This document contains only my personal opinions and calls of judgement, and where any comment is made as to the quality of anybody's work, the comment is an opinion, in my judgement.
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Because of a desire to run the same OS on my personal laptop and at work I have switched from CentOS 5 IA32 to Ubuntu LTS 10.04 AMD64 on my laptop.
Ubuntu could be called the MS-Windows of GNU/Linux distributions (even if there are some that are more visually similar) for a relentless focus on superficial ease of use often at the expense of structural integrity and maintainability.
Soon I noticed soon with ULTS10 the fragility of the boot process:
These issues seem to be a combination of the poor design of the new dæmon manager Upstart and of the the boot process graphical decorator Plymouth.
The poor design is that both seem aimed at making the boot process an entertaining and cool experience. Unfortunately that to me seems misguided because the boot process is critical and its design objective should be robustness achieved through simplicity and flexibility.
The big problems above are that it is essentially impossible to boot unless /sbin/upstart works, as the decade old ability to boot into any other program has effectively been lost, and also that Plymouth works there is little information that allows diagnosing potential startup issues.
One of the problems with Upstart is that the new style scripts it uses are written in its own minilanguage, and that they communicate back to it.
A related problem is that Upstart scripts contain both the
run levels at which they should be activated or deactivated,
which is configuration information, and their behavioral logic
an embedded shell, which is not. A site may very well want to
run levels for a dæmon
while not touching the startup scripts, which is then
impossible. Indeed as the latter gets updated by Ubuntu one
has to manually apply run level changes again.
The run levels also often need changing because of the very objectionable Debian policy that all dæmons are activated by default as soon as they are installed, where instead a user often wants to install a daemon to be activated only manually.
Also Ubuntu seems to be nearly unable to boot without
a suitably constructed
what it should contain is largely undocumented, just like the
constraints on the whole boot process. Which seems to me like
an MS-Windows style
as long as it just works in
most cases attitude.
Indeed at some point I ended up with a non working boot
process because of some initrd issue and after
spending a while on it trying to figure out the issue it was
easier to just reinstall Ubuntu. part of the reason is that
the boot ended in a prompt of the
used in the initrd and with the display
cleared just before that, so I could not see for what
reason the initrd boot sequence had stopped.
These issues caused by a disregard for robustness and integrity in favour of shallow coolness, and short sighted disregard for the UNIX philosophy of simple flexible building blocks.
In particular trying to prettify something as critical as the boot process at the price of making it more brittle seems a very bad tradeoff to me.
However it is possible to fix soem of these aspect, and there are some suggestions here from another user with similar frustrations.
I have used for some time the OpenSSL encryption speed tests as a very quick and rough metric of CPU power, in particular to detect CPUs running at slower-than-nominal clock rates.
Also as a very rough example comparison, here on two very different systems I got, the first is a laptop with a 2.4GHz 2-CPU I3-M370 with 4GiB in 2 sticks of 667MHz DDR2 memory, running 64b GNU/Linux (ULTS10):
OpenSSL 0.9.8k 25 Mar 2009 built on: Fri Dec 3 22:53:56 UTC 2010 options:bn(64,64) md2(int) rc4(ptr,char) des(idx,cisc,16,int) aes(partial) blowfish(ptr2) compiler: cc -fPIC -DOPENSSL_PIC -DZLIB -DOPENSSL_THREADS -D_REENTRANT -DDSO_DLFCN -DHAVE_DLFCN_H -m64 -DL_ENDIAN -DTERMIO -O3 -Wa,--noexecstack -g -Wall -DMD32_REG_T=int -DOPENSSL_BN_ASM_MONT -DSHA1_ASM -DSHA256_ASM -DSHA512_ASM -DMD5_ASM -DAES_ASM available timing options: TIMES TIMEB HZ=100 [sysconf value] timing function used: times The 'numbers' are in 1000s of bytes per second processed. type 16 bytes 64 bytes 256 bytes 1024 bytes 8192 bytes md2 1426.02k 2908.30k 3913.56k 4289.54k 4427.52k mdc2 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 md4 43099.08k 137919.91k 356871.17k 581403.57k 714773.85k md5 34283.22k 107119.23k 254004.31k 389428.23k 458459.82k hmac(md5) 36410.35k 112629.06k 262120.11k 392695.47k 460689.04k sha1 33042.83k 93120.87k 197200.31k 272451.93k 307539.74k rmd160 24252.99k 62239.40k 121103.41k 158395.05k 174506.04k rc4 307803.27k 324677.38k 333726.82k 334818.30k 341844.76k des cbc 46614.00k 48493.81k 48755.20k 49053.71k 48925.35k des ede3 18448.63k 18798.23k 18873.36k 18880.30k 18729.64k idea cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 seed cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 rc2 cbc 25407.91k 26202.01k 26176.26k 26203.82k 26280.16k rc5-32/12 cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 blowfish cbc 78086.28k 83939.68k 85415.77k 85305.71k 85172.22k cast cbc 62535.17k 65110.23k 65699.50k 65934.64k 65907.37k aes-128 cbc 106594.82k 142991.15k 154974.52k 160888.15k 160055.30k aes-192 cbc 78842.35k 114011.67k 128751.99k 133131.26k 136488.58k aes-256 cbc 71400.88k 101909.04k 111841.96k 116355.41k 115767.48k camellia-128 cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 camellia-192 cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 camellia-256 cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 sha256 23047.33k 54581.36k 97954.30k 122539.24k 132071.42k sha512 16399.32k 65366.76k 115776.85k 173225.53k 200878.76k aes-128 ige 134575.97k 145034.10k 149180.84k 149657.09k 147622.57k aes-192 ige 119246.64k 125384.49k 127382.36k 126727.02k 127251.80k aes-256 ige 104084.83k 107931.05k 109439.66k 109311.32k 110822.14k sign verify sign/s verify/s rsa 512 bits 0.000124s 0.000012s 8083.6 86244.5 rsa 1024 bits 0.000612s 0.000033s 1633.3 30068.1 rsa 2048 bits 0.003889s 0.000117s 257.1 8515.6 rsa 4096 bits 0.027295s 0.000433s 36.6 2310.6 sign verify sign/s verify/s dsa 512 bits 0.000118s 0.000128s 8499.4 7796.5 dsa 1024 bits 0.000323s 0.000372s 3093.1 2689.3 dsa 2048 bits 0.001114s 0.001340s 897.3 746.0
The second system is a desktop with a 2.8GHz 3-CPU AMD Phenom X3-720 with 2GiB (in 2 sticks) of DDR2-800 memory, running 32b GNU/Linux (EL5):
OpenSSL 0.9.8e-fips-rhel5 01 Jul 2008 built on: Mon Dec 13 14:05:02 EST 2010 options:bn(64,32) md2(int) rc4(idx,int) des(ptr,risc1,16,long) aes(partial) blowfish(idx) compiler: gcc -fPIC -DOPENSSL_PIC -DZLIB -DOPENSSL_THREADS -D_REENTRANT -DDSO_DLFCN -DHAVE_DLFCN_H -DKRB5_MIT -I/usr/kerberos/include -DTERMIO -Wall -O2 -g -pipe -Wall -Wp,-D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fexceptions -fstack-protector --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -m32 -march=i386 -mtune=generic -fasynchronous-unwind-tables -Wa,--noexecstack -DOPENSSL_USE_NEW_FUNCTIONS -fno-strict-aliasing available timing options: TIMES TIMEB HZ=100 [sysconf value] timing function used: times The 'numbers' are in 1000s of bytes per second processed. type 16 bytes 64 bytes 256 bytes 1024 bytes 8192 bytes md2 2841.84k 5983.00k 8301.65k 9178.11k 9508.18k mdc2 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 md4 28763.04k 95398.19k 252457.93k 429939.03k 545827.50k md5 23981.34k 77067.20k 199529.73k 327948.97k 403387.73k hmac(md5) 25160.48k 81999.86k 207223.55k 334116.52k 408857.26k sha1 20568.40k 57928.51k 124274.35k 172735.83k 195578.54k rmd160 17491.41k 46406.85k 92204.97k 122070.67k 136052.74k rc4 112408.82k 119566.95k 121361.15k 121932.46k 121935.19k des cbc 18613.86k 19049.66k 19159.04k 19236.18k 19127.37k des ede3 5388.87k 5447.66k 5453.31k 5458.60k 5469.53k idea cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 seed cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 rc2 cbc 30136.70k 31357.01k 31679.23k 31719.08k 31842.30k rc5-32/12 cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 blowfish cbc 38330.82k 39543.79k 39810.38k 39979.35k 39996.07k cast cbc 48525.27k 50430.34k 50837.16k 51150.17k 51074.39k aes-128 cbc 56536.60k 57076.42k 57992.87k 58107.56k 57991.74k aes-192 cbc 49274.15k 49236.25k 49838.59k 50101.93k 49960.28k aes-256 cbc 40785.97k 43417.56k 43508.48k 43688.28k 43627.16k camellia-128 cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 camellia-192 cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 camellia-256 cbc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 sha256 18042.68k 42723.54k 75967.66k 95211.86k 102582.95k sha512 4249.07k 17000.23k 24625.92k 33884.84k 38054.57k aes-128 ige 57684.83k 60724.82k 61841.92k 61907.97k 62125.40k aes-192 ige 49876.98k 51829.16k 52809.56k 52989.95k 52876.63k aes-256 ige 43518.36k 45226.47k 45730.82k 46050.30k 46011.73k sign verify sign/s verify/s rsa 512 bits 0.000832s 0.000068s 1202.6 14611.3 rsa 1024 bits 0.004688s 0.000229s 213.3 4370.6 rsa 2048 bits 0.029703s 0.000826s 33.7 1210.8 rsa 4096 bits 0.206531s 0.003043s 4.8 328.6 sign verify sign/s verify/s dsa 512 bits 0.000730s 0.000822s 1370.8 1217.2 dsa 1024 bits 0.002360s 0.002703s 423.7 370.0 dsa 2048 bits 0.008328s 0.009862s 120.1 101.4
In encryption the laptop in 64b mode is over twice as fast as the higher-clocked desktop in 32b mode. A bit of that is that Intel I3 CPUs have better CPI, but most of it is the AMD64 architecture being more efficient than the IA32 one.
For a quick result I tend to run just the
blowfish speed test, for eample here on a 2.5GHz
Xeon E5420 running GNU/Linux EL5 64b:
# openssl speed blowfish Doing blowfish cbc for 3s on 16 size blocks: 14888277 blowfish cbc's in 2.88s Doing blowfish cbc for 3s on 64 size blocks: 4099300 blowfish cbc's in 3.01s Doing blowfish cbc for 3s on 256 size blocks: 1034519 blowfish cbc's in 2.98s Doing blowfish cbc for 3s on 1024 size blocks: 256851 blowfish cbc's in 2.99s Doing blowfish cbc for 3s on 8192 size blocks: 32495 blowfish cbc's in 2.99s OpenSSL 0.9.8e-fips-rhel5 01 Jul 2008 built on: Mon Dec 13 14:10:10 EST 2010 options:bn(64,64) md2(int) rc4(ptr,int) des(idx,cisc,16,int) aes(partial) blowfish(ptr2) compiler: gcc -fPIC -DOPENSSL_PIC -DZLIB -DOPENSSL_THREADS -D_REENTRANT -DDSO_DLFCN -DHAVE_DLFCN_H -DKRB5_MIT -I/usr/kerberos/include -DL_ENDIAN -DTERMIO -Wall -DMD32_REG_T=int -O2 -g -pipe -Wall -Wp,-D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fexceptions -fstack-protector --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -m64 -mtune=generic -Wa,--noexecstack -DOPENSSL_USE_NEW_FUNCTIONS -fno-strict-aliasing -DOPENSSL_BN_ASM_MONT -DSHA1_ASM -DSHA256_ASM -DSHA512_ASM -DMD5_ASM -DAES_ASM available timing options: TIMES TIMEB HZ=100 [sysconf value] timing function used: times The 'numbers' are in 1000s of bytes per second processed. type 16 bytes 64 bytes 256 bytes 1024 bytes 8192 bytes blowfish cbc 82712.65k 87161.20k 88871.43k 87965.02k 89029.78k