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Re: st: linux stata slower than windows stata - why?

From   James Muller <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   Re: st: linux stata slower than windows stata - why?
Date   Tue, 19 Jul 2005 20:40:08 +1000

Sorry for points where I'm stating stuff you've already thought of, but here's a bunch of stuff to try. I'd bet this problem has nothing to do with Stata, and is thus off-topic for the list, but here goes anyway...

Start by looking at what your linux system is doing during the run. 'top' gives a rundown of the processes that are using the highest proportion of CPU cycles, telling you (depending on which version you have) which CPU the process is currently being run on, how much memory is being used, whether its in RAM or virtual memory on HD, what proportion of the current CPU's cycles are being taken up by the process, and what status the process is currently at in the kernel.

I guess there will be tools about to do the same on windows, but you figure that out if you like.

Perhaps the process is being assigned low priority for some reason. You could play with changing the priority, but you'll need root privileges to raise it above default.

Make sure your kernel is set up for your system. This may involve a little hacking to ensure everything's functional for the 64-bit dual CPU motherboard and system; it can be good to custom-compile the kernel anyway, so worth looking at. This may be a source of inefficient functioning. This is entirely off-topic for this list, so refer to one of the many good howtos on the subject. Google for info.

With linux, too, especially if you've got a pretty user-friendly distribution like a Redhat, etc. you may be running by default setup loads of daemons you don't need. For efficiency it is best to turn off what you don't use. Have a look in /etc/rc.d, etc/inittab or similar; it's usually best to turn of by 'chmod 644 unwanted.daemon'.

If you're not actually using the rather vast functionality of your GUI, assuming you're using something like gnome, then perhaps you would be better off with a slimmer window manager like blackbox or fluxbox. They are really quite nice (very minimal, just as functional for practical purposes) and really tiny (the blackbox binary is less that 400k). This is especially sensible if you do all your file management by terminal.

Along those lines, try running Stata without the GUI, or even without having ever started X.

If you're wanting to test Stata itself, try running your Windows Stata from within WINE ("Wine Is Not an Emulator"). If the Windows Stata running under WINE runs significantly faster than your native linux Stata then the Stata binary itself is the problem. The syntax is 'wine /path/to/your/windows/stata/binary/stata'.

Righto, good luck


Joe West wrote:


I have just started using my new Linux machine which has a Dual AMD Opteron (2.2 GHz) with Serial ATA system with a 64-bit linux platform. I have 16GB of RAM installed. I am using stata 9. This has solved my problem of opening large files however on running identical do files on a 32-bit windows pc (which is able to address the 1.5GB of RAM) with stata 8 the linux machine runs the do file slower. For example 19 mins (linux machine) 12 mins (windows machine).

Is this expected? If not are there some tweaks I should be tweaking to improve the speed of my linux machine.



Dr Joe West
Specialist Registrar in Gastroenterology
Division of Epidemiology and Public Health
University of Nottingham, Medical School
Direct Line +44 (0)115 9709329
QMC extension 41329
Fax +44 (0)115 9709316
Bleep @ Nottingham City Hospital 80 7483

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