Tuxicity's source

August 13, 2007

Linux ubuntu 2.6.22-9-generic vs Linux Ubuntu 2.6.22-9-My-architecture

Filed under: linux, Tuxicity, Ubuntu — tuxicity @ 2:53 pm

In Ubuntu it is assumed a kernel for generic x86 support should be about as fast as a kernel suited for your arch.

So lets see how true this is.

I am not going to benchmark anything, I just want to see if the feel is snappier and/or quicker, and if compiling a kernel is worth the effort for the average user.

I used ‘How To Compile A Kernel – The Ubuntu Way‘ as a template for compiling a personalized kernel so read it for more detailed information.

The only change I made in the configuration file was setting the arch to Athlon/Duron/K7 suited for my AMD Athlon(TM) XP 2200+ @ 1800 Mhz processor.

——————————————————————–
The test is done on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon tribe4.

First I created a root terminal to prevent having to key in sudo all the time:

sudo -i

Made sure the needed packages were installed:

apt-get install kernel-package libncurses5-dev fakeroot wget bzip2

Then installed the kernel-source:

apt-get install linux-source

Then go to the directoy where the source is located (installed):

cd /usr/src/

Unpack (in my case) linux-source-2.6.22.tar.bz2

tar xjfv linux-source-2.6.22.tar.bz2

Make a symbolic link of the unpacked linux source and giving it the name linux:

ln -s linux-source-2.6.22 linux

Go into the linux folder with the command:

cd linux

Copy the config-file into linux so it can be used as a template for the compilation of the kernel,
In my case this is config-2.6.22-9-generic:

cp /boot/config-2.6.22-9-generic ./.config

Now I can set up the desired arch for my kernel with starting up the menuconfig:

make menuconfig

First thing to is importing the config-file that is copied into linux so it can be used.

screenshot-rootubuntu-usr-src-linux.png Select; Load an alternative configuration File

choose ok..config is selected automatically, choose ok.

screenshot-rootubuntu-usr-src-linux-1.pngSelect Processor type and features.

screenshot-rootubuntu-usr-src-linux-2.pngSelectProcessor family …….

screenshot-rootubuntu-usr-src-linux-3.pngAnd finally select your preferred arch.

When all this is done: select exit and save, the configuration is now finished.

continuing:

make-kpkg clean

Now its time to make the needed debian packages which can be installed after compilation.

Depending on your processor this can take several hours. The name of the kernel wil be in this case tuxicityk7 : (- -append-to-version=-tuxicityk7)

fakeroot make-kpkg – -initrd – -append-to-version=-tuxicityk7 kernel_image kernel_headers

After having watched ‘The Godfather‘, the compilation and the creation of the packages is done.

The created Debian packages are located in /usr/src:

cd /usr/src

2 packages are installed with the command:

dpkg -i linux-image-2.6.22.1-tuxicityk7_2.6.22.1-tuxicityk7-10.00.Custom_i386.deb linux-headers-2.6.22.1-tuxicityk7_2.6.22.1-tuxicityk7-10.00.Custom_i386.deb

Wow, long names, but hey what can you do.
Grub will also be updated, and the new kernel will show up in the grub menu when rebooted.

After reboot I keyed in ‘uname -r’ in a terminal and got 2.6.22.1-tuxicityk7 as a result. :-)

Verdict:
Snappier? ….Yes
Faster? …….Yes
Is it worth the effort for the average user? No absolutely not, If I would use Ubuntu tomorrow with the generic kernel I probably would not notice the difference.
If you like tweaking, go for it.
Tuxicity.

Images are made on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon with the alt-print screen button, theme on the images is Clearlooks, with a Clearlooks2-Squared-Berries Window border, except for 2.png which I downloaded from the link I mentioned earlier.

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6 Comments »

  1. Could you post the benchmarks you used? About how much faster was it?

    Comment by DistRogue — August 13, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

  2. > I am not going to benchmark anything, I just want to see if the feel is snappier and/or quicker, and if compiling a kernel is worth the effort for the average user.

    How can you tell if any of those feelings are just placebos from going through the compilation process..? Sorry mate but you’ve got to do some form of hard test to realistically say if it’s faster or not.

    Comment by Oli — August 13, 2007 @ 6:15 pm

  3. […] Linux ubuntu 2.6.22-9-generic vs Linux Ubuntu 2.6.22-9-My-architecture In Ubuntu it is assumed a kernel for generic x86 support should be about as fast as a kernel suited for your arch. So […] […]

    Pingback by Top Posts « WordPress.com — August 14, 2007 @ 1:02 am

  4. Quote:

    “Is it worth the effort for the average user? No absolutely not, If I would use Ubuntu tomorrow with the generic kernel I probably would not notice the difference.”

    I could not agree less with you. I have used both Debian and Ubuntu on the same hardware, and Debian runs noticeably faster than Ubuntu. In Debian there is no generix kernel similar to ubuntu’s generic kernel. And in Debian you don’t need to compile your own kernel if you want eg. AMD k7 version, because those are available as a package.

    Comment by Hmm — August 16, 2007 @ 11:54 pm

  5. Wow, what a difference! I had to do some extra stuff to get my firmware loaded, but once I got it all running my system is much faster. Worth it? Yes, of course! The process was easy, I’d suggest any ubuntu user give it a shot.

    Comment by Jake — September 11, 2007 @ 12:59 am

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