I found a nifty link to some more speedup tips for Arch. In fact, there’s a whole thread here that talks about ways to make Arch boot in a half or a third of the time it takes normally. If you use Arch and you’re not one of those people who runs a machine 24-7, you might find them interesting.
My own speedup tips for Arch are scattered around this blog, with most of them under the Howtos page, but all of them a couple of years old already. I still use Arch, but I don’t bother tweaking it for speed any more. My philosophy toward it has changed a bit.
I left Arch for Crux when I realized I was falling into the same habit I had begun a year before, when I started carving down Ubuntu in hopes of speeding it up. The problem is that both times, my perspective was a little off-kilter.
For my own part, building a system up from scratch is always faster than tearing out parts of another one. I don’t think I’m stepping too far out on the limb when I say that; it’s common knowledge that a Linux system crafted from the ground-up is going to outperform anything that was torn down.
It’s true for Ubuntu — a command-line system with desired packages added on top is going to run faster, probably, than one that was cut down from the complete version. The same thing is true for Arch: When I started recompiling entire systems with different CFLAGS, or building custom kernels, or carving out the default init scripts, I realized that it was time to look for a different brand.
Making Ubuntu into Arch isn’t any more promising, to me, than making Arch into Crux. The work you go through trimming away at Arch is sidestepped completely with Crux, and for some people that’s ideal. It’s true, it’s the difference between an intermediate distro and an advanced one, but if you’re doing all those things in Arch, then you’re ready.
If that sounds like you, I would recommend considering something that gives you more ground-level control, in such a way that you’re not taking extra time slimming things down when you could be building up from a pure core. And if performance is your goal, then the results will be very gratifying. After all, a 16-second boot in Arch is a grand thing on a dual core, but I get those numbers from a 550Mhz Celeron, just as a matter of course.
Think about it. If you want to ask questions, there are a few of us Crux experimenters floating around here, in addition to the standard Crux IRC and mailing lists. And what we don’t know we can research together. It’s part of the learning process.