  Otherwise random noise into the system can really cause
confusion and misinterpretation of the results.  I caution this
because in past experiences I have seen people make optimization
changes without data that actually had the opposite effect and slowed
things down!

> compiling my own kernel.  the generic one is great, but with one 
> specific to the machine i should pick up some more speed.

What cpu do you have in your laptop?  If i686 install the 686
optimized package.  If amd64 then install that one.  And so forth.
Those are optimized for their architecture.


The ones who lose out are folks like me running systems with older
cpus such as the K6 which no longer have optimized kernels available
specificially for their architecture in Debian.  I have dropped back
to using the compatible 486 kernel on that system.  It is not tuned
but is good enough for my purposes.  It is not my main desktop anymore
and now functions in a supporting server role.


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