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ArborealSeer
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:23 pm

The first non alpha/beta batch person i've seen post about their experiences has posted on the RS developer site designspark under the headline "Raspberry Pi: By a non-expert in Linux" - whats a bit concerning (apart from the fact he can't get past the login screen!) is the comment he makes which is..


I can confirm that things seem very slow: it can't even keep up with relative slow keyboard input.



I know many feel that the GPU is the real killer part of the Pi.. but this is a bit worrying for those assuming they'd be able to actually use it for more than running custom code that controls hardware via GPIO, or running GPU accelerated stuff.

Or is it just that he's not got far enough yet?

(source : http://www.designspark.com/con.....pert-linux )
Pi Status > Farnell, Arrived 24/5- RS, Arrived 1/6

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:36 pm

The Pi is supposed to run at the speed of a 300Mhz PII.

I can confirm that the initial Fedora set up is a bugger. I had a go setting it up in Qemu. It insists you change the Root password, set up a user and then change that password as well. The password side is very strict and if you don't act quickly you get thrown back a couple of menus to start again. I had about 10 attempts at setting a password before the system accepted the combination of letters and numbers. Anything that could even vaguely be considered to be a word will be rejected. During the process you also have to set up the time zone and graphics mode

I also was unable to get past the login but that was to do with Qemu issues. I have decided to leave Fedora on Qemu for a few days and wait for a more easily understood setup to be developed.

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SN
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:40 pm

Well the Fedora Remix build on qemu isn't the speediest beast either but it does keep up the keyboard OK - and this is emulated so I don't expect the results reported to be a problem on the real thing

HOWEVER... I do note the password issue he had on that article - I've seen similar and indeed completely rebuilt my qemu boot image because of it and I notice a few things in relation to it:

1. No matter how hard you try you can not log in on the GUI as root

2. No matter how hard you try you can not su from your dedicated new user to root - this makes it hard to do a controlled shutdown

3. If you let the screen saver kick in, it will refuse all attempts to take your new user password to get you out of it - aka you need to kill it and reboot - so my first warning to anyone using the Fedora Remix is disable the screensaver

4. You CAN get a terminal login as root on the console by logging in first as your new user and then by ssh'ing to root@localhost (and from there you can do a controlled shutdown)
Steve N – binatone mk4->intellivision->zx81->spectrum->cbm64->cpc6128->520stfm->pc->raspi ?

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:48 pm

What is unclear to me is how much of this is down to Qemu and how much is a Fedora Mix issue. I found booting up with Debian really easy by comparison. Has anyone put an average Windows user in front of a Pi and got them to do everything from scratch, including booting up for the first time?

rmm200
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:55 pm

My Debian image under qemu had a similar problem.

/tmp had permission problems, and the GUI could not start my new user. Root was prohibited, and there was no way to keep the GUI from launching. Took forever to find a recovery method that worked.

The security folks have gone crazy. There has to be some way for the owner to easily configure this device with no or simple passwords.

This is equivalent to my thermostat or toaster requiring a password before they function.

A device like Pi, that may sit on a shelf 6 months between uses, can not require a hard to remember password.

I am not at all concerned about performance. The processor is fast enough for the keyboard unless there are other problems. I would like to see another test case.

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ArborealSeer
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:58 pm

A co-worker found this :

http://zenit.senecac.on.ca/wik.....ix_slow.3F


Why is the Remix slow?

The GUI in particular is slow, because the 2D graphics (the X Window System) are not yet connected to the 3D graphics processing unit on the SOC.

General tips for performance:


Work with only one app at a time. Viewing the Raspberry Pi's output on a large, high-definition display invites running many applications at once, but the Raspberry Pi does not have a lot of memory.
Consider adding swap space -- though the jury is still out on the value of swapping to an SD card.
Use apps that have the same look and feel. It's more likely that these programs will use the same graphical toolkit (for example, GTK3 or Qt4), reducing the amount of memory used for shared libraries.
Try alternate apps that provide similar functionality.



I suspected this, but at least its confirmed. Hope this is resolved by the time the majority of people go from have nots, to haves.
Pi Status > Farnell, Arrived 24/5- RS, Arrived 1/6

lewmur
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:07 pm

ArborealSeer said:


The first non alpha/beta batch person i've seen post about their experiences has posted on the RS developer site designspark under the headline "Raspberry Pi: By a non-expert in Linux" - whats a bit concerning (apart from the fact he can't get past the login screen!) is the comment he makes which is..


I can confirm that things seem very slow: it can't even keep up with relative slow keyboard input.



I know many feel that the GPU is the real killer part of the Pi.. but this is a bit worrying for those assuming they'd be able to actually use it for more than running custom code that controls hardware via GPIO, or running GPU accelerated stuff.

Or is it just that he's not got far enough yet?

(source : http://www.designspark.com/con.....pert-linux )



If the person can't get past the login screen, how do they know how slow of fast the Pi is?

The Pi should run at about the speed of a Chinese ePad or better, depending on the screen resolution you are using.  Just remember, the higher the resolution, the more processing it requires.  If you use a small screen like that of a smartphone, then the Pi should give you at least the performance of the smartphone.

But it is NOT going to perform even as well as a 10" netbook with an Intel Atom 1.6ghz processor.  It isn't meant to.  But when all is said, it should perform well enough to process streaming video from sites like uTube.  What more do you expect from a $35 board?18

rmm200
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:08 pm

That Fedora Remix link in the last post is really valuable.

If the Wiki does not point to it - it should!

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:11 pm

I did wonder where the slowness came in as the Designpark user would have done all the keying in text mode if, as he/she says, the logon screen is still a barrier.

andytuk
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:14 pm

So far, I have installed both Debian and Fedora on the Pi I currently have at home. Both on exactly the same make and model of SD card.

I have found the debian build to run a lot faster. The Fedora install seems to pause a lot more.

I'm going to try a faster SD card tonight with fedora to see if it makes any difference.

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:18 pm

As you are a real live Pi user anything you contribute will be really useful. You need some sort of asterisk or logo on your avatar!

lewmur
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:22 pm

Grumpyoldgit said:


What is unclear to me is how much of this is down to Qemu and how much is a Fedora Mix issue. I found booting up with Debian really easy by comparison. Has anyone put an average Windows user in front of a Pi and got them to do everything from scratch, including booting up for the first time?



Why would anyone be so cruel as to put "an average Windows user" in front of anything more complicated than a chalk board?  Sure, the Pi is eventually aimed at kids with no prior computing skills.  But only in an educational environment under supervision.

That said, the Debian distro should be much easier for the novice to install than the Fedora.  The question that seems to go unanswered is whether or not the Fedora remix is going to have the hardware GPU accel activated.  IMO, that would make it worthwhile to "go the extra mile" to install it.

As to Qemu, its speed of operation should have little bearing on what the actual hardware will do.

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:30 pm

I asked the question because the purchase of the Pi is open to anyone and a lot more average Windows users are going to get access to a Pi before Linux users do.

If the initial experience is negative this could simply cut them off. The Pi will just get checked to the back of the drawer.

I don't think that kid's access should be restricted to supervised educational use but they need some sort of guidance. I would imagine that Future Publishing are cranking up their first issue of Pi User, even as we speak.

lewmur
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:41 pm

Grumpyoldgit said:


I asked the question because the purchase of the Pi is open to anyone and a lot more average Windows users are going to get access to a Pi before Linux users do.

If the initial experience is negative this could simply cut them off. The Pi will just get checked to the back of the drawer.

I don't think that kid's access should be restricted to supervised educational use but they need some sort of guidance. I would imagine that Future Publishing are cranking up their first issue of Pi User, even as we speak.



I can understand your concern, but, personally, I don't think it is warranted.  The overwhelming majority of the response I've seen in forums has been from DIYers with enough experience to handle getting the Pi up and running.

As a "for instance", there has been a Pi sub-forum added over at forums.scotsnewsletter.com and ALL of the posters to it have been regulars in the Linux forums.  Not a single one from the Windows group.

DaQatz
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:42 pm

Grumpyoldgit said:


The Pi is supposed to run at the speed of a 300Mhz PII.



I don't know where people got this number but it's inaccurate. On a "mhz to mhz" scale that performance belongs more in the ARMv3 generations. The raspberry pi is an arm11(ARMv6) and performs fairly well "mhz to mhz" next to the x86 cpu's.

That being said this requires some clarification. Because mhz are very very poor scale. In basic integer math on addition/subtraction operations it can out perform your dear old p2 mhz to mhz. On multiplication it lags slightly behind. Now division is another story all together. Being that the ARM11 lacks hardware support for the operation saying 300mhz would be generous. On to floating point, well arm doesn't do this natively either. Mind you softfloat will not lag behind as much as soft division. However the arm11 has a VFP, a nice little help processor that does do floating point. Sadly I do not know much about it's performance besides "Not bad, not great."

Completely discounting the GPU. For day to day usage it will feel a lot using a 700mhz x86 cpu. How ever think more along the lines of VIA C7 at 700mhz, not AMD or INTEL. Chances are you will be a lot more slowed down but hitting the top of your ram, and being slowed down by swap.  Though on that not in the days of the 700mhz x86 the average ram was 64 megs not 256.

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:44 pm

Err. That's because you are only seeing comments from a fraction of 1% of the people who will be buying the Pi. Enthusiasts blog and post on a subject. The other 99% don't.

tufty
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:44 pm

Regardless of distro, GPU acceleration is, AIUI, limited to console mode OpenGL and video playback, X is most definitely not accelerated. Rendering to windowed GL contexts may or may not be accelerated, I"m not sure. The problem, or at least a major part of it, in non-accelerated X, and it"s gonna be compounded by lack of memory ("modern" X apps and toolkits are fairly memory intensive). Having all the storage on SD isn"t going to help either: SD performance for random-access read/write is hardly stellar.

An accelerated, GL / VG backed X server would be a major step forwards, as will some low-level tweaking at a distro level to reduce i/o demands (logging levels and destinations, etc).

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SN
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:48 pm

rmm200 said:


That Fedora Remix link in the last post is really valuable.

If the Wiki does not point to it - it should!



This is where the magic's at - it answers a LOT of questions!

http://zenit.senecac.on.ca/wik.....nistration
Steve N – binatone mk4->intellivision->zx81->spectrum->cbm64->cpc6128->520stfm->pc->raspi ?

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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:50 pm

lewmur said:

Why would anyone be so cruel as to put "an average Windows user" in front of anything more complicated than a chalk board?  Sure, the Pi is eventually aimed at kids with no prior computing skills.  But only in an educational environment under supervision.

I'm not sure I'm "an average Windows user", but nor am I a kid. My Pi will be used in "an educational environment" but not "under supervision"

So I need an environment that atleast lets me get started - at first I'll be practicing snake-charming with Python. I don't need multi-level security - none of my windows or RiscOs machines have passwords, and I don't want R-Pi to have them either!

lewmur
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:52 pm

Grumpyoldgit said:


Err. That's because you are only seeing comments from a fraction of 1% of the people who will be buying the Pi. Enthusiasts blog and post on a subject. The other 99% don't.



But I happen to think that the "enthusiasts" will be the overwhelming majority of the original purchasers also.  I don't really think there were of lot of the 99% willing to put up with the hassle getting through to order one of the original 10K.  I could be wrong but only time will tell.

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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:59 pm

To be honest: I have seen the "can't keep up with keyboard" a few times when I was editing the GPIO drivers. And that was using vi so no fancy editor.  As has been mentioned: there is more then enough CPU power to support the keyboard input so I assume it is one of the wrinkles which needs ironing out.

I have seen the same behavior when running a compiled GPIO program. Occasionally the whole system seems to halt a short time, some sort of hick-up. I think something somewhere is not yet 100% right but as with all children: it just needs to get through its measles.

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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:01 pm

Burngate said:


lewmur said:


I don't need multi-level security - none of my windows or RiscOs machines have passwords, and I don't want R-Pi to have them either!



Wether you need it or not its a good idea to understand both the principle and reasons behind it. I have used both windows and RiscOS from conception and release and im pleased that both (yes Even riscos does now) have passwords.

Seeing as your learning a new (I assume here), part of the learning process is sometimes getting to grips with features (ha ha 'Features' im thinking windows here lol) that are actually part of the underlying OS and File System and its integrity etc...

hippy
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:11 pm

Cylon said:


Burngate said:


lewmur said:


I don't need multi-level security - none of my windows or RiscOs machines have passwords, and I don't want R-Pi to have them either!



Wether you need it or not its a good idea to understand both the principle and reasons behind it.


I think Burngate is in the same position as me; understands the principles and reasons but has made the informed decision to go the no password route.

Systems should arguably by default protect people from themselves but should also allow anyone to do what they explicitly choose to do, whether good or bad as others may see it. I want my R-Pi to be up and running without requiring username or password and hope that is provided for.

Alchemy
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:11 pm

The Wiki performance benchmarks don't cover many areas.

Has anyone just Qsorted 100,000 integers? I'm most interested in integer and memory because that's what I expect Pi are quite strong at. Strong when you ask what 20 of them could do which equals the price of a PC.

Kernel
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Re: How slow is it?

Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:15 pm

Burngate said:

and I don't want R-Pi to have them either!
I want it to have a password!

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