I recently removed Windows 98 from one of my PCs and replaced it with
Linux (Red Hat 6.2). Before doing that I of course had to copy all
files I wanted to keep from its Windows disk to another; the only such
files were ~100 megabyte .zip files (backups), and I simply used the
destination Win98 box to do the copying (via Windows networking, of
The other PC is called Fred; Lucy is the PC which is changing
Win98=>Linux. The backups (Lucy/Win98->Fred/Win98) copied over my
10BaseT network with an average rate of about 250 kByte/sec, measured
using the System Monitor on Fred and watching File-system bytes
written. While disappointing (theoretical maximum is about 4 times
that rate; the Ethernet is otherwise idle as are both Fred and Lucy),
this is what it is.
I then did a complete install of Linux (Red Hat 6.2) onto Lucy, and
got both networking and Samba working; Fred can mount a user's home
from Lucy. I created a 10 mB file in my home and copied it to Fred
in the same manner as before. This time the average rate is only about
80 kByte/sec. THAT'S TERRIBLE!!! This poor performance makes using
Linux as a local disk server almost useless.
Note that during these copies, Lucy/Win98 (the source) claimed its
CPU is busy about 70%; Lucy/Linux (also the source) claimed about 5%
(or less). For both copies, Fred/Win98 (the destination, doing the
copy) claimed its CPU is 100% busy. On Fred, the disk-writing rate
was steady at 250 kB/sec for Win98->Win98, but alternated each second
between 125 kB/sec and 62 kB/sec for Linux->Win98.
Do other people get better performance than this from Linux? Is this
bottleneck likely to be the network interfaces (Lucy's is an ISA card
using the driver ne.o)? Is this likely to be Samba? Or is it likely to
be my IDE hard drive performance? How can I tune this better?
But most importantly: How can Linux hope to succeed if it gives poorer
performance _AS_A_SERVER_ than Win98??? Remember, this comparison used
exactly the same hardware:
Fred: Micron PC, Pentium 166 MHz, PCI network card.
Lucy: Compaq PC, Pentium 233 MHz, ISA network card.
Both have IDE drives only; Fred's destination is 8.6 GB
(~50% full), Lucy's source is 4.1 GB (~80% full on Win98,
~20% full on Linux); all drives were checked and defragmented
just before these copies were performed. Under Linux, pings
Lucy->Fred->Lucy take an average of 0.8 ms, and a "flood
ping" gets about 1000 packets per second.