Is Arch Linux Faster Than Ubuntu? Not Really!

It is often claimed that Arch Linux is faster than Ubuntu. So, the guys over at Phoronix, decided to test if it is really true.

They put Ubuntu 10.04 against Arch Linux 2010.5 using their Phoronix Test Suite. They did a clean installation of Arch 2010.5 and Ubuntu 10.04. They also tested an Ubuntu 10.04 installation upgraded with the Maverick (10.10) packages.

They found out that both are have almost the identical performance. The only test where the performance of Arch Linux is significantly faster than Ubuntu was with the OpenGL test. However this is just because Arch Linux does not use Compiz by default when an accelerated OpenGL driver is available.

[image via Phoronix]

There were also some performance difference in the SQLite and Apache test. However, this is due to the different kernels that the two distros uses.

All in all, this demonstrates that Arch is somewhat faster than Ubuntu but not by much.

You can see the full test result over at Phoronix.

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Ricky Laishram

Ricky Laishram is a Linux and FOSS enthusiast. He is passionate about open source technologies and likes to keep abreast with the latest developments in KDE and Ubuntu. He also loves listening to music and is a huge Tegan snd Sara fan. You can follow him on twitter @ricky_lais.

  • Not to discredit this post at all but these speed tests (much like the Javascript tests b/w Chrome & Firefox) really don't matter much to an average end-user.

  • Alessandro

    I don't use ArchLinux because somebody did say that is faster than another distribution. I use ArchLinux because I want to install the lastest version of stable softwares (and instable too, why not?). The rolling release system is amazing, and I don't have to concern on SO version. The KISS philosophy is good to understand how to configure the system and learn Linux, not a specific distribution.

  • Rakesh Singh

    I've been using Arch for about 4 years (previously Slackware)

    I have a deskop running Ubuntu 10.04 & from a usability point of view, Arch is faster. But that is mainly because of the software I chose to install. If I installed the exact same Window manager and other software that Ubuntu comes standard with, Arch would probably feel just as sluggish.

  • I find it hard to believe that Arch didn't do better on the results. It has always seemed quite a bit faster than the standard Ubuntu installation. Most of these tests would be used to benchmark the processors more than the overall system performance. User interface response should be noticeably faster on Arch, from my experience. This has less to do with the processor and more to do with the bloat of a normal installation.

    When I use Arch or Debian I usually start out with a minimum installation and install what I need as I need it. Ubuntu and many other distributions tend to install a lot in the default installation.