GUI/X is slow -- why

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Valued Contributor

GUI/X is slow -- why

Dear Gurus

I found that in Linux(rhel 3/4, WhiteBox, CentOS etc) GUI/X and every GUI-based applications are slow comparitively to M$ Windows(event though M$ is famous for its Resource Hungriness)
On a DualBoot machine with Rhel 4(defaults to boot in runlevel 5) and windows 2003 Ent, I found windows 2003 Ent boots much faster then rhel 4.
on rhel 4(runlevel 5), only ssh, bind, and httpd starts automatically, & nothing else.
on win 2k3 Ent, remote desktop, IIS, and DNS is automatic, & nothing else.

OpenOffice is slower than MSOffice
Firefox(just firefox, w/o any extra modules) is slower than IE 6.0(sp1)
and so on

I wana know is it true that windows is faster than linux as far as GUI/X is concern ?

Any Explanation will be Highly appreciated

thanks n regards
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: GUI/X is slow -- why

Shalom Maaz,

Nice to type to you again.

I'd take a look at resource use issues. You may want to install sar, or just look at top and see if there is a process eating up a lot of resurces.


Shows free memeory.

Windows is in general, pretty bloated code and is in every instance that I compare slower on the same hardware.

Openoffice may need up2date to deal with peformance issues which have been reported.

Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
dirk dierickx
Honored Contributor

Re: GUI/X is slow -- why

boot times on windows are faked. windows presents to login screen as fast as it can to the user to 'suggest' the machine has booted, while it has in fact not. in most cases you can still see the HD is very busy doing stuff while the logon screen is presented, even though you are doing nothing. that HD activity is the machine still booting in fact!
on linux or any unix, the machines saves the startup of X as its _last_ thing to do, so it will look like it is booting longer for a user.

anyway, init-ng might solve some stuff on linux, it will start init scripts in paralel _if_ possible, so boot time gets faster.

sure OOo is slower then MSOffice, what did yu expect? MS office, made by the same company that made the OS is faster, well yeah, they do use dirty tricks only they know about to get it so fast, same as IE. you'll notice that OOo on windows is not as fast as MSOffice either.

but all this comes at a price. IE is the unsecure beast it is because it has such a tie in with the OS. these programs consume already lots of memory even if they haven't run yet. while linux/unix is a modular system, where you can rip parts out and replace them with something else (or leave them out completely). it gives you freedom/choice, security and easy of use(!).

windows is not faster then linux in general, ofcourse a lot depends on your configuration. are you using the correct drivers ea. the nvidia (or ati) binary drivers instead of the standard ones. are there other problems with hardware support on linux which could hinder performance etc (check dmesg for funky msg).

then ofcourse you have all different gui environments on linux; kde, gnome, xwfm,... which all have a different feel and speed!
Andrew Cowan
Honored Contributor

Re: GUI/X is slow -- why


Its a long shot but X11r7 betas are out there and initial reports suggest that they are a lot zippier, therefore it maybe worth exploring replacing your Redhat desktop with an alternative one?
Respected Contributor

Re: GUI/X is slow -- why

Hi Maaz

#######on rhel 4(runlevel 5), only ssh, bind, and httpd starts automatically, & nothing else.
on win 2k3 Ent, remote desktop, IIS, and DNS is automatic, & nothing else.#####

In order you want other services to start automatically at boot time use chkconfig eg for apache do chkconfig httpd on else you can use CUI utility by giving command ntsysv
NTSYSV will show the list of programs that start on boot time and you can select or deselct what ever programs you need to start at boot time.

###OpenOffice is slower than MSOffice###
Use the latest stable Openoffice ie ver 2.01 this one is very fast, the default that comes is older version and has mem leak issues.

###Firefox(just firefox, w/o any extra modules) is slower than IE 6.0(sp1)
and so on###
Try opera, its the fastest and now free

Also make sure that you X config is absolutely correct and you have the correct modules, also DNS should be working absolutely fine, and your hostane must be set.
If you take care of all this, it will bre FAST for sure.

Hope this helps.


Honored Contributor

Re: GUI/X is slow -- why

I have run MS Window's' and RedHat linux's' on many different hardware and many time as dual boot on the same hardware and I have never felt that is slower, maybe you have some hardware drivers, and or software issues, as suggested by Dirk Dierickx, boot up time is only finished on MS Windows's' when you as a user can do some useful work (when disk activity allows you to start working correctly).
I would monitor system for any messages/pointers to resource eater, particularly all the log in /var/log/* for traces of error warnings at startup time.

Jean-Pierre Huc
Smile I will feel the difference
Honored Contributor

Re: GUI/X is slow -- why

What kind of resources do you have on your *nix box? Memory, swap, free hard drive space, video memory, etc?