The performance of a Linux system is impacted by several factors—various configurations, settings, and attributes all come into play. Linux performance is typically measured by how quickly the system can execute commands or run programs.
This article will cover practical concepts that can help speed up a Linux machine. We will examine Linux performance through the following aspects:
Those new to Linux and users with limited knowledge about it might need to realize what impacts its performance and how to measure or boost its efficiency. Depending on your individual needs or specific use case, some methods will be more advantageous than others.
Whether using Linux as a primary desktop operating system or as a secondary server for another platform, it’s important to understand how these options impact the user experience with this OS.
Optimizing Linux performance is essential for several reasons:
You will need a Linux distribution before starting this tutorial.
Stacer is a tool used for optimizing Linux that deletes unwanted cache and sorting processes by looking at memory usage and CPU. Stacer reveals how services and processes are performing and which user is executing the processes. It is a must-have if your goal is to efficiently optimize your Linux system.
To install Stacer, start by adding the Stacer repository:
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oguzhaninan/stacer
Next, update the advanced package manager:
$ sudo apt-get update
Finally, use the following command to install Stacer on your Linux machine. You can get more installation details for different flavors here.
$ sudo apt-get install stacer
After successfully installing Stacer, use the following command to launch it:
Stacer will now launch with a graphical interface, displaying its optimization tools such as:
If you no longer wish to use Stacer, use the following command to uninstall it:
sudo apt-get remove stacer
The I/O scheduler is a program that organizes and sorts requests to determine their priority. It helps optimize system performance by reordering the requests for more efficient processing. The I/O scheduler also helps ensure that requests from different processes are handled fairly and efficiently.
Here are examples of I/O schedulers:
Here is a list of parameters you can use to optimize the I/O scheduler:
fifo_batch:specifies how many requests will be made in one batch
read_expire:adds a deadline in milliseconds to a read request
write_expire:adds a deadline in milliseconds to a write request
Use the following command to improve your I/O scheduler using the
# echo 32 > /sys/block/sdb/queue/iosched/fifo_batch
Power management configuration in Linux comprises a set of settings and configurations used to optimize energy usage and battery life. It includes settings for managing CPU frequency, suspending or hibernating the system, dimming the display, and more. It saves energy, prolongs the battery life of a Linux machine, and reduces the power consumption of a desktop system.
Linux provides several parameters for optimizing power consumption:
-S:allows you to specify and set the standby time for the drive
-B:activates the Advanced Power Management API
-M:sets the Automatic Acoustic Management feature that reduces output noise
hdparm is a command line utility for Linux and Unix systems for viewing and manipulating various hard drive parameters. It is mainly used to set the drive parameters, such as its spin-up time, acoustic management, power management, and read-ahead caching.
You can use the above parameters in the command below to optimize the power usage:
# hdparm -B /dev/sda
Scaling down the CPU whenever less CPU memory is needed will save power and resources; scaling it up during high CPU demand will improve system performance. With Linux, there are several key components to consider when scaling CPU usage. These include
In general, to scale CPU usage on a Linux system you should:
Here are three commands recommended by Arch Linux:
# cpupower frequency-set -d clock_freq
# cpupower frequency-set -f clock_freq
$ cpulimit -l 50 -p 5081
Using a slow Linux machine can have several negative consequences, including
A slow Linux machine can be more vulnerable to cyber threats if it’s unable to run security updates and apply other protective measures quickly or efficiently enough.
There are multiple different ways to improve the speed and responsiveness of your Linux machine, from tweaking the kernel’s settings to adjusting the CPU frequency and optimizing the battery life. In this article, we covered the methods that are most likely to help fix a slow Linux system.
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