Minimising system compiling time

Buck xfce at
Tue Apr 5 19:03:58 CEST 2005

Why not just run the compiling stuff in a text console? I don't know
for sure about Linux (but I suppose it's still the same), but in
FreeBSD you can press Ctrl+Alt+F1 (or F2, F3...) and bring different
ttys which switch from the graphical X mode to text mode. So it will
happily compile without bothering your screen at all. In FBSD it's
described in /etc/ttys, and the 8th console (Ctrl-Alt-F9 I think is
reserved for X itself).

> I'm running Gentoo on a dual-Opteron box and from time to time I decide
> to recompile the entire system - absolutely everything on the disk apart
> from a handful of binary packages. Needless to say, this takes a long
> time, and I'd like to find the best setup for shortening it.

> I assume that using a standard virtual terminal, not running X but using
> the frame buffer, is the slowest because every scroll requires a redraw,
> and there must be many thousands of them, maybe millions once I've built
> a more complete system. So at the moment I'm using Terminal in XFce
> 4.2.1, which doesn't suffer that limitation but X does still need to
> refresh the window a few times a second.

> My questions are: 

> 1.  If I roll the window up so that only the title-bar shows, does this
> reduce the overhead, or does X continue all the same work but just not
> show the result?

> 2.  If the latter, should I set a particular window size to minimise the
> overhead?

> 3.  Is there any better way of removing unnecessary overheads while
> compiling several hundred packages? These include gcc, glibc, Xorg etc.
> which do take more than a couple of minutes.

> I suppose I ought to be able to answer the first two of those by peering
> into the code of Xorg, but I'm sure it would be just slightly more
> efficient to ask for opinions from those who know.      :-)


Best regards,
 Buck                            mailto:xfce at

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