I’ve been lax in posting over the past few days because I’ve been installing Crux on my “fast” machine. And this is one of the few times when 1Ghz has actually felt fast.
Part of that is because I cut my teeth with Crux on a 450Mhz machine. So this one, running at over twice the clock, feels like a real speed demon. And in reality it was a speed demon, once. About eight years ago, that is.
But the other reason it feels fast is because it really is fast. My start times from the Grub menu to X are exactly 16 seconds. No joke. That’s with a Pentium III Coppermine, a 7200rpm boot drive and 512Mb of PC133. I’m using the nv driver right now but I want to switch to the proprietary one, just out of curiosity.
This is ungodly fast. I was impressed with a 25-second boot on a K6-2, but a 1Ghz machine that’s online and ready to surf in 16 seconds is like a brand new machine. I can only imagine what modern hardware must feel like with Crux on it; stepping from Ubuntu to Arch was a breath of fresh air, but Arch to Crux is like inhaling pure oxygen.
The tradeoff, of course, is that I am recompiling everything from scratch. My kernel is stripped to almost nothing and will compile in less than 25 minutes, but things like python and other stuff are slowly melting my brain. I needed cmake to install Sakura (which is at version 2 now, in case you want to try it), and that alone took nearly an hour to create. And that was just a tool to make another program — I literally entered “cmake” at the terminal prompt once, and haven’t used it since.
But this is definitely worth the effort. Everything is unbelievably crisp and speedy. Firefox springs to the desktop in seconds; in Ubuntu I could barely suffer to install it. emelFM2 behaves like it’s on a pure caffeine diet. And so does just about everything else.
I think this might be around for a little while, or at least until I get tired of building everything from scratch. I set aside a partition to install Arch, just in case I needed something in the way of software that I couldn’t bother to compile manually, but I haven’t got around to setting it up yet. I’ll see how this goes, and then decide what comes next.