Laying down the glove to the ricers

Alex Esplin alex.esplin at
Mon Sep 11 08:51:36 MDT 2006

On 9/11/06, Hans Fugal <hans at> wrote:
> Ok, I'm going to call your bluff. Gentoo is a lot of things, but less
> resource intensive is not one of those things. Oh, you were talking
> about the times when you're _not_ recompiling everything? Ok, let's
> think it over.

Definitely when not recompiling everything.  Once my gentoo systems
are up and running everything I need, you can go a goodly while
without recompiling everything

> Linux is Linux, and the software you run is the software you run. I dare
> you to demonstrate a human-noticeable speedup in boot time or
> minimalistic operating system setup that is due to compiler flags; I
> believe you would fail.

I wasn't talking about a human-noticeable speedup due to compiler
flags, just that he might get a slightly smaller installed base by
using -Os instead of -O2 which is what I would assume the default is
for most binary distros

> The alternative then is that you believe gentoo
> has more streamlined startup scripts. Maybe gentoo does the parallel
> startup stuff and gets you a prompt before all your daemons are started.

That's the main thing I was inferring to.  By default Gentoo starts
only those daemons that are _absolutely_ necessary for the kernel to
run when it boots.  You then tell Gentoo which additional daemons you
want it to start at boot time (or any other runlevel you want).

> If so I commend gentoo. I think that's where we're all headed and I wish
> we'd get there sooner than later. Maybe gentoo just has fewer installed
> packages by default and therefore starts quicker because fewer daemons
> start.

As above, my gentoo system usually ran about a third to half as many
processes as my Ubuntu desktop system did, running the same window
managers (this is not a comparison between Gnome and Fluxbox).

> I've never done an ubuntu server nor a gentoo install, but I
> know it's really easy to disable or remove the daemons you don't want in
> a Debian-based distro (not as easy to disable as it should be, but no
> harder than any other distro in my experience either). Any admin worth
> his salt will take stock of what daemons are being started and adjust
> that to his needs anyway.

I wouldn't consider myself necessarily an "admin worth his salt" and I
don't know what some of the daemons are and therefore haven't been
adventurous enough to kill them as I need a working system during

> So, why in the world do you believe gentoo is less resource intensive?
> You can partially restore my faith with the enhanced startup scripts
> argument (if it's true), but once it's booted one won't be noticeably
> more or less resource intensive than the other.

Because of the reduced number of processes running as noted above that
in Ubuntu I haven't gotten around to teaching myself which ones (for
the most part) I want to turn off and how to do so.  I may be a little
out of touch here but it would seem that a system running 60 processes
would use less resources than one running 120 or so.

Alex Esplin

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