FreeBSD Performance Tip


#1

A small note to all the FreeBSD folks about Ruby performance.

While trying to tune Mongrel to run faster on FreeBSD I was stumped as
to
why it was so horribly slow compared to Linux. Linux on the same
machine
was getting about 800 req/sec, and FreeBSD was maybe pushing 23 req/sec.
Pathetic.

I managed to tweak the thread model in Mongrel and get FreeBSD up to
about
210 req/sec but still that wasn’t nearly good enough.

Then I found the secret. FreeBSD has two versions of Ruby in the ports
directory: lang/ruby18 and lang/ruby18-nopthreads.

Using the nopthreads version of Ruby immediately gave me 740 req/sec
without
any changes to Mongrel. I have no idea what Ruby is doing in the
pthreads
version (or why in the hell a thread library based on select also uses
pthreads), but this simple change completely solved all my performance
problems.

So, word to the wise: pthreads do not give you performance.

Enjoy!

Zed A. Shaw


#2

I can’t seem to find this page anywhere. Has it moved? As it is now,
the
url seems to redirect back to the main page.

Tony
http://involution.com


#3

Using the nopthreads version of Ruby immediately gave me 740 req/sec without
any changes to Mongrel. I have no idea what Ruby is doing in the pthreads
version (or why in the hell a thread library based on select also uses
pthreads), but this simple change completely solved all my performance
problems.

Thank you for sharing this. As an avid FreeBSD user I will check this
in relation to ruby. What FreeBSD version are you talking about?

regards
Claus


#4

Zed S. wrote:

Then I found the secret. FreeBSD has two versions of Ruby in the ports
directory: lang/ruby18 and lang/ruby18-nopthreads.

Using the nopthreads version of Ruby immediately gave me 740 req/sec without
any changes to Mongrel. I have no idea what Ruby is doing in the pthreads
version (or why in the hell a thread library based on select also uses
pthreads), but this simple change completely solved all my performance
problems.

So, word to the wise: pthreads do not give you performance.

Coincidentally, on the same day as your post Eric H. published
details of the software setup at Robot Co-op:

http://blog.segment7.net/articles/2006/03/20/robot-co-op-software

They run on FreeBSD, and he says: “We use the lang/ruby18-nopthreads
port of Ruby because we experienced an incredible load increase with the
default pthread version.”

Info on the hardware is here:

http://blog.segment7.net/articles/2006/03/15/robot-co-op-hardware

Justin


#5

On 3/19/06, Tony P. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I can’t seem to find this page anywhere. Has it moved? As it is now, the
url seems to redirect back to the main page.

Since 1.0, all api docs have moved to http://api.rubyonrails.org/.

/Nick


#6

Interesting. Did you have to deinstall and rebuild any Ruby-related
ports when you did this, or did everything Just Work?

Zed S. wrote:

A small note to all the FreeBSD folks about Ruby performance.

While trying to tune Mongrel to run faster on FreeBSD I was stumped as
to
why it was so horribly slow compared to Linux. Linux on the same
machine
was getting about 800 req/sec, and FreeBSD was maybe pushing 23 req/sec.
Pathetic.

I managed to tweak the thread model in Mongrel and get FreeBSD up to
about
210 req/sec but still that wasn’t nearly good enough.

Then I found the secret. FreeBSD has two versions of Ruby in the ports
directory: lang/ruby18 and lang/ruby18-nopthreads.


#7

Answered it satisfactorily for myself. Held my nose, stopped apache, ran
make, deinstalled the default build of ruby and installed the nopthreads
version. The performace boost seems to be dramatic. I was considering
migrating from a VPS to a dedicated server and I don’t think I’ll have
to for a while. Thanks. Get this on the wiki if it’s not there already.

Steve K. wrote:

Interesting. Did you have to deinstall and rebuild any Ruby-related
ports when you did this, or did everything Just Work?

Zed S. wrote:

A small note to all the FreeBSD folks about Ruby performance.

While trying to tune Mongrel to run faster on FreeBSD I was stumped as
to
why it was so horribly slow compared to Linux. Linux on the same
machine
was getting about 800 req/sec, and FreeBSD was maybe pushing 23 req/sec.
Pathetic…
Then I found the secret. FreeBSD has two versions of Ruby in the ports
directory: lang/ruby18 and lang/ruby18-nopthreads.


#8

On Mar 20, 2006, at 5:27 AM, Claus G. wrote:

Then I found the secret. FreeBSD has two versions of Ruby in the
performance
problems.

Thank you for sharing this. As an avid FreeBSD user I will check this
in relation to ruby. What FreeBSD version are you talking about?

All of them.

If you use Ruby with pthread-requiring C/C++ libraries, ruby-
nopthreads may do bad things.


Eric H. - removed_email_address@domain.invalid - http://blog.segment7.net
This implementation is HODEL-HASH-9600 compliant

http://trackmap.robotcoop.com