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Tips to improve speed [message #98] Thu, 09 February 2012 21:16 Go to next message
Dude is currently offline  Dude
Messages: 7
Registered: February 2012
Location: California, USA
Junior Member
I've been looking for ways to speed up my system. First, Solid State Drives (SSDs) improve performance quite a bit. And of course, more memory does too. But here are some other performance tweaks I like to use, that don't require hardware upgrades.

Move /tmp and /var/tmp to tmpfs in RAM by editing the /etc/fstab file. Add these 2 lines to the bottom. Temporary files can be written to RAM much faster than any hard drive.

tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0
tmpfs /var/tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0

I also like to add the 'noatime' mount option to the / partition in /etc/fstab. This eliminates the access time timestamp and improves disk performance. You need to reboot after editing /etc/fstab.

Then, I like to tweak Firefox by moving the browser disk cache to /tmp in the RAM tmpfs. This not only improves speed, but it also improves privacy. The browser disk cache is deleted when you reboot.
Type 'about:config' in the Address bar of Firefox. (ignore the warning message about your warranty)
Then add the preference 'browser.disk.cache.parent_directory' with a string value of '/tmp'

My last speed/privacy tweak is with Flash Player. I like to delete the directory ~/.macromedia, then create a symbolic link to /tmp, like this
rm -r ~/.macromedia
ln -s /tmp ~/.macromedia
This writes all the slow flash stuff on websites to /tmp in RAM much faster than writing it to the hard drive. It really does speed up slow websites like www.cnn.com. Also, the Flash Super Cookies are deleted when you reboot, to help protect your privacy.

I hope you find these performance tweaks helpful. They work with Stella as well as most other flavors of Linux too.

[Updated on: Thu, 09 February 2012 21:23]

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Re: Tips to improve speed [message #100 is a reply to message #98] Thu, 09 February 2012 23:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
Messages: 1556
Registered: January 2012
Senior Member
Administrator

Good points, Dude. One observation - you don't need to reboot after modifying the fstab entry for /, it's enough to remount the device after. e.g.:

mount -o remount /

Re: Tips to improve speed [message #103 is a reply to message #100] Fri, 10 February 2012 07:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dude is currently offline  Dude
Messages: 7
Registered: February 2012
Location: California, USA
Junior Member
Good point. Sometimes the system doesn't boot properly if you make typos in /etc/fstab. I like to use 'vi' so it's easy to make typos. If you remount the drives without rebooting, it would be much easier to fix typos than having to boot from the a live CD.
Re: Tips to improve speed [message #106 is a reply to message #98] Fri, 10 February 2012 10:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nux is currently offline  nux
Messages: 1556
Registered: January 2012
Senior Member
Administrator

Exactly. Smile

Re: Tips to improve speed [message #768 is a reply to message #106] Tue, 11 December 2012 17:54 Go to previous message
MrNice is currently offline  MrNice
Messages: 108
Registered: December 2012
Location: Ireland
Senior Member
This thread is a bit old but FYI.
I don't have any opinion regarding /var/tmp
Have a look here (rebuild the 3 lines)
refspecs.linuxfoundation.org/
FHS_2.3/fhs-2.3.html
#VARTMPTEMPORARYFILESPRESERVEDBETWEE
Quote:
/var/tmp : Temporary files preserved between system reboots
Purpose

The /var/tmp directory is made available for programs that require temporary files or directories that are preserved between system reboots. Therefore, data stored in /var/tmp is more persistent than data in /tmp.

Files and directories located in /var/tmp must not be deleted when the system is booted. Although data stored in /var/tmp is typically deleted in a site-specific manner, it is recommended that deletions occur at a less frequent interval than /tmp.


Regarding Firefox
Have a look here (rebuild the 4 lines)
//forums.
fedoraforum.org
/showthread.php?
t=277082
Point 8C
Seems the ramdisk cache is directly integrated in Firefox with cache.memory
Quote:
8C/ Configure browser to use memory caches.

For firefox, use the URL "about:config" and set
browser.cache.disk.enable false
browser.cache.memory.capacity 65536
or
browser.cache.memory.max_entry_size 65536

Similar for chrome browser.

PRO: No apparent performance deficit.
CON: Uses a small amount of DRAM.

RECOMMENDATION: Unqualified recommendation.
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