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Tuning and benchmarking *NIX


cooper
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I was thinking about working on figuring out the best setup for my system to perform its tasks. As you would expect, this involves finding out which parts of the system matter the most, then figuring out which OS / program settings allow me to tune the system to the workload, and benchmarking to see where the sweet point lies.

What I want to know is which programs do you use of have you used to measure your system, and which settings did you play with to get the most out of the system?

I've got a VIA Mini-ITX here that I'm going to set up with FreeBSD (to make VaKo happy), a gig of memory and 2 200GB harddrives in RAID1 mode. I'm planning to install the suggested benchmarking software, play with the suggested tunables and report back which options work best. Note that I'm focussing on server system benchmarking, so it'll be a headless system that will mainly stress network and harddisk performance. Due to the limited power of the CPU, anything to help keep that down is likely to yield performance boosts elsewhere.

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Heh, join us, you know it feels right!

What I've been playing with is tweaking the make.conf settings to match my CPU, then rebuilding the entire world from source before I install anything on it. I've not actually got any hard numbers for you, but it does seem to make KDE feel a bit more snappy. But, this might just be some unconscious desire to make the hours it takes to compile gnome seem worth it. I'll run some numbers (time make -j4 buildworld and so forth). I also expiremented with removing support from the kernel and disabling anything like USB, SCSI, WiFI or RAID, things that I knew I wouldn't need.

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Linux has a TON of kernel tunables accessible via its /proc and /sys filesystems. Doesn't FreeBSD have something similar?

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That is one beauty of FreeBSD, it has a manual with everything in it. And from what I can tell, you have the same range of tweaks and options open to you with FreeBSD as you would find under Linux.

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Nice one. The one thing that annoys me about Linux's /proc and /sys filesystems is that I was unable to find a resource that described what the cryptically named options (and even more cryptically named values within the files) mean.

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Nice one. The one thing that annoys me about Linux's /proc and /sys filesystems is that I was unable to find a resource that described what the cryptically named options (and even more cryptically named values within the files) mean.

Well the sysctl(3) man page provides descriptions of all the kernel variables, although they are named slightly differently to how you see them when you do sysctl -a.

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