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I only know of Arch Linux which is pretty awesome and I use it for my desktop. But its rolling release model makes me wary of using it for servers. I know that the benefit of an optimized distribution will not be striking, at least it is unlikely to hurt. Given that I have more modern CPU I would rather enjoy an occasional benefit rather than not. I wonder why are such distributions so hard to find. After all i386 instruction set is pretty prehistoric and I do not see any obvious drawback to compiling for i686.

So my questions are

  • Are there Debian based distributions optimized for i686/X86_64 ? What I am looking for is a distribution for a number crunching cluster
  • Are there any obvious drawbacks because of which distributions usually do not go that route ?

migration rejected from Oct 18 '14 at 23:20

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers. Votes, comments, and answers are locked due to the question being closed here, but it may be eligible for editing and reopening on the site where it originated.

closed as off-topic by Michael Kjörling, Kevin Panko, Journeyman Geek Oct 18 '14 at 23:20

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I mean, you could go with Gentoo and compile everything. In my mind, you will probably be better served with a distro that is better administratively that for which you can eliminate unnecessary services. I think you want to run a minimal install and optimize your application. – BobbyShaftoe Oct 30 '10 at 4:31
@BobbyShaftoe Done that, it was fun, but its too much work. I would rather prefer a binary distro. But having said that it was great fun running Gentoo on an ancient SMP sun clone (ROSS). No other linux would run on it – srean Oct 30 '10 at 4:40

If you're going to do number-crunching, then the most important thing is how your application is compiled; not the rest of the system.

It does matter how libc was compiled for instance, the compiler too. So i was wondering if there is a distribution that ships the architecture tuned version. – srean Oct 31 '10 at 18:18