That, technically, was the second howto, if you’re willing to count the original thread as the “first.” That means this series of pages is the fifth incarnation. And probably the “last,” since I don’t see a need to rerelease the same tweaks every six months, with only minor additions.
You see, two years ago speed tweaks were everywhere. People were scouring the Gentoo wiki and other long-standing temples for speed worshippers, looking for anything that might perk up Ubuntu, the relatively new kid on the block.
Of course, back then, most people were running midrange Pentium 4s too. When multiple cores became mainstream, the push for speed tweaks tapered down to nothing. Perhaps that was just my perception of it, and perhaps correlation does not imply causation, but it seemed that way.
And some “tweaks” became standard in Ubuntu — things like the old readahead adjustment, which shifted it from a background process and made things faster, or the standardized dir_index flag for ext3. And some things were improved upon, like DT_GNU_HASH, which supposedly makes the old prelinking package obsolete.
But these days it’s rare to see a thread in the Ubuntu Forums complaining about speed. If a machine is behaving slowly now, it’s usually a sign that something is configured wrong. (Unless you’re debating the relative speed of Ubuntu releases, when compared to earlier versions.)
So to be honest, I haven’t found many new tweaks in the past six months, and in the six months before that, I found only one or two. The market for speed tweaks seems to have stabilized, and my “guides” have become streamlined revisions, rather that new and illuminating sources of speed tweaks.
Also, the Hardy guide was the last — and only — to include bootcharts and SuperPI results. I realized a few months ago that those things were really only of interest to me, and while they showed some objective proof that a tweak was working, every machine (and every installation) reacts differently so there’s little point in pointing at one particular computer and saying, “This proves it.”
This doesn’t mean I’m out of ideas — far from it. I do have a couple of tweaks I’ll probably add soon — things like vm.dirty_ratio, and some other sysctl.conf settings. (I also want to skim through the existing tips and tweaks, and test them against 8.10.)
Nope, it just means that the new version — stepping away from Zim and downloadable files — will be a “rolling release howto,” with additions made when I find them and I am comfortable with them, and with general touch-ups when a new release hits the streets. I think it’s probably best for everyone involved.
So … enjoy! The bulk of the material in the present “guide” is adapted from the standing Hardy guide, with only a few revisions. If you find a problem or want to discuss a point of usability, please feel free to leave a comment here. Comments on the guide itself are disabled, so the pages don’t become too cluttered.